Baron Ashura has always been something like a buttmonkey to me, though more like the ineffectual enemy who always gets foiled by the hero. I think one of the triumphs (yes, I think it’s already a triumph) of Shin Mazinger Z Hen is how it gave not only Baron Ashura a tragic back story, it also gave s/he/it a high level of awesomeness. We’re going to play with the Baron for a bit. Are you ready guys?
Here’s the Baron from the original series:
The key features of Baron Ashura are a singular person with equal parts of a man and a woman, also possessing both male and female voices which can speak in unison. It is said that long (long) ago, a man and woman fell in love. However, their love was forbidden! And upon discovery, the lovers were forced to share a most terrible fate: they were mummified and buried alive (mummified alive? Don’t ask me how). Many (many) years later, a cave in collapsed the roof of the tomb. A huge chunk of rubble landed between the two corpses, destroying the man’s right half and the woman’s left half.
Eventually, would-be world conqueror Dr. Hell stumbled upon the tomb. Somehow, he sewed the two remaining halves together and then brought the composite being to life. Dubbing his creation Baron Ashura, Dr. Hell used him/her as his main hench-thing. Baron Ashura swore eternal fealty to Dr. Hell, who made Ashura very powerful.
In Shin Mazinger Z Hen the evil Baron’s two separate halves are ancient Mycenaeans who were enemies of the god Zeus. Zeus beat the Mycenaeans and sealed them in a tomb, where I presume the Baron’s parts were sealed as well. Fast forward to the present, Baron Ashura meets Mazinger Z for the first time, and feels that this robot is the manifestation of her/his old enemy. The fight is on!
Ashura Style Gallery
The present version of the Baron isn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. I asked myself, who among the many characters in anime would make this ‘treatment’ work? Here is some of my work:
Requiem of Zero.Five Plus Zero.Five
Possibly the Best Resolution to the Macross Frontier Love Triangle EVAR!
ARE YOU READY GUYS?
PUT YA GUNS OHSHI– They’re both males. Fuck let’s just go with it. PUT YA GUNS ON!
The Baron gets a measure of revenge, and really displays some serious power in episode 3. (Crusader 2009/04/23)
Violence of the Gods and Ashura’s pathos. (animekritik 2009/04/2009)
Here’s the big deal about Shin Mazinger Z Hen. [->]
Oh here’s an even better resource about Shin Mazinger Z Hen. (Kaioshin Sama 2009/04/07)