Hit the “Random” button and see what comes up! In this feature, we take a look at whatever manga the Random Number God decides to throw at us and find out if it’s worth your time.
This time: Mazinger Angels, with art by Akihiko Niina and scenario by Go Nagai (!!)
I suppose since I randomly rolled something by the great Osamu Tezuka, it was only a matter of time before I got something by Go Nagai himself: the man who invented Mazinger, Cutey Honey, Devilman, Dororon Enma-kun, and a bunch of other stuff you’ve probably heard of but never watched. Conveniently, almost all of those things make an appearance in this manga! Less conveniently, I also haven’t watched most of those things, and the bulk of the cameos were completely lost on me. I’m sure aficionados of Nagai’s work would be far more entertained by Mazinger Angels than I was, and I was already pretty entertained.
As the title implies, Mazinger Angels is inspired heavily by Charlie’s Angels, a famous 70s television show about three very bouncy ladies who were private investigators. Except this time the ladies are the female leads from different Mazinger shows, and they pilot giant fembots with various boob missile variants to protect the world from disaster! They are still, however, very bouncy. This is a Go Nagai manga, after all. It wouldn’t be Go Nagai without tons of utterly blatant fanservice. By the same token, it wouldn’t be Mazinger without lots of mecha battle action and Rocket Punches. As you might expect, this is taken to its logical conclusion.
Mazinger Angels is full of wacky robot antics that could only come from the brain of Go Nagai. A Christmas chapter involves a giant Santa robot flying around and stealing panties, for instance. Another villanous mecha has giant glass spheres with naked women inside of them all over its surface to use as projectile weapons. Thankfully, while the manga is very heavy on the fanservice, the ladies are never depicted as anything less than completely competent. There’s no male lead to overshadow them in Mazinger Angels (except for when Devilman shows up for a few chapters), and the ladies summarily kick a lot of ass both in and out of their mecha. Even prototypical-magical-girl Cutie Honey gets in on the action, revealing herself to be an ex-Angel with her own mech.
Verdict: Chicks Dig Giant Robots
I actually had a lot of fun with this! It’s a little generic when it comes to well-worn mecha tropes, but it’s all played with a wink and a nudge since Mazinger Z pretty much invented the super robot genre. Though I haven’t watched most of the classic anime it’s referencing, I was able to at least appreciate things like seeing Enma-kun and Devilman on the same page. There’s a sense of history behind Mazinger Angels, and if nothing else, now I can finally say I’ve read something by Go Nagai. If you’re looking for something full of pervy robot action, definitely give this one a look.