This week I simply cannot point out a single individual for Hype Honors. There's just too much going on. One of the cool things about Shin Mazinger is that Imagawa reminds us that if an evil genius who operates out of a Greek island off the coast of Japan started sending mechanical monsters to destroy an alternative energy plant defended by a giant, heavily armed robot, that would constitute a small war, not just a weekly cartoon showdown. As Kouji-- who was tricked by Ashura, who doesn't even show at the site of the duel-- fights off five exceptionally tough mechanical beasts, Kurogane House, the Photon Power Labs, and Dr. Hell are getting their troops ready. Kurogane's preparations, as ever, are hilarious: did you know that you can have bamboo spears made out of Super Alloy Z? News to me. The Super Alloy Z frying pan and shovels-- and especially the Super Alloy Z electric fence that Ankokuji and Gamia are imprisoned in-- should really be sold in stores around the world.
We're also seeing a lot of scenes from the chaotic first episode (which, as you'll recall, was titled "Finale") actually take place, and back then the animation wasn't looking nearly so hot. This time, though, Imagawa actually has some money, and it shows in the scale and polish of the assaults. Pygman sics his animal army on the Photon Power labs and gets a lion for a head! The men of Kurogane House slaughter Baron Ashura's soldiers guerilla-style! Boss Borot makes his grand entrance by intercepting a damn missile! Even Sayaka and the worthless Mazinger Corps (though they fight completely offscreen) don't seem to get their asses kicked this time. God damn, it's all so viscerally exciting! Maybe the summary of this episode should just be "and then all this stuff exploded like BOOM and this guy comes out all YEAAAAAH, and then everybody's like AW HELL NAW". It's very tempting to just leave it at that.
Anyway, here's where the fights end up: Kouji is mad as hell because he's stuck getting his ass kicked (the God Scrander, for some reason, is still en route) by some robo-monsters when Baron Ashura isn't even around. Pygman crashes the Photon Power plant by posing as Sayaka, leading Professor Yumi to get desperate and suicide bomb the whole place, killing (maybe) both himself and the three scientists. Meanwhile, the Kurogane Five are getting ready to take on Ashura's army by any means... until Kenzo Kabuto appears inside the house. This week's cliffhanger is Tsubasa charging him with her dagger. Tsubasa does say "it'll be interesting to see who survives this," and while I am curious, the fakeout deaths from before kind of remove any major feeling of suspense.
By the way, it's old news, but Mr. Imagawa and mechanical designer Tsuyoshi Nonaka canceled for Anime Weekend Atlanta, which is this weekend. I wouldn't have been able to make it either way, but he'll certainly be missed by many AWA attendees. Probably fear of the swine flu: can't really blame the guys. In addition, I'm sure you've noticed that there's less and less going on on this blog that isn't Shin Mazinger, and I apologize for the holdup. I have, however, been on a bit of a posting spree at Colony Drop (and it's far from over), so I recommend you take a look there too.