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.
Hawaiian English Dub
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.
In 1983, this dub was aired in Continental 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.
Filipino English Dub
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. After airing the Toei dubbed episodes, Questor Productions of Voltes V fame evidently started to dub the missing episodes that Toei had not dubbed before the Marcos ban, though little info can be found about this dub.
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. 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, as the 65 was the minimum number of episodes needed to be shown on Syndication. 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 rarely 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 and their respective pilots.
Because this reedit ran for 65 episodes, the series was given a proper conclusion of sorts by reediting Episode 91 to show Doctor Demon/Hell finally defeated and the heroes victorious, rather than depicting the cliffhanger the original Japanese version ended on.
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) though in recent years it has started to recieve a more positive reception, partially due to the success of Mazinger Z: Infinity.
|Koji Kabuto||Hiroya Ishimaru||Dando Kluever|
|Sayaka Yumi||Tomoko Matsushima||Priscilla Piano|
|Shiro Kabuto||Kazuko Sawada||Dana Ikeda|
|Doctor Hell||Kōsei Tomita||Dale Hemmond|
|Baron Ashura||Hidekatsu Shibata
|Professor Yumi||Jōji Yanami||Dale Hemmond|
- Frank Catteland
- Robin Gould
- Randall Obata
- Elizabeth Wichmann
Tranzor Z Dub
|Image||Character||Original Name||Seiyū||Dub Actor|
|Tommy Davis||Koji Kabuto||Hiroya Ishimaru||Gregg Berger|
|Jessica Davis||Sayaka Yumi||Tomoko Matsushima||Mona Marshall|
|Toad||Shiro Kabuto||Kazuko Sawada|
|Bobo||Boss||Hiroshi Ōtake||Bunker Jenkins|
|Chris||Nuke||Kōsei Tomita||Paul Ross|
|Mona Marshall (ep. 8)|
|Jim||Mucha||Isamu Tanonaka||Robert A. Gaston|
|Gregg Berger (ep. 8)|
|Doctor Demon||Doctor Hell||Kōsei Tomita||Paul Ross|
|Bunker Jenkins (ep. 10)|
|Patrick Pinney (ep. 30)|
|Devleen||Baron Ashura||Hidekatsu Shibata
|Count Decapito||Count Brocken||Junpei Takiguchi||Patrick Pinney|
|Genghis the Ghastly||Archduke Gorgon||Osamu Katō||Paul Ross|
|Dr. Davis||Professor Yumi||Jōji Yanami|
|Patrick Pinney (ep. 30)|
|Dr. Manning||Dr. Sewashi||Hiroshi Ōtake||Bunker Jenkins|
|Dr. Morimori||Kōji Yada||Paul Ross|
|Dr. Nossori||Yonehiko Kitagawa|
|Narration||Kōji Yada||Bunker Jenkins|
|Gregg Berger (ep. 52)|
- The 1970's dub is often erroneously cited online as having been done by the Tokyo-based Frontier Enterprises. This is due to an advertisement for a seemingly unmade Mazinger Z compilation movie appearing at the end of the Voltes V compilation film, which was dubbed by Frontier and distributed by 3-B Productions.
- The original and Toei dub has Baron Ashura's male and female halves dually voiced by a male and female actor, whereas in the Tranzor Z dub, the character is only voiced by a male actor doing a camp voice.
- The Masters for the Toei dub are seemingly no longer in Toei's possession; Discotek Media evidently asked for the dub to include for their release, but Toei was unable to.
- The Tranzor Z dub's end credits list various other names (Teran Davis, William Lloyd Davis, James Henderson, James Hodson, Mickey Letrenson); seemingly to beef up the credits, as was standard at the time.
|1978-1979, 1983-1986||KIKU, PBS*, CBN*||Toei||United States|
|1978-1979||GMA Network||Toei, Questor||The Philippines|
|1985-1986||Syndicated||Tranzor Z/3B||United States|
* Shown as apart of the Beyond The Horizon programming block
|Mountain Video||1983||Eps 1, 2, 9 & 16||Toei||PAL||United Kingdom|
|FHE||1985||5 compilation films
|Tranzor Z||NTSC||United States|
While Discotek Media released the complete series on DVD through 2 Volumes in 2014, it is a subtitle-only release.