Episode 26, "Conclusion! 100 Rapid Shots of Rocket Punch!"
Synopsis: The King of Hell easily deflects attacks by the Mazinger Corps and absorbs the shots fired from the Photon Power Labs fortress. Kenzo reveals that when he and Dr. Hell found Tristan and Iseult, an acid dripped from their cacoon and ate away at his body. Dr. Hell combined him with a Kedora, which eventually took him over. However, Zeus' arm saved him and he escaped from Dr. Hell, hiding for years. Still, Tsubasa is unwilling to forgive him. Akokuji and Gamia appear, with Gamia absorbing energy from King of Hell. Inside of Bardos Island, Kouji appears in the Pilder, along with Baron Ashura. Ashura reveals that he learned from the dying Kedora that Tristan and Iseult were found intact, but the acid substance was used to half them, and Kenzo got some on him when destroying the rest of the crypt. Dr. Hell warns Kouji that he'll regret it if he kills him. He tries to get the Photon Power from the Photon Power fortress. Suddenly, a rocket punch hits the King of Hell. Then several more. All the fallen support robots for the Mazinger Corps turn into rocket punches and attack. Mazinger docks with the God Scrander and transforms into a giant fist. The giant fist destroys the King of Hell. However, the world falls into darkness, and Ashura reveals this was all part of its plan. Dr. Hell wanted Photon Power to fight the gods this whole time. With him dead, Ashura can finally kill himself, his blood reawakening the rest of the Mycenean forces, which he does.
THE END (?)
So now it all finally makes sense! Well, not complete sense, mind you (who the fuck is Blade?), but enough. All came to pass that occured in the first episode (sorta). We finally get the motivation of Kenzo Kabuto, the real original of Baron Ashura, and the plan that has been long in waiting. After all the double and triple-crosses, who comes out on top? A half-man, half-woman who trolled everybody. And it all could have been avoided had Dr. Hell not been such a jerk.
You really have to admire the way Yasuhiro Imagawa brings things together. At times it was really frustrating to watch this show because there was a lot thrown out that had no immediate explanation, some of which that didn't even look like it would ever. It makes it difficult to guage the show on an episode-by-episode basis. It's almost impossible to gauge Giant Robo this way, either. Imagawa takes much of the same approach to this anime as he did with that. But (most of) the pieces fit together in the end in a reasonable and entertaining fashion.
My only complaints are minor. For one thing, there are characters in this show that are assholes for no good reason. Akokuji could have been more forthcoming about where he was recieving support. Kenzo Kabuto could have approached Tsubasa earlier. Tsubasa could have admitted she was Kouji and Shiro's mother. Why did she abandon them? Didn't think she made good mother material? Why didn't Juuzo reveal more of this to his grandsons beforehand? Everybody's so damn secretive all the time and it just makes the situations in the show worse. But I guess if everybody was acting rational and clear-headed, it wouldn't be very hotblooded and exciting, would it?
I find that in every Imagawa show, there's always at least one person who could easily have prevented the tragedies that took place (spoilers for other shows ahead!). Dr. Mikamura in G Gundam, for instance, if he hadn't been such a jealous prick and warned Domon about what was going on. Dr. Vogler in Giant Robo if he had left more specific instructions to Emanuelle. (Spoilers end here.) I'll suss out who it is in Tetsujin-28 eventually. I suspect it will be some sort of scientist, though.
But, really, Shin Mazinger was a pretty entertaining show throughout. I hope to see a sequel someday, to see how Kouji and the others fight the gods, but I won't hold my breath. Imagawa doesn't do sequels.
4 out of 5