Shin Mazinger Impact! Z Chapter is a new entry in Go Nagai'sMazinger series, directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa (Giant Robo, G Gundam). While it features many characters and machines from other Go Nagai series, it is not a remake or sequel to the original TV show and manga but a complete reboot for the series intended for viewers new and old alike.Set in the near future (or rather, the near future as imagined inThe Seventies), humanity enters another energy revolution following the discovery of Photon Power. Derived from the Japanium ore discovered under the foothills of Mt. Fuji, its intended use was to solve the world's energy problems with its unimaginable power. Seeking this energy is Dr. Hell, a madman who wishes to twist the energy to his own means, who with his subordinates Baron Ashura, Count Brocken and Viscount Pygman, commands an army of Humongous Mecha excavated from the depths of Ancient Greece to seize the Photon Power Lab for himself.Meeting the attack head on is the Hot-Blooded teenager Kabuto Kouji, who pilots the Photon Powered Super Robot Mazinger Z, built by his aging grandfather. Joining him is a rather large cast of eccentric characters with their own reasons for being invested in the fight against Dr. Hell. As the fight rages on, the many mysteries and legends surrounding the cast are gradually revealed.The Shin Mazinger Zero manga was released near the same time, but is not actually related to the plot of the anime.A character sheet is under construction.
This series features examples of:
The Ace: Tetsuya, so much so in fact that ASHURA calls him the best pilot to ever exist. What did he do to claim such a statement? Why nothing short of winning against a Kedora in a half-assembled Mazinger prototype. Thats right — an unfinished prototype!
Badass: The series seems to be trying to extend this to as much of the cast as possible... of particular note are Nishikiori Tsubasa, her followers, and Baron Ashura.
Even the most useless or meek of the characters get at least one "holy shit awesome!" moment by the end of the final episode.
Back from the Dead: Being steeped in Gothic horror tropes, many of the cast were supposedly dead people revived by science.
Badass Grandpa / Cool Old Guy: Juzo Kabuto; the Shin Mazinger portrayal of him is widely agreed to be the single most enjoyable and likable in the history of the entire franchise. He may even be cheating death!
As of episode 22 he kinda is, if you count having an AI with all his knowledge and personality installed into the Pilder.
There's also Kikunosuke, a Badass Granny who wields a garotte wire made of Super Alloy Z, has Super Speed, and is described by the other Kurogane Five members as being the strongest of them all!
Berserk Button: For Kouji, it's insulting his grandfather Juzo. For Baron Ashura, it's his/her appearance... especially when it thinks you're the one responsible for it.
Big Damn Heroes: The ENTIRE first episode is essentially a series of Big Damn Heroes entrances, by the entire cast. Likewise, the series seems to specialise in awesome sudden entrances from heroes and villains, usually as part of a Cliff Hanger.
The Big Guy: Cross, who is actually a cyborg made from Super Alloy Z
And right after that, Zeus does the same thing with his severed armIN THE OTHER MOTHERFUCKING FACE!
On another note, in Boss Borot's glorious debut, it manages to deal significant amounts of damage to Mechanical Beast Baron Ashura. While Ashura's Humongous Mecha isn't quite Cthulhu, Boss Borot is, well...Of course, this was all part of the plan...
Downer Ending: Okay so Dr Hell is defeated, the world is safe right? WRONG! Turns out doing that just let loose the Mycenae Empire on Earth.
Earn Your Happy Ending: A very rare villain example with Ashura. It got its revenge and brought back its lost civilization.
Face-Heel Turn: Although it's not a true Face-Heel Turn in the actual series, one of Go Nagai's other Super Robot creations - Groizer X - makes a cameo appearance as an enemy robot in several episodes.
Fan Disservice: In episode 2 - Juzo, and in episode 12 - Baron Ashura.
Five-Man Band: The Kurogane Five/Kurogane Goninshuu, comprised of Yasu, Cross, Django, Sensei, and Kikunosuke. They don't really fit into any of the set archetypes, though.
In some cases, it's not that clear. But Cross is definitely The Big Guy due to having the most raw strength and defense, Kikunosuke is some twisted subversion of The Chick by being so freaking old and also the strongest by far, Django's The Smart Guy due to his specialized gun rounds and reliance on indirect combat, Sensei's The Hero due to his directness, and Yasu's The Lancer due to the fact that if any of them are going to die in battle, it's gonna be him with that bomb inside his body. Yasu can make a good hero since he's the one who talks. He is the one who kind of takes the viewer (Shiro and Ankokujii) and introduces them to the five. Sort of the link into the group.
Not to mention that whenever Kenzo, his adopted father is mentioned, it's either following or preceeding a lightning strike. In fact, his appearance in episode 14 was marked by some serious "heavenly thunder"
Episode 2 foreshadows that the murder victims are Baron Ashura's spies, since they're all killed with a vertical cut to the face. This matches Ashura him/herself, who is visibly split down the middle
Tsubasa being Kouji and Shiro's mother has been hinted at repeatedly since the first episode.
Anybody who watched the first episode knows the similarities between Mazinger Z and the God Zeus. Then, episode 18 comes in and reveals that Zeus is one of the Three Great Gods, and we get to see Hades, the second one... whose look (the face, especially) bears a certain resemblance to Grendizer...Sequel Hook?
Hell, the show has plenty of it, if you go back and rewatch previous episodes.
Full Body Disguise: Baron Ashura and his/her men often don these. Played for laughs, since they shouldn't be able to disguise themselves as convincingly as they do - the Iron Masks for example manage to wear helmets under their rubber masks.
This is a Running Gag throughout the entire Mazinger franchise, and can be seen in at least one episode of Mazinkaiser off the top of my head.
And there was that time Count Blocken disguised himself as Kenzo while piloting Energer Z
Gag Boobs: Aphrodai A's breasts have covers which can be flipped open to reveal machine guns and missiles. Then there's Million Alpha, which sits Lori and Roll in two cockpits jutting out the chest. Later on they get a twin-pronged pilder which docks with the two holes in Shin Million's chest, forming its breasts.
Gambit Pile Up: A huge amount of them from both sides, to the point that in the penultimate episode Dr. Hell essentially says that the entire show until that point was just a series of backstabbing, plots and deception.
Gainax Beginning: Don't start with the first broadcast episode. You'll be EXTREMELY confused.
Gone Horribly Wrong: The Kedoras. A relic of the Myceneans, they at first appear loyal to Dr. Hell; one serves as a bridge for Archduke Gorgon before Zeus smites them both, and another attacks Kouji, stating its intent to "destroy all foreign civilizations". It then shows Dr. Hell in his lab destroying all his Kedoras, as "foreign civilizations" apparently includes Dr. Hell and his henchmen.
Guns Akimbo: Django, with both revolvers and gatling guns.
Hadaka Apron - Gamia Q3 in one episode, humorously revealing her doll joints (which Ankokuji still finds attractive).
Heel-Face Turn: Between series. In the Mazinkaiser OVA, there were three Gamia Q machines, they were evil, rarely spoke, and apparently were Baron Ashura's "daughters". The one featured in this show works on the heroes' side.
In the final episode, Baron Ashura makes a Heel-Face Turn for real. Except it was just pretending so that Kouji would kill Dr Hell, thus allowing it to summon the Mycene army to earth. Nice job breaking it Kouji.
Being haunted by Tetsuya Tsurugi has caused Tsubasa to fall into one as well.
Heroic Sacrifice: As of episode 18 Cross, Django, Yasu, and Master have all seemingly bit the dust due to being crushed by one of the myceanean gods, having his torso bitten through by a tiger-centaur thing, blowing himself up to give the others the chance to get away, and being impaled by the humanoid part of the tiger-centaur. However considering what we saw in the first episode its doubtful either of these will be permanent.
Episode 22. They're back. Hell yeah.
Hot-Blooded: Kouji, given his history of being controversial amongst conservative Japanese parents in his original incarnation, does not disappoint here. He is very shouty and brash, full of self-confidence.
How We Got Here: Episode one is titled "Finale" and it seems to tell the story of the character's climactic final confrontation. Episode two is entitled "Activate! Mazinger!", making it the real 'first episode' in terms of chronology.
HUGE Ham: The narrator. Good Lord, the narrator cannot help himself but to make everything seem so, so dramatic:
Yes! It, the world's strongest alloy, is what makes the Mazinger Z an unsinkable castle of steel! Fearing none, thwarted by none; even if it is encircled by a thousand foes, its invincible castle of a body protects him from any number of attacks! Once more, let's call it out! That alloy's name is Super Alloy ZEEEEEEEEEEEEEETTOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Intergenerational Friendship: Detective Ankokuji and Shiro get along pretty well. This is gets lampshaded when the later gets rather sad after his friend goes missing in action.
JAM Project: They're playing under a slightly different name for this one song, but it's pretty much 100% JAM Project doing the opening song.
The opening, "Kanjite Knight", is a song previously written and performed by Hironoby Kageyama's band LAZY. Since some members of that group have passed on, JAM Project filled in the gaps, hence "ULTIMATE LAZY".
Second opening "The Gardian" is also by them, and is even more hotblooded than the first. That looks like a typo. It's "The Gardian" in the anime credits, but it's "The Guardian" in the OP 2 single CD.
Tsubasa actually originally appeared in a manga called Gakuen Taikutsu Otoko, as the leader of a school guerrilla. In Violence Jack, a manga known for taking old Go Nagai series and Deconstructing them, she was aged up and made the leader of a group of criminals. Imagawa must have liked this portrayal better, so he chose to use it in the show.
Likewise, Pygman's character design is taken from Violence Jack. The actual character himself is from Mazinger Z, but his new appearance is not.
For irony points the character design is the Mazinger analogue for Violence Jack: Jim Mazinger.
The enormous black demon seen in several episodes: Mao Dante
The minor Go Nagai machine Groizer X is revised and made one of Mazinger Z's enemies in several episodes.
Energer Z, the original design for Mazinger Z that Go Nagai drafted up prior to revising it into the machine we all know and love, is introduced into the series proper near the end.
Meaningful Name: The "Mazin" in "Mazinger" is composed of two words. "Ma" meaning Devil, and "Shin" meaning God. This refers to Juzo's statement about how Mazinger Z is powerful enough to make its pilot a God or the Devil.
Kouji Kabuto: Kabuto means "Helmet", and Kouji pilots his machine by attaching the Jet Pilder to its head.
According to the first episode, the "Z" in Mazinger Z might represent "Zeus", too.
Mixed Metaphor: Mazinger Z is apparently an "Unsinkable castle of steel".
Monster of the Week: Averted, despite Mazinger and Super Robot tradition. Many episodes have no robot fighting at all, and when the villains do attack it usually involves multiple robots at once or in the same day.
Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Subverted with Dr. Hell. Turns out long before he dabbled in mad science, he was a perfectly sane and respected biomedical researcher.
Its name is... Its name is... ITS NAME IS... ITS NAME IS... ITS NAME IS—!
The amount of objects in the series made from Super Alloy Z gets increasingly more ridiculous as the series progresses. At first we have standard weapons in Super Alloy... then the Super Alloy mining pick appears, and it takes off from there. By the end of the series we've got Super Alloy shovels, Super Alloy frying pans, Super Alloy toothpicks, Super Alloy bamboo... the list goes on.
ESPECIALLY in the last episode where the only thing that was holding the Mycenae empire was Dr. Hell. Since Kouji defeats him, they pretty much show up. And this happens AFTER the Crowning Moment of Awesome!
For those of you not understanding how that works, turns out that the summoning ritual to bring back the mycene is Baron Ashura's blood from its suicide. To prevent this, Doctor Hell programmed it to be unable to take its own life as long as he lived. Guess who Kouji knocked off moments before the end of the last episode.
Never Bring A Knife To A Fistfight: Averted in Episode 16 when the Kurogane Five faced down A Kedoras-controlled Mazinger Z. Kikunosuke asks Master if it would really be smart to take on Mazinger Z with nothing but a katana blade and offers him a boatload of guns. He accepts, and it probably helps make things easier for him.
No Endor Holocaust: Averted in Kouji's first battle, when he accidentally crushes a bunch of civilians during a robot fight.
Oh Crap: Dr. Hell spends most of the final battle in this state, shocked and terrified by the ridiculous number of rocket punches coming his way.
Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Averted - all of the scientists are specialised in different fields such as robotics, biomedicine, energy research and so on, and they frequently turn to each other for their knowledge.
Power of Love: This seems to be the explanation for why half of Baron Ashura's body was rotted excluding the halves that were touching each other, until the final episode shows that their whole bodies were preserved, but Dr. Hell dissolved half of each in acid.
Super Robot: Again, it's a Mazinger show, so this is kind of a given.
Super Robot Wars: Made its debut in Super Robot Wars Z2, though even before this was announced, the franchise was explicitly name-dropped by the mechanical designer, who said he was requested to come up with an "all new, awesome MAP attack" for Mazinger — the Big Bang Punch. When the God Scrander shows up in Z2 Saisei-hen, it does indeed have a MAP version of the BBP.
Technical Pacifist: Well, Yumi wants to use photon energy for peaceful purposes... but will not think twice about shooting you into oblivion if you endanger his daughter.
Theme Music Power-Up: Kanjite Knight in episode 8, which gave Mazinger enough power to halt a SUBMARINE ISLAND.
The last episode does this THREE times, with the second opening, second ending and finally the first opening. Then they turn this on its head in the closing minutes: Kanjite Knight suddenly stops playing, and there is utter silence... then the Downer Ending begins.
In a meta-sense Mazinger's eye beam took several levels. Originally it was just an eye beam good against mooks. Shin Mazinger it suddenly outclasses the breast fire, normally the most powerful weapon in its arsenal. That is...until it gets Big Bang Punch.
Truer To The Text: In some ways, this is closer to the original Mazinger Z manga than the first TV series - like having a much closer art style to Go Nagai's, Gamia Q and Brockenball.
Unwitting Pawn: All the good guys fall hook, line and sinker for Baron Ashura's plan.
Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Count Brocken hauls out Energer Z, the prototype of Mazinger Z, to fight Kouji and his robot. Energer Z proves to be the superior until Tsubaki reveals Zeus' hand and activates God Scrander.
We Can Rebuild Him: Aside from all of Dr. Hell's subordinates, the gangsters that work for Tsubasa were saved from the edge of death by her and have become ridiculously strong as a result.
Why Am I Ticking?: Averted - Yasu knows he has a bomb inside him (a Photon Power bomb, no less), and is willing to give his life to protect his mistress Tsubasa.
What's more... he survives his explosion. And is bummed when he later finds out that he doesn't have the bomb in his body .
Your Mind Makes It Real: Double Subverted. During the journey into the Kedoras's illusions, we were told this would happen and not long afterwards Master, Django, Yasu, and Cross died in various ways. They seemed gone for good. Come episode 19 they've returned, but all sporting some injuries... possibly implying that yes, their minds did make it real, just to a muted extent.