Raita, a Japanese businessman, just moved into an apartment building where his next-door neighbor is another guy named Raita. But as a private detective, what that other Raita does couldn't... See full summary »
A yakuza enforcer is ordered to secretly drive his beloved colleague to be assassinated. But when the colleague unceremoniously disappears en route, the trip that follows is a twisted, surreal and horrifying experience.
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 »
Benevolently Reflects Vivid Childhood Memories Controlled By Superheroes
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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