Panic! Protect the Wild Animals!! is the seventh episode of Transformers: Super-God Masterforce. It first aired in Japan on May 24, 1988 on Nippon TV.
It's the Autobots to the rescue when the Decepticons cause animals to stampede in Africa in a scheme to destabilize the balance of nature!
In Kenya, Africa, a wildlife preservation ranger named Mister Ricky is on patrol on the savanna when he discovers a stampede of wild animals, heading straight for a nearby village. Although he races ahead of the animals in his land rover and radios ahead for an evacuation, the village itself is trampled to the ground. News of the event - and several others like it - reaches Japan, and the Headmaster Juniors discuss it in Cab's treehouse over a meal of newly-delivered Karin Island coconuts. Cab is totally oblivious to the event, however, given his preference for a technology-free - and hence TV-free - home, much to Shūta's exasperation. Just then, Metalhawk summons the Juniors back to the base, having received information from Phoenix that the Seacons were spotted in Kenya, leading him to believe that the Decepticons are responsible for the stampedes.
In the Decepticon base, Blood communicates with Gilmer and Dauros over a viewscreen, telling them that the Autobots are on their way to their location. He informs them that he will join them soon, and that they are to start another stampede in the meantime; Dauros still isn't taking too kindly to the fact that Blood is giving him orders, but Blood simply cuts the communication off before he can finish objecting. The Decepticon Headmaster Juniors, spoiling for a fight with their Autobot counterparts, request that they be allowed to accompany Blood, but he suggests that they put themselves to work training to defeat them, rather than simply talking big. After a tense moment, the Juniors part to allow Blood to walk by them and leave, but the three boys can't resist a parting jab at the small-scale nature of Blood's animal scheme, causing the Pretender to fly into a rage and hurl rocks and rubble at them. After backhanding all three of them, nearly knocking them into the moat of lava surrounding the altar and its glowing orb, he explains that the plan is one with far-reaching consequences - they plan to destabilize the balance of nature, allowing the Decepticons to take power. As he raises his arms at the end of his speech, the orb erupts with energy.
In Kenya, the Autobot Headmaster Juniors unload their Transtectors from the private plane that brought them to the country, although Shūta and Cab are somewhat more occupied with the task of ogling the barely-there outfit that Minerva has chosen to wear for the hotter climate. As they drive across the savanna, Cab and Shūta sing a song drawing attention to her leggy ensemble, but soon, they meet up with the Pretenders and Mister Ricky. The meeting gets off to a tense start when Ricky immediately draws his rifle and appears to shoot at Minerva; Shūta kicks the gun away and seizes the man, but it turns out Ricky was dispatching a scorpion that was poised to sting the girl. Ricky takes the Juniors back to his village, where they meet an injured fawn whose stampeding parents Ricky was forced to shoot, and Minerva puts the medical equipment in her Transtector to use healing it. The Pretenders, meanwhile, are exploring the savanna, and soon discover detonators that have been used to cause explosions designed to send animals stampeding. No sooner is this discovery made, however, than they come under attack from various types of Seacon, which they are able to dispatch without too much trouble. It is at that point that the Decepticon Pretenders make their entrance, backed up by a virtual armada of Krakens. While the Autobots are occupied with the Seacons, the Decepticons disappear (much to the displeasure of the battle-hungry Dauros) and Blood incites a herd of elephants into another stampede, heading right for Mister Ricky's village. Detecting the approaching animals, Metalhawk radios the Headmaster Juniors as he and the other Pretenders race to see what can be done - only to find that they can't even deal with the Decepticons, since they are riding the elephants, putting them in danger should the Autobots open fire. Still guilty over having taken the lives of the deer, Mister Ricky makes a virtually suicidal attempt to stop the elephants, but is saved by Shūta and Cab, who link up in a "scrum" formation to block the pachyderms' path, calming the creatures down. With their plan foiled, the badly outnumbered Decepticons beat retreat.
A little later, as the sun sets over the savanna, the now-healed fawn is released back into the wild as the Autobots and Ricky watch.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Quite a bit of footage from "Rise Up!! Pretenders" is re-used this episode, although with different backgrounds slotted in to reflect the change in scenery from that episode. Reused footage includes Metalhawk deflecting laser beams with his Titanium Saber and cleaving a Tentakil with it, the four Pretenders' arrival and transformation and the Decepticon Pretenders "retreat" sequence, as they transform to vehicle mode and exit in colorful ways.
- Dauros's discontent with Blood's seemingly self-appointed leadership role was previously seen in "Rise Up!! Pretenders."
- The (nonsense-word) chanting employed by Blood as he entrances the elephants is similar to the chanting he used in "Terror! The Decepticons' Manhunt" to create the Destroids. Although not stated in dialogue, it was fairly obvious in that episode that he was channelling the energy of Devil Z; less so in this episode, as Devil Z is not present for the act, but was shown to surge with energy in response to Blood in an earlier scene, presumably giving him the energy which he goes on to use on the elephants. This has led to a not-entirely-uncommon belief that Blood is doing these things with magical energy of his own, which doesn't seem to be the correct interpretation of the action.
- For all the Colonials in the reading audience, a "scrum" is a rugby formation in which players link their limbs - that's the sort of stance that the Autobots take in this episode, and it's no stranger to Japanese Transformers fiction, having previously been used in several issues of the TV Magazine manga.
- With a major plot development coming up next episode, poised to send the series in a new direction, this episode serves as an end to the "introductory" period of Super-God Masterforce, and as such, features appearances by all regular characters to have appeared in the series so far, except for Lobclaw.
- Gilmer makes one of those dire Japanese-language puns that doesn't translate well into English this episode. When telling Dauros that the elephants will make the Autobots tremble, he adds the emphatic zo to the end of his sentence - and "elephant" in Japanese is zō. That's probably, like, hilarious, if you're Nipponese, but the closest English equivalent you could probably come up with would be if he called the plan "elephantastic." Gilmer's certainly very happy with himself, anyway, but Dauros just groans (see right).