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Ginrai, occasionally spelled Jinrai and also known as both Super Ginrai and God Ginrai, and later rebuilt as Victory Leo, is a fictional character from the animated series Transformers: Super-God Masterforce and its toy line, one of the Transformers series exclusive to Japanmarker. He was called Apex Prime in some dubbed versions of the animated series.

Transformers: Generation 1

When the iconic Transformers character, Optimus Prime, was brought back to life in Marvel Comics Transformers series in 1988, he was recreated as a Powermaster - a Transformer which came with a small companion figure Hi-Q (a humanoid alien scientist from the planet Nebulos) who transformed into an engine and connected to the larger figure, unlocking the toy's ability to transform to robot mode. Naturally, Prime retained his famous red tractor trailer transformation, but could now also combine with his trailer to form a "super robot."

With the American Transformers animated series having come to an end the previous year, Japan had struck out on its own and already produced one series exclusive to its shores, Transformers: Headmasters, and repeated the action this year with the creation of Super-God Masterforce, which took the American Powermaster toys and created an entirely new concept and story for them in its animated series, where they were renamed "Godmasters" (using the word as a reference to "power," with no connection to any deity intended). Powermaster Prime's toy was slightly recolored with a more metallic shade of grey, and retooled with a die-cast metal cab and retractable super-mode fists, and released in Japan as an entirely new character named Ginrai.

Animated series

The central concept of Super-God Masterforce was that it would be human beings, rather than Transformers, who would defend the Earth - their own planet - against the threat posed by the Decepticons. To that end, the Headmasters and Godmasters featured in this series were not Transformers who partnered with smaller beings, or even, as with the previous year, small Transformers who piloted larger, lifeless bodies named "Transtectors" - here, they were human beings imbued with the "Masterforce," who could combine and control Transtectors, becoming Transformers themselves.

Some years before the beginning of the series, the evil alien energy entity and self-styled "Decepticon God" known as Devil Z stole eight Transtectors from the region of space known as the G Nebula, one of which was intended to be a new body for Optimus Prime. Breaking off from the largest Transtector - Overlord - as they entered Earth's atmosphere, the other Transtectors were scattered across the planet, with most of them adopting the form of Earthly vehicles to remain hidden in plain sight. The body built for Optimus Prime, by coincidence or design, adopted the form of a truck cab while a secondary portion of the Transtector was split from it and buried underground.

The truck found its way into the hands of a garage owner in America, who rented it out to needy drivers. However, the drivers soon began to report strange phenomena occurring when the truck drove itself - but this did not dissuade Ginrai, a nineteen-year-old Japanese immigrant, from renting the truck to complete an important delivery.

In the truck's glove compartment, he discovered a set of Master-Braces - the metallic bracelets that endowed humans with the Masterforce - and donned them, completing his delivery, which was coincidentally received by the Autobot Pretender, Diver (Waverider). Recognising the Master-Braces, Diver accompanied Ginrai and explained their significance to him, only for them to be attacked by the Decepticon Godmasters, Buster and Hydra, and forced over a cliff. Accidentally touching the bracelets as he attempted to escape the crushed cab, Ginrai was infused with the Masterforce and a suit of armor materialised around him, healing both himself and the Transtector, as they combined and transformed. Harnessing a Godmaster's natural ability to manipulate Chokon Power - the energy of the heavens (Tenchokon), the Earth (Chichokon) and man (Jinchokon) - Ginrai saw off the Decepticons, and, after a period of deliberation, after which he decided that becoming a Godmaster was the will of God himself, he joined the Autobots.

Following a premonition, Ginrai discovered three further sets of Master-Braces in his Transtector, a portent of things to come. Events began to escalate when Ginrai's Transtector activated on its own, Ginrai was pulled to a construction site at the base of Mount Yatsugatake. Again confronted by Buster and Hydra, the secondary component of Ginrai's Transtector burst from within the tunnel being dug, taking the form of a trailer for his truck. Not long thereafter, in a battle with King Poseidon (Piranacon), Ginrai discovered that the two components could merge, creating "Super Ginrai." Appearing on TV in hopes of locating the remaining three Godmasters, to whom he would give the Master-Braces, Ginrai successfully located Lightfoot, Ranger and Road King, and recruited them to the Autobot side, after which the Autobot Pretender leader, Metalhawk, stepped down as Commander and requested that Ginrai take his place. After some deliberation, Ginrai accepted.

God Ginrai
on Earth to inform the Autobots there of the impending arrival of the Decepticon super-weapon, BlackZarak, Grand Maximus provided them with the schematics necessary to create the non-sentient drone, Godbomber. Able to connect to vehicle mode (Super) Ginrai as a tandem trailer, Godbomber could also transport the Transtectors of the three Headmaster Juniors - Cab, Shuta and Minerva - and most importantly, would be able to combine with Super Ginrai, powering him up into the new form of God Ginrai, giving him the strength necessary to battle Black Zarak. As the so-called "Bomber Project" proceeded apace under Metalhawk's command, Super Ginrai was dealt a severe defeat by the Decepticon, Overlord. Following a failed attack on the Bomber Project facility, the barely-healed Ginrai insisted upon taking the fight to the Decepticons, combining with the completed Godbomber and confronting Overlord and Black Zarak on the moon. With the aid of Grand Maximus, God Ginrai was able to force Black Zarak to retreat back into space.

During a desert battle with Overlord, God Bomber revealed an unexpected ability by reconfiguring his components into a robot mode in response to Ginrai's threat. Later, the Headmaster Juniors discovered that they could control Godbomber in both of his modes by uniting their own Chokon Power, together matching the level used by Ginrai to control him.

With BlackZarak's return to Earth and subsequent merging with Devil Z, God Ginrai was forced into a final battle with the hybrid entity. He succeeded in decapitating the villain, but BlackZarak then assumed a new hydra alternate mode, which God Ginrai destroyed with his God Fire Guts attack. With the added power of the Headmaster Juniors from within his God Bomber components, God Ginrai then executed the almighty Final Fire Guts attack, destroying Devil Z. With the energy-being's destruction, Ginrai and the other humans were separated from their Transtectors, who continued to exist as true robot life forms, having evolved real personalities through their partnership with humans. The newly-born Transformers then departed Earth to pursue the surviving Decepticons back into space.The human named Ginrai presumably resumed his normal life, and was no more seen in the following serials.

In 1989's Transformers: Victory the robotic God Ginrai rejoined the larger Autobot forces out in space, based in the G Nebula. However, attacks by Overlord drew his attention, necessitating the intervention of Autobot Supreme Commander, Star Saber, on occasion.

In episode #25 of Transformers: Victory "A Deadly Battle" Blacker recovers at the Autobot Shuttle Base under the care of the Rescue Patrol. God Ginrai contacts Star Saber from space wanting to know about Blacker's injuries and offering to help if the Autobots on Earth need him. In the Thunder Arrow the Decepticons plan their next mission, with member of Breast Force wanting revenge on Greatshot and Deathsaurus closely watching Leozack. The Breast Force are sent to attack an Autobot garrison in Asia. Star Saber receives an SOS from the garrison orders the Brainmasters to remain at the base as he, the Rescue Patrol and Galaxy Shuttle respond. Blacker suspects the Autobot left without him and finds it shameful. The Breast Force focus their attacks on Star Saber and get the best of him. Blacker orders Braver and Laster to join in the fight, leaving him to protect the Shuttle Base. Liokaiser leads Star Saber into a trap where Deathsaurus is waiting. Realizing Star Saber is in danger Jan and Stakeout send an SOS, hoping Greatshot will answer. As Deathsaurus goes to deliver a fatal blow to Star Saber with his cannon God Ginrai arrives to block the blast. All the combatants are injured in the fighting and with the arrival of Braver and Laster the Decepticons flee. God Ginrai's wounds are severe and he collapses.

His body utterly shattered, even Autobot scientists Perceptor and Wheeljack were unable to restore his mobility. Learning of a new conversion process conceived of by Star Saber, Ginrai insisted that he be subjected to it, even when Star Saber attempted to stop him - the process would completely transform Ginrai into a new form that could be used by Star Saber as a power up, and the commander refused to use Ginrai's body in so base a manner. Ginrai persisted, and the Autobots relented; Perceptor and Wheeljack initiated the process, and God Ginrai's body was completely reconfigured into the new form of the lion-bot, Victory Leo.

An unfortunately side-effect of the process left Victory Leo's mind and body unbalanced - immediately after his transformation, he began to run wild in his lion mode, displaying a more wild, feral nature than God Ginrai ever had, leaving Jan (Star Saber's adopted human son) dismayed at the apparent loss of the being he had considered his friend. When Jan was trapped in a collapsed building as Victory Leo battled the Breast Force, however, his pleas for help reached Victory Leo, and some measure of balance returned to his mind, leading him to rescue Jan.

When Deszaras threatened the Earth with orbital missile strikes if the Autobots interfered in the Decepticons' energy-gathering raids, Victory Leo had to be forcibly held back by the Brainmasters to prevent him from attacking their enemies and dooming the planet. Star Saber came to the rescue with a new unification circuit implanted within his body - with this new component, he and Victory Leo could combine their bodies into Victory Saber. In the form of a combined jet, Victory Saber soared into space at a faster rate than Deszaras had predicted, and then in their combined robot form, destroyed the satellite controlling the missiles.

Victory Leo was still not fully the being God Ginrai had been, retaining a more violent, short-tempered personality which sometimes brought him into conflict with the other Autobots - when Breast Force member Leozack impersonated Star Saber, Victory Leo realised that something was wrong, but none of his team-mates believed him. Even when Victory Leo tried to stop the Leozack from taking Victory Saber's combination information, the Autobots thought he was a traitor, until the real Star Saber showed up and Leozack was exposed, gaining Victory Leo his comrades trust.

When Deszaras finally succeeded in reactivating his colossal planet-destroying battle fortress, Victory Leo and Star Saber combined into Victory Saber took to space to try and stop the deadly craft, only to be knocked out by its weapons and crash, unonsciousness, on its surface. Recovering as it transformed into its "Destroyer Mode," Victory Saber attacked again but was confronted by Breast Force combiner Liokaiser. At the same time, Jan arrived in his mobile mech with information that could destroy the fortress, and Victory Saber separated so that Star Saber could follow him into the fortress; Victory Leo took on Liokaiser and defeated him by hurling him into the fortress's cannon barrel. Jan then succeeded in beginning the fortress's destruction, and Deszaras, defeated by Star Saber, set the craft on collision course with Earth. Forming Victory Saber once again, the two heroes successfully destroyed the fortress and saved the planet.

Transformers: Robot Masters

Victory Leo and Star Saber returned in the Robot Masters line, where they would join forces with Generation One Optimus Prime and Beast Wars Optimus Primal. His function is Armed Knight and his motto is "I am full of fighting spirit and the power of the beast."

Subsequent Releases

When the God Ginrai toy was reissued in Japan in 2002, online retailer E-Hobby produced an exclusive "Fire Guts" version, representing Ginrai as he utilizes his final attack. Decorated in various shades of red and orange, the toy was limited to 1600 pieces.

When Hasbro began their own series of reissues, the "Powermaster Optimus Prime" toy they reissued was, in fact, the God Ginrai mold, and hence featured a die-cast cab and shorter, chromed smokestacks. Godbomber, never having been released in Hasbro markets before, was included in the set, renamed Apex Bomber, who formed "Apex Armor" for Prime. The toy's tech spec/bio indicates Apex Bomber is the original Optimus Prime toy's Roller companion rebuilt. Of note is that the Nebulan partner was named Ginrai, not Hi-Q, in this release.

Takara also released a black redeco of this toy with translucent red windows, available exclusively through Toys R Us Japan, named Nucleon Quest Super Convoy. The toy did not include Godbomber, and represented Optimus Prime himself, rather than Ginrai, a first for the toy in Japan.

Toys

  • Generation 1 God Ginrai with Godbomber'
A remould of Generation 1 Powermaster Optimus Prime with a new partner, Godbomber (called Apex Bomber in his eventual U.S. release}.


  • Generation 1 Victory Leo'
This toy was designed by Takara's Takashi Kunihiro.


  • Robot Masters Victory Leo'


External links

References

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urnUhBI0Dw0
  2. http://mykooltoyz.tripod.com/c310.html
  3. http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-news/universe-classics-20-29/transformers-generations-2009-takara-tomy-transformers-henkei-staff-interview-translation-167074/



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