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 History

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.

Tranzor Z

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.

Cast

Toei Dub

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 Dub Actor[1]
Mazinger Z Koji Kabuto.png Koji Kabuto Hiroya Ishimaru Dando Kluever
Mazinger Z Sayaka Yumi.jpg Sayaka Yumi Tomoko Matsushima Priscilla Piano
Minori Matsushima
Kotoe Taichi
MazingerZ ShiroKabuto.jpg Shiro Kabuto Kazuko Sawada Dana Ikeda
Mazinger Z Dr Hell.jpg Doctor Hell Kōsei Tomita Dale Hemmond
Mazinger Z baron ashler.jpg Baron Ashura Hidekatsu Shibata
(male voice)
William Saylor
Haruko Kitahama
(female voice)
Elizabeth Wichmann
Mazinger Z Profesor Yumi.jpg Professor Yumi Jōji Yanami Dale Hemmond

Additional Voices

Tranzor Z Dub

Image Character Original Name Seiyū Dub Actor
Mazinger Z Koji Kabuto.png Tommy Davis Koji Kabuto Hiroya Ishimaru Gregg Berger
Mazinger Z Sayaka Yumi.jpg Jessica Davis Sayaka Yumi Tomoko Matsushima Mona Marshall
Minori Matsushima
Kotoe Taichi
MazingerZ ShiroKabuto.jpg Toad Shiro Kabuto Kazuko Sawada
Boss Mazinger Z.jpg Bobo Boss Hiroshi Ōtake Bunker Jenkins
(eps. 1-38)
Patrick Pinney
(eps. 39-65)
Mazinger Z Nuke & Mucha.jpg Chris Nuke Kōsei Tomita Paul Ross
Mona Marshall (ep. 8)
Jim Mucha Isamu Tanonaka Robert A. Gaston
Gregg Berger (ep. 8)
Mazinger Z Dr Hell.jpg Doctor Demon Doctor Hell Kōsei Tomita Paul Ross
Bunker Jenkins (ep. 10)
Patrick Pinney (ep. 30)
Mazinger Z baron ashler.jpg Devleen Baron Ashura Hidekatsu Shibata
(male voice)
Gregg Berger
Haruko Kitahama
(female voice)
Count Brocken.jpg Count Decapito Count Brocken Junpei Takiguchi Patrick Pinney
Duke Gorgon.jpg Genghis the Ghastly Archduke Gorgon Osamu Katō Paul Ross
Mazinger Z Profesor Yumi.jpg Dr. Davis Professor Yumi Jōji Yanami
Patrick Pinney (ep. 30)
Mazinger Z Dr. Sewashi.jpg Dr. Manning Dr. Sewashi Hiroshi Ōtake Bunker Jenkins
(eps. 1-38)
Patrick Pinney
(eps. 39-65)
Mazinger Z Dr Morimori.jpg Dr. Morimori Kōji Yada Paul Ross
Mazinger Z Dr Nossori.jpg Dr. Nossori Yonehiko Kitagawa
Tranzor z-1.jpg Narration Kōji Yada Bunker Jenkins
Gregg Berger (ep. 52)

Additional Voices

Notes

  • 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.[2]
  • 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.

Transmission

Date(s) Channel Dub Country
1978-1979, 1983-1986[3] KIKU, PBS*, CBN* Toei United States United States
1978-1979 GMA Network Toei, Questor The Philippines Philippines
1985-1986 Syndicated Tranzor Z/3B United States United States

* Shown as apart of the Beyond The Horizon programming block

Video Releases

Distributor Year Format Contents Dub Region Country
Mountain Video 1983 Logo betamax 01.gif Eps 1, 2, 9 & 16 Toei PAL United Kingdom United Kingdom
FHE 1985 VHS.jpg 5 compilation films
(various episodes)
Tranzor Z NTSC United States United States
ShowCase Video 1985 PAL Australia Australia

While Discotek Media released the complete series on DVD through 2 Volumes in 2014, it is a subtitle-only release.

See Also

References

External Links

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