April Fools! English dubbed Mazinger Z & Gaiking?!

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First issue to get out of the way: these are not episodes of Tranzor Z or Force Five. Before either of those shows existed, Toei tried the experiment of hiring an English dubbing studio (M&M Communications, in Honolulu) to dub some of their shows to try and crack the US marketplace. These dubs are interesting in that they stick very closely to the original scripts (unlike, say, Tranzor Z or Force 5). The voice acting is a bit amateurish, but in that way where the actors almost make up for their lack of experience by really putting their hearts into it.

Second issue to get out of the way (and the one that explains why this is an April Fool’s release) is that I’m (to put it mildly) not a fan of English dubbing. This doesn’t just extend to anime…for just about any film or television show made in another language, I’d much prefer to watch it in its original language with subtitles. The whole “subbing vs. dubbing” debate has already played itself out in fandom for the last few decades, so I’m not trying to re-start that debate…pretty much everything has already been said on both sides. One thing I will say is that seems somewhat ironic that for someone like myself who considers most English dubs to be equally unwatchable, I actually kind of have a weird affection for these M&M dubs. I’d be willing to bet that for the people who can distinguish between what they call a “good dub” and a “bad dub” would be likely to put these in the latter category. But you know how it is, different people like different things.

Third issue: both of these series are available with English subtitles from Discotek (highly recommended by me!), and as many of you have noticed I generally don’t release stuff that’s commercially available in North America. But of course these dubs are rare, and not featured on those box sets, and I don’t really see them as competing with the official releases.

For the Mazinger episodes, big thanks are due to Beta8 for somehow finding the rare English soundtracks, and Chili for remastering them to a DVD source. I got the Gaiking episode in a VHS trade many years ago, and it’s the only one that I know of to exist in the hands of collectors. For now Gaiking is presented as a grungy multi-gen VHS rip, but if anyone wants to help me remaster it to the DVD version, that would be much appreciated.

Supposedly Toei also got M&M to dub some Grendizer episodes as well  but I have never actually seen an episode. Who knows what other shows from their 1970s output got the same treatment. If anyone out there who worked for M&M or has any other source of information about these rare dubs, I’d be very interested to hear about it.

Get English dubbed Mazinger Z 01-02 from Nyaa or Mega.

Get English dubbed Gaiking 11 from Nyaa or Mega.

This release is dedicated to the late Jerry Fellows, a really nice guy who sadly taken from us way too soon. It was Jerry who first told me (at a con, natch) about the existence of this Toei commissioned Mazinger Z dub, and I still remember how hard I laughed when he told me that Dr. Hell’s Kikaiju were referred to as “evil mechanical brutes!”

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10 Responses to April Fools! English dubbed Mazinger Z & Gaiking?!

  1. zeonicfreak says:

    I gotta wonder if these dubs are different than the ones that are the filipino ones that never finished airing because they were taken off TV by a dictator for 40 some odd years. I came across those dubs from a torrent community im part of, if your interested comment below and I can send them your way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      These are indeed different than the Filipino English dubs of various super robot shows. Those versions were actually dubbed in the Philippines, rather than Hawaii.

      I’m intrigued by the torrent community you mention. Is this a private site that you might be able to hook me up with an invite to?

      Like

  2. Cavery says:

    ARR did some rips of some Barattack episodes dubbed in English. Either A: This is another Toei/M&M dub or B: This is a dub from the Philippines.

    Like

  3. runmelos says:

    Thanks, Nanto. You always have such good April Fools surprises. What a find, these are!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. this is awesome, I’ve seen the Mazinger Z but never the Gaiking. Ya know, somebody ought to throw those Filipino dubs of super robot shows up on a torrent site that everybody can access at some point, all I have are the Voltes V’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Damn, I had no clue that M&M also did Gaiking.

    I prefer dubs typically (there are exceptions). Being on the opposite end of the spectrum, the dubs aren’t that good from a technical standpoint, but I also agree in this case, I also rather like them. They have a charming feel to them; that’s also part of why I like the English dub of the 1980’s “Astro Boy”.

    Like

  6. Retrosofa says:

    Thanks for uploading these! When I got to work on Discotek’s Mazinger Z release, I asked if they could include this dub, but apparently Toei doesn’t have it anymore. Or wasn’t willing to release it again. This dub seemed to be the basis for the Italian version as well, since it features the English dubbed songs.

    Had no idea they did Gaiking too, that’s quite a surprise.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cavery says:

    Any plans to update the Mazinger Z episodes into Blu-ray quality? I also found the Hawaiian dubs of these Mazinger episodes on the Internet Archive.
    * Episode 19 (The Flying Demon Deviler X!)
    * Episode 24 (Mach Mechanical Beast Jinrai)
    * Episode 25 (The Aero Brothers: The Great Eruption Plot)
    * Episode 27 (Operation: Capture Aphrodite A!)
    * Episode 29 (The Great Counter! Mazinpower!!)
    * Episode 30 (Shiro in Peril! Mazinger Z to the Rescue!)
    * Episode 32 (The Horrifying Three-Headed Mechanical Beast)
    * Episode 33 (Great Aerial Raid! Barras K, Outlaw of the Skies!)
    * Episode 34 (A Red Flash of Lightning! Mazinger Flies in the Sky!)

    Like

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