Mazinger Z (later dubbed in the US as Tranzor Z) is a Japanese anime and manga series written and illustrated by Go Nagai. The series was one of the pioneers of the giant robot/Mecha genre.
A dub of the show was originally commissioned by Toei Animation and dubbed by M.&M. Communications, Inc. (a subsidiary of MK Company) out of Honolulu, Hawaii and produced by Seito "Mike" Ikeda and Dana Ikeda. The voice recording was done at Commercial Recording Studios in Honolulu, with the cast mainly consisting of students from the University of Hawaii. Unique for a dub done in the 1970's, the dub was a straight translation, keeping character names and plot intact. This dub featured an English version of the original Japanese opening and ending credits, sung by Japanese singer, Isao Sasaki. Unfortunately, the dub only lasted for around 27-29 episodes as Toei didn't commission any further episodes to be dubbed.
This version of the series aired in the Philippines in the late 70's before the show was banned by order of Ferdinand Marcos himself. Prior to its later, more well-known English adaptation, this dub was aired in America as part of the Japan-themed series, Beyond the Horizon, which was produced by TeleJapan for PBS, and gave westerners a look as to what Japanese television offered. Beyond the Horizon later aired on Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network (now the Freeform Network, previously ABC Family). In the UK, some episodes of this dub were edited together into a compilation film and released on VHS.
In the 1980's, 3-B Productions Ltd., a production company headed by Bunker Jenkins, produced an English adaptation under the title of Tranzor Z. This adaptation aired in 1985, and was, like many English-dubbed anime shows that were on American TV at the time, re-edited for American audiences. Unlike the generally faithful treatment other countries gave their versions of Mazinger Z, 3-B's version was heavily edited and shortened to 65 episodes, as 65 was the minimum amount of episodes required for syndication. This production is notable as the first roles for well-known voice actors Gregg Berger and Mona Marshall.
While the overall plot remains the same, various episodes were cut to compact the series into 65 episodes. All the characters names were changed to more American sounding names, such as Koji Kabuto becoming Tommy Davis, and Sayaka Yumi becoming Jessica Davis (no relation). A large percentage of the action scenes were deemed unacceptable due to urban destruction and overall violence. More suggestive scenes were also cut, such as the robot Aphrodite A's breast missiles never being shown fired through the breasts. This dub would also occasionally splice footage from the sequel series Great Mazinger into the series, despite the obvious visual differences between the two titular robots.
Tranzor Z received very little success, partly due to the popularity of Voltron and accusations leveled on Tranzor Z of being a rip-off of Voltron. (even though Mazinger/Tranzor Z predates the show by a decade)
|Koji Kabuto||Hiroya Ishimaru||Dando Kluever|
|Sayaka Yumi||Tomoko Matsushima||Priscilla Piano|
|Shiro Kabuto||Kazuko Sawada||Dana Ikeda|
|Doctor Hell||Kōsei Tomita||Dale Hemmond|
|Hidekatsu Shibata||William Saylor|
|Haruko Kitahama||Elizabeth Wichmann|
|Doctor Yumi||Jōji Yanami||Dale Hemmond|
Tranzor Z DubEdit
|Character||Original Name||Voice Actor|
|Tommy Davis||Koji Kabuto||Gregg Berger|
|Jessica Davis||Sayaka Yumi||Mona Marshall|
|Jim||Mucha||Robert A. Gaston|
|Dr. Demon||Dr. Hell||Bunker Jenkins|
|Devleen||Baron Ashura||Gregg Berger|
|Count Decapito||Count Brocken||Patrick Pinney|
|Genghis the Ghastly||Archduke Gorgon||Paul Ross|
|Dr. Davis||Professor Yumi|
- Teran Davis
- William Lloyd Davis
- Robert A. Gaston
- James Henderson
- James Hodson
- Bunker Jenkins
- Paul Ross
- The 1970's dub is often cited online as having been done by the Tokyo-based Frontier Enterprises. Though an advertisement for Mazinger Z appears at the end of the Voltes V compilation film, which was dubbed by Frontier and distributed by 3-B Productions.
|Mountain Video||1983||Eps 1, 2, 9 & 16||Toei||PAL||United Kingdom|
- ↑ http://www.snowrecords.com/soundtrack-english-version-mazinger-z-cz-7005-38807/
- ↑ Clark, Kenneth (January 24, 1983). TV World;NEWLN:East meets West on 'Beyond the Horizon'