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The Great General of Darkness (闇黒大将軍 Ankoku Daishōgun?) was a fictional character, a supervillain and warlord from the series Great Mazinger. He takes the form of a gigantic warrior wearing a helmet decorated with three horns, a long red cape and vaguely Roman-like armour. His true face is of a bearded old man and is set into his chest.
He also appeared in the OVA Deathmatch! Mazinkaiser VS the Great General of Darkness, redesigned. His new look has him sporting black armour, a black cape with red insides and a smaller true face.
Great Mazinger version
The supreme commander of the Mikene Empire (Mikene Teikoku), the Great General of Darkness leads the seven Mikene armies in their conquest of the surface world. Forced underground centuries before, the Mikene further developed the golem technology Dr. Hell discovered and used to create his Mechanical Beasts. Instead of purely mechanical mecha, the Mikene Battle Beasts are a nightmarish combination of flesh and machine, and are far more powerful than their purely mechanical cousins.
He is the one who dispatched Archduke Gorgon to the surface world and allowed him to give Dr. Hell newer, more powerful mecha to use against Kouji Kabuto and Mazinger Z. It is a safe bet to say the ancient warlord likely intended to betray and overthrow Dr. Hell once Mazinger was defeated. When Mazinger Z instead vanquished Dr. Hell once and for all, the Great General ordered his forces to mobilise. Realising that as long as Mazinger Z existed the people of the surface world would never surrender, he commanded the seven armies to focus their attacks on Japan.
The Fortress of Black Iron Mazinger Z was quickly overcome, but unexpectedly a new threat appeared in the form of the even mightier Great Hero Great Mazinger. After numerous battles with the powerful Super Robot, the General decided to personally deal with this thorn in his side. Alas, after a long and difficult battle the Great General of Darkness was slain and his position taken up, ironically enough, by Dr. Hell in the guise of the Great Marshall of Hell.
The Great General of Darkness made his appearance in the Deathmatch! Mazinkaiser VS the Great General of Darkness OVA by projecting an image of himself and his seven generals over Paris. Having learnt that Kouji Kabuto, the pilot of Mazinkaiser, was in Paris and thus unable to call on the Super Robot, he has the city destroyed.
As his armies launch simultaneous attacks all over the globe, he dispatches his personal assassin, Archduke Gorgon to hunt down and kill Kouji before he manages to return to Japan and activate Mazinkaiser. Having observed Kouji's battles with Dr. Hell's forces and knowing full well what a threat Mazinkaiser would be to the Mikene Empire's attempt to take over the surface world, the Mikene Supreme Commander wanted to make sure he nipped the problem in the bud.
Meanwhile, his forces battled the so-called Mazinger Army worldwide for domination. On virtually every front, victory was with the Mikene. Two of the inferior mass-production Mazingers Baion Beta and Daion Gamma were dispatched easily by General Julius Caesar in Egypt and General Draydou in China, while Venus A was defeated by General Ardias in Australia. Unlike the pilots of the mass-production Mazingers, Jun was seriously injured but managed to survive.
However, some of these victories were costly: General Birdler managed to track the plane carrying Kouji and Sayaka and launched an attack with his entire corps. The escorting robot Million Alpha, piloted by the twin sisters Lori and Loru, was no match for the Mikene General, who crushed both girls to death in their cockpits much to the horror of Koji and Sayaka. Before she died, the eldest twin Loru managed to activate Million Alpha's self-destruct sequence that sent the mecha and Birdler hurtling into the Mikene Mikeros flying fortress. The resulting explosion wiped out Birdler's Aerial Corps, but also forced the plane carrying Kouji to crash land in Siberia.
Meanwhile, Great Mazinger managed to defeat the majority of General Angoras and General Scarabeth's forces in New York, but was in no condition to battle two of the Mikene Generals simultaneously. Despite this, Tetsuya Tsurugi managed to pull off an impressive victory, killing both of the generals through clever use of Great's remaining arsenal (specifically a combination of the Great Boomerang and Great Typhoon). Unfortunately, Great was so badly damaged it collapsed and took no further part in the battle with the Mikene.
These losses, and the loss of General Rigarn and his Battle Beast army to a suicidal missile attack, finally prompted the Great General to take action. Aboard the aerial fortress Demonika, he began making his way to the ruins of the Photoatomic Research Facility. With the help of a trucker girl, Koji and Sayaka reach the surrpundings of the Facility, but Sayaka is injured and Koji barely escapes from an attack with the help of Boss and his gang.
By the time he arrives, however, Kouji has successfully activated Mazinkaiser and already wiped out the entire surviving Mikene force, including Generals Caeser, Ardias and Draydou. The General attempts to crush Mazinkaiser beneath the immeasurably heavy Fortress Demonika (325,000 tons weight), but in a supreme display of power Mazinkaiser manages to push it back and hurl it into the air, where it is split in half by the Kaiser Scrander Boomerang.
The General and Mazinkaiser engage in a fierce duel and for a time it appears Mazinkaiser is being pushed to the edge when everything Kouji throws is countered by the warlord. However, at the last moment Kouji is encouraged by his fallen friends and manages to disarm the General, pummeling the ancient warrior before knocking his cybernetic head off with a double Turbo Smasher Punch. As the bloodied and beaten warrior wonders if this is to be the end of the Mikene, his own blade (knocked into the air by Mazinkaiser) impales him between the eyes.
Shin Mazinger version
The Great General of Darkness appears in the first episode of the reboot series Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z Hen which occurs in medias res. He is shown towering over Mazinger Z as a bloodied Doctor Hell mocks the robot and its pilot. Kouji then responds by calling for the God Scrander and attacking the general with the Big Bang Punch. The outset of the following episode shows that Kouji's attack fails and mazinger is defeated.
The Great General of Darkness has appeared in many of the Super Robot Wars games, often as a very powerful boss character. His hit points in Super Robot Wars F and F Final, for example, were 42,000, considered a very large number in the earlier games in the series.
The Great General of Darkness also appeared in a series of animated shorts included in the Shin Getter Robo vs Neo Getter Robo OVAs. These shorts are notable for having nearly all of Go Nagai's heroic mecha appear to assist Mazinger Z in battle against an army of villainous mecha. Towards the end, the Great General holds Aphrodite A hostage and single-handedly batters all of the Super Robots present (excluding the already damaged Mazinger Z) but his hand is sliced off by Shin Getter Robo and the captive rescued by Grendizer. After a further attack by Shin Getter and Grendizer, the Great General is finished off by a pillar of flame, that reveals itself as the Emperor of Darkness, the Mikene Emperor. The shorts end as Kouji activates Mazinkaiser with the original theme of Mazinger Z, and makes a dramatic appearance on the battlefield.
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- Oddly enough, despite being far more powerful than anything ever created by Dr. Hell in the original anime, the OVA version of the Great General of Darkness was unable to cause Mazinkaiser any significant damage. This is in contrast to Baron Ashura's final appearance in the preceding OVA, where he managed to cause Mazinkaiser enough electronical damage to force Kouji to jury rig repairs in the middle of battle, although this could be possible because of the updates received while on the space station.