Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-Hen: A Second Opinion

I highly recommend that your first opinion be Snark’s, but if you want to be a bitch, you could read pretty much any other Shin Mazinger Z review on the internet, as they’re basically all the same. Whichever review you choose, make sure you read it exactly once—no more, no less.

Now you’ll get an opinion from someone who doesn’t fetishize robots. That’s not to say I hate robots; I just think they’re a waste of time. The only exception is Mechazawa.

Shin Mazinger Z has nearly everything I hate about mecha. The fights were more flash than clash. The robotics offended me as an engineer. The lead pilot never shut up.

Look at those killer sideburns. They almost make up for the fact that he’s loud, obnoxious, and possibly a pedophile, just like Kamina. The music also played a vital role in drowning him out.

I’ve been blown away by JAM Project ever since I first heard them. Fun Fact: they’re the only professional band whose name I knew more than half an hour prior to seeing them live.

Shin Mazinger Z’s strength is its plot (the most important element of any story). You’ve already read its praises, so I’ll skip straight to its shortcomings. The plot accelerates way too quickly in the last few episodes. Characters keep deceiving/manipulating/betraying each other until you just don’t care anymore—the exact sentiment parodied in the Towelie episode of South Park. Otherwise, the plot is solid.

Shin Mazinger Z also has a strong cast of characters (the second most important element of a story). Fans have been fawning over Baron Ashura and Nishikiori Tsubasa, but where’s the love for Dr. Hell? I challenge you to name one show that wouldn’t be better with an evil old megalomaniac posing menacingly on a stormy mountaintop.

All the claims about Tsubasa’s badassery are 100% true, except the “compliment” that it’s refreshing to see a female lead who isn’t valued for her sexuality. Tsubasa = MILF of the year.

Finally, we get to Baron Ashura, the half-man, half-woman, half-mummy underboss who many viewers claim is the true star of the show.

I’m not surprised they feel that way. What shocks me is that nobody saw it coming. Baron Ashura got far more screen time than everyone except Koji and Tsubasa. You may not know exactly what he/she/it/they/vosotros will do to turn the show on its head, but you know it’s going to happen.

Final Grade: ++

When it comes to mecha, most people like what I hate: engineering abominations piloted by little boys who never shut up. That means you’ll probably enjoy Shin Mazinger Z even more than I did.

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  1. LOL. Next time they’ll make super robot shows piloted by K-On! characters.

  2. Zantetsu says:

    Funny this anime, alongside Tiger Mask, were tied as my favourites in my childhood before Fist of the North Star arrived. It’s cheesy, and that’s enough for it to get going. Frankly I’m sick of overcomplicated psychoanalytical plots derived from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      I’m sick of overcomplicated psychoanalytical plots derived from Neon Genesis Evangelion.

      I can’t stand psychoanalytical plots. I’m perfectly happy to do overcomplicated, so long as it’s paced reasonably.

      I’d like to check out an episode of the Old School Mazinger Z to see if it has all the tropes I disdain about modern mecha shows. I have a feeling it’s all Shounen’s fault for contaminating Mecha with its obnoxious power-ups. The opening looks promising:

      You hit the enemy robot, it takes damage, end of story. You don’t spend five minutes watching the robot power up while the pilot moans and groans louder and louder. I don’t care if the attack flies through the air with sparkles and rainbows and all that other frivolous gloss. I want clash, not flash.

  3. Jacob Martin says:

    I’d like to see your thoughts on Astro Boy, Baka-Raptor. Because I have a coffee table book that proves that Osamu Tezuka not only invented vintage manga and anime, but inadvertently invented moe cancer with an anime about a teenage boy who falls for a poster girl. PM me for the pic that will break your heart.

    That said I should watch more mecha shows. I just finished Evangelion which caused my brother to punch me in the stomach over End of Evangelion. By the way have you finished Evangelion yet?

  4. kluxorious says:

    I can’t seem to take the review for this show seriously. WTF is wrong with me =

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      You don’t believe in dinosaurs, that’s what wrong with you. My reviews only make sense to those who believe. Unless you open your heart and close your mind, my reviews will never make sense.

  5. animekritik says:

    I lol’ed at your vosotros.
    I paled at your jam project.
    otherwise, i really see this as pretty much the same opinion we all have of the show.

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      I’ve been wanting to use a vosotros joke to describe something of unknown gender for a long time. I never dreamed I’d have a dual-person to use it on.

      otherwise, i really see this as pretty much the same opinion we all have of the show.

      But I didn’t care for the fights. Everyone else seemed to wet themselves over the BIGGU BANGU PAAAAAAAAAANCHI!

  6. Epi says:

    I kept falling asleep when I saw the first episode a while ago… I’m going to take it from your review that I shouldn’t bother. BTW I thought you were in law, not engineering!

  7. Doriinatrix says:

    An engineer dinosaur? That’s kind of hot.

  8. Glo says:

    Now you’ll get an opinion from someone who doesn’t fetishize robots. That’s not to say I hate robots; I just think they’re a waste of time.

    This statement pretty much sums up my feelings toward mecha. I’ll watch a few shows if I’m pushed into watching them (Gundam 00, Full Metal Panic, Code Geass). Of all the mecha that I’ve watched, I usually find that I like them, but I still almost never feel inspired to watch any mecha. Reading a positive review here constitutes as being pushed into watching a show, so I guess I’ll have to finally watch this.

    That song kicked ass.

  9. JL says:

    Question for Baka Raptor: What’s your complete opinion on mecha/giant robots? Do you consider mecha/giant robots more science fantasy than science fiction?

    • Baka-Raptor says:

      Never really thought about it. Guess I’d be more inclined to call it science fantasy. That is, unless some show gives me a plausible scientific reason why its giant robots are shaped like humans or other animals.

  10. KudosForce says:

    Koji Kabuto is not in fact, into pre-pubescent girls; he’s actually more into age-appropriate curvy girls.

    Case in point: Mazinkaiser’s beach episode.

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