I love remakes! Believe it or not, but out of all adaptations, (ignoring the obvious recaps as Dragonball Kai, of course), these type of anime nearly always try to find ways to improve on their original series, resulting in some of the most amazing series. The same goes for the new Mazinger: this series knows exactly what it is: epic, mecha and action. And it has been by far my favourite action-series of the past half year.
Do NOT get fooled by the fact that this is based on a cheesy mecha series. The original Mazinger was the series that popularized the mecha genre, and it consisted (for as far as I can assume) out of a bunch of episodic stories in which the titular Mazinger would end up defeating some sort of monster that was set out to destroy the world. Let me say that the plot of the new Mazinger is NOTHING like this. It’s just taken the basic concept, characters, and did something totally different with it. The series is in no single way episodic, and it pays homage to the old series while delivering enough of its own ideas as well.
The creators put a lot of effort into fleshing out the past of this series, for as much impact as possible. They created a complex back-story around ancient Greek myths, science and betrayal. This really allows for a superb cast. Especially the half-male half-female Count Ashura has to be one of the most awesome villains in Giant Robot history, but the rest of the cast also truly shines.
But what really makes this series EPIC is the direction. The action is truly over the top, but for once they get it right and successfully mix it in with the more serious parts of the story. Every episode consistently delivers on the action, while also taking care of the plot, and it finds a really good combination between the two, so that they only strengthen each other. The creators really cleverly throw in all sorts of huge plot twists in the middle of the action in order to spice it up even more, with a number of truly awesome results.
True, this series does have the tendency to pull a lot of things out of its ass, but when you look at the big picture it all still makes sense. And besides, a lot of this is about secret back-up plans that the characters had reserved, which of course gets a bit boring if you have to go through all of them beforehand.
Overall, if you like over the top action you really should give this series a chance. It’s a series that knows exactly what it is, and it delivers as much epic action as possible with an awesome plot that always manages to pull a number of great plot twists. With an ending that I consider to be the single best of 2009 (no seriously, the final episodes in this series completely blew me away), this series exceeded all my expectations. This is a series on which you can always count to be epic.