Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar

Dept. of Super Robot Storage


Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar was showing online as part of The Japan Foundation’s JFF Plus: Online Festival – an online substitute for the annual Japanese Film Festival – until November 29, 2020. As with most film festivals, a number of different films are available to watch, for free, each day. To find out what’s showing for Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand head to

What better way to show off your Civil Engineering company’s expertise and technical know-how than to design (but not build!) the hangar that houses the classic Japanese Mecha Mazinger Z. As a PR stunt? It seems like a marketing home run to the head of The Maeda Corporation’s PR team, but there are more than a few unexpected headaches to be had designing a real world building around an inconsistent design from a 1970’s anime. Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar is a zany, heady mix of genres that surprisingly seems to work.

Two Great Flavours

Project Dreams - How to Build Mazinger Z's Hangar team in office

Project Dreams sits at the odd intersection of two of my personal interests that I never thought would overlap: project management and anime. And let me tell you, it’s almost a match made in heaven.

The set up for this fun – if slight – movie is exactly as basic as laid out above. The company doesn’t quite need the publicity to stay afloat. No one’s job is on the line. It’s just a fun idea that occurs to the INCREDIBLY ENTHUSIASTIC PR team manager Teruyuki Asagawa (Hiroaki Ogi) that he bulldozes his team into.

We barely get to know the rest of the team outside their roles in the project either – apart from a barely there sub-plot about learning how to mix work and fun for overly serious team member Doi (Mahiro Takasugi) – but that doesn’t detract from the fun.

While most of the film takes place in various meetings, as the features of the hangar are discussed, the anime inflections capture the feelings working on a project surprisingly well. It may not be the end of the world, but the addition of a missed requirement, late in project planning, can feel like it, and in Project Dreams it’s handled with the same level of high drama!

If You Build It They Will Come?

Watching the team’s enthusiasm for the project slowly grow as they each succumb to the attraction of making fantastical contraptions work using their real world corporation’s real world technology (like the must-have retractable pool roof of the hangar), their arguments punctuated with the odd “rocket punch,” is never less than entertaining.

A particular highlight are the larger than life anime affectations and flourishes adopted by Bessho (Yusuke Kamiji), as he fully embraces the project.

Never Go Full Anime

If you haven’t guessed already, this is a very silly, but quite fun movie.

While most of the obstacles the team face are solved relatively quickly, a third act diversion into full anime (an exception that proves the rule to Never go FULL ANIME) adds a much needed flourish when the project management gets a little predictable.

Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar might not be to everyone’s taste, but you don’t have to work in civil engineering (or anime) to get a kick out of its silliness.

Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar is no longer available to stream for free as part of the JFF Plus, but it is available to watch at

Project Dreams – How to Build Mazinger Z’s Hangar
115 mins
Director: Tsutomu Hanabusa
Writer: Makoto Ueda
Cast: Hiroaki Ogi, Mahiro Takasugi, Yukino Kishii, Chikara Honda, Yusuke Kamiji, and Yukino Kishii

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

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