I might be cheating a little bit by presenting two moments from Shin Mazinger, but hell, these ones deserve their spot as much as any. But be warned, the following post will utterly spoil you of the show’s ending.
In all those years of Baron Ashura appearing in the Mazinger mythos, s/he’s always played the role of the punching bag. Punching bags can get popular–look at Patrick Colasour and Orange-kun. But Ashura tops them all, since Shin Mazinger is more or less his/her story. With his masterful touch, Imagawa vindicates Ashura, turning him/her into less of a bungler and enriching his/her backstory. The entire final episode is essentially Ashura striking back at Dr. Hell (who betrayed him/her, thus never deserved his/her loyalty in the first place) by manipulating the good guys to do the dirty work for him/her, and reaffirming his/her Mycenean allegiance in the form of the most badass suicide ever–can you rip yourself into two with your bare hands… all the while laughing?
Now, after Kouji defeats Dr. Hell, Ashura pulls off a Trombe Interrupt on Kouji’s moment of triumph, revealing his/her true motive as the Mycenean army lands on Earth. Despair reigns, the music switches to an utterly eerie choral track, Mazinger Z is pinned down by spears raining from heaven, and Great General of Darkness finally appears due to Ashura’s sacrifice.
I’ve never really seen the Myceneans save for that Mazinkaiser movie, where they get trounced by the overpowered Mazinkaiser (most of the movie is getting Kouji inside the thing so he could wipe the floor with it, and at least it’s very satisfying in that regard). But here, silhouettes atop Grecian pillars, they are scary and imposing.
But Great General Darkness isn’t named such for nothing. To cement his incredible power:
POW. This is the final scene of the entire show. Wordlessly, effortlessly, Great General of Darkness slices Mt. Fuji in half. The End; evil reigns supreme. It’s no question that Mazinger Z will be forced to fight it out with the new Mycenean threat, but too bad we’ll have to wait out for the continuation, when it happens.
PS: Pardon the tardiness on this post, as I was busy partying hard with my family, if one could say that (no booze). But I’m happy to have kept up with all 12 posts–it was a lot of fun, and I hope I can do this again next year. Enjoy the rest of the holidays, everyone!