Shin Mazinger 08: Aphrodai Comes Through

Sweet!  Finally, even if it was just through self-mutilation of the robotic arm, Aphrodai A actually manages to help Mazinger out!!  In my opinion, this is truly the anime moment of the week.

whatever works, girl.

whatever works.

Understandably, Sayaka was quite puffed up at her own performance:



I think it’s pretty hard to deny that Baron Ashura seems almost the protagonist of the show in the last few episodes.  After being treated to “their” psychological drive and motivations earlier, the center piece of this episode is Hell and Grandpa Kabuto’s discovery of the Ashuras deep within Bardos.

Call me freaky, but the scene reminded me a lot of Aristophanes.  Or rather, it reminded me of Plato’s dialogue “Symposium”, in which a fictional “Aristophanes” comes up with a myth on the origin of the sexes.

In this tale, primitive people were basically balls of flesh running around.  These balls of flesh came in three genders: male, female and androgynous.  Zeus was upset with them and cut each of them down the middle.  Each half is permanently seeking its lost counterpart, and therefore there are homosexual men, homosexual women, and heterosexual men and women (the androgynous ones).  No real connection with Mazinger here, except for Zeus.

Still, the male Ashura and the female Ashura could be seen as counterparts of each other, but their reunion costs each of them one half, so the complete Baron Ashura isn’t a ball, but a human of normal dimensions…[Please check out the “Symposium”, it’s hilarious and deep at the same time!]  If I’m not mistaken, BTW, it is the halves that were touching each other that survived: the warmth of their eternal love saved them…oohhh…

hopefully they'll do a flashback in happier times..

hopefully they'll do a flashback in happier times..

As a last comment, I’ll wager right now that Dr. Hell’s downfall will involve disunity between his generals.  These Five Armies to work too independently of each other.   Not to mention Count Brocken seems to be happier gossipping with the boss than actually fighting!!

I recently read a good, long book on the Nazi politico-military machine.  So far Dr. Hell’s hordes are less dysfunctional than the Nazis (!), but I see them heading that way.  Gohring was a total gossip, and so there’s an immediate parallel with the aerial commander Brocken.  Also, whenever you see a Nazi agency helping another one out, it’s usually when the second one is in big trouble, thus giving an opportunity for the first to show off to the Fuhrer.  Maybe like Pygman with Ashura.

In the end, though, I gotta hand it to Ashura, who’s working “their” butt off to win.  Too bad the Baron/Baroness is on the wrong side of this history.

~ by Haloed Bane on May 30, 2009.

5 Responses to “Shin Mazinger 08: Aphrodai Comes Through”

  1. It must be saved, taisetsukawaiimonodesuuuuu~! lololol.

    Rather enjoyed Nishokiori this episode, her and that pipe of hers.

  2. I think it’s pretty hard to deny that Baron Ashura seems almost the protagonist of the show in the last few episodes.

    Ashura has proven to be quite the sympathetic character, and serves well as the ‘gateway’ to establishing the back stories of the five generals as a whole. I enjoy it very much because Ashura has always been a bit of a loser, and now made to be quite awesome.

    Bravo on recalling Aristophanes. I completely forgot about this good lord. Trust Go Nagai to take Greek mythology and put it in a blender. Good stuff.

  3. Oh God, I wish I had money to buy books of Greek classics…

    Pygman was pretty hilarious and cool, too. How was he in the original, anyway?

  4. @Ryan

    Nishikiori is badass. Word.


    Another interesting thing is the rank system. Was Nagai being totally crazy, or is there a method here? Count Brocken outranks Viscount Pygman, who outranks Baron Ashura. Is this meaningful or meaningless? The original titles in Japanese are those of the prewar nobility in Japan, which was copied straight from 19th century Europe… Does Ashura being the lowest rank noble have anything to do with his situation??


    Don’t tell me you’ve spent all your money on robots?? 🙂 You can get a selection of 7 platonic dialogues for about $9.95. I’ve got a book with 5 of his dialogues for $5.95. These books lack footnotes, which kinda sucks..Still, Symposium by itself all nicely annotated will still be under 10 dollars US.

    I was so little when I watched Mazinger Z I really don’t remember. All I can say is Pygman is supposed to be a PYGmie sorceror’s head on a full grown man’s body. Thus Pygman…

  5. @schneider

    I have so little recollection of the original series that I barely remember Viscount Pygman.


    I’m as clueless as you are regarding the ranking system, but Ashura has always been a low-level mid-boss in Mazinger. Only now has Ashura been given this much positive attention.

    The original series is doubtful as a source of elucidating mythology because it really is pretty much a monster of the week show.

    For all intents and purposes True Mazinger should be treated as the truest form of the mythology of the franchise. Then again canon is pretty meaningless in the Nagaiverse.

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