Tag Archives: super robot

Mecha That Changed Anime: Some Firsts

I ended my previous post with Mazinger Z, but that series was far more the beginning of an era than the end of one.

Traffic jams are apparently good for Go Nagai’s creativity; he had the idea for Mazinger Z wishing his car could just step over the other cars, and the one for Getter Robo started with imagining all the cars merging together.  Nagai and Ken Ishikawa worked on the concept of Getter Robo together, but the manga was drawn and written by Ishikawa. The anime adaptation started three days before the first chapter of the manga was published.

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Mecha That Changed Anime: Beginnings

Last April, I mentioned that I had “mecha that changed anime” as one of my search terms, and said that might be a good idea for its own post. Well, better late than never, and it’s going to be a series of posts rather than just one.

Note that it’s “mecha that changed anime”, not “landmarks of mecha anime”; the categories obviously have overlap, but anything that had impact outside its own genre is of particular significance, and non-anime mecha that had influence on anime are also eligible.

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Mazinger Edition Z is epic

There’s a reason I don’t do many reviews, but once I started this one I wanted to finish it.

This is an true masterpiece of anime! The legend of the unsinkable fortress of steel, which is made of the indestructible Chogokin ZETTO!! Its name is…its name is…its name is Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact!. 

(Probably still better known as Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen.)

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way. I bought the DVD release by Eastern Star (Yes, there is one blatant subtitle error.), which has the entire series. The only language option is Japanese and the only subtitle language option is English subtitles, and the only extras are clean openings and endings. The packaging is nice enough.

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Awesome Music Thursday: Yuusha Oh Tanjou!

King of Braves GaoGaiGar is the last and most popular anime installment in the “Yuusha” or “Brave” franchise. Actually, at the time it had lower TV ratings but higher DVD sales, indicating that it was more popular with adult fans than with kids. So its continuation, GaoGaiGar FINAL, was initially an OAV before being reworked into a TV series as well.

I only have one more thing to say about this:

Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga GaoGaiGar!

(Uploaded by GaoGaiKIngTheGreat)

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Showdown

Over at Flash! Friday, it’s Flashversary. The prompt this time allows almost total freedom, but having to be exactly 150 words instead of within a range sounded like it could be a challenge; I was kind of surprised that it wasn’t really a problem. Here’s my entry for round one.

Showdown

Luna’s jet ripped through the smoke, but it wasn’t fast enough. Thousands had already burned. “No more! Tonight, Orochi dies!”

She rolled to dodge a tongue of flame from the mechanical wyrm, and fired a missile straight down its maw to little effect. She was relieved to see impacts on two of the monster’s other heads.

“Adam! Michiru! Formation Alpha!”

All three screamed “Combine! Guardian Susanoo!” as three machines became one unbelievable warrior.

Orochi ignored the steel samurai and spat a fireball at the hospital. Susanoo dashed into the projectile’s path and drew the Sword of Storms. The flames danced around the heavenly blade until it glowed red. The blades on the robot’s left gauntlet extended and were connected by a plasma bowstring. The trio fired their sword as an arrow straight into the fusion reactor that was the dragon’s heart. The beast fell to Earth, into its own inferno.

The power to be a Godmaster or a Devil Z

Okay, a little background information. When the original Transformers cartoon ended in the west, several more Transformers series were made in Japan. The first one, Headmasters, was still mostly similar to the third US season (and the three-episode fourth season, which Japan didn’t get). So it was the next, Chojin Masterforce (Super God Masterforce), that was the first time Transformers was ever re-invented in Japan, and, while still in the same continuity, the first time it ever really “started over”, since Masterforce had no returning characters (except one villain who comes in fairly late).

At first the show focuses on the Pretenders, Transformers that can disguise themselves as humans (in the case of the Autobots/Cybertrons) or monsters (the Decepticons/Destrons), but before long the Headmaster Juniors and Godmasters are introduced; both groups consist of humans who use special bracelets to combine with special but non-sentient “Transtectors” to become Transformers. Since that’s sort of like piloting a mecha, it’s often said that Masterforce’s way of distinguishing itself from other Transformers series was to be more like every other super robot anime. That’s true to an extent but it gets more complicated, particularly toward the end of the series.

But what I’ve noticed, and not seen mentioned before, is that Masterforce didn’t simply move closer to typical of a genre; it has a strong influence from one particular set of super robot anime; the original mecha series, Mazinger Z, and it’s sequels, Great Mazinger and Grendizer.

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