"This devil... it will be the god who brings us salvation..."
No matter what it may be, if it has Go Nagai's name on it, you can sure-as-hell expect to be entertained, and this is no exception. Mazinkaiser SKL is the most recent animated offering from Nagai's company, Dynamic Productions, and exists as a spin-off of the miniseries, Mazinkaiser (itself a spin-off of Nagai's 1970s comic series, Mazinger Z). Thankfully, absolutely no prior knowledge is needed to enjoy this, as this is series is completely stand-alone, and makes for a pretty good introduction to the exciting world of Go Nagai.
In the far future, there exists an island called Kikaijima, where three different tribes have been waging a seemingly endless war for complete control over the island and its resources. The first tribe we're introduced to is the Kiba Army, a large group of Mad Max-style badlanders who rely more on brute force than anything else. Next, the Garan Army, who have a Warring States Era samurai motif, and are more strategy-reliant than the others. The last tribe is the Hachiryokaku, a convent of toga-clad women with magical abilities. The only thing these groups have in common is that they all use the same instruments of destruction: GIANT ROBOTS!
The only thing keeping this small-scale war contained is a device called the Gravity Curtain, which is a powerful force-field that regulates what can and can't enter or leave the island. Unfortunately, due to the amount of power being used by Kikaijima's inhabitants to keep the war going, the Gravity Curtain has become so unstable that it will explode in 66 hours, possibly ending all life on Earth. In light of this, the government has dispatched two former mercenaries and their demonic-looking robot, Kaiser, to the island to crash, smash, and slaughter their way through legions of other robots in order to save the world from a massive cataclysm.
From the time when I found out that Mazinkaiser SKL was being made, I couldn't wait to see it. Ninety minutes of two homicidal psychopaths in a giant robot tearing apart everything in sight in the name of justice while 80s heavy metal masters Loudness belt out some face-melters is exactly the kind of thing I look for in my action entertainment. There isn't a dull moment to be found here. The action manages to remain exciting throughout, which definitely makes up for its very simplistic plot.
Due to the nature of Mazinkaiser SKL as a three-part direct-to-video series from Japan, you really shouldn't go into this expecting a more complex plot than what I described above. Towards the end of the second episode, there are hints of possible character development in the final episode, but all that gets dropped in favor of more robo-carnage. Considering I wasn't expecting any development before watching this, I was able to let it slide.
Mazinkaiser SKL is based on an original story by award-winning comic book writer/artist, Go Nagai.