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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