Episode 1, "Finale"*****SPOILERS***** Synopsis: A young man named Kouji Kabuto, piloting the giant robot Mazinger, tries to save the world from the forces of Dr. Hell with the help of the Mazinger Corps. However, things seem very bad for the team, one after another falling in battle. Kouji battles hard, however, and vows to perserve the peace of the world. Comments: So... a lot of things happen.... and... hm. The first episode of Mazinger is in medias res, or more accurately, at (or near) the end of things. Kouji Kabato, the hotblooded young man piloting the giant robot Mazinger and his allies are already at the climax of a pitched battle with the forces of Dr. Hell, Baron Ashura, and Count Brocken. Kouji encounters Zeus, the greek God, and then ends up attacking Count Brocken. At the end, Dr. Hell's floating islands float in the sky as Kouji vows to protect the peace with Mazinger. As usual for Imagawa, this episode moved at break-neck speed, cut suddenly between scenes, had all sorts of characters we didn't recieve any introductions to doing unexplainable things, was very disorienting, and quite possibly one of the most awesome things I'd ever seen in my life. Who needs coherance when you have awesomeness? Seriously, though I found the first episode confusing as hell, it was apparently filled with references from previous Mazinger works as well as other Go Nagai (creator of Mazinger) works, much in the way that the Giant Robo OVA was filled with Mitsuteru Yokoyama characters not previous associated with the original tokusatsu program. Also like the Giant Robo OVA, it has a sort of "updated retro" look to it, which I find extremely alluring. I suppose you have to 1) appreciate this sort of show and 2) appreciate this sort of style in order to want to continue watching the show after such a disorienting experience. I want to, though. After two seasons of a Gundam program which got too ambitious for its own good and a series about a depressed robot wandering a hopless apocalytpic world, it's good to just turn my brain off and watch robots punching monsters and guys whose heads are seperate from their bodies.
Overall Score: 3 out of 5