Zone Fighter Episode 26 – Funsai! Garoga Ganmaa X Sakusen
I spiked your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with LSD, Zone Fighter!
This is it! The moment we’ve all been waiting for, the final confrontation of the Zone Family and their antagonists, the evil Garoga! The final battle will begin…. Hold on, I’m getting a message. This isn’t the final battle, this is just a normal battle. And then the series got canned! D’oh! What an anticlimax! Yes, a mix of ratings and the energy crisis caused Zone Fighter to be unceremoniously dropped from production without a resolution. So whatever happened to Zone? It is a mystery. A big mystery, because if there has been any followups via comic books, official lore, or even mention in other Toho programming, it has not been brought to the attention of anyone in the West, nor does it show up when I search for “流星人間ゾーン” or similar. There was a Zone Fighter comic strip that was out the same time as the show, and some children’s books, but nothing to indicate they resolve the plot (most look like adaptations of episodes). So whatever does happens will never be solved, until Toho gets around to solving it. Well, 2023 will be the 50th anniversary, maybe they’ll do something then… Heck, even freaking Godman got an updated tale!
So we got to end on a low note, and just assume that right after this episode aired, every Garoga had a massive heart attack and the day was saved. At least that’s how it worked out in my head canon, which is the most accurate canon of all.
Zone Fighter battles some special Garoga, who have X on their uniform, but they aren’t mutants or anything, or even like Malcolm X. They’re just extra-jerky Garoga. The Garoga X combine into a special Garoga-themed monster named Grotogauros, who sort of suck. But he means well. If you need some refresher on the Zone Fighter mythos, the Zone Fighter Splash Page is there to help!
Baron Garoga fires a missile at the Zone Family house, and we see a rainbow barrier stop the missile. The missile was created by a bunch of Earth scientists, and was supposed to get past the barrior. Baron Garoga berates them, and then presses a button and they fall through trap doors and out into space. Huzzah! The Garoga need to do more horrible horrible things.
Next a ship docks, and it’s full of elite Garoga Agents who have a big X on their uniform It’s the X-Men! Magneto! Cerebro! They are reporting for duty to kick some Zone Family butt. I’m not sure if they were assigned the job or if Baron Garoga ordered them or if they just showed up one day for no reason at all, but whatevers, the story is moving ahead of my ruminations…
On Earth, a not so young boy who still has short shorts on gets zapped in the face by a disguised X Garoga agent, who is disguised as a very obvious yakuza gangster. The kid’s name is Ken, because of course it is. Why is it always Ken? I’d not be surprised if Akira’s middle name was Ken. Ken’s eyes are racked with pain, and he’s blind! BLIND! Not even from soap poisoning! His dad races him to the hospital, but it’s too late. He’s blind.
Turns out Ken’s dad works at a company where a new super powered energy source has been invented on Earth, and the Garoga have their sights on it….by first denying sight to a child. The X Garoga are not only jerks, but they like bad puns! They tell Ken’s dad they’ll give Ken his sight back, in exchange for dad giving them what they need, which is the information about the energy source. The X Garoga use the sleazy gangster form disguise while making the offer, which gives it a trustworthy rating of 0.0. So of course Ken’s dad is eager to go along with it to save his son.
Hotaru, Hikaru, and Akira are ambushed by X Garoga, who scream like angry babies when jumping into battle. It’s sort of hilarious. It’s actually hilarious. These X Garoga are funny guys! Kill them all anyway! The X Garoga can also do illusions and fakeouts and the like, which confuses the Zone Family despite their experience with monsters doing this before. Hikaru sprays them with some sort of gas, all we see left is a Garoga glove. Why don’t they use this gas all the freaking time? Seems like it would be useful…
Hikaru tries to talk Ken’s dad out of stealing the plans, but dad is desperate to help his son, so he does anyway. When returning home with the plans, Hikaru tries to talk him out of it again, but the yakuza X Garoga attacks! It’s a tough job figuring out if him or Hikaru has the worst outfit on. It’s like 1970s fashion had a fight, and we all lose. X Garoga solves this dilemma by transforming to X Garoga form and now having the cooler outfit. Suck on that, Zone!
The X Garoga escpaes with the dad, driving to a cave by the ocean. He’s going to kill the dad anyway, we all knew that, even Ken’s dad probably knew that, but went along with it because he’s desperate and dumb. But the Zones burst in and now Zone and X Garoga Leader are fighting outside. Garoga X Leader dropped the antidote, which he had on him for reasons unknown. Never fear, the antidote doesn’t come into play at all in this episode. Yes, they just wasted our time with a loose end!
X Garoga Leader calls down the other X Garoga, and they can use the spikes on their gloves as explosives! That seems cool. Zone Angel and Zone Junior fire guns at the goons, somehow setting sea water on fire. Must be all that 1970s pollution the Smog Monster loved. Despite Zone Angel shooting a large boulder out of the air, Zone Fighter somehow still falls into the ocean like a punk. X Garoga follow for a famed underwater fight sequence!
The type of famed underwater fight sequence that’s obviously not underwater and just filmed behind a fish tank. Zone jumps out of the water, and the X Garoga squad combines and forms the monster Grotogauros, who is aquatic themed either out of luck or because they were underwater. It is a mystery! Grotogauros looks like some Garoga mated with Gabara and then tried on He-Man’s clothes. Maybe he’s supposed to be a Garoga sea horse?
Zone Fighter grows big and fights him in the water, and then fights him on the land. Grotogauros spits hallucinogenic gas, and also snorts hallucinogenic gas out his nose. He’s very gassy, thankfully they stop showing orifices. Zone is soon chasing fake copies and Grotogauros keeps appearing as Zone Angel or Zone Junior to score hits on Zone Fighter, who should be realizing his siblings don’t have the power to grow big so it’s fair game to punch them!
Zone Fighter defeats Grotogauros through the power of not looking at him! This is some sort of zen thing that isn’t very zen. Then Zone Fighter throws Grotogauros around some more, and punches out a bunch of his teeth! Zone Fighter brings out the bloodlust and massacres Grotogauros with blasts from his wrist guns. But then Grotogauros grabs Zone as he dies, and both fall into the ocean as the monster explodes.
Zone jumps to freedom and away from the explosion, because he’s freaking Zone Fighter, bitch!
Ken gets his sight back after the monster dies. Told you the cure was pointless! Next time listen to me, I didn’t watch 26 episodes of this crap to lie to you. Zone Fighter has saved the day again, for the last time. Not because he dies, but because the show got cancelled. So maybe he did die. Or maybe he had pie. Pie for everyone! That’s a Zone Fighter ending I can get behind. Now if you excuse me, I got to go buy some strawberry rhubarb pie, because it’s the best pie.
Never fear, there is at least one more Zone Fighter article coming down the pipe for March of Godzilla 2014!
Rated 7/10 (blue opening blorb, trap door, the cure that is useless, reverse the polarity, blinded by the light, flaming sea water, Garoga morphing)
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