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Being a failure as a teacher and a family man, Shinichi tries to escape everyday life by dressing up as "Zebraman", the superhero. Although the TV series was canceled after only 6 episodes, this cannot stop him from acting out his escape fantasy in a self made zebra-suit. He gets more then he could ever wish for when his black-and-white dressed alter-ego seems to be the only thing to stand between absolute (green) evil and a happy ending. Written by
During the introductory section of the film, Shinichi Ichikawa/Zebraman, is watching a parody of Super Sentai/Power Rangers where the hero fights Sadako Yamamura from "The Ring". Ironically, this seems to predict the plot of the 2007 film, "Kamen Rider: The Next", which features a Sadako-like antagonist and a plot similar to "The Ring". See more »
At the end of the movie, the Colonel (the military officer in charge of the task force that is investigating the alien invasion through out the movie) refers to President Bush in his phone call when the movie takes place in 2010 (two years after Bush's last term in office). See more »
Aside from a little lull here and there, this film is terrific
Takashi Miike is a very, very difficult director to label. Some of his films have been incredibly violent and gory (such as ICHI THE KILLER and AUDITION)--so much so that I could never recommend them. Some of his films have been strange and highly enjoyable comedies (especially HAPPINESS OF THE KATAKURIS). In recent years, his films have even tended towards being children's movies (such as his Ultraman series on TV and THE GREAT YOKAI WAR). Because of this wide, wide range of films, I was apprehensive to watch ZEBRAMAN, as I had no idea what type of Miike film it would be. Fortunately, it was a blend of both his weird quirky films AND his excellent family-friendly films.
Here in ZEBRAMAN, you have the story of a very nerdy elementary school teacher who secretly longs to be his TV hero, Zebraman. It seems that in the 70s, Zebraman was a very short-lived show and the guy has loved it ever since. This isn't so odd, but the fact that he's made a Zebraman costume and imagines himself to be this great superhero is!! What makes it even weirder is where it all goes next--into a strange and surreal direction that I just didn't anticipate. Rest assured, the direction is very odd and it involves this nerd having to save the planet from evil aliens!!!
The film is all in good fun and does it all tongue in cheek--never taking itself too seriously. Excellent direction and a nice story make this a winner--even if there are a few lulls here and there before the crazy and very exciting conclusion.
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