Zebraman (2004) Poster

(2004)

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9/10
"Black and white ecstacy!" A must see Miike film.
JohnnyLarocque17 September 2004
Takashi Miike never disappoints. His latest film to the Toronto Film Festival is ZEBRAMAN, a story about a father (Shinichi) who no longer has a family, or a life. His wife is having an affair, his daughter is a slut (no wonder, she's cute as hell), and his son is bullied at the school where he teaches. Even the other students think he is a geek. Shinichi spends all of his free time fantasizing about a show he watched as a kid called Zebraman, that was cancelled after only a few episodes due to low ratings. He even goes as far as to make his own Zebraman costume, and that's when the fun truly begins.

As the Earth is invaded by aliens (what did you expect) Shinichi is called into action as Zebraman and he transforms from mild mannered teacher to Earth's last hope. Think PowerRangers but with odd and hilarious dialogue ("Don't stand ... behind me."). But first he spends some much needed time in front of a mirror practicing his shouts ("Black and White Ecstacy!"), costume spliting poses, and signature attacks like the "Zebra Double Back Kick". I admit I was sold as soon as he beat the crap out of a guy wearing a giant crab mask on his head. I laughed the hardest at the introduction of ZebraNurse, though.

This is a different kind of film than what you'd expect from Miike. The characters are warm and lovable, and no one gets injured (with the exception of an easily re-grown arm, "Thanks ... ZebraNurse!"). Which shows the kind of range this cult director has. My only regret was that Takashi Miike wasn't present to witness a world class response to this outrageously funny film. (9/10)
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8/10
Fun Miike comedy with good special effects
simon_booth31 October 2004
Well, you probably know by now whether you like Takashi Miike or not, so that's probably the first thing to consider. If you do, Zebraman is sure to please, being a very fun yet dark spoof of superhero films with high production values and the ever-wonderful Sho Aikawa.

There's nothing in Zebraman that would class as particularly shocking or offensive, if you've only seen ICHI THE KILLER or VISITOR Q before and that's your only objection to Miike, but the mix of dark, deadpan humour and absurd silliness probably aren't going to win any new converts. It's a very Japanese film in style and tone, and though still doubtless low budget by Hollywood standards, has impressive special effects and a good feeling of quality. Except when it doesn't want to :)

If you're an undecided, Zebraman may well be one of the best Miike films to sample to help make that decision :)
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5/10
The Lighter Side Of Super-Heroism
loganx-223 June 2008
Great for the first hour and 20, but needed some serious editing.

A normal family man and school teacher, who is despised by his family, enjoys one thing in his free time. Putting on his specially made Zebraman suit, to celebrate the brief canceled TV-show of the same name he watched as a child. When not being insulted by students, strangers, family, and friends, our hero likes to wear the suit in his bedroom alone and practice his super movies, which is all oddly endearing and funny enough, until townspeople begin showing signs of possession by a mysterious, possibly alien force. Stranger still, it all already happened in the Zebraman TV show, in the 70's. Our school teacher finds himself putting on the suit and attempting to fight crime, failing in spectacular comic fashion at first, before going into "Kung Fu Hustle" overdrive.

The aliens themselves resemble Flubber, except when their possessing innocent people and forcing them to commit crimes for some reason. What begins as a dark comedy about hero-worship, becomes a feel-good over the top find the hero within action comedy.

The problem is it's just too long, it's charming and unique, but the charm just doesn't hold past an hour and a half. One of Miikes more accessible movies, but still chalk full of the absurd images and surreal humor fans have come to expect. Good watching for Miike fans, and those interested in the lighter side of super-heroes and nostalgia, others stay away. Recommend | add comment
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8/10
The softer side of Miike
lonewolf_and_cub13 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
With ZEBRAMAN Takashi Miike proves he can do anything. This film is quite possibly the best feel good movie I have seen in 10 years, and this from a director best known for graphic violence, moral ambiguity and razor-booted kung fu kicking crybaby psychos. The movie has a simple and universal message: you can make a difference if you believe in yourself. It's sweet, poignant and Hilarious(The scene with the Sentai show Shinichi is watching on TV had me laughing so hard I almost choked on my cup of tea). The final scene with Shinichi transforming into a "real" hero is amazing and had me cheering more than any movie I watched as a kid. If that scene fails to stir you then I guess you're dead inside. Miike produces more solid gold cult classics in one year than Hollywood makes in five - he's the king in my eyes: long may his reign continue.
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ZEBRAMAN is brilliant.
anthrapoid18 September 2004
I saw Zebraman for the first, but surely NOT the last time today. I had read that it was a "spoof of the super hero genre", but I strongly disagree; Zebraman IS a true superhero, and this film is not a spoof of any kind. Sure, there is very mild slapstick, but it works perfectly well. The heart of the film is tender and hopeful, and at the end I was left in that rare state in which I could deny no possibilities. I was laughing and crying at once, knowing no boundary between the two. I love this film. The message is a simple one, but given the age in which we live, vitally important: BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. I will offer no details regarding the plot or the technical innovation of the work; I only hope that this wonderful film will be seen by all, with a truly open heart. Thank you Takashi Miike...
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8/10
Zebraman kicks!!!
sauron-156 February 2004
I watched Zebraman at the IFFR in Rotterdam, and it was a coaster ride from beginning to end. I've seen a view movies by Miike Takashi, and they all had elements of gore and typical Japanese-over-the-top-violence. Not this one though!!! From the first second up it's totaly wicked. It has all the elements you've already seen in this sort of action-figure-based movies, but in the hands of Miike it turns into movie magic. In a nutshell: Goodbye Hollywood! Sadako rock's! America doesn't!

The story about a failed teacher/familyman, daydreaming about his alter-ego Zebraman who after construction of his ducktaped superhero outfit gets more then he could ever hoped for, will keep you on the edge for the entire length of the movie.

Those of you familiar with Miike's previous work do not need to dispare: It wouldn't be Miike if there wasn't any blood, body fluids or slurry involved, but I can't tell you anything without spoiling, so: GO SEE!
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8/10
Aside from a little lull here and there, this film is terrific
MartinHafer5 October 2008
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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10/10
Super Sentei man GO!
xsempaix30 December 2004
Warning: Spoilers
If you're familiar with the genre that's spawned Hakaider, Guyver, Kamen Rider and many a movie based on the TV show harking back to the seventies then a Dirt-bike riding Zebra judo-chopping aliens won't seem quite out of the ordinary.

The story approaches the genre in the uniquely Miike fashion, and like a good editor he knows which parts of the story to emphasize.

The story starts off with a socially impotent father figure who seems to be failing as a role model to his children, spouse, and community...he gets no respect from anybody. He makes up for it by dressing up as a cosplay geek reliving his childhood by taking on the role of his idol of manly virtue, Zebraman. His costume is crude and fragile, his martial arts pantomime only causes personal injury...When suddenly we learn that the school where he teaches has become an alien epicenter for green jellybeans hellbent on corrupting the youth of today into untameable savages. What is at stake is the total degeneration of Japanese society as we know it, after everyone over ten dies of some kind of jelly bean intestinal disorder. There's a secret gay agent unrequited love subplot that doesn't pan out, and a chaste love story involving our protagonist and a single mom who provide the family oriented support Zebraman needs to attain his destined power.

I felt sympathetic for our clutzy protagonist all the way through, i laughed at his foolish behavior and empathized with his despair. The "destroy alien invaders" genre-plot did not get in the way of the characters expressing themselves, and gave structure and conflicts where needed. Even so, the human condition shone through as a worthless feeling man redeems him self in the eyes of everyone he cares about, claim his right to basic human happiness.

Actually, the whole cosplay transition to costumed hero thing gets more believable (er, suspension of disbelief that is,) as the story progresses. The action is excellent and over the top as usual, but still family oriented you could say (ichi the killer was NOT a good first date movie). I could accept that Zebraman got his powers from pretty much out of the blue (and because it was fated to him) the same way I can except Godzilla without knowing where he came from (other than the sea of Japan) Die Green Jellies! Watch This Movie.
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8/10
"Go get em!"
Quinoa198430 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Zebraman is at its best when Takashi Miike kicks back and lets his mania go at its most fun. This isn't your typical ultra-violent or taboo smashing fare from the director; if anything, it's Miike at his most playful- if you can call a man in a zebra costume fighting little green men from outer space in Power Rangers style as playful- and actually hearkens to his mode of nostalgia that happens in his work, that the characters have for past events that have shaped them, or let them slip by.

Sho Aikawa, in his funniest performance in a Miike movie, plays a man who is hapless school-teacher by day, and Zebraman by night. He's inspired by a TV show from when he was a kid (which in turn was inspired by real programs like these in the 70s), and to see flashbacks to this show, with Zebraman fighting a crab man and other nefarious figures, is unequivocally hilarious, and exciting in the same way that Power Rangers could be in the cheesiest ways possible as a kid. There's also government agents tracking down alien presences, of which there are many, a secretive principle at the school, and most importantly the teacher's good friend, a 3rd grade student bound to a wheelchair, who is also a huge zebraman fan, and who's interest is heightened when seeing his hero out and about in the city streets at night.

The first half of Zebraman, needless to say, is vintage Miike, and save for the one government agent who has his own crab problem (and not from a man in a costume, which is hysterical in its own right) and a couple of curse words could be appealing to some youth round the world. What Miike has in mind as a kid's movie, however, is also greatly accessible to adults, and to see both the scenes of the 'present-day' (err, 2010) Zebraman fighting against his opponents, saying his moves before doing them, as well as the usual lot of scenes where Miike just lets the camera stay still on the characters in an interesting position as some development goes on, is to see a filmmaker at the peak of his own powers.

Although it starts to a lag a little in the second half- I didn't care too much for the conspiracy let out about the principle and the script and the whole flying thing, albeit the end result of zebraman learning to fly is a truly mouth-gaping moment- Miike doesn't let up for the wildness that comes out of the climax, and how Aikawa, probably taking a bit of a cue from his DOA days, is all game for whatever comes next, even if it means literally turning into a flying zebra!

There's little-to-huge visual gags (Zebraman falling out of a tree, the alien-possessed kids going ape over a guy and his eggplant stand, simply watching the suit tear up on the first tries to just put the suit on, the first battles), and little dumb gags as well, but they all build up. It really provides a level of enjoyment that can be equated with the wackiest superhero adventures of childhood, and with a level of innocence to the proceedings, while also a good bet for avid fans of the director. You want something a little more 'different' from this madman of Japanese cinema, here you go.
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6/10
quirky and interesting, though not always compelling
cherold28 October 2008
This is an odd little movie. Some nebbishy teacher sews a recreation of a suit from a short-lived superhero show, and find himself dealing with aliens. The movie doesn't make a lot of sense, unless it's all this guy's fantasy, and the movie doesn't really play much with that possibility, instead just letting it all unspool. I like some sort of rationale for what happens in a film, but the audience is expected to just accept that all of this happens for no good reason at all. The silliness of the aliens and a few other things give it the quality of a kid's movie, but even kids movies generally make some attempt to explain stuff.

There are some cool things in this movie. The dead-on recreations of a cheesy Japanese TV show, the relationship between the low-key teacher and the disabled child, the final amusing superhero battle, but I was never fully invested in the story, perhaps because it lacked rationality or perhaps because it was just kind of slow moving and a bit muddled.

Neither as weird or as good as Miike's Happiness of the Katakuris, Zebraman is acceptable but not much more.
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7/10
70 cult classic television, now a takashi miike film...
germyslerm22 October 2005
Zebraman is certainly not Takashi Miikes best film (the best is Dead or Alive 2) but it is still worth your time if you are a Miike fan. It is also a good choice for the classic 70's cult show Kikaiaduc(forgive me on my terrible spelling) which is well portrayed in the film. The film is about a struggling junior high teacher having problems at home. His only escape from reality is to imitate his favorite TV show from when he was a kid "Zebraman". Like all Miike films the costume design is excellent, so trust me on this you will love the zebraman costume. But alas the film lacks the trademark Miike feel. I'm not talking about the violence (which if your interested in i'de suggest anything but this one)but the film work. This film made me feel like I was watching a made for TV movie (stylistically)

But either way I'd suggest the film, just to say you saw it...
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4/10
Meh
jason-684-39974816 October 2018
Loved the idea! But it's so so slow sometimes. And not slow in a good way. But there are some awesome and cult moments in it for sure!
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8/10
That special something beneath that special something Miike has.
upendra-115 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Zebraman: yes, it's a superhero movie nipping at the heels of a glut of recent superhero movies. And yes, it conforms to every trope of the superhero movie genre: loser gets superpowers, triumphs over an unstoppably evil menace, gains love and admiration, etc. And yet, Zebraman has a quality which is more endearing than any other superhero movie of recent memory (even Tobey McGuire's Spiderman, God love him, doesn't elicit as much sympathy as Zebraman).

This may be due to Sho Aikawa's affably inept hero: even in grislier Miike films, Aikawa's quirky sputterings and perpetually buggy expression are hard not to like. But even more relevant to Zebraman's success is its director, Takashi Miike.

Of course Miike made his reputation as director of the most unbelievably violent films ever put to screen, but the truth is there are plenty of slasher flicks out there gorier and more depraved than even Ichi the Killer (hard to believe, right?). What makes Miike's work so enduring (and the rest dusty bargain-bin items) is something which underlies all the shooting and stabbing and torture: a palpable human thread which somehow pierces right to the heart. Miike's philosophy seems like that of a war-film director: humanity is more sharply noticeable when contrasted against inhumanity.

But in Zebraman, we have a new entity for Miike, or at least an entity he only occasionally trots out: a film which goes straight to the humanity in lieu of the usual bloodletting. What violence there is tends toward the comic, and rivals the worst in a PG-13 movie.

Needless to say, Ichi-junkies will find Zebraman too tame for words. The arterial-spurt crowd should stick with Fudoh or Gozu for their freaky horror fill. But for the crowd that found Ichi hard to stomach, give Zebraman a try: it's much more palatable.

On the negative side, the film does run overlong, and slows down considerably toward the end. But don't despair: Zebraman's ending is well worth the wait. Black and White Ecstacy!
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7/10
Benevolently Reflects Vivid Childhood Memories Controlled By Superheroes
jzappa18 February 2009
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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9/10
more miike, please!
vinciblestimps3 June 2007
I loved this film, and had a great time watching it. Then, I came here, and yet another comment that is deprecating towards women. You know, we can see every film out there, if we want to. You're just placing your own mistaken impressions and trying to make them apply to everyone.

I thought little boys had to wait until they were 16 to watch mean old yakuza films, or something as great as Imprint.

If you tell anyone "I rented this movie but you won't like it", chances are you're setting yourself and your partner up for disappointment. I know that it's hard to filter comments for anything, especially this sort of thing, but I still wish it would happen.

Please, grow up.
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6/10
Believe it or not this is an Takashi Miike film!
TheEnigmaticRonin16 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Believe it or not this is an Takashi Miike film! Zebraman is the tender side of Miike. About a junior high school teacher who fails as a teacher. No one understands him beside his new student. Miike message through this film is "belive in your dreams". In the movie when he is talking to his son, he says that I should have a bike, every hero should have one. Miike was always fascinated of bikes, he actually wanted to be a pro. You can still see that it's a Miike in some scenes, specially the one where they find a dead-body twisted. The best scene in the movie is near the end when Zebraman becomes a real hero, good effects, not a the original theme but in the scene mentioned earlier (when he becomes a real hero) is pretty cool, overall Zebraman is a nice family film, in fact the only Miike film you can watch with your family or your girlfriend. Watch this movie!
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Not as good as I hoped...
God_of_Thunder24 May 2004
I just saw it in the comfort of my own living room, without subtitles - but I speak a fair bit of Japanese myself, and I had an excellent translator (my girlfriend) who saw it with me.

Now, I am - as many of you - a huge Takashi Miike fan. But this one is my least favourite so far (but what do I know - having only seen about 10 of his movies). But anyway, my point is this; it tried to be funny - and sometimes it was mildly amusing.. but this was really a kids-movie. A mix between Mars Attacks and Howard The Duck, I don't feel I have wasted my time watching it - but as I said in my headline, it was not as good as I had hoped it would be.

It wasn't qwerky enough to be "really weird and qwerky", it wasn't funny enough to be a great comedy, it wasn't violent enough to be a Miike trademark gore-fest, and definitely not original enough to be "something completely new"... so what we're left with is a bit of this - a bit of that.. not really going anywhere.

But as I said, If you like Miike - you'll probably end up watching it anyway - just like I did.

rating: x "stars" out of y "stars"
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8/10
Zebraman kicks!!!
sauron-152 February 2004
Zebraman has everything you've probable already seen. But once again it's Miike Takashi's sparkling imagination, sense of humor and original filmmaking that makes watching this movie such a joy.

A teachers escape fantasy turns out to be more than he could ever wish for, when his alter-ego seems to be the only thing to stand between absolute (green) evil and a happy ending.
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1/10
Keep Zebras off the streets and in the zoo!
grandmastersik26 September 2013
I'd heard about this film a long time ago and had waited eagerly for a chance to watch it.

The premise - a school teacher turning into the TV "Power Ranger" he idolised as a kid, to fight off invading aliens - sounded ideal for a camp, wide-audience genre spoof, but oh man, did it suck.

20 minutes into this, you may start to wonder if someone had access to some old Kamen Rider props, scrawled a plot on a napkin during lunch and said to their mates, "Let's make a film!"

The fact that Miike has such a big cult following (I'm a big fan of a lot of his work... even if I've only seen around 50% of it!) is most likely what drew attention to this disaster in the first place, but does give a valuable lesson to wannabe film-makers in: DO NOT SHOOT YOUR FIRST DRAFT.

If only this unfocused mess of a story had a little bit more time put into it... if the characters drew the viewer in only a little, it may have lived up to its cool premise, but instead, I couldn't bear it any longer after a painful 45 minutes of hoping it would get better and had to turn it off.

A true stinker to avoid.
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8/10
Black and white ecstasy.
markmovienerd24 May 2012
Takashi Miike takes a shot at the tokusatsu genre and gives us the entertaining Zebraman.

In Yachio-ward strange events are happening. Birds are dying, bearded seals are migrating and aliens are hiding in the school. Oh, and there's a man dressed as a crab, running around with some scissors. During this unusual time, unpopular school-teacher Mr. Ichikawa has a rather strange form of escapism.

Back in the 70's, Ichikawa was a fan of a TV show called Zebraman. Unfortunately as less than 2% of the population tuned in to watch, the show soon got cancelled.

At night Ichikawa dons the titular costume and leaps around his house and pretends to fight criminals, and it's not to long until he decides to venture outside. Although, falling off the roof of his house was a poor start to proceedings. Before long Zebraman encounters Crabman and with the help of a wheelchair-bound student called Shinpei, he begins to realise that his dream of becoming a superhero may be attainable.

Being a superhero isn't easy though, especially for Ichikawa. Not only does he have problems at work but his family life is less than idyllic. His son is bullied, his daughter has become sexually aware and has very bad taste in men and his wife is cheating. And of course there are aliens to deal with...small, green, gooey aliens. Still, he does have a plethora of special moves available, including the Zebra-screw-punch.

This is a great little film with a message to tell of 'believe in yourself.' Strangely enough, I did wonder how much the creators of Kick Ass were influenced by this film as there are a few similarities and seeing as this film was made in 2004, it was definitely first. Most notable similarity is the story of a guy wanting to be a superhero especially a scene where Ichikawa, dressed in his costume is striking poses in front of his mirror before exclaiming (well, according to the subtitles) "Kick ass."

Either way, I enjoyed this and just found it to be a very entertaining and fun movie. Now I just need to watch the sequel. I just wish I could get the theme tune out of my head...shalalala, shalalalala, shalalala...
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7/10
"Black and white ecstasy," indeed...
poe42629 September 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Coming as it does from the man who gave us (if you're into gore and consider it in any way a gift) the unbelievably grisly ICHI THE KILLER (not to be confused with Itchy of ITCHY AND SCRATCHY fame), ZEBRAMAN is definitely something from the far end of the spectrum. It harks back to some of my favorite Japanese TV shows- from ULTRAMAN to SUPER INFRAMAN to IRON KING to RED BARON and beyond- and does so in a gentle, loving way. Our soon-to-be hero is actually enamored of one such show and his eventual reincarnation as ZEBRAMAN is about as much fun as you could hope for in a movie like this. Takashi Mike's sure-handed direction never wavers and the uplifting ending makes it all worthwhile. You just gotta believe!
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7/10
Nostalgia, kitsch, and video game pleasure for everyone
Polaris_DiB16 April 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A man dresses as his favorite childhood superhero, Zebraman, from a television show that was canceled after only a few episodes. His love of Zebraman is shared by a third-grade student in his class of which he is an unsuccessful teacher, and that student turns out to have the admiration and warmth the man can't get from his family. As he runs around the night in his suit, trying to remain harmlessly escapist and yet still romantically fantasized, he starts running into the enemies from the television show. Seems the 30 year old defunct television show was actually a prophecy, and since it was canceled, Zebraman himself doesn't know how it will end. Now if only he could figure out how to fly...

This warm and nostalgia-laced movie by Takashi Miike is one of his later features, and Miike has sort of slowed down a bit. He no longer cuts corners like he used to, and in this case he doesn't feel the need (nor is there) to throw anything truly disturbing in there. Still, I've heard some people call this movie a children's show, and of course there's some very adult themes speckled throughout. However, once again Miike surprises by playing with audience expectations.

Zebraman is a superhero movie, but the moments of action and frenetic stylizations are actually quite rare and reserved. The bigger bulk of Zebraman is actually a focus on the characters, especially Zebraman and his ten-year-old side-kick as they figure out just what a superhero is supposed to do after he dons the outfit. And what an outfit! Sure to be a new staple Halloween costume for film geeks for years to come, Zebraman's costume is its own character, first because of its hilariously ironic black-and-white style and also in the way it slowly falls apart throughout the film.

Miike is also not strictly a "filmmaker", in that he throws any visual media into his stories as he desires. A love of video and television-quality kitsch is present here in the contrasts between back-alley battles and open-field fights that recall Power Rangers. The Big Boss battle becomes what literally looks like a inter-video graphic from a video game like Final Fantasy VII. But it is all fun and mostly games as the audience gets to delight in a person whose only delight is a lost (non-existent) show that for one reason or another, he unapologetically loved.

--PolarisDiB
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1/10
this movie sucks
SparxDragon20 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a huge fan of Miike's work and I think he made this movie to mock at his usual audience. He knew one would think "wow, that sure will be some twisted interesting film" so he made the most-cliché movie ever instead of that. That's the thing I like about Miike, he always changes and surprises his fans. If we start with the vision - the movie has some interesting stuff shot. That's a plus for it. Even though the budget had been low, the work is done nice here. Except for the ALIENS - What the hell?! They reminded me of The Flabbers! The music sucked like a hooker. At one time I almost threw up. The plot is the worst part of the film. I almost fell asleep till the end. So stupid, so predictable... And where did all the super powers come to that loser teacher? We see him normal and after a second he has all the super punches and kicks and he even teaches himself to fly?!? And that handicapped kid and his mother. One would think that Zebraman is a pedophile, and then other would think that he cheats on his wife with the cripple's mother. The whole movie is pathetic. I wish I never watched it. I think even my dumb-ass brother who likes Virtual Rangers wouldn't like this Zebraman movie!
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3/10
What th hell is this !?
ebiros225 August 2011
Very entertaining super hero genre spoof that spoofs Japanese' own super hero likes of Kamen Rider.

The premise is ridiculous. An elementary school teacher who idolized Zebraman TV series when he was a kid decides to wear Zebraman costume. Then suddenly he does have super powers, and goes out to battle the bad aliens that's covertly infesting his town !

The movie has elements of other movies Miike has directed. There're element of violence, element of a B movie, but is focused to entertain their intended audiences. In a way he's like Japanese version of Roger Corman.

The movie is fun, and that seems to be the focus of it all. Just go along for the ride, and you'll be entertained.
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7/10
If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.
lastliberal25 December 2009
When you talk about Takashi Miike, you usually bring up Graveyard of Honor, Bodyguard Kiba, Ichi the Killer, or Audition: films that feature horror and extreme violence, but that is not the whole of this great director.

There is also The Bird People in China or The Happiness of the Katakuris. Miike stretches himself as a director further than anyone I know.

He does it again with this film, which is a comic book like tale of a failure who is a teacher (Shô Aikawa), who becomes Zebraman. He first saves the day by defeating a local crab-like thug, but then he has to battle aliens.

The special effects are tremendous, and the story, while simple, has a great message for all.
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