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Manga / New Mazinger

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The story's cover.
When we chant the history of our kingdom, we must chant the tale of the warrior who must never be forgotten. The warrior from another world who came bearing infinite power. This is the chant of the mysterious warrior who rescued our kingdom. This is the tale of MAZINGER.

New Mazinger -also named Mazinger U. S. A. / U. S. version or Mazinwarrior- was an one-shot story written and drawn by Go Nagai and published by First Publishing Chicago in 1988. It was intended to be a new, ongoing Mazinger Z series expressly made to introduce the franchise to the American market. Unfortunately, the concept did not take off and it only became a short, alternate story.

In the year 220X, one hundred fifty years of wars between two superpowers have rendered Earth into a polluted, scorched, inhabitable hell. Due to the hostile, poisoned enviroment, soldiers need to wear giant power armors to combat.

The main character is Major Kabuto (no first name was given, but we can hazard a guess), a soldier fighting in one of the armies using his power armor named Mazinger. During a skirmish, an explosion tears a dimensional gap, and Kabuto is thrown through it. He appears on an uknown place, in time to see several four-armed, reptilian beings assailing a beautiful, human woman.

And all of them are just so big like his combat armor. Even their mounts are giant.

Quickly and efficiently Kabuto dispatches both attackers and escorts the woman back to her palace. There he learns that dimension inhabited by giants is called Brobdingnag. Two countries are in war: the Kingdom of Lithgor -inhabited by humanoid beings- and the Zard Empire, ruled by a desert warrior race of four-armed, reptilian humanoids. The Zard Empire has conquered the entire continent and they were already invading Lithgor. The High King of Lithgor tried to seek a truce with them, but he got murdered during an ambush. His daughter Krishna was trying to escape from the Zard warriors when they caught her and Kabuto appeared.

Kabuto agrees helping to defend her kingdom... if it will earn him her love.

This show provides examples of:

  • After the End: The story begins one hundred after nuclear war wiped out ninety percent of humanity.
  • Alien Sky
  • Alternate History: The story happens several centuries after that World War III between America and Soviet Union left the planet devastated in the early 21st century. It is the early 21st century now, and not only nothing of it has happened, but also the Soviet Union collapsed shortly after the story's publishing.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Zard, presumably. We saw not enough of them to be sure, though.
  • Anticlimax: The final battle with the Zard takes only long enough for Mazinger's initial missile barrage...which sends him back to his home dimension on the last couple of pages.
  • Apocalypse How
  • Badass Boast:
    Kabuto: And my power, Princess— My power is greater than you can ever dream!
    Kabuto: Dead! It takes more than THAT to kill Mazinger! This is the MEANEST machine on Earth!
  • BFS: One of the Mazinger weapons.
  • Captain Ersatz: The Zards are almost identical to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Green Martians.
  • Companion Cube: Kabuto refers to Mazinger like his "buddy" and "comrade in arms".
  • Crapsack World: In the first third of twenty-first century, tensions between countries backed by USA or Soviet Union led to the World War III. Nuclear war and nuclear winter killed ninety percent of humankind and wiped out four out of five nations. The surviving countries realigned in northern and sourthern superpowers and kept on fighting. One hundred years later the war still last. Earth is now a dried husk of a desertic, polluted planet. The remains of the humanity dwell on underground cities, shielded from the nuclear radiation, as they keep fighting with increasingly destructive superweapons lay waste to whatever is left from Earth. Humanity has forgotten all ways of life but war, and Major Kabuto bluntly calls Earth a filthy planet and states "We are just like lizards. A bunch of lizards. Fighting for our chunk of desert."
  • The Determinator: Kabuto. You live in a hellish, polluted, barren Earth, fighting an endless war. You have seen for a fleeting moment there is another world where ground is fertile, water is clean and air breathable, and people still remembers romance and adventure. However, you know you are doomed to fight for a chunk of scorched, barren desert until the day of your death. You give up? Hell, NO! It is not pretty, but it is YOUR planet!
  • Distressed Damsel: Princess Krishna
  • The Empire: The Zard Empire.
  • Failed Future Forecast: The story was written in 1988, right before the downfall of the Wall. According the opening narration, the one-hundred-years war began after a nuclear war between U. S. A. and the Soviet Union at the first half of twenty-first century.
  • Fanservice: Princess Krishna is topless and in skimpy briefs for the entire story, even when armored up for the climactic final battle with the Zard!
  • Ghibli Hills: Earth is described like a pastoral place before the war.
  • The Hero: Major Kabuto.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Hot Blooded Sideburns: It is -incredibly- averted.
  • Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: In one scene Krishna asked Kabuto that he removed his helmet and showed his face. He warned her he was not from that world and she could not possibly imagine his shape. When he opened the hatch and leapt out of his mecha, she actually was relieved he was a human being (even if he was tiny).
  • Humongous Mecha: Mazinger... even though in this story it is rather a humongous power suit with a melee weapon and loaded with missiles.
  • I Call It "Vera": Kabuto names his power armor Mazinger.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Reinforced. Energy beams could not pierce through the armor plates of enemy combat machines, but Mazinger's metallic blade could slice them easily. Also, many enemy mechas wielded light sabers. Guess who won every sword fight.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: What Mazinger is mistaken for.
  • Lady of War: In spite of she was a distressed damsel in need of being rescued in her first appearance, it is clear later she leads her country's army.
  • Laser Blade: Almost all mechas use lasers and light blades. Mazinger itself is the only one mecha that uses a regular, metal -albeit most probably that metal is Unobtainium- blade. Subverted Trope because the mecha armors are laser-proof, and thus Mazinger's metal sword is more effective than the laser blades.
  • Latex Space Suit: Averted. Kabuto uses a bulky suit when he is piloting Mazinger.
  • Leader Forms the Head: Mazinger's cockpit is located on the head, but unlike other Mazingers, it is inside the head instead of above it.
  • Lizard Folk: The Zard tribe.
  • Love Interest: Princess Krishna.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: One of the weapons of Mazinger consists of shooting a barrage of missiles.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: A variant. When Princess Krishna attempts to offer herself to the mysterious knight had rescued her (Mazinger) to persuade him to aid her people, he reveals that he is a machine piloted by a human "just the right damn size for a pet!"
  • No Ending: The story is left without conclusion after its first and only issue.
  • Not as You Know Them
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Everything in that world was giant. The human beings were sixty-foot-tall and just so big as Mazinger-Z. They were mostly good-natured and intelligent, although their technology was at a Middle Ages level, and they were in war against a race of giant, four-armed lizards.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Definitely subverted. At the beginning, Mazinger's blade seems stronger than the light swords other mechas use... However Mazinger easily annihilated a whole Zard army because it was loaded with missiles, whereas the Lithgor and Zard armies not even use firearms.
  • Shoulders of Doom
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: Except for the giant people, that is.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Kabuto and the Brobdingnagian Princess. Not only their sizes are completely different (she is just so big like Mazinger, so she is eighteen-meters-tall) but they also belong to other dimensions.
  • Sword Fight: Several of them.
  • Telescoping Robot: During one battle, hatches open all over Mazinger's body, revealing a bunch of clusters of missiles.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Major Kabuto is human-sized. Princess Krishna is Mazinger-sized (around eighteen-meters tall). He -understandably- complains she is the most beautiful woman he has found, but they are the wrong size.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: Mazinger had clusters of missiles stored on every place of its body. And every place means every place (including shoulders, chest, crotch...).
  • War Is Hell: The narration pretty much states this in the opening narration: "A. D. 220X... Hostilities between north and south grow in fury as savage combat with new and ever more destructive weapons lays waste the once pastoral Earth. The remnants of mankind burrow deep beneath the surface. Their citadels, screened against the deadly bath of radiation, poke through the polluted soil like foul, mutant flowers. Their warriors, encased in giant combat armor against the air that once gave man life, live only to fight, and with luck, to fight again. Today, as every day, the flames of war rage in every corner of the globe. War without quarter. War without end. War for a race that has forgotten all other ways of life."
  • World War III: The story begins one-hundred fifty years after it broke off between America and Soviet Union.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Major Kabuto spend roughly one day in Brobdingnag before returning to his own world. His friends told him he had been missing for one entire month.
  • Year X: The action begins in 220X.