Zone Fighter (流星人間ゾーン)

Zone Fighter

aka 流星人間ゾーン aka Ryuusei Ningen Zoon

1973

This is the splash page for the Zone Fighter reviews, because we need a page with all the info so I don’t keep repeating it over and over and over again. Laziness breeds efficiency! Zone Fighter is Toho’s tokusatsu series that was broadcast in 1973 for a total of 26 episodes (two 13-episode blocks.) The peaceful Zone Family’s peaceful planet Peaceland is destroyed by the evil Garogas, so the Zones head to Earth to hide out under the name Sakimori. But you can’t run from evil alien goons, and soon the Garogas are hanging around Earth in a giant satellite in the sky trying their darnedest to get those nasty Zones. Zone Fighter and his family fought a variety of evil Terror-Beasts under the control of the Garogas. Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and even Gigan pop up in a few episodes, which is why people care about this show more than Robot Detective. Eventually, they all fall victim to the power of cancellation, and the story is never completed with the ultimate destruction of the Garogas (or the Zones, if you cheer on evil like we always do at TarsTarkas.NET!)

So who are the peaceful Zone Family of Peaceland, Land of Peace? (Now Land of Pieces!) Let’s Meet the Zones!

Hikaru Sakimori (Kazuya Aoyama) – Oldest of the three Zone siblings, usually working as a race car driver. He can transform into Zone Fighter, and also can transform into a bigger, stronger Zone Fighter.
Hotaru Sakimori (Kazumi Kitahara) – The middle Sakimori child, suffering from middle child syndrome. Maybe. If they bothered to give her any characterization. She doesn’t do much except be a girl. Heck, even during fight sequences she doesn’t even fight. Hotaru is still in high school, you pervs!
Akira Sakimori (Kenji Sato) – The youngest Sakimori is also the most annoying. But he is far less annoying than his weekly schoolmate friend who will be played by increasingly awful child actors. Turns into Zone Junior, which will be a horrible superhero name when you’re like 50 or so.
Yoichiro Sakimori (Shoji Nakayama) – Daddy Zone for some reason doesn’t turn into a super hero, he just invents toys, as he runs the Toy Research Institute.
Tsukiko Sakimori (Sachiko Kozuki) – Mommy Zone is just there. So far all she has done is look worried. Maybe she’s expressing post-traumatic stress trauma after the destruction of her homeworld and subsequent flight to Earth as refugees where they must hide their identities and be constantly hounded by their enemies. Or maybe the writers are too focused and action and selling toys to boys that they don’t care.
Raita Sakimori (Shiro Amakusa) – Grandpa Zone is also known as Zone Great. He’s not really that great. Sometimes he uses the Great Raideki Satellite, so at least he does more than Mom and Dad Zone.
Zone Fighter - Zone Fighter (song lyrics “Zone Fighto, Zone Fighto Zone Fighto!”) wears a costume similar to his siblings, until such time as he has to become giant.
Zone Fighter Big Mode – When Zone Fighter says “Zone Double Fight” he grows to giant size to fight the giant Garoga monsters. Special attacks include his Meteor Missiles, which he fires from his wrists like guns, the Meteor Proton Beam, which zaps from his head, making an energy door shield, and flying into TV’s. You read that last one right! In something totally different from Ultraman that isn’t a rip-off, he can only stay big a small amount of time and he has a power meter light that changes color as he gets weaker. It’s a very obvious power meter light, but luckily the evil Garoga monsters are pretty dumb.
Zone Angel – Zone Angel is the alter-ego of Hotaru Sakimori. Zone Angel and Zone Junior usually spend most of the giant monster battle watching, then getting in the flying car and reenergizing Zone Fighter.
Zone Junior – Zone Junior is the alter-ego of Akira Sakimori. He’s just as useless as you think he would be.
Garogas – Why so serious? These bug-eyed, antennaed, sharp-toothed (but unmoving mouthed) aliens are the Garogas, who are evil and live in a satellite orbiting Earth, where they randomly fire monsters to attack the planet. Their boss is all gold, the squad captains are gold, and the goons are silver. Garogas can disguise themselves as human, but are given away by their webbed fingers. Oddly enough, I don’t think the actual Garogas have webbed fingers. Maybe I should stop writing this and go back and check. Nah.

Recurring Cast –

Takeru Jou (Hideaki Obara) – Takeru owns a model shop and gets involved in the wacky adventures of the Sakimori/Zone family, because we needed yet another character to clutter up the lineup of this short program. Learns the secret identities of the Zones. Is usually referred to as “Sensei” by the annoying kid of the week.
Baron Garoga – The boss Garoga of the region, who orders all the other Garogas around. Has a wand and a cape, and is FAB-ulous!
Red Garoga – Sometimes Baron Garoga is too busy eating ice cream or something to fight Zone Fighter, so this Red Garoga steps up to the task. He doesn’t fare any better…

Recurring Monsters –

Godzilla (Toru Kawai and Isao Zushi) – Godzilla is the king of monsters and for some reason answers calls from tiny robots to go kill monsters. Which he does. Godzilla kills more monsters in this series than he does in the films until Final Wars. Remember, this is goofy, defender of Earth Godzilla, who is only a shell on his back away from being friend of all children. Eventually Godzilla will decide that being full of meat is not his thing and he goes for bigger and better things. One can only assume that with old age, Godzilla began experiencing dementia and kept thinking Zone Fighter was his old buddy Jet Jaguar, thus his constant help despite not knowing Zone Fighter prior to getting called to battle. Godzilla even lives in a cave at this point, further supporting my dementia theory. While his roar is heard in the beginning of every episode, Godzilla appears in episodes 4, 11, 15, 21 and 25.

The Terror-Beasts
Here are the Terror-Beasts of the week, added as they appear. Monster stats are translated from official stats, examples of which can be seen here and here

Red Spark (Reddosupaaku)
Terror Beast Type: Cannon
Height: 75 meters
Weight: 75,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 1

The first Terror-Beast Zone Fighter fights, Red Spark had a big cannon in his chest.
Jikiro (Jikiro)
Terror Beast Type: Magnetic
Height: 78 m
Weight: 95,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 1, 22, 25

Jikiro had magnetic powers, and could draw metal objects towards him.
Destro-King (Desutorokingu)
Terror Beast Type: Subterranean
Height: 85 m
Weight: 80,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 2 and 12

Two heads prove to not be better than one when Zone Fighter defeats this duo-singular being.
Dorora (Dorora)
Terror Beast Type: 4th Dimensional
Height: 76 m
Weight: Unknown
Appearances: Episode 3

The powers of the 4th Dimension apparently give you a head on your back. Also a rose for an arm. But it doesn’t prevent you from being horribly murdered by Zone Fighter.
Wargilgar (Warugirugaa)
Terror Beast Type: Destruction
Height: 108 m
Weight: 82,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 4

Wargilgar breathes flame. Lots and lots of flames. Dies by fire. It’s like a no smoking sign on your cigarette break!
Spyler (Supairaa)
Terror Beast Type: Laser
Height: 85 m
Weight: 80,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 4 and 12

Spyler is the monster form of the Garoga who pretended to be a survivor from Peaceland. And now he’s a monster who does monster things like roar a lot and get killed by Zone Fighter.
King Ghidorah (Kingugidora)
Terror Beast Type: Super Space
Height: 100 m
Weight: 30,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 5 and 6

Hey, it’s THAT King Ghidorah! Looks like King Ghidorah was hurting for money and is farming himself out for odd jobs. I hope you got paid in advance, King Ghidorah!
Dragon King (Doragonkingu)
Terror Beast Type: Horned
Height: 74 m
Weight: 81,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 7 and 12
Gilmaras (Girumarasu)
Terror Beast Type: Thorny
Height: 75 m
Weight: 75,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 7
Gelderah (Geruderaa)
Terror Beast Type: Red-headed
Height: 78 m
Weight: 74,000
Appearances: Episode 8
Garoga Gorilla (Garoga Gorira)
Terror Beast Type: Giant Ape
Height: 58 m
Weight: 68,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 9

A normal gorilla who became a Terror-Beast after having his blood sucked by the Garoga Spider!
Spideros (Supaidaurosu)
Terror Beast Type: Spider-type
Height: 70 m
Weight: 73,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 9 and 25
Shipudoro (Shippudoroo)
Terror Beast Type: Deformed
Height: 68 m
Weight: 87,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 10

Shipudoro is like a weirdo octopus, and though Zone Fighter easily defeats him, he is notable for being one of the few Monsters Zone Fighter doesn’t murder. In fact, he doesn’t even bother defeat him again at the end of the episode, and Shipudoro is never seen again. So maybe he escaped Garoga enslavement and now lives in peace on Monster Island.
Shadorah (Shadoraa)
Terror Beast Type: Energy
Height: 70
Weight: Unknown
Appearances: Episode 10

A monster who origininated from Zone Fighter’s shadow after being set loose via the Giant Garoga Orb. Special powers include yelling at Zone Fighter, which gives Zone a big migraine! He also spits green poison gas and has eye beams.
Gigan (Gaigan)
Terror Beast Type: Terror-Beast of the Future
Height: 65 m
Weight: 25,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 11

Gigan comes from the land of Godzilla films to fight Godzilla on tv. He fares just as badly here, and is even more beat up on because Zone Fighter then murders him.
Barakidon (Barakidon)
Terror Beast Type: Strongest
Height: 73 m
Weight: 63,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 12

Barakidon’s a mutant chicken with claws and what looks like sunglasses. He flaps his wings for wind attacks and shoots smoke from his mouth. Barakidon hatches from a mutant egg.
Garaborg (Garoboogu)
Terror Beast Type: Electric
Height: 78 m
Weight: 90,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 13 and 25
Detragon (Dettoragon)
Terror Beast Type: Missile
Height: 78 m
Weight: 77,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 14
Zandora (Zandora)
Terror Beast Type: Earth-eating
Height: 78 m
Weight: 91,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 15
Mogranda (Moguranda)
Terror Beast Type: Drill
Height: 108 m
Weight: 86,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 16 and 25
Balgaras (Barugarasu)
Terror Beast Type: Transforming
Height: 62 m
Weight: 59,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 17
Gundarguiras (Gandaagirasu)
Terror Beast Type: Bomb
Height: 71 m
Weight: 80,000 tons
Appearances: Episodes 18 and 19
Goram (Goramu)
Terror Beast Type: Twin-headed
Height: 92 m
Weight: 79,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 20
Jellar (Jeraa)
Terror Beast Type: Mollusk
Height: 73 m
Weight: 71,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 21
Kastom-Jellar (Kasutamujeraa)
Terror Beast Type: Reincarnated
Height: 70 m
Weight: 68,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 21
Super Jikiro (Suupaajikiro)
Terror Beast Type: Super-Magnetic
Height: 82 m
Weight: 100,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 22
Bakugon (Bakugon)
Terror Beast Type: Great
Height: 80 m
Weight: 69,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 23
Needlar (Niidoraa)
Terror Beast Type: Needle-Shooting
Height: 77 m
Weight: 80,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 24
Kabutogirah (Kabutogiraa)
Terror Beast Type: Armored
Height: 73 m
Weight: 75,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 25
Grotogauros (Gurotegaurosu)
Terror Beast Type: Illusion
Height: 80 m
Weight: 80,000 tons
Appearances: Episode 26

Other creatures:

Garoga Spider
Appearances: Episode 9
Garoga Spider sucks blood, turning his victim into a Terror-Beast

Zone Gadgets:

Smokey – The Zone Family spaceship that usually is hiding in the clouds. Zone Angel and Zone Junior usually fly it around and recharge Zone Fighter, as that idiot runs out of power quickly. Buy some better batteries, Zone Fighter!
Skyline GT/Mighty Liner – It’s a flying car. This is the only car we really see Zone drive, despite his job as a driver. Mightly Liner is the name when it is flying, so I guess Skyline GT is its undercover name.
Robot messengers – The Zone Family will send messages to each other and Godzilla with tiny robots that fly like rockets. Don’t laugh, this was before cellular phones. But the Zones are from a highly advanced planet, that should have cellular phones… One can reason that the Zones live outside their carrier area thanks to their move to Earth and it will cost too much to terminate their contract, so to avoid roaming charges they have to use robots for the next 13 months…
Bolt Thunder/Great Raideki – Grandpa has a cloud he controls from the safety of home. It shoots lighting, so is Grandpa really Zeus?
Pandora Capsule – The spaceship the Zone Family has been keeping in reserve, until episode 6! Armed with proton missiles.

Garoga Gadgets:

Garoga Space Station – The Garoga Space Station orbits Earth, and occasionally shoots rockets filled with monsters to the planet.
Garoga Car – The Garoga Car has a Garoga face on the grill, a HUGE double-barrel cannon on the top, painted eyes on the sides, and all sorts of wacky 1970s funky car embellishments. Best Garoga Car EVER!
Garoga Car 2 – Garoga Car 2 shows up after the first Garoga Car meets an untimely end. Garoga Car 2 is a fancier, awesomer car, but it also meets an untimely end on its first appearance. Best Garoga Car EVER!
Garoga Candy Cane – This delicious weapon is used by the Garoga to beat on members of the Zone Family. Unfortunately, no one bothered to train the Garoga how to use their candy canes, and usually the weapons are seized from them and the Garoga are beaten with the candy canes. But they are tasty!
Garoga Mystery Orb – The easily destroyed Mystery Orb is but a delivery system to get Zone Fighter so sick, his shadow turns into a Terror-Beast.
Garoga Terror-Beast Rocket – The Rocket the Garogas use to send Terror-Beasts to Earth.
Garoga Terror-Beast Drill – Underground drill rocket that delivered the Terror-Beast egg that spawned Barakidon.
Garoga Terror-Beast Drill Accessories – Accessory underground drill rockets that accompanied the rocket containing the Terror-Beast egg that spawned Barakidon.

Zone Fighter (流星人間ゾーン) Episode List (Titles are approximate and alternate translations are given. This contrast of translations is a great example of just how difficult it is to get accurate translations from Japanese to English)
01 – 恐獣ミサイル 爆破せよ! (Kyoujuu Misairu Bakuhase-yo!) – Destroy the Terror-Beast Missile!
02 – やっつけろ! デストロキング (Yattsukero! Desutorokingu) – Beat Destro-King!/Attack! Destro-King
03 – たたけ! ガロガの地底基地 (Tatake! Garoga-no Chitei-kichi) – Defeat Garoga’s Subterranean Base!/Strike! Garoga’s Underground Base
04 – 来襲! ガロガ大軍団 ― ゴジラ登場 ― (Raishuu! Garoga Dai Gundan – Gojira Toujou -) – Onslaught! The Garoga Army: Enter Godzilla!/Invasion! Garoga’s Grand Army – Godzilla Appears –
05 – キングギドラをむかえ撃て! (Kingugidora-wo Mukaeutsu!) – Blast King Ghidorah at Point Blank!/Attack King Ghidorah!
06 – キングギドラの逆襲! (Kingugidora-no Gyakushuu!) – King Ghidorah’s Counterattack
07 – ゾーンファミリー危機一髪! (Zoonfamirii Kikiippatsu!) – Zone Family’s Critical Moment!
08 – 倒せ! 恐怖のインベーダー (Taose! Kyoufu-no Inbeedaa) – Smash the Terrifying Invader!/Defeat the Invader of Fear!
09 – 追え! レッドスパイダーの秘密 (Oe! Reddosupaidaa-no Himitsu) – Search for the Secret of the Red Spider!/Find the Secret of the Red Spider!
10 – 絶体絶命! ゾーン・ファイター (Zettaizetsumei! Zoonfaitaa) – Zone Fighter Annihilated!/Zone Fighter Destroyed!
11 – 間一髪 ゴジラの叫び! (Kanippatsu Gojira-no Sakebi!) – In the Twinkling of An Eye: The Roar of Godzilla!/In a Hair’s Breadth: The Roar of Godzilla!
12 – 恐獣基地 地球へ侵入! (Kyoujuu Kichi Chikyuu-e Shinnyuu!) – Terrorbeast HQ: Invade the Earth!/The Terror-Beast Base: Invade the Earth!
13 – 戦慄! 誕生日の恐怖 (Senritsu! Tanjoubi-no Kyoufu) – Absolute Terror: Birthday of Horror!/Hair-Raising! The Birthday of Terror
14 – 猛り狂うぞ! ガロガ少年攻撃隊 (Takerikuruuzo! Garoga Shounen Kougekitai) – Insane With Anger! The Garoga Boy’s Squad/Rampage! The Garoga Boys Attack Force
15 – 沈没! ゴジラよ東京を救え (Chinbotsu! Gojira-yo Tokyo-wo Sukue) – Submersion! Godzilla, Save Tokyo!/It’s Sinking! Godzilla, Save Tokyo
16 – 恐怖の襲撃! ガロガロボット (Kyoufu-no Shuugeki! Garoga Robotto) – Counterstrike of Terror! Garoga-Robot!/Terrifying Attack! The Garoga Robot
17 – GO! ファイター緊急発進 (GO! Faitaa Kinkyuuhasshin) – Go! Fighter Emergency Take off!/Go! Fighter, Scramble
18 – 指令『日本列島爆破せよ』 (Shirei “Nihon Rettou Bakuhase-yo”) – Directive: Destroy the Japanese Laboratory!/Command: “Destroy the Japanese Islands”
19 – 命令『Kスイ星で地球をこわせ』 (Meirei “K Suisei-de Chikyuu-wo Kowase”) – Order: Crush the Earth With Comet K!/Order: “Destroy the Earth with Comet K”
20 – 激闘! ファイターの歌が聞える (Gekitou! Faitaa-no Uta-ga Kikoeru) – Desperate Struggle! Can You Hear Fighter’s Song?/Fierce Fight! Can You Hear Fighter’s Song?
21 – 無敵! ゴジラ大暴れ (Muteki! Gojira Ooabare) – Invincible! Godzilla’s Violent Charge!/Invincible! Godzilla Rages
22 – 逆襲! スーパージキロを倒せ (Gyakushuu! Suupaajikiro-wo Taose) – Counterstrike! Strike Down Super-Jikiro!/Counterattack! Defeat Super Jiriko
23 – 大恐獣バクゴンの秘密 (Dai Kyoujuu Bakugon-no Himitsu) – Secret of Bakugon: The Giant Terror-Beast!/Secret of the Great Terror-Beast Bakugon
24 – 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ (Harifuki Kyoujuu Niidoraa-wo Taose) – Smash the Pin-Spitting Needlar!/Defeat the Needle Shooting Terror-Beast Needlar
25 – 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍 (Seizetsu! Zoon Gojira tai Kyoujuu Rengougun) – Bloodbath! Zone & Godzilla vs the United Terror-Beast Army!/Carnage! Zone & Godzilla vs the Allied Terror-Beast Forces
26 – 粉砕! ガロガガンマーX作戦 (Funsai! Garoga Ganmaa X Sakusen) – Pulverize Operation: Garoga Gamma-X!/Pulverize! The Garoga Gamma-Z Strategy

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Translations/information:
HistoryVortex
SciFiJapan

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Written by Tars Tarkas

Tars Tarkas

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