Volume One: Battle of the Robot Prince!

Synopsis:  The journey of a robot prince begins! The planet Cronos is a world of super-robotic lifeforms, ruled by the wise Master Kirai. But their peaceful existence is shattered by the conquering armies of the Gandora robots. Now, machine combats machine in an epic battle for the planet. Master Kurai's son, Rom, must lead a company of transformable mecha warriors into the fray!

Comments:  Cronos is an Earth-like planet that has human style androids (like Rom and Lena) as well as full-on transformable robots (Jet. Drill, etc.) Why this is the case isn't stated in the shows that I watched. It's just the reality of their world. The villians are some kind of space monster/mutant things that want to conquer Cronos (their designs are even more inconsistent then the good guys). 
    The animation is reasonably good considering its time (mid-eighties). Definitely smoother and more impressive then its cousin Gobots series in North America. The writing seems decent enough but also includes Rom's super Wolf Sword which can, you guessed it, power him up to two more super forms of transformable robot. Why did every Japanese cartoon insist on a "super sword" trope in its lore? Couldn't somebody have come up with something different?  One good thing about this show is it shows the Gobot characters (some of them anyway) in a different light--more heroic and less goofy like the U.S. cartoon was. Still, though, I'm left wondering why someone didn't try a more Transformers-esque setting with nothing but the transformable robots as the characters. Perhaps it was the Japanese style of thinking that no one wanted to see a show without humans/human-like characters in it to relate to the big robots?
    Worth checking out (if you can find a copy) even just for its difference to what we're all familiar with.

Technical Details:

- Contains the first five episodes of Machine Robo. Three volumes in total were released that encompassed the first fifteen episodes (the series ran 47 episodes in total).
- Japanese language soundtrack only (with English sub-titles)
- Dolby Digital Mono sound
- Special Features: Art Gallery (images from the show), character sketches. Also a "sing-along" feature that plays the subtitles over the opening theme (karaoke style).
- Region Zero
- Released in 2005 (out of print)

Transformers Relevance:

- This is the Japanese series that showcased the Japanese Machine Robo toys (which would become known as Gobots in North America. The Gobots were the chief competition to the Transformers).