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Kabuto Kouji

Kabuto Kouji
Category
Name
Kabuto Kouji
Original name
兜 甲児
Also known as
Kabuto Koji

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About

Koji Kabuto (兜甲児) is a fictional character featuring in the works of mangaka Go Nagai. He is the main character and pilot of super robot Mazinger Z. He makes a comeback in the sequel series Great Mazinger where he helps defeating the Mycenaean Empire. He also features in Grendizer as Duke Fleed's friend and sidekick.

Biography:

Mazinger Z
In his first appearances in both manga and anime versions of Mazinger Z, Kabuto is originally an average high school student whose only apparent skill is driving motorcycles. He lives with his brother Shiro and his grandfather Juuzo, as his parents are both deceased (although a few years later Koji's father, Kenzo Kabuto, turns out to be still alive).

Juuzo Kabuto, Koji's granddad, is killed in the very first episode, but before he dies he assigns Koji the task of piloting the Mazinger Z robot, to battle against Dr Hell's historical robot army. Initially, Koji is grossly incapable of operating Mazinger Z properly. Eventually, Sayaka Yumi (Yumi Sayaka) makes her appearance, at the head of her own giant (female) robot Aphrodite A, which she uses to restrain Mazinger Z.

Koji Kabuto's character evolves during the whole Mazinger series. From a seemingly mindless, reckless, boyish scoundrel, he gradually develops into a fighter who's up to match his opponent's ever greater challenges, showing a growing sense of duty, and a courage to fight to his death, or close to that. When things are at their bleakest, he pulls through by virtue of his unyielding will. The presumably indestructible "Japanium" metal alloy actually fails, episode after episode, to live up to its developer's expectations, and Koji's undying bravery stands out in sharp contrast to Mazinger's alleged invulnerability as the sole barrier to evil forces, even beyond Mazinger's eventual destruction.

Kabuto's intelligence also seems to mature through the years. Mazinger's pilot becomes an expert fighter smash after smash. The man who joins Tetsuya Tsurugi in the final battle against the Mycenaean Empire is far from the mindless motorcycle-riding overgrown brat he used to be. But it is in the Grendizer series that Koji shows off the quality of his brain power, when he introduces the mini saucer he himself designed during his study period at NASA. This is in fact little more than a posh gizmo equipped with a pair of missiles, and clearly unfit for combat. But Koji doesn't hesitate to use it to face an army of evil aliens, or die trying.

Kabuto's sexuality (as in so many other male-targeting anime series, and especially in other Go Nagai super-robot series) is not so much concealed as it is ambiguous. On several occasions he spurns Sayaka's obvious passes, and in one episode he clearly refuses the pretty girl's public declaration of love, and even ridicules it. In Japanese male-oriented society, it may seem normal for Mazinger's pilot to systematically show signs of blatant sexism. Koji occasionally observes that girls shouldn't be in the battlefield. This kind of remarks may result in Sayaka's insults, scowls or slaps, thereby relieving the pressure on an otherwise tense "battle of sexes". But a "lovely" peace never ensues. This attitude of Koji's is interesting if compared with Daisuke/Duke Fleed's embarrassment at Hikaru's passes in Grendizer. The handsome Duke systematically prefers Koji's company to Hikaru's, and Koji seems to return the interest, particularly in the first episodes of Grendizer.

Koji's most famous trait (and indeed, his legacy) is his yelling out Mazinger's weapon names in battle. Whether this is dictated by the machine's programming and is complementary to pressing the buttons, or just originated from a whim of Nagai's, has never been fully ascertained. The effect on kids was devastating. Kabuto's most famous battlecries, "Rocket Punch!", and "Breast Fire!" among others, are well-known in Japan, and elsewhere, even by people who have never watched Mazinger Z. All super robots, whether designed by Nagai or not, have stolen this feature from Koji Kabuto and his Mazinger.

Grendizer
In the second Mazinger-Z spinoff Grendizer, Koji is reduced to being a sidekick to the series' main hero Duke Fleed - a long stint that many Mazinger Z Japanese fans did not appreciate.

For much of the early series of Grendizer, giant enemy robots are left to Duke Fleed to destroy. On numerous occasions, Duke Fleed has to rescue Koji, who ends up being injured or gets his puny saucer miserably wrecked. When this saucer gets destroyed once and for all, Koji designs a more powerful aircraft called the Double Spazer which gives him a much more active role in battle.

For whatever reasons, Mazinger Z was hardly mentioned in Grendizer. When Koji reappeared in a theatrical get-together with other super-robot family members, he flew the Double Spazer, as if Mazinger Z could no longer be effective against the megamonster of the moment.

Mazinkaiser
In the modern Mazinkaiser, Koji returns again to pilot Mazinger Z, alongside Tetsuya with his Great Mazinger. Mazinger Z was captured and was transformed by Dr. Hell to be an evil robot bent on destroying the world. Koji was redirected by his Hover Pilder to find Mazinkaiser and saves Great Mazinger, the Photonic institute, and eventually almost destroying Mazinger Z.

Shin Mazinger Shogeki!
In Shin Mazinger, which is considered a "reboot" of the Mazinger storyline, Kouji is very similar to his classic counterpart. Just as in the original anime, and manga, Kouji lives with his younger brother, Shiro, and his grandfather, Juuzou. As with the original series, Kouji is given Mazinger Z by Juuzou, but is also briefly instructed by him, and trained how to use it during his first battle with Dr. Hell's forces, before Juuzou dies from a serious wound he gained before meeting up with Kouji, Shiro, and Inspector Ankokuji, in the Pilder. Although he is as "hot-blooded" and determined to do good, Kouji is shown to be more aggressive at times in Shin Mazinger, compared to his earlier appearances. He has a tendency of often letting his emotions get the best of him (such as when Shiro is captured by Boss's gang, causing Kouji to violently beat Boss, and later after Juuzou's death, which causes him to chase Baron Ashura down in Mazinger Z, nearly crushing him, and then causing him to attack Sayaka and her Aphrodite A with the Breast Fire attack). In the first episode of the series, which is referred to as being the "finale" of the story, Kouji faces off against the Ankoku Daishogun, and the forces of Dr. Hell, before being forced to take on Dr. Hell's entire Army on his own, for the sake of his comrades.
Source: en.wikipedia.or...
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Added by
Muntoe 7 years ago
Last edited by
Xill 5 years ago