6.6/10
3,046
31 user 49 critic

Zebraman (2004)

A down-and-out school teacher receives the calling to become the real life personification of an old television superhero, Zebraman.

Director:

Takashi Miike

Writer:

Kankurô Kudô (screenplay)
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shô Aikawa ... Shin'ichi Ichikawa / Zeburâman
Kyôka Suzuki Kyôka Suzuki ... Kana Asano
Atsuro Watabe Atsuro Watabe ... Oikawa at the Defence Agency
Yui Ichikawa Yui Ichikawa ... Midori, Shin'ichi's daughter
Kôen Kondô ... Segawa
Naoki Yasukôchi Naoki Yasukôchi ... Shinpei Asano
Makiko Watanabe
Keisuke Mishima Keisuke Mishima
Yu Tokui Yu Tokui
Yôji Tanaka Yôji Tanaka
Arata Furuta ... Owner of Candy Shop
Kumiko Asô ... Newscaster
Akira Emoto Akira Emoto ... Kani-Otoko
Yoshihiko Hakamada
Ryô Iwamatsu Ryô Iwamatsu ... Kanda
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Storyline

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 Oskar Jalink

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

15 August 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Человек-зебра See more »

Filming Locations:

Mitsukaido City, Ibaraki, Japan

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$224,832 (Japan), 13 February 2004, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Shin'ichi Ichikawa: Striping evil!
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Ringu (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Benevolently Reflects Vivid Childhood Memories Controlled By Superheroes
18 February 2009 | by jzappaSee all my reviews

Being a pushover as a teacher and family man, the true humble, mild-mannered identity of our hero tries to escape everyday life by dressing up as Zebraman, a superhero from a TV series that was canceled after only a few episodes. But escaping into his fantasy world in a self-made zebra-suit is the only thing keeping him going. But when he discovers that the Zebraman show was a prophecy of a true alien invasion, disguised as the show's hero he is the only person who can stop it.

Miike always chooses material not only with an unusual premise but with over-the-top details that are slowly, gradually revealed to us. Aside from the way in which its plot unfolds, the film's real charm is in what decides to show us about superheroes, why we identify with them on such a whimsical level and how the ridiculous mentality of a superhero could be formed in a man's solitude. The movie is not serious though. It has Miike's sometime stoic feel, but what we are shown is often hilarious, like the non-sequitary title shot of a fat woman in a beauty parlor who is passed by a sauntering zebra, or Radioactive Ranger, a perfect rendition of a TV show not unlike Power Rangers and its various, progressively obscuring incarnations, or countless others.

Even if Miike's more studious sense of pace is a hindrance to the potential impact of the film, leaving it without a tone and thus making the memory of the movie pretty fuzzy over time, it reflects very benevolently vivid childhood memories controlled by our superheroes. Where the film's spirit hits the nail on the head is in its blurring of zeal and absurdity. The film knows escapism because it's acuity in what it evokes really allows you to escape back into that unadorned young spirit. And what's the point of escapism if you're not truly escaping?


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