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Roujin Z (1991)
"Rôjin Z" (original title)

 -  Animation | Comedy | Drama  -  April 1996 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,187 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 14 critic

A compassionate young nurse is determined to help an elderly invalid strapped to a revolutionary health care bed but there are unexpected consequences.

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Title: Roujin Z (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Chisa Yokoyama ...
Haruko (voice)
Toni Barry ...
Haruko (1994) (voice)
Shinji Ogawa ...
Terada (voice)
Allan Wenger ...
Terada (1994) (voice)
Jana Carpenter ...
Norie (1994) (voice)
Kôji Tsujitani ...
Maeda (voice)
Adam Henderson ...
Maeda (1994) (voice)
John Fitzgerald Jay ...
Hasegawa (1994) (voice)
Chie Satou ...
Nobuko (voice)
Ian Thompson ...
Takazawa (1994) (voice)
Barbara Barnes ...
Nobuko (1994) (voice)
Sean Barrett ...
Ache (1994) (voice)
Blain Fairman ...
Ache (1994) (voice) (as Blair Fairman)
Nigel Anthony ...
Ache (1994) (voice)
Nicolette McKenzie ...
Haru / Nurse (1994) (voice)
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Storyline

An old man is being treated specially by the Department of Health under the so-called Project Z, a special nursing bed with a 6th generation computer on board. When the pain and loneliness of the old man reaches his ex-private nurse, she decides to rescue him from the government's experiment. Thus begins a wild chase through the busy streets of Tokyo as the 6th generation computer begins to have the personality of the old man's ex-wife and as the government's secret project unfolds. Written by Tzung-I Lin <tzung@hugo.att.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Roujin Z  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[repeated line]
Hasegawa: No one messes with the Ministry of Public Welfare!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Anime Abandon: Iria (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Part Sci-Fi, Part Action, Part Comedy, Part Satire - A Well-Rounded Film
19 July 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Can mankind advance without losing their humanity? Conservatives throughout history have fought our gradual change, but ultimately lost, only tarnishing their legacy. Yet even rational, progressive individuals worry about our increasingly wired world, where face-to-face conversation is replaced by text on electronic screens. Thus, Roujin Z's premise is more relevant than ever, over two decades after its release - should technology replace human interaction?

In this near future, Japan is not in mid-Apocalypse, but is a modernized metropolis. People may live longer and enjoy more comforts, but old customs are struggling to survive. The frail, demented eldery aren't always treated with reverence, but as burdens, families ignoring traditional roles by hiring nursing homes or caretakers to provide their needs. With new technology from a mysterious source, the Ministry of Public Welfare reveals the ultimate caretaker for any fading senior citizen: the Z-001, a mechanical bed that functions as a perfect life support system and entertainment center. When one of her patients is forced into the machine through his family's permission, Haruko attempts to free him, objecting to, in her mind, a cold practice.

Little do they know that the Z-001 is more than an advanced medical suite...

The social satire in the film is well-done - slightly outrageous, but not unbelievable. Both sides are portrayed, yet neither are vilified. The film is much more mature than most of the crude, violent sci-fi anime of the 80s/90s. But that's just the starting point for an adventure involving a renegade machine, spiraling out of control as it incorporates whatever touches its wires! A good portion sets up the plot, character, and tone, but at the end of the day, the ridiculous action is the headliner of the movie.

Which isn't to say Roujin Z is a mediocre film. In fact, it mixes many elements to its benefit. Its enjoyable, but not empty of character nor theme. Characters may have comedic reactions to events, but its never out of place, nor overused. The machine's chaotic wake may be impressive, but its serves more purpose than action alone. Its a balanced movie, that doesn't rely on tired, lowest-common-denominator tropes.

I suppose there's minor complaints. Hanako's college friends aren't particularly useful or interesting. The animation is alright, but only that. The main focus is loosened up once the action begins, but it never drops out from the film entirely. Besides, I was enjoying myself regardless.

Roujin Z is a very solid, unfortunately forgotten anime. Its probably too balanced to make your best-of list, but I don't see much to dislike about it. Its perfectly paced, entertaining, a little emotional, and may even make you reflect on life. I'd recommend it to most people, and say its a high pick for sci-fi/retro anime fans.


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