Posts tagged "Zone Fighter"

Zone Fighter Episode 26 – Funsai! Garoga Ganmaa X Sakusen

Zone Fighter Episode 26 – Funsai! Garoga Ganmaa X Sakusen

aka 粉砕! ガロガガンマーX作戦 aka Pulverize Operation: Garoga Gamma-X! aka Pulverize! The Garoga Gamma-X Strategy
Zone Fighter 26 粉砕! ガロガガンマーX作戦
1973
Written by Satoshi Kurumi
Directed by Kohei Oguri

March of Godzilla 2014

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!

Zone Fighter 26 粉砕! ガロガガンマーX作戦

Dammit, Akira, were you raised in a space barn???


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!

Zone Fighter 26 粉砕! ガロガガンマーX作戦

Busby Berkeley worked for the Garoga???


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…

Zone Fighter 26 粉砕! ガロガガンマーX作戦

They sent Grotogauros hurling through the time tunnel!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 11, 2014 at 11:43 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 25 – Seizetsu! Zoon Gojira tai Kyoujuu Rengougun

Zone Fighter Episode 25 – Seizetsu! Zoon Gojira tai Kyoujuu Rengougun

aka 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍 aka Bloodbath! Zone & Godzilla vs the United Terror-Beast Army! aka Carnage! Zone & Godzilla vs the Allied Terror-Beast Forces
Zone Fighter 25 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍
1973
Written by Yoshihisa Araki
Directed by Kengo Furusawa

March of Godzilla 2014

Zone Fighter goes all Judge Dredd all of a sudden!

Finally, the Garoga grow a brain and unleash an attack on Zone Fighter that could possibly work, drowning him in monster foes. Unfortunately, they don’t go full force with the idea, and Godzilla shows up to beat up some of the spare monsters.

Zone Fighter 25 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍

The Cheerios Bee was a tougher opponent than these guys!


Though five monsters appear – Mogranda, Spideros, Garaborg, Jikiro, and the new monster Kabutogirah – there are dozens of capsules shown that the Garoga have, and they even toss them all around Tokyo in preparation for a massive attack. Instead, the attack is sort of minor, some monsters appearing solo and others attacking just outside of town. The only way the massive monster strategy could be successful is if they throw out dozens of foes, so this holding back is weird.

The Garoga launch a whole slew of Terror-Beast missiles featuring some old favorite terror-beasts, and also some awful terror-beasts. No explanation for why they aren’t dead, but whatever! These are all the twin brothers of the dead monsters. Yeah, that’s it! The amount of returning monsters who were destroyed earlier is complicated because I don’t know if to classify them as new versions of the monsters, or as just the monsters themselves reappearing because they “got better”. Even more confusing, Jikiro appears again, but the last time we saw him, he was Super Jikiro. I find it hard to believe the Garoga would go to the trouble of downgrading one of their Terror-Beasts, so the reversion is doubly weird.

Zone Fighter 25 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍

A mint condition 1973 Super Jikiro!


Another explanation is the terror-beasts are recreated after each use, reincarnated like they are Cylons or something. This means that each of Zone Fighter’s murders of them are meaningless as far as killing them to destroy them goes, because they’ll always come back. It also means that the monsters will remember their defeats by Zone Fighter, which should in theory make them better combatants each time Zone and them fight. That doesn’t bear itself out, so maybe this theory is bunk as well. Or maybe the terror-beasts are just that stupid.

Several of the terror-beasts appear because Garoga combine together to becomes the terror-beast, while others are created from living things, mutated into terror-beasts. Most appear to be of unknown origin, whether they are captive animals mutated into monsters each time they need something to fight Godzilla, or even from breeding stock of creatures about the Garoga Space Station, stored in the terror-beast capsule form, or in pre-mutated animal form. If the reincarnation theory is true, would terror-beasts created from living things (such as Garoga Gorilla and Jellar/Kastom-Jellar) become part of the rotating terror-beast stable, or are they outside the instances of terror-beast reincarnation? This whole concept is more and more deeply troubling the more you think about terror-beasts and their origins. Their possible innocent status makes Zone Fighter look more like an evil bloodthirsty madman than his violent actions do on their own. And that’s pretty violent.

Zone Fighter 25 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍

I have all the rare vinyls! eBay Sniper 4 Lyfe!~~


Unfortunately, just like all the other mysteries, we’ll never know the definitive answer due to the series being abruptly cancelled with no known followup.

This episode is also notable for being the last appearance of Godzilla on the show. Godzilla just shows up out of the blue to help with the situation, one thinks he’s attracted to the large amount of kaiju bioenergy in the area due to the influx of terror-beasts. Godzilla fares the poorest of all his Zone Fighter adventures, almost losing against two weak opponents until Zone Fighter saves him (to be fair, he saved Zone Fighter first) Godzilla does finish off one of the monsters.

The original monster for episode 25 is Kabutogirah, who is a creature with dreadlocks and fashionable sunglasses. He’s in the prologue sequences with the other monsters, and emerges to fight Zone Fighter about halfway through the episode. He does a terrible job and is murdered, not even scoring a spot in the final battle. This makes him one of the lamest terror-beasts in show history, even when highly subsidized by other monsters, Kabutogirah isn’t even close to a threat.

If you need a refresher of all these monster monsters, check out the Zone Fighter Splash Page

Zone Fighter 25 凄絶! ゾーン・ゴジラ対恐獣連合軍

Bug Crew


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 7, 2014 at 8:36 am

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Zone Fighter Episode 24 – Harifuki Kyoujuu Niidoraa-wo Taose

Zone Fighter Episode 24 – Harifuki Kyoujuu Niidoraa-wo Taose

aka 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ aka Smash the Pin-Spitting Needlar! aka Defeat the Needle Shooting Terror-Beast Needlar
Zone Fighter 24 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ
1973
Written by Yuji Amamiya
Directed by Ishiro Honda

March of Godzilla 2014

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!

Zone Fighter 24 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ

Battle for the Domed City of Mars!


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.

Zone Fighter 24 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ

Either I took too much LSD again, or Zone Fighter has gone to plaid!


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.
Zone Fighter 24 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ

Needlar has tossed his Orange Julius at Zone Fighter. This violent act goes too far!


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.
Zone Fighter 24 針吹き恐獣ニードラーを倒せ

Children, we may play enemies on television, but I assure you we are both good friends in real life. Not good enough to get an invite to Needlar’s wedding, but close enough.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 4, 2014 at 3:54 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 23 – Dai Kyoujuu Bakugon-no Himitsu

Zone Fighter Episode 23 – Dai Kyoujuu Bakugon-no Himitsu

aka 大恐獣バクゴンの秘密 aka Secret of Bakugon: The Giant Terror-Beast! aka Secret of the Great Terror-Beast Bakugon
Zone Fighter 23 大恐獣バクゴンの秘密
1973
Written by Masaru Takesue
Directed by Ishiro Honda

March of Godzilla 2014

Come and get it, you Bouillabaseball playing mofo!

The Secret Garoga Plot in Secret of Bakugon: The Giant Terror-Beast! is so stupid that it makes the craziest Cobra plots from GI Joe look sane and rational. The Garoga plot to make several children believe that a junk yard is really a secret garden, thus they’ll get some ruined clothes and light scrapes. This means they’ll all have to get tetanus shots, thus depleting the worldwide supply, destroying humanity! The long-term plan might be some ridiculous plot to mind control the entire population of the planet, but no one really seems focused on that. They even have smaller tests before the elaborate children delusion, which rules out that this was just a test phase. This is the REAL DEAL plan!

Zone Fighter 23 大恐獣バクゴンの秘密

Trumpy! You can do magic things!


The plot is so ridiculously lame that it sinks the entire episode, and even a cool monster design like Bakugon cannot save it. Bakugon is like an ALF/anteater hybrid that shoots flames out of his nose and has a metal backpack full of fuel for said flames. It is cool to see a monster that’s obviously a mammal, far too many are variations of dinosaurs or other lizards, or even more human monsters. Bakugon has fur, we need more fuzzy kaiju. Plus he’d make a great rug in front of the fireplace!

There is a great philosophical crisis because the main evil Garoga splits himself from disguised as one human female to disguised as a human female and a small boy. Essentially being in two places at once and being two people. The question is if the Garoga became two Garoga, or if it was able to control both bodies simultaneously without adverse effects and keeping them doing separate projects but still under the same mind. Becuase if the Garoga became two Garoga, this is some serious business. It could be real, because we’ve seen Garoga merge and form terror-beasts before. So why couldn’t a Garoga split into two by mitosis? Or are the Garoga all under one mind? Though that doesn’t seem to jive with how the Garoga act in every other episode, so it’s highly unlikely. What we get is another great Garoga mystery that will never be solved.

Zone Fighter 23 大恐獣バクゴンの秘密

I know every rose has its thorn, but this is ridiculous!


A mysterious lady in all black (so obviously Garoga it hurts) is causing delusions in people – a family is on a road trip when it’s suddenly revealed they’re driving on the train tracks! And that somehow causes all of them to fall out of their car when dad slams on the breaks! Uh….. HUH?? Also some guy hallucinates that he’s water skiing while he’s really in a field, and is laughed at, but still, the whole family fell out of their car. How does that work? I’m so confused…
Zone Fighter 23 大恐獣バクゴンの秘密

We’re on strike until we get real pants!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 22 – Gyakushuu! Suupaajikiro-wo Taose

Zone Fighter Episode 22 – Gyakushuu! Suupaajikiro-wo Taose

aka 逆襲! スーパージキロを倒せ aka Counterstrike! Strike Down Super-Jikiro! aka Counterattack! Defeat Super Jiriko
Zone Fighter 22 逆襲! スーパージキロを倒せ
1973
Written by Masaru Takesue
Directed by Masao Minowa

March of Godzilla 2014

Jikiro hate bathtime!!

It’s time for another episode of Zone Fighter with Counterstrike! Strike Down Super-Jikiro!AKA Hikaru Gets a Girlfriend! Yes, the producers have noticed that Hikaru is a red-blooded Japanese male, but somehow doesn’t even look at the ladies, so they have one run into him this episode…literally! But don’t get too attached, she’s a one and done, and Hikaru even has a completely different “girlfriend” a few episodes later.

This episode takes place over the longest stretch of time that a single episode does, the exact amount I couldn’t determine, but Hikaru goes through two surgeries and recovery periods. Even with Zone Family super healing, at least two weeks goes by where a terror-beast is free to cause havoc and destruction.

Zone Fighter 22 逆襲! スーパージキロを倒せ

Why you shouldn’t buy cheap gloves


That terror-beast is stupid Jikiro, now back in Super Jikiro form. Someone must have really loved that monster concept, as this is the second of three appearances of Jikiro, though technically he’s Super Jikiro (and thus a different monster according to the official stats.) Weirdly, when he pops up again, he’ll just be plain old Jikiro. That episodes opens its own can of worms about terror-beast identities that will be discussed when the time comes. What is important is we got a new version of Jikiro with a new red paint job and new magnetic powers that prove to be more than a match for Zone Fighter. At least until he has radical surgery. Super Jikiro destroys a huge boat in the beginning of the episode and is implied to be rampaging in Tokyo Harbor, possibly killing untold numbers and disrupting the Japanese economy.

Painting new colors on old toys seems to be the new trick of the Garoga Scientist, because there is also a debut of a Garoga Submarine, which looks exactly like a Garoga Fighter, except it has yellow trim instead of red trim. Big difference there! It doesn’t have immunity from being shot up by Zone Fighter’s flying underwater car, which is an oversight they should have saw the need for before the prototype was even assembled!

Zone Fighter 22 逆襲! スーパージキロを倒せ

Don’t Zone and drive!


If you watch Zone Fighter just for the random appearances of toy store owner Takeru Jou, then this is a sad episode for you, because it’s the last appearance of the random character who took time away from characterization time for actual members of the Zone Family. We can only assume that he was murdered by the Garoga, and his head now tops Baron Garoga’s cane.

If you like shows with lots of surgery, people getting scalpels to the eye, and innocent people killed, then you’ll totally enjoy this episode! Don’t forget to drop by the Zone Fighter Splash Page for everything Zone Fighter.

Zone Fighter 22 逆襲! スーパージキロを倒せ

Scene stolen by Pacific Rim!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 2, 2014 at 10:43 pm

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Zone Fighter Episode 21 – Muteki! Gojira Ooabare

Zone Fighter Episode 21 – Muteki! Gojira Ooabare

aka 無敵! ゴジラ大暴れ aka Invincible! Godzilla’s Violent Charge! aka Invincible! Godzilla Rages
Zone Fighter 21 無敵! ゴジラ大暴れ
1973
Written by Shinichi Kanzawa
Directed by Kohei Oguri

March of Godzilla 2014

This is how we do!

Godzilla! Godzilla’s back! Hooray! Godzilla will save us from tedious Zone Fighter, at least he should, because he’s the whole freaking reason I’m watching this show! In fact, this episode isn’t that bad. It’s significantly creepy, featuring the Garoga doing some pretty horrible things. It also introduces a whole new perspective on the Garoga that presents a universe of trouble and possibilities.

We find out this episode Godzilla lives in a cave. Not just any cave, it’s a cave with an automatic split-open door, and it’s in the middle of an abandoned rocky terrained area just minutes from downtown Tokyo. Geographic craziness aside, the main question is, who built Godzilla’s home? Because I doubt it was Godzilla stomping around with carpenter’s tools. Maybe Godzilla got all his sons together and had them construct a house. But then we don’t see those sons, so maybe not. Godzilla is a minimalist, because it’s not decorated, and Godzilla just sits in the center of the cavern. Probably meditating, maybe composing music in his head, or reviewing and analyzing past battle victories in his mind. You know, kaiju thoughts. Godzilla keeps in practice by sparring with Zone Fighter, probably because he misses his friend, Jet Jaguar. Come visit, Jet!

Zone Fighter 21 無敵! ゴジラ大暴れ

Can’t a Godzilla watch the National Cheerleading Championships in peace without Zone Fighter begging for help?


This episode rules for several reasons. One is that Godzilla is in it. Another is that the Garoga totally gun down a whole lot of people in this episode. They kidnap Akira, and the hostage trade with the Zone Family actually feels dangerous. This is the episode where the Garoga most feel like an actual threat and not a bunch of goofy idiots in masks and costumes. There are only a few random points in other episodes where the Garoga are threatening, here they are mean for almost the entire run. It ads to the enjoyment of the series immensely to see the villains being so destructively evil. Something they should have done more of.

The monster in this episode is Jellar, who is a space blob found on a distant planet. The monster is also Kastom-Jellar, who grows from a part of Jellar that’s ripped off by Godzilla. Yes, this means there are two monsters. Double your pleasure, double your fun. Jellar and Kastom-Jellar are different enough to tell apart despite their origin as from the same being. Neither of which have what it takes to defeat Godzilla and Zone Fighter working together, despite Zone Fighter’s best efforts to fail.

Zone Fighter 21 無敵! ゴジラ大暴れ

Guest director: Teruo Ishii


Jellar is brought to the Garoga at Earth by other Garoga. Specifically, it’s presented to Baron Garoga, who up until this point seemed to be the leader of all Garoga, by White Garoga, who appears to be equal in rank to him. This means that there is a whole hierarchy of a Garoga Empire beyond the group that is garrisoned at Earth. The Garoga are more than just a bunch of thugs in a space station, they are a galactic empire with far reaching grasp, and the defeat of the group at Earth would just lead to more showing up. The entire series is only a tiny drop in the bucket, whatever victories Zone Fighter achieves are minor, and at some point the Garoga might just declare not worth the budget sinkhole and blow it up. They’ve sent comets to crash into Earth before, they might already be mad at the costs of a fruitless invasion. Heck, the Garoga might have other planets with other heroes that are stopping their advances. The point is we don’t know, because their is so much mystery about what is happening. And the worst thing is the series ends before the Garoga are defeated, so whatever gains are done, the evil is still out there, until it’s eventually retconned when the series is rebooted at some point in the future. If that ever happens…

But enough about futures and things, it’s all about the here and now, and we must go watch Godzilla and Zone Fighter battle some alien space goo, Garoga kidnap Akira, innocent people get gunned down, and subtextual soccer fantasies. If you need a Zone Fighter refresher, check out the Zone Fighter Splash Page!

Zone Fighter 21 無敵! ゴジラ大暴れ

The monster is convinced Zone Fighter is a schoolgirl!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 28, 2014 at 7:25 am

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