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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just saw a girl "CHOPPED IN HALF BY A FREAKIN' JET" in Mazinkaiser.

(With a screencap like this, how can you not watch Mazinkaiser?)

It seems a little sacrilegious that I consider myself a “Super Robot” fan and yet before recently I’d never seen one episode of the “first ever Super Robot”, Mazinger Z (Well, actually that award probably goes to Testujin 28 or Giant Robo, but Mazinger is up there!)

But in anticipation of Imagawa’s new Mazinger series I’ve decided to fill this gap in my anime knowledge and watch some of this series. First up there’s the original series from the 70’s, I’ve been watching some things here and there of the original show, or as it was called in the US, TRANZOR-Z (I do wonder why they bothered to change the title, is Mazinger that much harder to say than Tranzor?) The animation might be sketchy by today’s standards, but everything we love about super robots today is still here in Mazinger Z. Crazy robot designs, AWESOME music, and robots punching each other. From a distance (ROCKET PUNCH!)
(The villains in Mazinger are quite EVVVVILLLL.)

Still, I have a lot’ trouble sitting through an entire super robot series. They’re fun for the first couple of episodes, but after 75 the monster of the week formula may have gotten stale.
The OAV’s of these shows are a lot better (at least for me) At the most they’ll be 13 episodes, with better animation, more badass characters and usually less annoying child characters. Mazinkaiser is one of those shows, made for that generation who grew up watching the first series, it seems to have everything which was awesome about the original with a few things which wouldn’t fly on a Saturday morning cartoon. (I can’t figure out why robots gush gallons of blood in Mazinkaiser, but it sure is cool.)

Super Robot shows are a tried and true formula. It goes like, introduce an evil robot, heroes attack robot dramatically, heroes get there ass handed to them, heroes return (Dramatically) with heroic music egging them on as they defeat the evil monster. Rinse repeat.
Shows like Mazinkaiser don’t try to change this, they just run with the concept and have a whole lot of fun with it. If you don’t want to see robots fighting each other in a dramatic fashion, while our heroes make manly speeches and state how awesome they are, please leave immediately.

Though, if I had one complaint with these OAV’s of older super robot shows, like Mazinkaiser, it’d be the way in which they try to attract an older audience. This is a show about giant toys fighting each other, do we really need the random fan-service every episode? Even the violence feels out of place. I mean sure, its totally awesome when Kouji Kabuto kills a girl by driving a Jet through her chest (you heard me) But do her clothes have to rip of while this happens?

(Took this picture before her shirt magically flies off.)

But then it cuts to the robots again, as they rocket punch mechanical monster into oblivion, and I forget these flaws. The egregious fan-service is a minor price to pay for a few hours of robots beating the shit out of each other.


Iknight said...

I've seen the first episode of Mazinger Z for its historical interest, but until there are decent subs for it I doubt I'll watch much more. And even then, I'm not sure I'd have the stamina for the whole thing.

Mazinkaiser, though, is a bit of a gem, as you say. I'd add that the JAM PROJECT opening, 'Fire Wars', is spectacularly fiery and brilliantly warful.

All this reminds me that I have to watch Kotetsushin Jeeg some time . . .

IAmZim said...

I think part of the reason I got a lot of enjoyment from the original Mazinger was how hilarious the dub was. Worth checking out, I especially loved Dr.Hells EVVVIILLLL voice actor.

"I'd add that the JAM PROJECT opening, 'Fire Wars', is spectacularly fiery and brilliantly warful."
Isn't it though? Its like Jam Project's take on Bon Jovi's Shot Through the Heart.

Q reviewed Koketsushin Jeeg on the podcast, its one I'll have to check out http://graruru.blogspot.com/2009/01/one-where-i-talk-about-robots.html