Zone Fighter Episode 24 – Harifuki Kyoujuu Niidoraa-wo Taose
Let’s see who you really are…OH MY GOD THE BLOOD ARRRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!
Zone Fighter is back again with a very spooky episode that finally has the Garoga doing very creepy things that aren’t weird. It’s also got Needlar in the title, despite Needlar barely being in the film. But kids aren’t going to care about the creepy atmospheric story, they just want to seem Zone Fighter punch some monsters in the face and then murder them. And, yes, Zone does murder poor Needlar, who had it coming, because he’s named Needlar and barely shoots needles. Way to abandon your gimmick, bro!
What the meat of this episode is, is the village where everyone has been hypnotized by the Garoga into being their slaves, causing them to march in formation during rainy nights and ignore their surroundings. The Garoga treat the workers as disposable, because there are plenty more slave humans around. The end game seems to involve Garoga turning the humans into cyborgs, the exact reasons for which is lost in the unsubtitled Japanese, but probably for ease of them being slaves. So in some sense, the Garoga are the original Borg. The Gaborga.
Another interesting thing happens, which is the Mighty Liner drives off a cliff and explodes. Never fear, the Zone Family somehow were thrown clear of the vehicle despite the doors being closed and the windows unbroken, and are thus lightly injured. But the Mighty Liner is a total loss. Which means it’s back by the next episode, with no explanation given. Zone Family mechanics are just that good. Or maybe they have a whole crate of Mighty Liners. Whatever the true answer, it’s probably dumb.
I’ll take back my comments on Ishiro Honda slumming in the last episode, because here he isn’t slumming. I would say he made a conscious decision which episode would be better and then focused all his energies there. In particular, this episode features large scale scenes shot at night with rain effects, and spooky lighting such as green-tinted bulbs illuminating people. It’s impressively done, and keeps the mood spooky enough that you don’t miss the monster action, instead wondering just what the heck is going on. The only problem is it eats up much of the monster time, and Needlar sort of sucks.
But…Needlar’s death scene is BLOODY AWESOME! Because it’s bloody, and awesome. Let’s just say Needlar loses his head over his death sequences. And sprays hoses full of blood all over while doing so. Maybe he should be called Hosar. This graphic death is weird for what is essentially a childrens’ show, and sort of counter to the spooky atmosphere. The whole giant monster sequence escapes the boundaries of the episode’s tone, so that’s not too surprising. Overall, this becomes a solid episode for Zone Fighter. If you need a refresher on Zone Fighter, drop by the Zone Fighter Splash Page.
Two guys went hiking in the rain like a pair of dopes and got all wet, one of them hurting himself in a fall. They decide to ask the first house they see for permission to stay inside until the rain stops. The door doesn’t answer, and the man they see through the windows doesn’t move. Opening the door, they discover the man is either dead or catatonic when he falls to the floor, and they run out in a panic. They then hears strange tones and see strange lights, and then spy a column of marching people who ignore them.
All of this is relayed at the hospital by the injured hiker to the Zone Family as he recovers. Just how and why he’s telling them, who knows. Perhaps he’s yet another one and done friend of the Zone Family. Hikaru and Hotaru go investigate, finding a journal of the dead old man that recorded a bunch of weird stuff. As they drive away, they are hit by a bunch of soundwaves that make them very very tired, causing Zone Fighter to nod off and drive the car off the road. Mighty Liner EXPLODES!!!! Garoga in suits laugh at the smokey wreck and toss rocks at it.
Is this the end of Zone Fighter? Yes!
I mean, NO!
Luckily, both Hikaru and Hotaru were thrown clear from the crashed car (this is the second episode where every occupant of a car with the doors locked and windows up somehow were thrown outside a speeding crashing car to safety with only minor injuries. Do I have to point out that car accidents do not work that way? Because I will, and this article will suddenly get more boring.
A terror-beast missile is launched towards Earth, and Hotaru and Hikaru hear the strange tones and see the townspeople walking in a line in a zombie-like state. They follow at the end of the line. The villagers head inside a Garoga base where the Garoga are experimenting on the people. The Red Garoga in charge easily notices the two heroes and as they are too weak to transform, has his goons punch them until he can strap them to a bed. Why do dangerous undercover work if you are too weak to defend yourself? Bad planning. Now our heroes are strapped to beds and the Garoga are about to do horrible medical experiments to them. Basically sew some sort of metal pieces that look like jacks into Hotaru’s neck. Someone tell the Garoga that’s not how you play jacks! I guess the Garoga are turning the people into cyborgs to make it easier to hypnotize them, but given the Garoga track record, the jacks in neck conspiracy might be a scheme to ruin the scarves of everyone in Japan!
I guess it’s doom for zone Fighter and Zone Angel, but not really as Zone Junior then bursts in and shoots everything with his gun. The exploding equipment turns off the sonic wave interference, and his siblings are free and transform and begin handing out whoop-ass. The day is saved because a child fired indiscriminately into a crowded room.
Suddenly Needlar bursts from the ground! He sounds like he has a very bad sinus infection. Have you seen the doctor lately, Needlar? Because I think he can give you some antibiotics and clear your sickness right up…
Needlar looks like a cyborg Aztec elephant bull or something. Needlar randomly has explosions all over his body, which is hilarious. He’s glitched, they couldn’t wait until he was finished and are beta testing him in the field. Typical Garoga practices. And, yes, Needlar breaths fire just like almost every other Terror-Beast. Needlar also shoots (explosive) needles, thanks to the power of putting a blowgun up to his chest. He can also just toss his needles at his opponent, which is just if not more effective. Needlar also has the power to project energy from his hands that causes Zone to have long electric shocks.
Needlar has all these cool powers, and yet they do nothing to ensure the win. Zone’s at red energy. This time the villains don’t even have to do anything to keep Zone from getting recharged, Zone Angel’s aim is so bad she doesn’t even get close, and Zone Fighter gets walloped on some more.
A second attempt works (after some dramatic delay) and now Needlar is the one getting walloped. Needlar then pulls out a huge huge crystal sword, and he tosses it at Zone Fighter, who blows it up with his proton beam. Bye-bye crystal sword! Zone Fighter lies in circles for his loop-de-loop attack, and follows that up by shooting Needlar multiple times with his wrist guns.
Needlar stumbles, then his head explodes clean off. But that’s not the cool part. The cool part is five arteries in the stump cause blood to be spraying everywhere from the wound. Yes, there is crazy arterial spray in this kids film! The body then explodes, everyone is free, Zone Fighter blows up the Garoga base for good measure (why bother to keep it around to comb through for evidence of other Garoga plots?), and the day is saved to be put in danger again soon enough.
Rated 7/10 (opening rings, diary logo, jacks, surgery jacks, annoying orange, fire spitter tube, rings)
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