Tuesday 7 January 2014

First Impressions: Robot Girls Z

Robot Girls Z

The Mazinger Z franchise has rather quiet since Mazinkaiser SKL back in 2010 hasn't it? Well fear not because Toei Animation has decided to breath new life into the original super robot, along with brothers and predecessors Great Mazinger and Grendizer with a brand new reboot - though not quite the one you might think. Robot Girls Z is a brand new edition of the Toei Robot Girls, reimagining the super robot trio as magical girls in this selection of ten-minute shorts that will be released periodically throughout the Winter 2014 anime season.

Hot-headed Z-chan, moody gamer Gre-chan and the seemingly-ditzy-but-actually-deadly Grenda-san are the Robot Girls Z unit in Nerima Ward Oizumi Academy's Photon Power District in Photon Power Town. Here they defend the illustrious power source from the evil mechanical beast girls, led by the half girl/half girl (what a twist!) Baron Ashura. While their intentions are indeed heroic, sometimes their hot blooded super robot powers get the better of them so when the Robot Girls Z are about, expect a fair bit of collateral damage!

Those who checked out the 4-minute episode 00 preview a few months ago will know that Robot Girls Z didn't seem like much. The animation was fun, but it seemed preoccupied with bizarre humour about mocking anime studios rather than acting as a comedic tribute to 70s super robots. Thankfully this first episode has lost that odd sense of humour, aiming for more basic traditional anime jokes. Still not much signs of fun super robot jokes (apart from the girls naturally having the attacks of their robotic counterparts), but we did get some nifty transformation sequences. And with the likes of Getter Robo, Gaiking and more set to make cameos in future episodes, there's still plenty of time for this show to hit its strike.

So while it's certainly no substitute for a Shin Mazinger sequel, Robot Girls Z seems like it'll be a fun way to kill time at the very least. It's hardly groundbreaking, but it gets a pass from me.

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