When Shin Mazinger is talked about, much praise is dedicated to Imagawa’s epic reimagining of the Mazinger mythos, Baron Ashura’s superb characterization, or that awesome narrator. However, I noticed something about it that has never been brought up before: Shin Mazinger is a 26-episode super robot TV series entirely without monster-of-the-week episodes.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t find monster-of-the-week episodes undesirable. They can be good when done well, and bad when done poorly. However, the majority of them are forgettable, as most super robot TV shows pad too much of them to meet episode counts. People criticize this practice, and deem super robot genre as lacking of depth thanks to some brainless episodes they have seen. I can’t blame them, since the chances of seeing an episodic when randomly tuning into a 50-episode series is very high.
Deep inside, I wished for some sort of change to happen–something that would prove these naysayers wrong. I wanted things done differently. I wanted a super robot show deliver a compelling plot throughout its run.
So when Shin Mazinger started with a Big Bang Punch, I got hyped as any mecha fan would. Imagine my surprise when, week after week, the plot moved steadily forward, without getting into a predictable rut. The cliffhangers were amazing, laced with the grandiose touch that only Imagawa could provide. Even the recap managed to put out some new material–I wouldn’t recommend on skipping it!
I hope more people take a leaf out of Shin Mazinger’s book. The super robot genre is a time-honored tradition, and there is still much work at hand to bring it to its fullest potential. Hurray for more great writing!
PS: This show knows me all too well. Just saying!