Transformers Generation One Cartoon
|Name:||Transformers Generation One Cartoon|
|Date(s):||September 17, 1984 - November 11, 1987|
|Medium:||animated TV show|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||Generation One franchise at TFWiki|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Generation One Transformers cartoon was the beginning of the entire franchise. It tells the story of the heroic Autobots, led by Optimus Prime, waging their battle to destroy the evil Decepticons, led by Megatron. It was one of many merchandise-driven children's cartoons of the 80's, but it is one of few to have spawned a franchise that sustained its success up through the present day. While its problems are many and definite, lots of fans still love it, and even those who don't generally respect it, as without it the rest of the franchise would never have existed.
The fandom for the original cartoon largely consists of adult males, as they were the main audience of the show back when it aired in the 80's. With the popularity of the IDW comics, which loosely share a universe with the series, they have grown in popularity among other audiences, but the majority of the fandom is still adult men. When the series was airing, it was very popular - popular enough to get a theatrically released movie, which is notable for horrifying many young fans who didn't expect its remarkable death toll. The deaths of many beloved and iconic characters such as Optimus Prime and Starscream caused many fans to largely ignore the existence of the third and fourth seasons, which are the only ones set after the movie.
Many fans on AO3 do not distinguish between the general Generation One franchise and the cartoon specifically in their tags, and the entire franchise is a single world filter on fanfiction.net, so there's no way to find exact numbers on how much fanfic exists for the series, but it appears to be the most popular series to create fanworks for.
Characters and Pairings
The popular characters and pairings of the series are generally also popular across the Transformers franchise as a whole, even when the characters are very different from their appearances in this series. Prowl, for example, is depicted very differently in Transformers Animated than he is in the original cartoon, and yet Jazz/Prowl is still a popular pairing. Starscream, the hot-tempered, backstabbing Decepticon aerial commander, is the most popular character to write about on AO3. Prowl, the calm and logical Autobot second-in-command, is a close second. Optimus Prime and Megatron follow.
The most popular pairing to write is Jazz/Prowl, which is largely based on the appeal of their personality clash. It is followed by Skyfire/Starscream, which is a notable exception to the rule that popularity in the Generation One cartoon gives popularity in all series, as this is the only one Skyfire has a major role in, and the only series he appears in under that name. Megatron/Starscream, the third most common pairing, started in this fandom, based on their antagonistic relationship, but it is more popular in Transformers: Prime fandom.
The series itself has a rather straightforward continuity. The internal chronological order of the episodes, the broadcast order, and the production order do not agree on many episodes' placement, but the general fandom solution to this is to simply put the episodes in production order. However, the series' expanded universe has an extremely complex continuity, elaborated on on that page.