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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.

Synopsis

Dr. Hell and Dr. Kabuto are two archaeologists who found the remains of an ancient civilization capable of making giant robots. When Dr. Juzo Kabuto finds out Dr. Hell's plans of creating robots to conquer the Earth, he escapes and begins construction on Mazinger Z, a fantastic giant robot, as a defense weapon. Dr. Hell sends his assistant, Baron Ashura along with his army of Iron Masks, to kill Dr. Kabuto. Before his death, he tells his grandson Koji about Mazinger Z and the sinister plan of Dr. Hell. From this moment on, with the help of Dr. Gennosuke Yumi, Dr. Kabuto's ex-assistant, the inexpert Koji manages to learn how to pilot the powerful Mazinger. With Dr. Yumi's own robot, Aphrodite A, piloted by his daughter Sayaka, both Mazinger and Aphrodite together combat and destroy every mechanical monster created by Dr. Hell.


Dubbing HistoryEdit

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.

Tranzor ZEdit

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)

CastEdit

Toei DubEdit

Mazinger Z English Language Intro and Ending

Mazinger Z English Language Intro and Ending

Opening & End Credits to the 1970's Dub

Tranzor Z Opening Sequence

Tranzor Z Opening Sequence

Opening to the Tranzor Z Adaptation

Image Character Seiyū Voice Actor[1]
Mazinger Z Koji Kabuto Koji Kabuto Hiroya Ishimaru Dando Kluever
Mazinger Z Sayaka Yumi Sayaka Yumi Tomoko Matsushima Priscilla Piano
Minori Matsushima
Kotoe Taichi
MazingerZ ShiroKabuto Shiro Kabuto Kazuko Sawada Dana Ikeda
Boss Mazinger Z Boss Hiroshi Ōtake ¿?
Mazinger Z Dr Hell Doctor Hell Kōsei Tomita Dale Hemmond
Mazinger Z baron ashler Baron Ashura
(male voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata William Saylor
Baron Ashura
(female voice)
Haruko Kitahama Elizabeth Wichmann
Mazinger Z Profesor Yumi Doctor Yumi Jōji Yanami Dale Hemmond

Additional VoicesEdit

Tranzor Z DubEdit

Character Original Name Voice Actor
Tommy Davis Koji Kabuto Gregg Berger
Jessica Davis Sayaka Yumi Mona Marshall
Toad Shiro Kabuto
Bobo Boss Bunker Jenkins
Patrick Pinney
Chris Nuke Paul Ross
Jim Mucha Robert A. Gaston
Dr. Demon Dr. Hell Bunker Jenkins
Paul Ross
Devleen Baron Ashura Gregg Berger
Count Decapito Count Brocken Patrick Pinney
Genghis the Ghastly Archduke Gorgon Paul Ross
Dr. Davis Professor Yumi

Additional VoicesEdit

NotesEdit

  • 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.

TransmissionEdit

Date(s) Channel Dub Country
1983-1986[2] CBN Toei United States Flag United States

Video ReleasesEdit

Distributor Year Format Contents Dub Region Country
Mountain Video 1983 VHS Eps 1, 2, 9 & 16 Toei PAL United Kingdom Flag United Kingdom

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External LinksEdit

  • Mazinger Z (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
  • Tranzor Z at the Internet Movie Database