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Go Nagai Debuts New Mazinger Z Film's Footage at Annecy

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Manga creator previews anime in France on June 14

The official website of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival announced on Monday that Gō Nagai will unveil the first footage from the new anime film based on his Mazinger Z manga during the festival on June 14. Nagai will present the footage at a "Making Of" event at the festival.

A launch event during the AnimeJapan 2017 event last month unveiled a teaser video.

Established in 1960, Annecy is the world's oldest and largest animation film festival. This year, it runs from June 12-17 at the French community of the same name.

In the new film, Showtaro Morikubo (center in photograph below) will play the familiar main lead Kōji Kabuto, and Ai Kayano (left) will play the heroine Sayaka Yumi. The pair appeared with tongue-in-cheek brand character Mazinger Kachō (Manager Mazinger, right) at AnimeJapan.

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.

Nagai announced in a video message in March 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 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.

Source: Animation Magazine (Mercedes Milligan)

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