Zone Fighter Episode 01 – Kyoujuu Misairu Bakuhase-yo!
aka Destroy the Terror-Beast Missile!
Written and Directed by Jun Fukuda
Zone Fighter is probably Toho’s most famous tokusatsu series from the early years, largely due to the fact various Godzillaverse monsters showed up. And we’re gonna review episodes of Zone Fighter for March of Godzilla 2011, and probably beyond after that, as there are 26 episodes, so expect long breaks until we get back to the series. Heck, we’ve been stuck with only the first six episodes of Ultra Q for years, but lately that’s due to the disks being in storage for over two years.
Zone Fighter follows the standard Ultraman format, except with a family setting instead of the Science Patrol. Each week, Zone Fighter fights a new monster (sometimes two, and occasional a whole crop of them, who will be returning monsters in order to get the most use out of the suits.) Every once in a while, Godzilla will show up and help out Zone Fighter. Why Godzilla helps Zone Fighter is not really explained except that Godzilla is a Monster of Justice or some crap. Basically, Godzilla at this point was the kid friendly defender of Earth Godzilla who was palling around with Jet Jaguar beating up Megalon and Gigan, so the Official TarsTarkas.NET theory is that Godzilla has aged enough he’s beginning to suffer from dementia, and thinks that Zone Fighter is his pal Jet Jaguar. Godzilla living in a cave and brutally murdering monsters is more proof that he is now a few cards short of a full deck. But Godzilla won’t be around until episode 4, so for now you have to suffer with a few Godzilla-free episodes.
For more information on Zone Fighter, please see the Zone Fighter splash page, detailing the actors, monsters, and gadgets that will pop up in the various episodes. It also saves me time relisting the cast every episode.
As in the beginning of ever episode, a narrator explains to us the secret history of the Zone Family, Who their home planet of Peaceland was destroyed by the evil Garogas, the Zones subsequent flight to Earth, their hiding out under the name Sakimori, and the Garogas following them and now Earth is in peril. Thanks a lot, Zones!
Godzilla’s roar is heard in the first segment, showing he’s meant to be an integral part of the show from the beginning. Or they just used a stock monster sound effect to represent the monsters.
Don’t worry, Zone Fighter has his own epic theme song! Zone Fighto! Zone Fighto! Zone Fighto! Good Nighto! Don’t let the bed bugs Bito!
Our episode begins as 3 Garoga goons come to Earth to be evil. The Zone family discuss it. As the Zone Family runs a toy shop, there is a creepy doll that has it’s eyes glow red when you squeeze its arm. It’s the perfect gift to scare your daughter into remaining childless forever!
I guess in Japan kids don’t go to school because the kids in this show sure don’t, Hotaru takes her little brother Akira and another random kid (who is wearing tiny shorts) to the pool and then wandering around town while a suspicious cop is shown to be an undercover Garoga (Garogas disguised as humans have webbed fingers.) The show is telling kids that truant officers are literally aliens from another world, and that you should destroy them. Good values, Toho!
Racecar driver Hikaru Sakimori aka Zone Fighter investigates the crash site of the Garoga rocket that brought the evil goons to Earth. And he gets KO’ed! The kids also get kidnapped by a driver! Hikaru manages to send a message robot back to his family.
On the evil Garoga space station, Boss Gold Garoga fires a rocket at Earth. Suck it, Earth!
The entire Zone Family except Grandpa gets kidnapped as well, and the random kid’s mom as an added bonus. So our first introduction to our heroes is to see them all immediately captured. They are all lined up to be gunned down…but this is the pilot, so we know they aren’t all gonna die! Hikaru, Hotaru and Akira transform into Fighter, Angel and Junior. To transform—you yell “Zone Fighter!” Why didn’t the Garogas tape the Zone’s mouths shut?
Guns don’t work against the Zone Fighters (shoot the rest of the family, you idiots!), so the Garogas morph into Garoga form to fight! Punch, kick, dodge, figh, sing Zone Fighter song, fight, animated claw thing, fight, punch, kick, marry a rabbit, fight, punch, kick, Zone Fighter, Zone Fighter!
The Garogas are defeated, so they morph into ….
Terror-Beast Red Spark! A helpful name graphic let’s us know his name.
Zone Fighter then turns into Zone Fighter Bigger Form With Ultramanish Mask to punch that dumb monster in the nose! The two fight a bit, Red Spark having a cannon in his chest that is ineffective at best. Then Zone Fighter just blows up the monster by shooting it with his meteor wrist guns. Cheater!
No matter, the Garoga drop another monster…Terror-Beast Jikiro! He looks like a special education patchwork robot monster with magnetic powers. Somehow, this monster is popular enough he’ll return in later episodes. Jikiro almost makes a passenger plane go all 9-11 into Zone Fighter, but Zone knocks him aside and grabs the plane, then tosses it forward so it can fly upon it’s way. I don’t think that’s how air travel works… Please note how I am not working in a Jikiro/Jihad pun. It never even crossed my mind!
Zone Fighter’s power is draining now, he’s getting warning lights and is on the ground groaning. Zone Fighter will do this a lot, I know it is for dramatic tension, but as these heroes always do bad at first then suddenly destroy the evil monsters in one super-powered punch, it sort of gets repetitive. I’m sure it would be awesome when I was 8, like how Power Rangers was, but now I am an old bitter guy and it’s more quaint than anything else.
So Zone Angel and Zone Junior get in the Zone’s spaceship Smokey, and use it to repower Zone Fighter. Zone Fighter then has the energy to brutally murder Jikiro as well!
And then everyone lived happily ever after…until the evil alien horde living in a space station orbiting the planet sends down more monsters and evil alien goons…but that’s next week, on Zone Fighter!
Rated 5/10 (Our tray-tables are up!, opening graphic, trunk kidnapper, murder those monsters!, shocking magnetics)
Please give feedback below!