|“||When we chant the history of our kingdom, we must chant the tale of the warrior who must never be forgotten. The warrior from another world who came bearing infinite power. This is the chant of the mysterious warrior who rescued our kingdom. This is the tale of MAZINGER.||”|
– Mazinger (p.3 1988)
Mazinger (1988) is a 58 page manga spin-off of Mazinger Z created by Go Nagai for the US market, which features an original story partly inspired by Gulliver's Travels and God Mazinger. It's also known as Mazinger U.S.A.
PlotEditSet at beginning of the 100 Years War in 220X, sometime after World War III devastated 90 percent of the global population, "the surviving nations have realigned into northern and southern superpowers."
What remains of mankind have burrowed deep underground to escape the deadly radiation that permeates the surface. In order to continue fighting, the militaries of the world developed special gigantic combat armor, the strongest of which, Mazinger, is piloted by Major Koji Kabuto. Koji docks the Mazinger via the mouth, controlling it from a cockpit situated behind the nose.
After a great battle, Mazinger gets caught in an enemy explosion that rips a wormhole in space/time that sends him to a world of giants, called Lithgor. Here, Koji meets the beautiful giant Princess Krishna, who after is saved by Mazinger from giant reptile men riding dragons.
Back at her castle, Krishna explains to Koji about the war-loving lizard men of the Zard Empire. The high king of Lithgor wanted peace, calling for a truce with Zard, but was unfortunately killed.
Krishna beseeches Koji to lend her his services after witnessing what the Mazinger can do. Koji accepts on the condition that if he is triumphant then Krishna's love is his, since she is the woman Koji has always dreamed of, who he calls "perfection incarnate." Krishna too says she's dreamed of a man like him and accepts, but mainly for her people as she puts them first before her own life.
Koji, weary, asks her to promise not to retract her words when he reveals what he looks like beneath Mazinger. After some further words of caution about his appearance, Krishna accepts and Koji reveals himself. Krishna is startled to find that Koji is tiny, asking him if he is a "faerie" and recounting a legend about a man named Swift "from the world of faerie," whom traveled to Lithgor in ancient times. Koji believes this to be Johnathan Swift, the author of Gulliver's Travels.
Sometime later, Mazinger and Krishna sit upon steeds along with an army, ready for a final battle against the Zard Empire. Mazinger goes in first, jumping off his giant-steed, he stands towards the hundreds of Zard soldiers, revealing an ultimate array of missiles beneath his armor plating. Mazinger fires all at once. The explosion is so powerful that it obliterates the Zard Empire and also rips another hole in space/time that sends him back to his own world.
Back on Earth, Koji and Mazinger appear on the battlefield, where a soldier reveals that Koji has been gone for over a month; Koji ponders if a single day in Lithgor equals one month in ours or if crossing dimensions warps time itself. When asked by the soldier where he was, Koji replies that he was in a world he always dreamed of, but is cut off by enemy fire. Koji and Mazinger rush back into battle, promising that he will keep fighting until the day he reunites with his true love, Princess Krishna.
The US comic appeared to have served some inspiration for the creation of MazinSaga, featuring a similar theme of power suits rather than robots and fighting on a dangerous world. The Mazinger in the comic also appears to have served as inspiration for the Z suit. The story and setting also seems to have inspired Mazinkaiser SKL, but this is only noticeable aesthetically and yet to be confirmed.