In the Nerima district of Tokyo, a new source of power known as Photon Energy has been developed, promising a future of clean and renewable energy for all. However, all is not well, as the Subterranean Empire led by Doctor Hell has emerged vying to steal the Photon Energy technology for themselves.
Enter Z-chan, Gre-chan and Grenda-san, a trio of young ladies with the ability to transform into super-powered heroines: the Robot Girls. Throwing justice to the wind, they form the Robot Girls Team Z and fight valiantly to crush the forces of evil.
Which is good for us, just so long as they manage to not level the entire city in the process.
Robot Girls Z is a series of action-comedy shorts by Toei Animation, staring Moe Anthropomorphisms of Dynamic Pro's classic Mazinger trio, Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger and Grendizer. Also making appearances are moe anthropomorphisms of Getter Robo and Steel Jeeg, along with the original group of Toei Robot Girls, Team T (Gaiking, Ga-Keen, Barattack and Danguard Ace).
The 10-minute episodes center around the Robot Girls' conflicts with Baron Ashura's Mechabeast Girls — moe anthropomorphisms of several of Mazinger Z's classic enemies. What results is a slew of over-the-top action, comedic violence, fanservice and many references to the original Toei cartoons as the Mechabeast Girls try and fail horribly to defeat our horrendously overpowered heroines.
The show was broadcasted from January through March of 2014. On December 23rd of the same year, Toei announced a second season, Robot Girls Z+, which will use the stories from the Great Mazinger/Getter Robo crossover movies and introduce new characters based off of Getter Robo G, Getter Robo Go and the robots from Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu
In August of 2018, a three-episode sequel series was released, Robot Girls NEO, taking place in a Nerima destroyed by a Photonic Energy accident, leading to Getter Rays replacing it. The series features new versions of our three heroines (now Z-chan, Gre-chan and Gren-chan) along with a new Gecchan (Gecchama Eagle).
Robot Girls Z contains examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Hero: Boss Borokko does this twice: once when she accidentally pulled the plug in the pool while fishing, causing Grangen to lose her balance and allowing the robot girls she was molesting to escape. The second was when she reflected Team Zs ultimate attack, which Gilgilganko had previously dodged, back at the villain.
- Affably Evil: Baron Ashura and the Mechabeast Girls. Despite Dr. Hell's desire to steal the Photon Energy, they just aren't powerful enough to stop the Robot Girls and see them more as bullies.
- All Your Colors Combined: Breast Fire, Thunder Break, Space Thunder, Getter Beam, Spin Storm, Zaulgaiser, Miracle Hurricane, Barattack Beam and Pulsar Cannon are combined to create the rainbow-colored "Robot Girls Final Manga Festival Attack". This is the Robot Girls' equivalent to the "Final Dynamic Special" that debuted in Grendizer, Getter Robo G, Great Mazinger: Kessen! Daikaijuu and was made famous by Super Robot Wars, down to playing the movie's opening theme while executing the technique.
- Applied Phlebotinum / Artistic License Physics: Photon Energy is in reality just another term for solar power or sunlight — or possibly gamma radiation.
- Art Shift: When Getter-chan gets thoroughly ticked off, we're treated to her attacking the idiots who splashed mud on her favorite dress in a sketchy style reminscent of the Imagawa-directed Getter Robot Armageddon OVA. This also happens with the whole ONA shorts since a different studio made it.
- Beach Episode: ...or so our heroines thought. Turns out they were conned into working on a fishing boat with the promise of an "Exciting Seaside Heart-throb Tour''note .
- BFG: Jeeg Bazooka
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Jeeg-san and Gecchan saving Team Z from the General of Darkness in episode 8.
- Minerva X and Rhine X1 saving Z-chan and Grenda-san in episode 9.
- Baron Ashura, Garada K7 and Doublas M2 using a rebuilt Jetfire P1 to attack the General of Darkness-ko and inadvertently expose her weakpoint.
- The first episode of RGZ+ has New Team G (Liger-sama, Pon-chan, and Gecchan) Saving Boss from Bong-chan
- Bigger on the Inside: Jeeg's bag must be this to hold all the junk that her drill weapon was buried under.
- Blessed with Suck:
- Gaia Q5's ability is Super Magnetic Power. Sadly all it does is draw metal objects to her and trap her.
- Kingdan X10's ability is Self Defense, which means using the nearest person as a shield while she screams frightened.
- Doublas M2's Mouth Beams are pretty useless. Best shown in episode 1 where Gre-chan uses her sword to cut it into pieces!
- Calling Your Attacks: But of course. Team Z even calls out "Not-A-Rocket Punch" when they simultaneously punch Glossam X2 in the face.
- Cast of Personifications: The premise of the show is the moe anthropomorphisms of girls representing the Mazinger Z franchise's robots fighting to save the world.
- Child Prodigy: Mycenae-tan is younger than any of the Robot Girls and is the head of the large corporation.
- Creator Cameo: Go Nagai's happy-go-lucky, Super-Deformed self portrait shows up in random places, including inside characters' mouths during close-ups.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- Z-chan vs. Gromazen R9
- Team G vs. Archduke Gorgon and General Juuma
- Gai-chan vs. Archduke Gorgon and General Juuma
- General of Darkness-ko vs. Teams Z, T, and G
- Dark Action Girl: Applies, amusingly enough, to the heroines, rather than the villains. Out of the three, Grenda-san is the Darkest.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gre-chan and, to a lesser extent, Garada K7.
- Destructive Saviour: Team Z often ends up causing more damage to the surrounding environment than their enemies do.
- Disproportionate Retribution: The Mechabeast Girls are on the receiving end of this. For example, episode 0 has Garada and Doublas getting beaten to a pulp and Nerima getting partially destroyed because they pulled a dine and dash!
- The Ditz: Jeeg-san
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: The OP and ED are sung by Team Z, with Team G pitching in for a verse of the former.
- Dreadful Musician: Rhine X1 and Grenda-san. Their combined singing destroyed an entire hot spring resort!
- Duct Tape for Everything: Jeeg-san breaks the tip off of The Great General of Darkness-ko's sword during her Dynamic Entry. General of Darkness-ko tapes it back on between episodes.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Minerva X
- Evil Diva: Belgas V5.
- Gamer Girl: Gre-chan is always seen with some kind of handheld gaming system.
- Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: After Rhine X1 frets over the way that her crowd reacts to Belgas V5, Grenda-san slaps her...before punching the ever-loving crap out of her.
- Gratuitous English: The fishermen in Episode 3. Garada and Doublas even get in on the act with a "Sir, Danshakunote Sir!"
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Z-chan vs. Gai-chan in ep. 4
- Heroic BSoD: After The Great General of Darkness-ko effortlessly defeats all nine of the Robot Girls, Z-chan is left trembling and crying for help. She recovers after Ashura inadvertently exposes the General of Darkness-ko's weakness.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Applies to all three members of Team Z.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard: In addition to Gaia Q5's failure mentioned above, Gromazen R9's powerful Ion Beam is easily turned against her by Z-chan's Photon Barrier.
- Hot Springs Episode: Episode 6 starts off this way.
- Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: The villains are very pitiful, to say the least.
- Ironic Echo: In the first episode, Grenda-san says that people who break promises (referring to the "part timers") deserve punishment, and wonders aloud whether they would prefer their punishment to be "painful or embarrassing." In Episode 7, after Jetfire P1 grabs Grenda-san and pulls off most of her clothes, Garada K7 uses a nearly identical line against her.
- Irony: During Team G's first fight, Gecchan comments on how barbaric Jeeg was for using her Mach Drill. Gecchan then proceeds to charge at Gorgon and Juuma with her Getter Tomahawk.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Team Z and Team T square off in a sports challenge in episode 4.
- Magical Girl Warrior: With a giant robot motif!
- Monster Suit: The Great General of Darkness-ko is nothing but a giant puppet controlled by the tiny Mycenae-tan.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Jetfire P1 vs. Team Z
- Nose Nuggets: The Great General of Darkness-ko has a nasty habit of picking her nose. She uses a booger to completely repel the Robot Girls Final Manga Festival Attack.
- Ojou: Gecchan
- Passionate Sports Girl: Z-chan has been described as athletic by Gre-channote
- Rule of Three: From Gaia Q5's segment in Episode 2, the Mechanical Beast Girls moan "''Magnetic''!" in a high-pitched, suggestive manner on three occasions:Garada K7: Ooh! So Magnetic!
Baron Ashura: Gaia Q5! Give Robot Girls Z a taste of your Magnetic power!
Gaia Q5: [after Gre-chan exposes her Goofy Print Underwear] Oh no! Magnetic!
- Shout-Out: If you thought the shows being parodied were old and obscure outside Japan note , most of the other references are even more so.
- Episode 2's suggestive pose and tone while moaning "Magnetic!" is in reference to Miss Machiko doing the same with "Maicchingu!" It only makes sense in the Japanese pronunciation, and the joke still misfires in-universe for being so forced and dated.
- One of the few references to Final Fantasy in anime occurs in episode 6. Rhine X1's singing is so physics-defyingly terrible, Gre-chan quotes FF5 and Dissidia's memetic accompanying text for the Grand Cross attack, "The laws of the universe mean nothing!"
- The episode then doubles down with a combined meme: Belgas V5 summoning a giant statue of herself is a reference to singer Sachiko Kobayashi's use of garish costumes and props, leading to images of her in place of various last bosses. The referenced prop was also one of the most infamous applications of the Grand Cross meme. It ends with a statement on the unpredictability of what catches on.
- In episode 7, Archduke Gorgon shows up dressed as Moguro Fukuzo from Laughing Salesman.
- The same episode parodies the villain's giant machines in Yatterman, with Garada putting her own spin on Boyacky's button pressing Catchphrase. The machine itself may also be designed after a Kewpie doll.
- The Smurfette Principle: Inverted; the only named male characters are Dr. Hell and Minerva X. Even if you include Jack King and Gecchan's butlers, that's less than 1/4 of the cast.
- Something We Forgot: Poses OII is forgotten almost immediately after she reveals herself, and is left hanging on a hook above the boat to be attacked by a horde of seagulls. The Mechanical Beast Girls retreat at the end of the episode, leaving her battered, bruised, sick with a cold, and hungry.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Team G in their debut. It's even lampshaded by Team Z
- Stock Footage: A specific shot of Ashura dramatically pointing her scepter shows up in a majority of the episodes.
- And, of course, many of the attacks.
- Super Mode: At the end of Robot Girls+, Professor Yume gives Team Z a brooch of sorts bearing Devilman's face on it, allowing them to become Team Z EX. While Gre-chan and Gren-san are based off of Great Booster and Double Spazer, Z-chan is an Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Mazinkaiser.
- Team Mom: Baron Ashura to the Mechabeast Girls.
- Transformation Sequence: Appear to be homage to Magical Girl genre.
- Two-Faced: Subverted. Not only is Ashura 100% female in this anime, Episode 7 shows that her "male" half's skin-tone and eye color are faked.
- Valley Girl: Glossam X2 has the speech patterns, at least.
- Verbal Tic: Poses OII's -kro.
- Archduke Gorgon usually ends her sentences with -nya
- General Juuma takes hers into full Pokémon Speak territory.
- The Worf Barrage: In attempt to overwhelm and defeat the General of Darkness, all the girls of Teams Z, G and T unleash their signature attacks, combining them into a massive rainbow-color wave of energy called the Robot Girls Final Manga Festival Attack! The General promptly responds by poking at it with her snot, which causes the blast to rebound and hit the girls instead.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Baron Ashura is fired from the Underground Empire at the beginning of Episode 7.