Grendizer’s Legendary Return

Grendizer has stormed back onto screens across Europe and the Middle East with its latest installment, Grendizer U. As a longtime fan of this iconic mecha anime series from the Mazinger franchise created by Go Nagai, I’ve been thrilled to see it reignite the excitement of old fans and capture the hearts of new viewers alike.

Europe: France and Italy

In Europe, Grendizer holds a special place, particularly in France and Italy. Known as Goldorak in France, the series became a cultural sensation when it first aired on Antenne 2 (now France 2) in the late 1970s. The return of Grendizer with Grendizer U has been nothing short of a nostalgic celebration for French fans, many of whom have eagerly awaited its comeback since their childhood days in 1976.

Similarly, in Italy, where it aired as Goldrake, the series achieved blockbuster status. Italian viewers embraced its epic battles, intricate plots, and the heroic Duke Fleed, solidifying Grendizer’s legacy in Italian pop culture. The renewed interest sparked by Grendizer U has reignited the passion among Italian fans, underscoring the timeless appeal and widespread influence of the series.

Goldorak exhibition in France

Middle East: A Regional Favorite

Across the Middle East, Grendizer has long been a cherished series. Dubbed into Arabic and broadcast in countries like Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan, the anime captivated audiences with its themes of heroism, justice, and friendship. Recently, the unveiling of a Grendizer statue in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, serves as a powerful testament to the series’ profound impact and enduring popularity in the region.

Riyadh Statue

First Impressions

After watching episode 1 of Grendizer U, the series seems to be in good hands. I had initial reservations about the character designs by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto in the trailers, but now that I’ve seen them properly in action, I have no qualms. The opening is beautifully animated as with the ending. The chosen music are all to my expectations. Storywise, it seems to be going a bit fast, but I read that the show is going to be only 13 episodes so they don’t have a lot of time to waste with boring and long introductions. I just hope they actually have the time to properly develop everything we saw in the opening. Mitsuo Fukuda of Gundam Seed fame is directing with Ichiro Okouchi as the head writer. 

Play Video

I was also blown away by the CG models. They actually look so much better than anticipated. I’m a classic mecha anime fan who always preferred 2d animation over 3d, but for Grendizer U, we’ve reached a new high where even the 3d models are both looking good and moving well. The mechanical designers (Koh Inaba, AF_KURO, Junichi Akutsu) did some amazing work here. They managed to update the classic Mazinger and Grendizer design without alienating ancient fans. In fact, they are some of the best design updates of the franchise. Heck, I’d say this Mazinger Z is looking as good or even better than Tsuyoshi Nonaka’s Mazinger Z in Shin Mazinger, and definitely better than Mazinger Z in Mazinger Z Infinity. (Sorry, Takayuki Yanase, I wasn’t the biggest fan).


Since this is a reimagining, the story seems to be set during the events of Mazinger Z with Doublas appearing. I’m not sure I like this choice because it reminds me too much of the Mazinkaiser OVA which is also set the story during that same exact time period. I would have preferred if the story was set after Mazinger Z and Great Mazinger had already defeated Dr.Hell and the Mycenaean empire. Do the producers really hate Tetsuya and Great Mazinger or what? Will he even appear?

Arab influence

Moving the setting of the story from Japan to Saudi Arabia is clear pandering to the Saudi Arabian investors, but I don’t care. We need more of that oil money! Please fund a new Great Mazinger anime, thanks.

Aren't Sayaka's clothes too revelealing for the region?

Other Grendizer related media

The Grendizer game (Grendizer: The Feast of the Wolves) that was released last year is also on sale. You can check it out here.

Also about a few years ago, a bunch of French artists with approval from Go Nagai released a graphic novel that acted as a sequel to the original 1974 anime. Unfortunately it’s only in French right now but it has an English release planned for September.

Go Nagai some years prior also rebooted Grendizer on his own as a manga under the title of Grendizer Giga which had a neatly animated trailer as well.


Overall, I am pleased so far with this reboot. While I didn’t watch Gundam SEED in its entirety, I did watch Fukuda’s CrossAnge, and based on that alone, we’re in for a wild ride.

Ichiro Okouchi of Code Geass fame was also involved in writing Go Nagai’s other adaptation, Devilman Crybaby and I can’t wait to see what’s in store from these two. I just hope it’s not another Valvrave.

If you like Gundam, and giant robots, you might want to stick around for the rest.