Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Imagawa, you are too fucking cruel.
So, the concluding arc proceeds through the first two episodes, and the vast majority of the third, heading towards an agreeable, if somewhat predictable ending. Dr. Hell tries, but at each turn, Nishikiori has something hidden up her sleeve to counter him. There's plenty of fun grin-worthy moments to be had, even if quite a few of them were somewhat ruined by interjections of the god-awful ending song. Out of options, Dr. Hell finally brings out his ultimate bearded mechanical beast hidden within Bardos. I thought events were going to play out like how they did in that first episode, with Dr. Hell pushing Kouji and friends to their limits with his usage of Hades' body, but things played out differently. Sure, Dr. Hell took care of the Mazinger Corp, but all told, he fell quite easily--under the weight of ten thousand rocket punches, with some assistance from a pissed off Baron Ashura. The mechanical beast he was using was no Hades for sure. But anyway, this sounds too easy for a conclusion, right? I thought that there was no way that Imagawa would end the series like that--and indeed he doesn't. Next thing you know, it turns out that everybody's been played by Baron Ashura, and that Dr. Hell actually had humanity's best interests at heart. The dude didn't want to take over the world for just his personal sake. He wanted to unite the world in anticipation of a new Mycenean assault on the planet. Now the fucker's dead, and the Myceneans strike. The sky turns red and Mazinger, pinned down by many spears, is surrounded by some fierce-looking Mycenean soldiers. Everyone instantaneously begins contemplating their will. Then the final episode ends. With no more episodes or subsequent season announcements that I know of, it appears as if Imagawa has once more, brutally decided to leave the bigger, more epic conflict to play out in our imaginations.
Anyway, even without any more material, Mazinger Z! as it is was a satisfying ride. Despite the somewhat convoluted and frenetic back-and-forth nature of the series' plot, at its heart, Z! was about embracing the classical notions of manhood, and the bravado and ferocity that comes with it. For that, it clearly stands out and is notable in the current anime landscape.