UFO Robo Grendizer

UFO Robo Grendizer is a mecha anime show created by Japanese anime artist Go Nagai. It was shown on Japanese TV in 1975 and lasted 74 episodes.

Grendizer is a fictional mecha from the anime and manga series of the same name, created by Go Nagai. Within the story, Grendizer was created by the Vegan Empire and stolen by the Prince of Planet Fleed, who piloted it under the guise of the masked warrior Duke Fleed.

The original concept was shown in a 1975 30-minute pilot movie War of the Flying Saucers. The movie had the same basic plot, with a few changes: Daisuke appears as the Professor's biological son, the enemy was Princess Teronna from Planet Yarban, and the robot's original name was Gattaiger (gattai = Japanese for "combine"). The series, which started later the same year, is considered another sequel to the Mazinger series, partly because of the inclusion of Mazinger Z's pilot Koji Kabuto, and having giant robots, which made it a "Super Robot" mecha anime.

A lot of speculation has been made about the two half-turns executed when the pilot passes from the ship mode to the robot mode. Once asked about it, Go Nagai answered that "Duke being suspicious, he always checks that no one is following him", but it can be assumed that he was joking, leaving the mystery unsolved.

The Grendizer robot and Daisuke have been included in two short Go Nagai cross-over features: UFO Robot Grendizer vs. Great Mazinger, and Great Mazinger, Grendizer, Getter Robo G: Decisive Showdown! Great Sea Beast..

Grendizer is best remembered as one of the first anime shows to have a huge success in Europe and Canada, particularly in France and Quebec (known as Goldorak), Italy and Malta (known as Goldrake), where it holds a strong following even today. Grandizer was also one of the most popular anime series ever shown in Arabic countries. (All the episodes were shown in these countries. It is interesting to note that the Arabic version was identical to the Japanese one, the names remained the same.)

Twenty-six episodes of Grendizer were shown on American TV as part of the multi-mecha show Force Five, out of the total of 74 in the original series. Many character's names were changed: Grendizer spelling was changed to Grandizer, Duke Fleed was Orion Quest, and then changed his name to Johnny Bryant; Planet Fleed's name was changed to Antares, and so on. This corresponds to the first season and story arc (ending with the death of one of the main villains, who is replaced afterwards). Although Mazinger Z was later imported to the United States, Kouji's character appearing in both Tranzor Z and Grandizer was not acknowledged.

While not created on Earth, Grendizer is considered to be part of the Mazinger canon mostly due to the fact of Koji Kabuto co-starring in the show. This is especially noticeable in the Super Robot Wars series, which gives them a Triple Mazinger attack whenever the three of them appear together. The Triple Mazinger Blade, Triple Mazinger Punch and Triple Mazinger Fire are some examples. Grendizer was also playable in the Mazinger Z arcade game.

Despite the hopes of many fans, Koji Kabuto never piloted Mazinger Z during the series. However, in the Grendizer VS Great Mazinger special, he pilots the Great Mazinger and helps Duke Fleed defeat one of the Vegan Empire's most dangerous officers. On a few occasions, Koji reminisces about his time with Mazinger.

Boss Borot makes a guest appearance in two episodes.

Duke Fleed has a younger sister named Maria Fleed, who he thought was dead (and likewise believed the same of him). She reappears later in the story, becomes the pilot of the Drill Spazer unit and incidentally develops a crush on Koji. In the Super Robot Wars series, it has become something of a running gag to have Maria clash over an oblivious Koji with his girlfriend of sorts since the Mazinger times, Sayaka Yumi.

Oddly enough, while Grendizer has fought alongside Mazinger Z, Great Mazinger, Getter Robo, Getter Robo G and even Shin Getter Robo in the Super Robot Wars, it has never appeared in the same game as the ultimate Mazinger: Mazinkaiser. Some fans believe that this is because Go Nagai does not want to see either prove stronger but when either is in the game they are usually the most powerful Super Robots in the game.

Although all Go Nagai Super Robots vary in size due to "tech specs" in games like Super Robot Wars (ie. Mazinger is 18 meters tall while Getter Robo G is 50 meters tall), they have usually been shown in their own series and crossovers to be roughly the same size.

Grandizer was banned in the Philippines during the term of then president turned dictator Ferdinand Marcos around the early 1980's. Along with other super-robot-anime shows like Voltes V & Mazinger Z, it was banned citing reasons of its negative affects on young people (although he was actually afraid that the shows would make children rebellious of his reign).

Grendizer has been dubbed into Arabic and has achieved great status in Arab countries.

A homage to the robot is made in the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo GameCube game of Evolution: The World of Sacred Device through the gear of character Chain Gun. Her gear looks like the Spazer and even launches a "Spin Saucer" attack.
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