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New Mazinger Z Anime Film Stars Showtaro Morikubo, Ai Kayano

posted on by Egan Loo
One Piece: Episode of Chopper's Junji Shimizu directs

The "Mazinger Z Film (Working Title) Launch Event" at the AnimeJapan 2017 convention announced on Sunday that Showtaro Morikubo and Ai Kayano are starring in the new anime film based on Go Nagai's Mazinger Z manga. The event also debuted a new teaser video.

Morikubo (center in photograph below) will play the familiar main lead Kōji Kabuto, and Kayano (left) will play the heroine Sayaka Yumi.

Junji Shimizu (One Piece: Episode of Chopper - The Miracle Winter Cherry Blossom, Precure All Stars New Stage: Mirai no Tomodachi) is directing off a script by ume's Takahiro Ozawa (Tokyo Toybox, Steves). Takayuki Yanase (Ghost in the Shell Arise, Mobile Suit Gundam 00) is drafting the mechanic designs, and Hiroya Iijima (Afro Samurai) is designing the characters. Green's Makoto Ujiie (Gundam franchise, EUREKA SEVEN AO) is handling the background art, and Yō Nakano is serving as assistant director.

In addition, Nagai announced in a video message that the film will have a world premiere outside Japan, before the Japanese premiere. The staff will announce the location of the world premiere later. Nagai thanked the fans worldwide for continuing to support him and his work, even as he marks his 50th anniversary as an artist. The event ended with a special guest appearance by the tongue-in-cheek brand character Mazinger Kachō (Manager Mazinger, right in photograph above).

The tagline on the visual below reads, "It can be a god or a demon…"

The film, tentatively titled Gekijōban Mazinger Z (Mazinger Z The Movie), is commemorating the 45th anniversary of the original Mazinger Z manga and television anime series. Toei Animation is producing the project, and Toei will distribute the film.

Nagai launched the Mazinger Z manga in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump magazine in 1972, and the television anime series premiered at the same time. The anime ran for 92 episodes from 1972-1974, and the anime's 68th episode garnered a 30.4% viewer rating when it aired on March 17, 1974.

The story follows high school boy Kōji Kabuto in his super robot Mazinger Z as he battles Dr. Hell, a mad scientist bent on world domination. The franchise has spawned four television series, at least nine movies, and several original video animation projects.

Discotek Media released the original anime on DVD in North America in 2014.

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