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The Magnificent Ten: Some Backstory

All of the following info was generously provided by Bernard Bunuan, who found it through a friend who knew the research staff of the Giant Robo original video animation. He also writes: "Please be aware of the parts that say "probably" or "supposedly" because the only story that has been released is the OVA and the manga version. Until Bandai allows Imagawa to continue the project, nothing is really set in stone." Some planned events also had to change as the animation was being made.

I thought you'd appreciate some trivia I discovered about the Magnificent Ten. Some fans were disappointed that they didn't do much in the OVA, but that's to be expected when they're only stuck on the side lines. But if you're interested here's what I picked up:

Hanzui, the Dark Messiah, is the new leader of the Magnificent Ten. He succeeded Kawarazaki after the death of Dazzler Cervantes, a year before Operation Earth Stand Still. His greatest ability is his mastery over senjutsu (sorcerery) although he has learned more tricks since his youth. That coin trick he displayed in episode 7 is the obscure Chinese coin sword, a poweful talisman which can perform numerous spells. He and Issei Doujin were both students at a monastary in Jiizan. But Hanzui broke their cardinal rules and joined Big Fire many years ago.
Bernard adds: Hanzui can also manipulate reality itself. It's not just senjutsu which Issei can do. In the original Water Margin story, the two faced off against each other once and Hanzui threw pieces of paper at Issei. Unlike the marked talismans which express the spells Issei uses these were normal sheets of paper. But then they became real living men and attacked Issei. So Hanzui's abilities clearly exceed those of Issei's and any of the monks from their monestary.

Shocking Alberto and Dazzler Cervantes were both members of a group called the Oil Dollar Society, which had joined Big Fire long ago. Alberto actually wore the same outfit as Cervantes, but with normal shades and his own facial hair. After Cervantes was killed by Taisou (in Alberto's mind he thinks it's more like murder) he changed his suit to that dark one.
Bernard adds: The wife of Alberto, who is probably the mother of Sunny, is one of the only three female heroines of the Water Margin. My best guess is it's Ichijosei Kosanjo (Pure One/ Ten Foot Green Snake) because the most popular heroine Yokoyama used of the three was Kosanjo with her two swords.
Bernard offers this tidbit of info about Yoshi's skin color: Yoshi the Blue Demon became blue from the Domino Operation, the incident when she got her scar and Taisou killed Cervantes.

The Fabulous Fitzkerald was one of the latest agents to become a Magnificent Ten member (before Zangetsu). Very unorthodox in the minds of his peers, he's more like the hitman of the group. He and Alberto oversaw the European operations. This explains why surveillance in Europe, esp. France had deterioated over the years, and Kenji is the last known European Expert around.

Red Mask practices what's called Arayurujutsu. Loosely translated, it a ninjitsu form of "Anything Goes" martial arts. We saw a glimpse of it in episode 7 when he killed Fitzkerald. His arch-enemy is a member of the Big Nine named Kagemaru the Ninja.

Kawarazaki is the oldest member of the Magnificent Ten. In fact, you can say he's been around since the organization expanded into the empire it is. With his power of telekinesis, he influenced the weather. It was usually he who decided who became a new member of the Magnificent Ten, with the approval of Big Fire. However, because he was too busy being the Chief of Operations, and Chief of Staff, he needed to give someone the administrative responsibilities. That man was Cho-katsu Komei. Kawarazaki stepped down as leader because they still hadn't conquered the world. After the disasterous loss of the GR project and the death of Cervantes, Hanzui took the role.

Although Komei isn't a member of the Magnificent Ten, he's by far more intelligent than they are. He proved himself better than a normal agent by performing a Big Fire mission by himself. This would lead to what's called "The Greatest Battle in History, General Kanshin vs. Komei". In this chapter, Komei blew the lid on the organization's existence to the world by somehow affecting it's revolution. It was so chaotic and meaningless that Big Fire himself supposedly contacted Komei and threatened him into stopping the operation. (And of course he did and went home.) But instead of being chastised for it, Kawarazaki was so impressed that he gave him the commanding position as Chief Strategist and control over half of the empire.

Jujoji is a very mysterious fellow. He has some past with Issei Doujin before the latter became a Buddhist monk with Hanzui. He's a master of Taoism and loves to collect ancient and mystical artifacts around the world, i.e. the Frankenstein monster. Sometimes he can change the outcome of the battle with his divinations.

Zangetsu is the most mysterious person of the group. His powers are unknown, but he is one of the brains of the outfit. It's possible he's the head of weapons development, succeeding the late Dr. Fire in robot development. Before he was promoted, he took part in the GR project, and somehow was involved in Daisaku receiving the powerful robot. He's the fellow on the walkway in episode 5, overlooking Cervantes' charge into the silo. Afterwards he assumed the name, Zangetsu the Midday. It's unknown why he's the lastest to become a Magnificent Ten, but Kawarazaki and Big Fire might know his true identity and what he did. (Any rumors of his true identity are only rumors.)
Bernard adds: Zangetsu the Midday isn't Daisaku's father. Imagawa has spoken about that and banished that theory. But he still won't say who he is.
Zangetsu has the ability to take the elements and turn them into weapons. For example, if it was raining, he could turn the rain into deadly stillettos. Or he could turn a rock and pebbles into a gun with bullets, a tree branch into a sword. As a scientist involved with weapons development, he could create probably amazing devices. Who knows what he was about to do when he swam toward the Eye of Fogler in episode 6?

Yuki the Twilight is the master of ALL animals and insects. His arch enemy is a Big Nine member named Ooabare Tenki.

Lord Doki is a master of combat. His peers don't know why he first uses his clan the Keppuren, but his skill as a lone fighter are probably incredible. It's been guessed that his arch-enemy could be Hyokozu Rinchu of the Big Nine. That character was taken out of the original layouts, but he's a master of weapons and combat like Doki.

Ko-Enshaku is the "eyes and ears" of Big Fire. He witnesses everything for his master, Big Fire and somehow reports them later.

All members of the Magnificent Ten have some extra form of ESP. But because their minds are so strong they can't read each others thoughts, yet can send messages to each other.

That's all! I hope you like it!

Added 5/11/02: The following is information Bernard translated from the Giant Robo: The Animation book.

1. The Big Nine member who preceded Taisou was actually named "Hekireki Ka no Shinmei". Loosely translated it means Thunder Fire Shinmei or Shinmei the Thundering Fire. This is the man who trained Experts like Kaei and Koshin and died during "The Greatest Battle in History, Marshal Kanshin vs. Komei". His name had been erroneously translated as Taimei, probably because the kanji for shin was mistaken for tai. The kanji for Shin is almost obsure and comes from the Chinese symbol for the Manchu dynasty. So this character comes from a Chinese legend.

2. The late leader that Koshin mentioned, Emperor Tokuto Chougai, was one of the founding members of the IPO.

3. Red Mask is regarded as a "human killing machine". He is indeed one of the three most bloodthirsty members of the Magnificent Ten, next to Doki and Fitzkerald. He enjoys slaughter and destruction. The fight against his rival, Kagemaru, has become an anticipated showdown of ninjustu. Not ninjitsu but ninjustu or 'occult arts'. It's probably in reference to their use of ninpo.

4. Yuki the Twilight has had his abilities since birth. But due to his talent he was able to see the 'two sides' of humanity. This affected him somehow and I need to clarify it with a real translator. But I guess it made him into a cynical person or perhaps a misanthrope? Kawarazaki himself invited Yuki to join Big Fire. No more information is available about his rivalry against Ooabare Tenki of the Big Nine.

5. Kawarazaki is also a millionaire as well as being a great leader in his military service to Big Fire. Despite his old age, he is one of the most powerful members of the organization. I have no other information about his two hidden abilities besides that one of them might be super strength. Other than being older than he looks, I haven't had any confirmation that he might have been the first ninja of ancient Japan. It would explain the kite trick, but I'm no longer in constant contact with my old sources.

6. The Fabulous Fitzerald was one of the agents sent to kill Daisaku after receiving Giant Robo. This was during the chapter, "The Canary Penitentiary; the Plan to Kill Daisaku".

7. No one has heard the voice of Direct Descendant Doki. He enjoys the thrill of combat.

Thanks again, Bernard!

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