Mecha Character Profile: Kouji Kabuto – Mazinger Z (1972 ver)

When you talk about Super Robot, you have to mention Mazinger Z; and when you mention Mazinger Z, you have to talk about its hot-blooded pilot: Kouji Kabuto. Kouji is one of the pioneer of the energetic and hot-blooded pilot that became a staple in mecha.

I. Background:
– Kouji Kabuto (Japanese name 兜甲児) is the main character of the Mazinger Z series. He is the chosen pilot of Mazinger Z – a super robot built by his grandfather – Juuzou Kabuto. He is a teenager living with his little brother Shirou and his grandpa in a house whose basement was secretly a mecha hangar. After Dr. Hell attacked Japan and eventually Kouji’s house, Juuzou revealed Z to Kouji and instructed him to pilot it.

– Kouji also had a father – Kenzo Kabuto – who was thought to be deceased when the Mazinger Z series started. However, it was shown that his father was actually still alive at the end of the series and in the Great Mazinger series. In the original 1972 series, it was never revealed who was Kouji’s mother.

– Kouji is a high school student. He attended a normal high school where he met Sayaka Yumi – daughter of the Head Professor of the Photonic Research Institute. He also built a rival relationship with Boss – a delinquent at the school. Kouji and Boss both had a soft spot for Sayaka, and Boss wanted to prove himself to be more capable than Kouji several times, although Kouji usually came out ahead.

– After his grandfather passed away, Kouji inherited the Mazinger Z and continued fighting against Dr. Hell and his Mechanical Beast Army to protect Japan and everyone. After the Mazinger Z anime ended, Kouji still went on assisting other heroes – such as Duke Fleed in Grendizer – in fighting to protect the Earth. And when the situation calls for it, he doesn’t hesitate to get inside Mazinger once more to take up the fight.

II. Skills & Abilities:
– Kouji is a very reckless and hyper teenager, and that reflect in his early piloting style. He usually charges into the enemy and throws random attacks without formulating a detailed plan despite everyone’s protest. Thanks to the superiority of Mazinger Z’s armor and power, he usually came out victorious, but there are times where his recklessness landed him in very sticky situation. Throughout many battles, Kouji gained more experience and began to fight more sophisticatedly. However, he is still prone to getting emotional during battles – especially when Sayaka was in danger.

– Kouji also develop a sense of duty and responsibility as he pilot Mazinger. He witnessed many atrocities commit by Dr. Hell and his army and his willpower to defeat him as well as protect the innocents grow bigger day by day. This also reflect in his piloting style as he turn from a bruiser into a strategic fighter. His fighting instinct also became sharper and he was able to identify an enemy’s weakness and capitalize on it.

– Kouji belongs to a lineage of scientists – with both Juuzou and Kenzo being geniuses in their fields, so it is no surprise that Kouji also possesses high intellectual potential. Although he didn’t show much scientific prowess during Mazinger Z’s run, he was confirmed to be studying abroad and eventually became a respectable scientist to continued the Kabuto family’s tradition (in Great Mazinger, Grendizer and Mazinger Z: Infinity).

– Kouji seems to possess more than average strength for a high school student. He isn’t afraid to get in fights, ride motorcycles at high speed and is able to endure being in Mazinger’s cockpit. Even though Mazinger Z is powerful, the cockpit and the pilot is its sole weakness – and Dr. Hell’s minions usually target that weak spot to take Kouji out. There are many times where he suffer serious injuries but was able to fight on and eventually recover completely despite all odds.

III. Gallery:

See Also: