Mazinger Z: Infinity[1] is a film project produced by Toei Animation for the 45th anniversary of the Mazinger franchise and creator Go Nagai's 50th year as a manga artist. Not much is known about the movie at this time. The film debuted on AnimeJapan 2017 on March 26, 2017 with a teaser.[2] The film premiered October 31, 2017 in Italy. The film will opens in Japan on January 13, 2018.[3]

Production Edit

Toei Animation will be in charge of the film's production while its parent company Toei will handle distribution. A website for the film was launched by Toei on January 26th.[4]

At its announcement in AnimeJapan 2017, Showtaro Morikubo will voice Koji Kabuto while Ai Kayano will play Sayaka Yumi. Junji Shimizu is the director with Yo Nakano serving as the assistant director, while Takahiro Ozawa will write the script. Takayuki Yanase drafts the mechanic designs, Hiroya Iijima will design the characters, and Makoto Ujiie will be in charge of background art. Go Nagai also announced that the film will have a world premiere outside of Japan before Japan's premiere.[5]

The first footage of the film debuted at the Annecy Film Festival on June 14, during a "Making of" segment of the film.[6]

Ichiro Mizuki, who performed the original theme song returns to perform the opening theme song for the film. Toshiyuki Watanabe, son of original series composer Michiaki Watanabe, will compose the film's music.[7]

To promote the film, Toei plans to launch a crowdfunding campaign to create a large-scale replica of the Mazinger Z made out of balloons.[8]

The film premieres on October 28, 2017 at the 12th Rome Film Fest in collaboration with Alice nella città.[9]

On October 10, 2017, the official website announced the appearance of the Great Mazinger in the film as well as returning characters: including the newly wed Tetsuya Tsurugi and Jun Hono, and Count Brocken. As well as guest voicing done by Hiroya Ishimaru and Minori Matsushima.[10]

Kouji Kikkawa was announced to perform the film's ending theme song, "The Last Letter".[11]

Toei announced on Octboer 16, 2017 that the film will have planned screenings in the United States and Latin America, but that statement was later retracted and Toei confirmed that it was an error and there were no plans for screenings in these regions.[12] Viz Media however announced at Anime NYC that it has licensed the film and will release it in North America in 2018, but whether it will appear in theaters has not been announced.[13]

Plot Summary Edit

It has been 10 years since the world was on the verge of destruction by the mad scientist Dr. Hell and his Underground Empire. Koji Kabuto, his giant robot Mazinger Z, and his allies in the Photon Power Laboratory however put an end to Dr. Hell's ambitions and peace returned to the world.

Koji has since followed his grandfather and father's example and became a scientist at the Photon Power Lab. Sayaka Yumi became the Photon Lab's new Director after her father Prof. Yumi had became Japan's Prime Minister. Koji's younger brother Shiro has become a gifted pilot working for the lab while Boss and his gang continued to work for it. Tetsuya Tsurugi and Jun Hono who fought with Koji have since married and Jun is pregnant with Tetsuya's child.

Buried deep below Mt. Fuji, he encounters a mysterious life form named LiSA inside a giant structure called Infinity. With this new encounter comes a new threat, and a new fate awaiting humanity. Dr. Hell reveals himself after being declared dead in the past along with his henchmen Count Brocken and Baron Ashura. Dr. Hell plots to use Infinity's unlimited potential to activate its ultimate weapon Gragon to reshape the world.[14] The former hero Koji makes a decision for the future whether to be a god or a demon... The future is once again entrusted to Mazinger Z!

Cast Edit

  • Koji Kabuto: Showtaro Morikubo
  • Sayaka Yumi: Ai Kayano
  • LiSA: Sumire Uesaka
  • Shiro Kabuto: Natsuki Hanae
  • Boss: Watatu Takagi
  • Mucha: Kappei Yamaguchi
  • Nuke: Masami Kikuchi
  • Prime Minister Yumi: Junpei Morita
  • Dr. Nossori: Bin Shimada
  • Dr. Sewashi: Kozo Shioya
  • Tetsuya Tsurugi: Toshihiko Seki
  • Jun Hono: Ami Koshimizu
  • Dr. Hell: Unsho Ishizuka
  • Count Brocken: Keiji Fujiwara
  • Baron Ashura: Hiroyuki Miyasako (Male), Romi Park (Female)[15]
  • Idol Mazin-Girls: Azusa Tadokoro, Miku Ito, Yui P, Okarina

Reception Edit

The film's premiere in Italy was met with positive to mixed reviews. Italian and French reviewers state that film walks a line between nostalgia for older fans and new alike by giving the film its own personality while bringing up a nostalgic reminder in the first ten minutes. The setting and action scenes were praised for the combination of traditional and CGI animation, providing a smoothness and dynamic between the old and new animation styles. The film was also praised for the attention it gave to its source materials with a healthy dose of fan service, making the plot simplistic and easy to understand for newcomers. The film was even regarded as a worthy sequel to the original TV series. But there were concerns when reaching a modern audience due to an unfamiliarity with the source material. The characters situations were respected as being a credible piece of the film's narrative. The soundtrack was also praised for its use of Ichiro Mizuki and music that accompanied the rest of the film. Nostalgia for known fans appears to be the defining factor of the film.[16]

One of the major criticisms the film received is the plot. Standing in the background of the action and animation are the themes of politics, ecology, and coming of age. The primary characters are shown being stuck in the past or in a struggle to embrace the future. The secondary characters are also portrayed as being one dimensional, with superficial interactions between characters lacking any real complexity and predictable plot points. The political side of the film is portrayed as using exhausted themes of pacifism and a one-sided criticism to the current political environment of Japan. It is also watered down by the idea of pseudo-science terminology including substantial space, making it little more than a background element. The character LiSA also had potential in the film but was merely watered down to a plot device in Dr. Hell's plan and felt too similar to Rei from "Neon Genesis Evangelion".[17]

Overall the film praises the Mazinger franchise's importance in animation history as well as the mecha genre as well as celebrating the changes in animation by intermingling two styles. But much like the film's characters, the narrative side of the film is stuck in the past, with nostalgia being the only thing that draws the viewers in.

Trivia Edit

  • The film is the first property of the Mazinger and Dynamic Productions franchises to be used in collaboration with Toei Animation in 40 years following a fallout with creator Go Nagai although prior to this, Toei Animation previously worked in co-development with Dynamic Productions for Robot Girls Z.

Gallery Edit

Videos Edit

External Links Edit

References Edit

  1. New Mazinger Z Film Reveals Title, Trailer
  2. Pilder On On-Screen! Toei Animation Revives Mazinger Z in a Movie
  3. New Mazinger Z Film Opens January 13 in Japan
  4. Mazinger Z Anime Gets Film Adaptation For 45th Anniversary
  5. New Mazinger Z Anime Film Stars Showtaro Morikubo, Ai Kayano
  6. Go Nagai Debuts New Mazinger Z Film's Footage at Annecy
  7. Mazinger Z Reveals Theme Song Artist, Composer, Story
  8. Crowdfunding Planned to Build Giant Mazinger Z Out of Balloons
  9. “Mazinger Z Infinity” to world premiere at the 12th Rome Film Fest
  10. Great Mazinger Appears Mazinger Z: Infinity Anime Film
  11. Kouji Kikkawa Performs Ending Song for Mazinger Z: Infinity Film
  12. Mazinger Z: Infinity Film Gets Screenings in U.S., Latin America
  13. Viz Media Licenses Mazinger Z: Infinity Anime Film
  14. Mazinger Z: Infinity Anime Film's Stills Reveal Infinity
  15. Mazinger Z: Infinity Anime Film's 2nd Trailer Previews Ending Theme
  16. Go Nagai Celebrates 50 years of Career in Beauty (French)
  17. Mazinger Z Infinity by Junji Shimizu (Italian)

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