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~Old School Mecha

August 15, 2009

The Original Mazinger Z

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Mazinger Z(マジンガーZ,), known as Tranzor Z in the United States, is a Super Robot manga and anime series created by Go Nagai. The first manga version was serialized in Shueisha Shōnen Jump from October 1972 to August 1973, and it later continued in Kodansha TV Magazinefrom October 1973 to September 1974.

In December of 1972, the anime version premiered on Fuji Tele Vision. The TV series ended September 1, 1974.

A second manga series was released alongside the TV show, this one drawn by Gosaku Ota, which started and ended almost at the same time of the TV show. Mazinger Z was known as the first anime series ever to air on TV. Quite a blast from the past don’t you think?

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Summary:

Mazinger Z is a gigantic Super Robot, constructed with a fictitious metal called Super-Alloy Z, which is forged from a new element (Japanium) mined from a reservoir found only in the sediment of Japan’s Mt. Fuji. The mecha was built by Professor Juzo Kabuto as a secret weapon against the forces of evil, represented in the series by the Mechanical Beasts (mecha used for evil purposes) of Dr. Hell. The latter was the German member of a Japanese archeological team, which discovered ruins of a lost pre-Grecian civilization on an island named Bardos; the civilization was loosely based on the ancient Mycenae, and was called the Mycene Empire in the series. One of their findings was that the Mycene used an army of steel titans about 20 meters in height. Finding prototypes of those titans underground which could be remote-controlled and realizing their immense power on the battlefield, Dr. Hell goes insane and has all the other scientists of his research team killed except for Professor Kabuto, who manages to escape. The lone survivor goes back to Japan and attempts to warn the world of its imminent danger. Meanwhile, Dr. Hell establishes his headquarters on a mobile island, and plans to use the Mechanical Beasts to become the new ruler of the world. To counter this, Kabuto constructs Mazinger Z and manages to finish it just before being killed by a bomb planted by Hell’s right-hand ‘man’, Baron Ashura, a hermaphrodite. As he is dying, he manages to inform his grandson Kouji Kabuto about the robot and its use. Kouji becomes the robot’s pilot, and from that point on battles both the continuous mechanical monsters, and the sinister henchmen sent by Doctor Hell in every episode.

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