The emblematic anime series MAZINGER Z, adapted from the manga by the legendary Go Nagai, has obsessed Japan for decades (while its French-dubbed version, the cult series GOLDORAK, certainly left its mark on Quebec and France). So when Asegawa (Hiroaki Ogi), marketing director at the prestigious Maeda Corporation, asked his team to put together a detailed file on the possible construction of the iconic Mazinger Z hangar, the project was greeted with enthusiasm by the character’s handful of fans, but with great disbelief by the majority of the office workers, who normally have their feet firmly planted in reality. So why work for weeks on the feasibility, deadlines, and costs of a fantasy construction project that will probably never see the light of day, to house a giant robot that doesn't exist? However, Asegawa's infectious spirit is slowly but surely spreading among his team. Together, they will do their utmost to achieve the impossible: make the imaginary real.
As fanciful as this premise may seem, PROJECT DREAMS - HOW TO BUILD MAZINGER Z'S HANGAR by Tsutomu Hanabusa (KAKEGURUI, also at Fantasia 2020) is indeed based in real facts. The fantasy marketing department of the engineering firm Maeda Corporation exists, as does the file on the Mazinger Z hangar. Thanks to the imaginative screenplay by Makoto Ueda, who worked with animation master Masaaki Yuasa on the UFO NIGHT IS SHORT, WALK ON GIRL, as well as on the 2018 Satoshi Kon Award winner PENGUIN HIGHWAY, PROJECT DREAMS offers a panoply of funny and endearing characters, while making judicious use of sequences from the animated series to create a fascinating work, one which challenges the boundaries between reality and fiction. What if Mazinger Z existed after all... ? – Translation: Rupert Bottenberg
Adam Carter Rehmeier
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