Transformers Zone Manga
“Transformers Zone Manga”
Formatting/Photoshop: Might Gaine
Source: Transformers The Comics
New Chief Commander Dai Atlas and the Micro Warriors Take Action!
Note: This manga reads Left to Right.
Being the first main Japanese Transformers line to be released without the accompaniment of an animated series, Kaneda Masumi seems to be doing his best to fill in the gaps of the TV Magazine monthly story with this manga, included as an extra with the third month of Zone coverage. The manga story takes place directly after the April TV Magazine, and gives us some reason as to why Star Saber yields command to Dai Atlas. Also established in the manga is that the 9 Destron generals are not zombies as some had speculated, but seem character-wise to be identical to their previous incarnations.
Also to be noted is Akira’s gender, which is unmistakably male. Many fans noted his increasingly feminine looks in the TV Magazine coverage and peculiar moments of tension with Kain (rhymes with “fine,” not “lane”) that appear in the OVA. It seems pretty unlikely that Kaneda Masumi wanted to make his viewer identification characters a pair of apparently gay boys, so it is probably the case that Akira’s original character designs were for a female. (This was actually what happened for Buster in Super God Masterforce, who ended up being a male due to the number of female characters already present in the series.)
The Zone OVA, which was released 3 months later in July, 1990, was more or less a direct retelling of this manga. In the OVA as in this manga, the third Powered Master Roadfire does not appear as his toy had not yet been finalized. Dai Atlas and Sonic Bomber also may not have been ready for production at the time of the manga, since only color sketches appear in the accompanying booklet with no actual photographs.
Although the art is good and has a lot of little cute details such as the background human characters and Microtransformers, I personally enjoyed Zone the most later in the series when Metrotitan and Violenjiger begin to appear prominently.