As the closing credits roll, Mazinger Z and Devilman fly off into the sunrise; Devilman waves goodbye and splits from Mazinger Z, who soon disappears into the sunrise as a kanji-"Owari" ("The End") appears before fade-out. See more »
For the first time, both Mazinger Z and Devilman, two of Gou Nagai's most famous comic-book creations, explode into the big screen, and the result is a fun, fast-paced, action-packed anime masterpiece! Similar to GODZILLA VS. MEGALON (my personal favorite Godzilla film, released the same year), it's got a monster and robot teaming up to beat up other monsters and robots (evil ones, of course)!
With both characters' shows released the previous year, MAZINGER Z is a classic, while DEVILMAN remains unliked by most of the die-hard fans of the original comic-book, although still mostly appreciated by superhero fans. (In the TV show and this movie, Devilman, like Godzilla, was more slimmed-down and playful than his original scarier comic-book counterpart, but even then, both the 70s Godzilla and animated 70s Devilman were still down n' dirty fighters!) Nevertheless, this film is a dream-team come true! The animation is colorful and energetic, the voice acting (by the voice casts of both shows) is just as good as fans remember, and the show uses music and songs from both shows (by Michiaki Watanabe and Gou Misawa), with the official introduction of the rocking "Sky-Flying Mazinger Z" song (at the closing credits), sung by Japanese pop king Ichirou Mizuki! Fans who don't like repetition should beware that whether it was already done in the MAZINGER Z show or not, this movie again introduces the Jet Scrander (Mazinger Z's winged jet-pack attachment), as though we've never seen it before, so expect fans to say "Aw, man, they're introducing it for the first time AGAIN?" Actually, the movies are connected loosely from the shows, but then, the movies are sometimes more fun to watch than the shows (later episodes of MAZINGER Z have recycling "cheat" episodes, much like the later Ralph Bakshi SPIDER-MAN cartoons, which I still like)! Hell, MAZINGER Z VS. DEVILMAN and the 1974 follow-up MAZINGER Z VS. THE GREAT DARK GENERAL (which introduced Great Mazinger) make great introductions to the genre!
The plot: At the movie's opening, our heroic braggart Kouji Kabuto and his girlfriend Sayaka Yumi pilot Mazinger Z and Aphrodite A to beat up two of Doctor Hell's stock Machine-Beasts, which were about to attack Professor Yumi's (Sayaka's father and former assistant to Kouji's late grandfather, who invented Mazinger Z) lab/headquarters, but suddenly, a giant winged woman creature arrives in a gust of wind and trashes Aphrodite A in no time flat (And remember, that ALWAYS happens in the show! Poor Aphrodite always kept getting trashed by the Machine-Beast of the week, but after all, I guess that's because it's a GIRLY machine!!!). You guessed it, it's Devilman's popular arch-nemesis Silene (only she's colored blue/purple and her privates are covered with feathers)! Doctor Hell and his androgynous cohort Baron Ashura take notice, and so does Akira Fudou, who transforms into Devilman (You have to admit, his transformation is really cool: He literally rips out of his entire Akira Fudou guise before growing to giant size!), and eavesdrops on Doctor Hell's paying a visit to the leader of Devilman's monster foes, the Demon Clan's King Zannin (Doctor Hell takes control of the entire clan!). Akira warns Kouji and his friends about this, but first, by making fun of him and Mazinger Z, leading to a motorcycle race in which Akira insists to Kouji that Mazinger Z MUST have the ability to fly, or he'll be easily destroyed by his enemies. Later, Kouji discovers that Professor Yumi and his scientists are constructing a pair of wing attachments for Mazinger Z called the Jet Scrander (yes, again!), but once our fun-loving Doctor Hell gets wind of this, he sends Silene to wreck the Jet Scrander and kidnap Sayaka and Kouji's kid brother Shirou, who are then rescued by Devilman, who, along with Mazinger Z, have a first encounter with both the Demon-Beasts AND Machine Beasts, courtesy of their respective adversaries! Our two heroes have decided to join forces to defeat their allied enemies, but can the Jet Scrander be repaired in time while they prepare for the big showdown?
Interesting to note that this film (as well as the other Gou Nagai Super Robot movies) was divided into TV episodes, but blown up into fullscreen from their original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This movie should be seen in widescreen to be fully appreciated!
In short, MAZINGER Z VS. DEVILMAN is one of my favorite anime films! Definitely a must-see!
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