Great Mazinger (グレートマジンガー Gurēto Majingā?) is a manga comic book and anime television series by manga artist Go Nagai, made as a direct continuation of the successful Mazinger Z series. It was aired on Japanese television in 1974, immediately following the end of the first Mazinger series, and ran for 56 episodes.
OriginalEditThe story centers on Tetsuya Tsurugi(剣 鉄也 Tsurugi Tetsuya), an orphan raised by none other than Kenzo Kabuto (兜 剣造 Kabuto Kenzō?), the once thought dead father of Mazinger Z pilot Kouji Kabuto. Kenzo Kabuto is the creator of the new, improved version of Mazinger, made by refining his father's Chogokin Z (Super Alloy Z) into a new, stronger form, designed to fight against humanity's new enemy, the Mycenae Empire, led by the Great General of Darkness and his army of Warrior Beasts. Kenzo gives the Great Mazinger to Tetsuya to pilot, who is accompanied by a new token female companion, Jun Hono(an orphaned half Japanese, half African-American girl), in her feminine robot, Venus A (Venus Ace).
Both Great Mazinger's and Tetsuya's training are completed just in time to come to Kouji's aid as the Mycenae Battle Beasts overwhelm Mazinger Z. With the original Mazinger destroyed, Kouji went to America to study space travel and left Japan's defense in the hands of Tetsuya and the Fortress of Science. Tetsuya battles the Mycenae Battle Beasts and even their mighty generals, cumulating in a bitter final battle with the Mycenae's military leader, Ankoku Daishogun (Great General of Darkness). After the Great General of Darkness' defeat, the Mycenae forces are led by Doctor Hell, the villain from Mazinger Z, back under the guise of the Great Marshall of Hell.
Produced as a direct sequel to Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger also includes some cast members the original series, including Shiro Kabuto (Kouji's little brother), and comic-relief robot Boss Borot. While Great Mazinger did not achieve the same astronomical ratings as Mazinger Z, but was still highly popular to run a very successful 56 weeks, and spawned a line of best-selling toys and merchandize as did its predecessor, as well as several spin-off theatrical featurettes, and allowed for the creation of UFO Robo Grendizer.
Originally, Great Mazinger was to be included in Jim Terry's Force Five series, but was eventually swapped out with Spaceketeers, and was never aired in the United States. It was however successfully broadcast, unedited and in its entirety, as was Mazinger Z, in Italy, Mexico, and other Latin American countries. Eventually, footage from Great Mazinger's sole appearance in the final episode of Mazinger Z, was aired as part of the US version of Mazinger Z, known as Tranzor Z. But, Great Mazinger had already been introduced to millions of American children under the name of Mazinga as one of the imported, 24" Jumbo Machinder toys released in the US by Mattel as part of their Shogun Warriors line in 1976.
Great Mazinger was also the star of the short theatrical "team-up movies" features released in Japan like Great Mazinger versus Grendizer, Great Mazinger versus Getter Robo G, etc., based on anime crossovers of the manga creations of Go Nagai. Tetsuya and the Great Mazinger are featured, along with Jun in the Mazinkaiser OVA and movie Mazinkaiser: Death match! Ankoku Daishogun. The characters have been also a mainstay in Banpresto's Super Robot Wars, a popular battle-simulation/RPG series of video games based on many anime mecha shows, including the original Mazinger Z and many others like Getter Robo, the Gundam series, and Neon Genesis Evangelion among others. Tetsuya also appears in Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen. Tetsuya also pilots an earlier version of Mazinger Z called Energer Z.
In the 2002 OVA Mazinkaiser: Tetsuya again fights alongside Kouji against Doctor Hell's forces. The OVA version of Great Mazinger is physically identical to the original, but with black coloring on the arms and legs instead of blue. Great is seriously damaged during the initial battle in the series, and later, when the captured Mazinger Z attacks the Photon Power Labs, Tetsuya does his best to defend the lab against Mazinger Z and later the rampaging Mazinkaiser, leaving him badly injured and Great Mazinger a complete wreck. Afterwards, he leaves together with Jun for treatment for his injuries.
Near the end of the OVA, Tetsuya returns with a new, much more powerful Great, discovered in Doctor Juzo Kabuto's laboratory; this is said to be the real Great Mazinger (or "Shin Great Mazinger"). The "true" Great is structurally the same as the earlier version, but the color scheme for the forearms and legs is blue, as in the original 70's version. It is explained that the Great Mazinger made by Doctor Kenzo Kabuto (Kouji's father) is the prototype version, seen in the early episodes, whereas Doctor Juzo Kabuto (Kouji's grandfather), secretly working in an underground laboratory, managed to finish the final version of Great Mazinger. It has tremendous power compared to the prototype version, and its armor is almost identical to the new Z Alpha armor used by Mazinkaiser. This Shin Great Mazinger was able to defeat an entire army of Doctor Hell's super robots single handedly, including the possessed Venus Ace (although most of the battle was not shown). It suffered no damage and after the battle, Great Mazinger decided to find and help Kouji in the Floating Fortress of Dr. Hell. The concept of Shin Great Mazinger is to bring Great to the ranks of modern and more powerful robots such as Mazinkaiser and Shin Getter Robo.
Great also returns in the 2003 movie Mazinkaiser: Deathmatch! Ankoku Daishogun, where Tetsuya once more fights the Mikene Empire (using the prototype Great Mazinger for unknown reasons). This time, however, Great is incapacitated rather quickly, surviving battle but unable to continue fighting. However, the battle did display Tetsuya's skill, as he was the only member of the Mazinger Army (made up of Great, Venus A and three mass-produced and significantly weaker versions of Mazinger Z) to defeat his attackers and survive.
Weapons and AttacksEdit
- Navel Missile
Just like Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger mounts a missile launcher in its stomach.
- Atomic Punch
Great Mazinger also possesses a Rocket Punch-like attack, though its fists spin while in flight, giving them extra force.
- Drill Pressure Punch
It is like the Atomic Punch, except that the forearms sprout drill-like blades that add to the damage as well as the speed of rotation.
- Great Boomerang
Great Mazinger can take the heat sink fin off of its chest and throw it as a giant boomerang.
- Scramble Cutter
Just like Mazinger Z's Scrander Cutter, Great Mazinger slashes the enemy with the Scrander's wings while flying at high speeds.
- Great Typhoon
Just like Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger uses turbines to generate powerful wind attacks. However, Great Mazinger's attack is simply a wind-based attack, lacking the corrosive properties of Mazinger's attack.
- Knee Impulse Kick
Great Mazinger can sprout a spike from its knee, making its kick attacks more lethal.
- Backspin Kick
Great Mazinger can also sprout a curved blade on the front of its leg for stronger kicks.
- Mazinger Blade
The flanged compartments on Great Mazinger's legs hold a pair of swords. Tetsuya typically uses the Blades for melee combat, but on several occasions he threw them at the enemy.
- Breast Burn
Like Mazinger Z, the fin on Great Mazinger's chest doubles as a heat sink and a weapon, unleashing incredible thermal energy.
- Thunder Break
Great Mazinger can release energy into the atmosphere, stimulating the process that creates natural lightning. Great Mazinger then calls the lightning down onto the antennae on its head and redirects the energy towards an enemy. In the Super Robot Wars series, Tetsuya can perform this alongside the Grendizer's Space Thunder or another Great Mazinger unit's Thunder Break to perform the Double Lightning Buster.
- Thunder Blade
A one-time attack where Tetsuya channeled the lightning from the Thunder Break through one of his Mazinger Blades.
- Double Thunder Break
Similar to Thunder Break but Great Mazinger uses both hands to redirect the lightning.
- Breast Burn Special
Basically a powered-up Breast Burn, almost akin to the Kaiser Nova of Mazinkaiser but with detrimental effects to Great Mazinger. Used in the manga to destroy Gilgilgan from within.
- Double Burning Fire
In certain Super Robot Wars games, Tetsuya and Kouji can use their chest beam attacks to cause an even more powerful, faster burn for their opponents.
Like Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger is operated by a separate vehicle that docks with the Mazinger's head. It emerges from an underwater launch bay connected to the Fortress of Science and docks with Great, which rises from a whirlpool in the nearby waters.
- Maximum Speed
- Maximum Dive Depth
- Power Source
- Armor Materials
Chogokin New Z (New Super-Alloy Z)
A supplemental craft, the Great Booster functions much as the Jet Scrander did for Mazinger Z (Great already had some flight capability "out of the box", thanks to its collapsable Scramble Dash). Though rarely used, the Great Booster was incredibly powerful and was instrumental in Tetsuya's defeat of the Mycene.
- Maximum Speed
Lasers, Bladed Wings
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