April Fools! English dubbed Mazinger Z & Gaiking?!



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 argument…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 was sadly taken from us far 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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18 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?


  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.


  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”.


  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!)


  8. Yamsto Hino says:

    I don’t think that Grendizer has M&M dub cause wewould at leadt have songs from it as we have from Gaiking and Mazinger.
    As for Mazinger there are totalky 13 episodes of the Hawaiian dub.


    • Nanto says:

      At least the first 38 episodes of Mazinger Z have were dubbed into English by M&M Communications in Hawaii, but not all of those episodes are known to exist.


  9. So I found out that the same crew behind this dubbing outfit apparently did a dub for Danguard Ace as well – same cast names as in the Gaiking and Mazinger dub: https://vgmdb.net/album/66408

    Shame these dubs are more likely than not, lost to time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      Thanks for the link! So not only did M&M Communications also dub episodes of Danguard Ace, but Toei even released a “drama album” of the dub on vinyl LP.

      So even though it does seem unlikely that we’ll ever turn up any episodes of the Danguard Ace dub, it’s possible that vinyl record might be findable, maybe on Yahoo Auctions Japan.


      • They did a similar thing with Mazinger Z as well: https://vgmdb.net/album/61341

        A surprising lot of commissioned English dubs got release in Japan as Vinyl drama albums. They did similar for the dub of the first “Space Battleship Yamato” film along with ones for “Captain Harlock” and “Galaxy Express 999”.

        Apparently this outfit did quite a bit more than I initially thought; because I found yet another; Candy Candy https://vgmdb.net/album/58813
        This one may or may not be the dub that ZIV International released on VHS in the early 80’s?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nanto says:

        Harlock: https://vgmdb.net/album/84993
        GE999: https://vgmdb.net/album/66463

        Interestingly the voices listed on the Candy Candy drama album are the same as those in the Mazinger Z and Danguard Ace dubs. This leads me to believe that M&M did a different English dub of Candy Candy that we’ve never heard. The ZIV International episodes have this godawful disco sounding English theme: “Candy Candy, I’m lucky she’s my friend” that does not use the music from the Japanese version. Here’s what I assume is the M&M version of the opening, since it uses the original music, with English lyrics sung by a Japanese singer (who may or may not be Mitsuko Horie from the original) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M0bLjHu6eQ

        I notice that the voices are the same in both the Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 drama albums, but they are not the same voices used in the M&M dubs. So we could guess that the Harlock one uses the soundtrack from the very respectable ZIV dub of episodes 1 and 9, although without hearing the record that’s just a guess.

        One thing we do know for sure is that the voices in the Galaxy Express drama album are not the same as the ones in the New World Pictures dub of the first GE999 movie. It would certainly be interesting to hear a dub of the first GE999 episode done by the same ZIV crew that did the first Harlock episode.


  10. Steve Harrison says:

    Well! Glad to see SHS is still around!

    For context: The Christian Broadcast Network on cable TV back in the ‘80s ran a program called ‘Beyond the Horizon’ , a sort of variety program about Japan. It was pure old school ‘public service content’ in style, a number of hosts sitting and doing intros to taped segments, throwing to whichever ‘reporter’ it was who did the actual work. I believe the production umbrella was called ‘TeleJapan’ and I think they still exist.

    It was all very respectful and buttoned down and dry as heck. A segment on cooking would be as excitingly pushed as an electric homemade car race. I can’t recall the running time of the show, it was probably an hour but it might have been 90 minutes. Reason I say that is each segment tended to be 12 minutes long and I am sure they did more than 4 reports an episode, because…

    One day they showed the first half of a Mazinger Z episode. Yes these very ones. No intro or real lead-in, just poof there it was. Caught me flat footed it did! I hadn’t been recording Beyond the Horizon regularly, it never came on at the same time. It was throwaway program time for CBN I guess. But you bet I started recording as best as I could! And I got Lucky and snagged the segment on Japanimation. Pat Malone and others talking about anime, interview clips with Toei’s NYC office, a snip of Queen of a Thousand Years TV dubbed in English…

    I don’t think these few Mazinger Z episodes were what captivated Jerry into full blown Mazinmania, but they were very much one of the flagstones on that path. I don’t know how many times we watched those darn things. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nanto says:

      Great to hear from you, Steve! It has been a LOT of years since we last saw each other in person. Tim & Eileen were engaged but not yet married, so that’s quite a few moons in the past.

      Thank you very much for that detailed inf0. At least one of the English dubbed episodes (possibly the second half of episode 9) has a few frames at the start of the episode with the “Beyond the Horizon” logo, so it’s cool to finally find out what that was after all these years. I remember CBN used to show religious-themed dubbed anime like Flying House and Superbook, but I had no idea that they were the source of the “evil mechanical brutes” dub.


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