Mazinger Z (Majingā Zetto) is a manga that was created by Go Nagai. It was first released in 1972 in Japan and ended up becoming the longest running mecha anime series ever created. It is also known by Tranzor Z in the United States. Nagai became well-known in Japan for breaking stereotypes and for being extremely controversial. He was the first artist to use graphic violence and nudity in manga that was meant for children and was the arch-enemy of many teachers and parents for a very long time. He was the first one to create what is known as the “mecha” genre. This genre consists of super-large robots that are the main characters of the series. Some of the robots may be bad, others are the heroes. Many animated series, such as Voltron and Transformers, actually began because of the influence of Mazinger Z.
Mazinger Z is the name of a super robot that has been created by Professor Juzo Kabuto. It was created using a special type of metal called Chogokin Z, or Super Alloy Z. The professor created Mazinger Z as a weapon to use against the evil Mechanical Beasts that have been created by a madman named Dr. Hell. Dr. Hell used to be a member of an archeological team that uncovered the mysteries of a city that used mechanical monsters in order to defend their city. There were some prototypes left in the city and Dr. Hell decides to take them and use them as warriors in battle. He kills all of the other scientists, with the exception of Professor Kabuto. Professor Kabuto was also on the expedition and managed to escape from the insanity of Dr. Hell’s destruction.
Professor Kabuto believes that it is his mission to warn everyone of the plans that Dr. Hell has. He is not believed by many people. Dr. Hell manages to create a home base on an island that he is able to control and makes more of the creatures that he calls Mechanical Beasts. He has decided to use them to become the ruler of the world. Professor Kabuto finally manages to create Mazinger Z from his memories of the robots that were created by the ancient civilization. Right after he finishes the robot, he is killed by Dr. Hell. Dr. Hell sneaks his man, Baron Ashura, into Professor Kabuto’s lab and he sets off a bomb. Shortly before he dies, Professor Kabuto manages to tell his grandson, Kouji Kabuto, about the plans Dr. Hell has. He explains about Mazinger Z and how to use it. Kouji takes it upon himself to control the robot and sets off to defeat the evil Dr. Hell once and for all.
Go Nagai has been quoted as saying that he used to love robot animes as a child and always wanted to make his own. He worried, though, that whatever he would create would be too much like the other series that were already established. According to Go Nagai, one day he was sitting in a traffic jam and mused that it would be nice to have a way to get past all of the cars. This put the idea of a robot that could be controlled, similar to the way a car is controlled, into his head and Mazinger Z was born.