Ep 0023 - Mazinger Z (1972)


Cover Image

This time around we’re discussing the strangely less-examined field not of ancient aliens, but ancient mecha, 1972’s Mazinger Z.

Content warnings for this episode: misogyny, sexual themes, blood, violence, warfare, and violence.

Our theme is “She Loves Your Fusion” by PartyFactor on Pixabay. Other sound effects also sourced from Pixabay. Any and all clips of copyrighted media are included for transformative use or commentary, and On the Shoulders of Giants makes no claim of ownership on the sampled audio.

Mechs Discussed

Mazinger Z

Link to Wiki.

Mecha Mecha Mecha

Pilder (Piloting Unit)

Link to Wiki.

Mecha Mecha

Aphrodite A

Link to Wiki.

Mecha Mecha

Mechanical Beast Baron Asuran

Link to Wiki.

Mecha Mecha

Cool Factor(tm) Score







Other Images of Things Discussed

snuck up on ya
mad scientist vibes
iconic lab
NERV (1972)
fight fight fight
transition panels are cool
Garada K7
Doublas M2
mech descriptions of all time
medical and mechanical horror
protag law
cold blooded killer
Dogla S1
the mechs of ancient times...
Baramas Y1
Bazin B9
write in and tell me ur favorite hat plz
ah yes the onsen
Mario N7
deploy the mannequins
how dare you copy me??
breakfast SLAP
Crocodiver 01
three for one deal!
Grogos G5
this is the least problematic frame
only real air deployment in the 5 volumes
Danube α1
cool guys dont look at explosions
the "color change"
we never see these again
River F9
Gokyun U5
she's just like me fr fr
Fubuking S1
Deathtokiller G7
appearances of all time
Toros D7
foreign exchange students
Ghostfire V9
you can do it!
Glossom X2
read the manga to see the rest
honorable mention (omake 1)
dishonarable mention (omake 2)


Ironic Firsts! Easy enough, did Mazinge Z, a grandfather of the genre, originate these tropes?

Controlling a Giant Robot

Click to Reveal Answer!No. Go Nagai himself acknowledges his inspiration in having a giant robot controlled by a child came from Tetsujin #28.

Rocket Punches

Click to Reveal Answer!No! While many believe Mazinger Z to have been the originator of this, it was likely inspired by rocket punches in the 1967 TV series Giant Robo.

Breast Beam

Click to Reveal Answer!Yes. We have Mazinger Z to thank for tit-based beam attacks, and many variations thereupon.

Robot Beasts

Click to Reveal Answer!Yes. While it can be murky due to the influence of Ultraman and robot beasts being a popular super sentai enemy, Mazinger Z does appear to be the origin of robotic and animalistic monsters specifically. Mechagodzilla comes out two years after, in 1974.

Eye Lasers (as a mecha weapon)

Click to Reveal Answer!

A Seperate Command Unit serving as the Cockpit

Click to Reveal Answer!Yes. Go Nagai actually planned for the vehicle to be a motorcycle before he had the hovercraft idea, which is why motorcycles feature so prominently.

A hot-headed dumbass of a Mech Pilot

Click to Reveal Answer!Yes. Hot-headed dumbasses abound elsewhere, but we have Koji to thank for... so many others.

Combing Mecha

Click to Reveal Answer!No! While it does feature combining robots, specifically the Ashura mechanical beast, the first appearance of combining mecha was in the close-following Getter Robo.

Highschool Student Mecha Pilots

Click to Reveal Answer!Yes. Mazinger Z created a huge number of the mech media conventions we know today. At the time manga centered around teenagers and young adults was very popular, and as Mazinger Z is the first pilot-in-giant-robot manga, those things crashing into each other is what we have to thank for Shinji Ikari.

Mech Flight Wings

Click to Reveal Answer!Yes, this is the first appearance of flight wings on a mech, and specifically as a remote-controlled external piece. I think we definitely see this show up in a lot of different things later, and seems a natural extension of the rocket fists.