Ten years ago, the villainous scientist Dr. Hell led his wicked followers, known as the Underground Empire, in a struggle to destroy all of humanity. It was against these forces that the young hero Kouji Kabuto fought, piloting the legendary super robot "Mazinger Z." Kouji's victory stopped Dr. Hell's evil plan and returned peace to the Earth.
Now Kouji has left the pilot seat behind and become a scientist in his own right, following in his father's and grandfather's footsteps. Yet an unexpected encounter deep under Mt. Fuji triggers an even greater threat to mankind than ever before and alters Kouji's destiny forever. With humanity's fate in their hands, Kouji and Mazinger Z face a choice between good... and evil.
This reccomendation is based after watching the spanish (Latin American) version of Mazinger Z Infinity.
Toei Animation shows how can appeal and bring back old gems like Mazinger and Go Nagai's 50th Anniversary to the audience. While this movie is rated for all ages, I'd suggest if it's your first time watching any Toei's related to Mazinger or Go Nagai then be open to watch some soft ecchi scenes.
Story is rated as 6/10 for me because many of the stoyline is mixed between straight combat sequences and then a sudden drop of dialogue, explaining what's going on or why they did some actions. For fans
and newcomers you don't need to be explained who is who and why is Mazinger so important because it's all explained. Having some ecchi and funny scenes dros the tension and seriousness of the movie.
Art is rated 9/10, Toei A. Did a perfect job in the 2D and 3D departments, you'll enjoy a full 3D Mazinger Z and at the same time the 2D animation will appeal you because noone is a second hand drawn character, everyone looks cool and well detailed.
Sound is 8/10, I hope this is a mistake for watching the spanish (Latin America) version of the movie, because many of the OST tracks you can't hear them unless it's the Infinity version of the Mazinger Z Opening, so that was bad because the music it's real good.
Characters 6/10, You can see a mature Koji Kabuto, still your favorite dense main character because many of their friends and family already moved on with their lives and the good thing this movie gives him a true ending for this character, the same with others. For the new character that appears in this movie (LISA) it's the most important piece of this movie.
Enjoyment 8/10, it's not even 5 minutes in the movie and you're already enjoying the opening and the combat scenes, so it's awesome, Go Nagai's story is mixed and because of that you can expect some random stuff that will make you laugh any moment.
Overall it's a 7/10, if you're curious about Mazinger Z and mecha then give it a try, also this movie is part of the Go Nagai 50th anniversary so if you're interested in his works you can branch to Cutie Honey or Devilman after this. Hope this review can help you to interest in Mazinger and some old 70's (old-school) anime.
In 1972, Nagai Go released a Manga on Weekly Shounen Jump. It was a little Manga called Mazinger Z, which he made to blow off some steam after writing Devilman (And honestly, who could blame him? I think anyone would have to do something like that after experiencing that Manga), though it was still filled with the traditional Nagai black comedy and general darkness. However the following year, Toei Animation would release an Anime Adaptation of this Manga.
It was a massive hit, with the Anime effectively redefining the Super Robot Genre into what we know it today. It was such a massive hit that it
ran for a massive 92 Episodes and got a sequel, Great Mazinger, which wasn’t quite as successful, but still ran for a very decent 53 episodes. It in turn got another sequel (See the pattern here?) named UFO Robo Grendizer, and while it did run for a respectable 74 episodes, fan reception was mixed, likely due to how different it was from the previous two shows (Though nowadays it’s considered often the best from a storytelling perspective).
Reception on that show was mixed enough that afterwards, Mazinger Z would be relegated into stuff like Spin-Offs and cameos. It did get a bit of a resurgence in the late 90’ as, for the videogame “Super Robot Wars F” for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn (Which I have actually played and BOY has it not aged well… though I’ll admit it was made worth it by seeing Bright Noa slap the fail out of Ikari Shinji) Banpresto asked Nagai Go himself to create an upgrade for the Mazinger Z, likely to give it an answer to the Nu Gundam and the Shin Getter Robo. This upgrade was called the Mazinkaiser, which would prove to be popular enough with the fanbase to not only get a six-episode OVA series in 2001, but also a revamped backstory in “Super Robot Wars Alpha” (Which by the way, Aeon Genesis, please finish translating that sucker already. I’ve been waiting for well over a year!) which made it fit in better with the pre-established lore of the franchise. But again, the franchise would soon fall into obscurity.
But not for too long, mind you. In 2009, Imagawa Yasuhiro (The madman behind G Gundam) gave us Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-Hen (Or just Shin Mazinger Z as everyone prefers calling it). A remake of the classic series that received widespread praise… and ended on a cliffhanger that teased at a sequel that was never made. Err… whoops?
Mind you, it did eventually get a conclusion… sorta. In 2016, Banpresto decided to create another SRW exclusive upgrade (Because clearly giving one to Dancouga and freaking Zeorymer wasn’t enough already), this time for the Great Mazinger called Mazin Emperor G. And indeed, the story of that game (Super Robot Wars V) did act as a sorta finale to the story, though to do so they also had to add a bunch of stuff from the Shin Mazinger ZERO Manga, but that’s a completely different can of worms right there.
None of this is actually important, mind you. I just felt like giving you guys a trip through the Mazinger Z memory lane :P. See, in 2018, likely to celebrate the series 45th anniversary, Toei made a movie that served as a sequel to Great Mazinger but completely ignored and contradicted Grendizer (Believe it or not, this is surprisingly common). That my friends, is Gekijoban Mazinger Z: INFINITY. So, how was it? Let’s find out:
The movie certainly doesn’t mess around. It is very fast paced, probably a bit too much so at times. It knows when to slow down, but the point still remains. It also seems a bit… fanfictiony at times. Like, I don’t know how to explain this, but this seems like one of those plots you’d often see in a fanfic rather than an actual official production.
Of course, it at least feels like good fanfiction (I mean, at least it’s not the last Fushigi Yuugi OVA which I’m not even planning to watch due to the horror stories I’ve heard about it). When you get right down to it, the tone of the original series is still indeed intact. It’s lighthearted, yet it knows when to get serious. It also doesn’t treat the audience like morons, which I greatly appreciate.
My only massive issue with the plot is that Doctor Hell and his cohorts being alive is kinda sudden and makes no goddamn sense given that some of them died at least twice before this. Otherwise, it’s basic, but it works, and it certainly gives off a feeling of finality, and if this is really the end of the classic Mazinger timeline, I’m okay with this.
Going back to the point of the spirit of the original being kept intact, I’m happy to say the same goes for the characters. They’ve all matured, sure, but their personalities are still intact. Koji might be more responsible nowadays, but deep down he’s still the same tactless and hotheaded teen he used to be. Sayaka might be more Dere nowadays rather than Tsun, but that Tsun side is ever present. And Boss… well, Boss never really had to change, so he doesn’t and nobody minds that.
As for the new character, LISA, she’s… alright. She definitely feels like a Nagai character (Though you can tell that he didn’t write this as her head wasn’t put on a stick) but she’s just a bit too bubbly for my taste. But hey, she’s harmless, and I do like the little moral dilemma she goes through in her last few scenes.
My only issue with the cast is the duo Tetsuya and Jun. Not because they’re bad, far from it. Tetsuya has overgrown his inferiority complex and actually managed to start off a functional relationship with Jun, and Jun herself has managed to move on from all the emotional baggage she went through in the classic show. It’s just… they don’t do much. Tetsuya gets one fight scene in the whole movie (The first one no less) and while he does put up a good fight, he spends the rest of the movie kidnapped. And Jun… well, Jun is late into her pregnancy so it’s not as if she can do much. I mean, I know this is a sendoff to the classic Mazinger Z series, but they could’ve given Great Mazinger fans like me a bit more love.
The movie looks fantastic. The artstyle goes for a hybrid of more modern artwork with the classic Nagai artstyle, which works wonderfully. All of the mecha are indeed CGI, but honestly I’ve grown used to seeing this, and I’ve also grown to like it. Yeah, bad CGI can make the giant robots seem weightless (I’m looking straight at you Cross Ange) but good CGI can be used to either emphasize the speed and versatility of them (All of the Post R2 Code Geass stuff being the best examples) or, in the case of this movie, it’s done so as to emphasize the weight of them, and the renders themselves don’t look half bad for Toei standards.
I didn’t care much for the Soundtrack, but I did recognize quite a few classic themes remixed, which is always nice. Of course, there’s the Remix of the classic Mazinger Z theme itself (Once again sung by Mizuki Ichiro) but my favorite song was the ending theme “The Last Letter”, which was just beautiful.
The entire cast got changed, and I do like what most of the cast does here. All of them sound like the classic actors, but their performances are different enough so as to give them their own identity. In fact, I think I prefer all but one of them over the classic actors. For instance, I found Moribuko Showtaro to be nowhere near as annoying as Ishimaru Hiroya. He’s no Akabane Kenji, sure, but he gets the job done. The rest of the cast is fantastic too, from Hanae Natsuki, Park Romi, Kayano Ai, Takagi Wataru, Koshimizu Ami and even the Late Great Ishizuka Unsho himself.
My only complaint with the cast is pretty simple: What the hell is Seki Toshihiko doing here!? And more importantly, WHY IS HE VOICING FREAKING TETSUYA!? He sounds nothing like Noda Keiichi! Why couldn’t they just bring in Narita Ken, Okiayu Ryotaro, Ono Daisuke or really just anyone even suitably deep voiced!? I mean, it’s not like he’s terrible or anything, and under different circumstances he could’ve made for a good Tetsuya, but for a show that’s meant as a tribute to the classic series, not so much.
Mazinger Z: INFINITY isn’t perfect. That much is clear. But honestly, I did like it. I didn’t have my expectations set too high (I’ve always been more of a Getter fan myself), but I did enjoy myself. It’s a cute love letter to fans of the show, and definitely a good movie overall.