Description
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first published as manga (comic) in Japan in 1972, Mazinger Z was then turned into a long-running anime television series later in the same year. It arrived in Europe in 1976 and it was a hit. Sadly, it arrived in America many years later when the 70's decade was gone. Mazinger Z remains the king of all Mechas and the first Robot to take a pilot. Other famous Mechas before were radio controlled (Gigantor) or self aware (Astro Boy). Mazinger means: "God Devil". This meant that the powerfull robot could be used for good or evil. Depending on the pilot.

Mazinger Z is a gigantic Super Robot, constructed with a fictitious metal called Chogokin Z (in the American translation, Super-Alloy Z), which is forged from a new element (Japonium) mined from a reservoir found only in the sediment of Japan's Mt. Fuji. The mecha was built by Professor Juzo Kabuto as a secret weapon against the forces of evil, represented in the series by the Mechanical Beasts (mecha used for evil purposes) of Dr. Hell. The latter was the German member of a Japanese archeological team, which discovered ruins of a lost pre-Grecian civilization on an island named Bardos; the civilization was loosely based on the ancient Mycenae, and was called the Mycene Empire in the series. One of their findings was that the Mycene used an army of steel titans about 60 to 65 feet in height (compare with the Greek legend of Talos). Finding prototypes of those titans underground which could be remote-controlled and realizing their immense power on the battlefield, Dr. Hell goes insane and has all the other scientists of his research team killed. Except for Professor Kabuto; the lone survivor manages to escape back to Japan, and attempts to warn the world of its imminent danger. Meanwhile, Dr. Hell establishes his headquarters on a mobile island which he sails around on, and plans to use the Mechanical Beasts to become the new ruler of the world. To counter this, Kabuto constructs Mazinger Z and manages to finish it just before being killed by a bomb planted by Hell’s right-hand man, Baron Ashura. As he is dying, he manages to inform his grandson Kouji Kabuto about the robot and its use. Kouji becomes the robot’s pilot, and from that point on battles both the continuous mechanical monsters, and the sinister henchmen sent by Doctor Hell in every episode.

Origins:
In his Manga Works series, Go Nagai reveals that he had always loved Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom)and Gigantor (Tetsujin-28)as a child, and wanted to make his own robot anime. However, for the longest time he was unable to produce a concept that he felt didn't borrow too heavily from those two shows. One day, Nagai observed a traffic jam and mused to himself that the drivers in back would surely love a way to bypass the ones in front. From that thought came his ultimate inspiration: a giant robot that could be controlled from the inside, like a car. In his original concepts, the titular robot was Energer Z, which was controlled by a motorcycle that was driven up its back and into its head (an idea which was recycled for the Diana A robot). However, with the sudden popularity of Kamen Rider, Nagai replaced the motorcycle with a hovercraft. He later redesigned Energer Z, renaming it Mazinger Z to evoke the image of a demon god (Ma, ?, meaning demon and Jin, ?, meaning god). The motif of the Hover Pilder docking itself into Mazinger's head also borrows from Nagai's 1971 manga Demon Lord Dante (the prototype for his more popular Devilman), in which the titular giant demon has a human head (of Ryo Utsugi, the young man who merged with him) in his forehead. Interestingly, Koji Kabuto takes his surname (the Japanese word for a helmet) from the fact that he controls Mazinger Z from its head.

Mazinger Z around the world:
Aside from Japan and most countries in the Far East, Mazinger found an audience in many parts of the world, as it was translated to many languages. In Europe, Mazinger Z was televised in Spain and Italy, with astounding success. Oddly enough, it was not shown in France until the 1980s, and was perceived as a Grendizer imitation, even though it was actually the original, and the main character, Koji Kabuto is a major character in both series. The inconsistent distribution of the Mazinger Z series outside of Japan lead to similar confusion in other western markets.
Mazinger Z was also shown in Central and South American countries (with a Spanish dub produced in Mexico) in its entirety and without editing (although the version produced for Spain was edited to 30 episodes). Mazinger Z was also very popular in Puerto Rico, where the show aired in its entirety as well. In the decades since its original broadcast, Mazinger Z, has maintained a loyal cult following since its initial airing in Latin American countries.
In 1984, the show was syndicated in the United States under the title Tranzor Z from 3-B Productions. Unlike the generally faithful treatment other countries gave their versions of Mazinger Z, 3-B's version of Tranzor Z was heavily edited and shortened to 65 episodes, with a modified storyline that was altered from the original, along with most of the characters' names. Credit for the series went to producer and licensor, Bunker Jenkins (although token credit was given to the Toei Company). 3-B Productions was a short-lived company that grew out of the production team who worked on the US version of Space Battleship Yamato, entitled Star Blazers, at Sunbow Productions. The "Americanization" of Mazinger Z for US consumption was done because of the strict standards in regards to content for children's programming at the time -- a large percentage of the action scenes were deemed unacceptable by Standards and Practices. In other words, Mazinger Z was too violent for US television -- the original version contained numerous scenes of mass hysteria, urban destruction, gratuitous violence, cold-blooded homicide, sadistic torture, gruesome dismemberments, violent death, and other acts of wanton chaos (i.e. A commercial airliner flying through heavy clouds, collides with the villains' giant air fortress, killing all onboard). With such scenes winding up on the cutting room floor, audiences knew that something was missing. Additionally, footage from the sequel series, Great Mazinger, was sometimes briefly utilized; such as in series opener where the creator tells his grandchildren about Mazinger Z's weapons, but he is actually describing weaponry unique to Great Mazinger (like the Great Boomerang), as well as footage of Great Mazinger taking off in place of Mazinger Z being activated. Strangely enough, while some content was considered too explicit, Baron Ashura/Devleen's nature as a literal half-man/half-woman was not truncated in the Tranzor Z version. To this day, there is still debate over what caused the show's quick exit from US television syndication, generally blaming the haphazard editing and ineffectual rewriting.
Alternatively, there was another English dub of the show that was far more faithhful to the Japanese original, commissioned by Toei Animation; to the extent of keeping the same names for all the characters, the title of the show and even an English-language version of the original Japanese theme song "Mazinger Z" (English lyrics by William Saylor and vocals by Isao Sasaki). Additionally, two other primary songs ("Z Theme" and "Our Mazinger Z") were also recorded in English with Saylor and Sasaki, with all three issued in Japan as a 45 RPM Single, "TV Animation: Mazinger Z" (Nippon Columbia SCS-393, December 1977). It is unclear as to how many episodes were given more accurate dub, which was produced in the mid-to-late 1970s by Frontier Enterprises, a Tokyo-based outfit established by American ex-pat, William Ross. The Frontier Enterprises dubs were later aired in the Philippines, where dubbing was continued by the local broadcaster prior to the show's cancellation, allegedly by order of dictator-president Ferdinand Marcos.
An Arabic dub, entitled "Mazinjer", was made in an attempt to cash in on the Super Robot craze created in Arabic-speaking countries by UFO Robot Grendizer. Although it didn't do as well, Mazinger Z still found popularity and earned a huge fanbase throughout many Middle Eastern countries, including Egypt. However, only the first 27 episodes were translated (There's a possibility that it was an Arabic dub of the 27-episode English dub produced by Frontier Enterprises).

Other:
Mazinger Z is a gigantic Super Robot, constructed with a fictitious metal called Chogokin Z (in the American translation, Super-Alloy Z), which is forged from a new element mined from a reservoir found only in the sediment of Japan's Mt. Fuji.
The mecha was built by Professor Juzo Kabuto as a secret weapon against the forces of evil, represented in the series by the Mechanical Beasts (mecha used for evil purposes) of Dr Hell. The latter was the German member of a Japanese archeological team, which discovered ruins of a lost pre-Grecian civilization on an island named Bardos; the civilization was loosely based on the ancient Mycenae, and was called the Mikenese Empire in the series.
One of their findings was that the Mikenese used an army of steel golems about 60 to 65 feet in height (compare with the Greek legend of Talos). Finding prototypes of those golems underground which could be remote-controlled and realizing their immense power on the battlefield, Dr. Hell goes insane and has all the other scientists of his research team killed. Except for Kabuto; the lone survivor escapes to Japan and attempts to warn the world of its imminent danger. Meanwhile, Dr. Hell establishes his headquarters on a mobile island which he sails around on, and plans to use the Mechanical Beasts to become the new ruler of the world. To counter this, Kabuto constructs Mazinger Z and manages to finish it just before being killed by a bomb planted by Hell’s right-hand man, Baron Ashura. As he is dying, he manages to inform his grandson Koji Kabuto about the robot and its use. Koji becomes the robot’s pilot, and from that point on battles both the continuous mechanical monsters, and the sinister henchmen sent by Doctor Hell in every episode.