Viz Media’s Transformers: The Manga Volume 1 Review!

While we still have a few days before the first volume comes out, we at the Allspark have been given an advance copy. Read on for our exclusive review!

So what is this Manga? Well, it is a serialized manga that was originally published in TV magazine in 1985 as a part of the franchise launch in Japan that has been translated to English for the first time! While it has a lot of similarities to the G1 cartoon series, it has some differences in character relations and story lines, and does not share a continuity with it.

Transformers The Manga Volume 1 starts off with a very familiar G1 origin story, and then immediately jumps into a eight chapter story, called “Fight! Super Robot Life-Form Transformers”, about a Japanese boy named Kenji helping the Autobots defeat the Decepticons in Japan.

My favorite of these chapter definitely was the one with Kenji at a baseball game that is attacked by the Stunticons and the Combaticons. Some great Scramble city fighting ensues when the Aerialbots and the Protectobots show up.

Most of the characters featured in these eight chapters are from the 1984 and 1986 toy lines, but all of them are Pre-TFTM characters. While I won’t go into the specifics of all of the chapters, they all seem at home with the G1 stories we grew up with without being repetitive. The artwork is quite impressive, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The second story in Transformers The Manga Volume 1 is called “The Story of the Super Robot Life-Forms: The Transformers”. It is set in a post-Transformers the Movie setting, with Rodimus Prime now leading the Autobots and Galvatron leading the Decepticons.

The art style and layout changes a bit for this story, but personally, I enjoyed it more. My favorite thing about Transformers The Manga Volume 1 has to be in this story. In one of the chapters, Rodimus faces off against Gilthor. Gilthor is a combination of Megatron and Optimus Prime, with the power of both combined!

I must admit that I wish that toy had been made back in 1987!
The third and final story in this Manga is called “The Great Transformers War”, and it is pretty good too! Set in the same post TFTM setting, it is a three chapter story that not only has the creation of Computron and Abominus, but has the coolest use of an Exosuit ever! On top of that, it has the return of Optimus Prime and sets up the reader for the next generation of Transformers, the Headmasters!

After that the book has 75 pages of illustrations from TV Magazine. These vary from Color illustrations of the characters to synopsis illustrations of the G1 episodes.

These illustrations, and Transformers The Manga Volume 1’s introduction, are done in a high quality glossy paper that really makes it shine!
Over all, this is a wonderful book that I would highly recommend to any G1 fan. However, if you joined the fandom in later years, this might not be for you. The chapters use a wide variety of G1 characters, so it feels like everyone gets a chance to fight for Earth and her resources. The art style is wonderful, and seeing these old characters in new stories, at least to me and most US G1 Fans, really makes me nostalgic. If Transformers The Manga Volume 1 can do that, then I would say it was worth the $24.99 MSRP, and I am looking forward to seeing Volume 2!
This first volume can be Pre-ordered here, and will be released on March 10th. While the second volume will be released on May 12th is available for pre-order now.  The third volume is available for pre-order here and will be released on October 13th!
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