"Meteor Missile Might!" the last thing you'll hear before suffering a Delayed Explosion. Ryusei Ningen Zone
, better known in the United States as Zone Fighter
, is a 1973 tokusatsu
series from Toho
, their second attempt at a superhero series. It is especially notable for crossing over with the Godzilla
The Sakimori/Zone family resembles a normal Japanese family, but they are an alien family that came to Earth after their home planet, Peaceland, was destroyed by the evil Garoga aliens. To stop the Garoga army's invasion on Earth, the Sakimori family's three children, Hikaru, the oldest son, Hotaru, the teenage sister, and Akira, the youngest brother, transform into the superheroes Zone Fighter, Zone Angel and Zone Junior, respectively. Zone Fighter can also turn into a giant sentai to fight kaiju, but only for a few minutes. Zone Fighter must use several different powers to kill the Terror Beasts and stop the Garoga once and for all.
The show sadly had a very short run (so short that making a paragraph on the series as a whole can't be done, or can it?) thanks partly to the 1973 oil crisis and partly due to low ratings. The show has also been criticized for being a "rip off" of the long-running Ultraman
. The show is most famous for having Toho's Godzilla, Gigan, and King Ghidorah making guest appearances on the show. That's right, that Godzilla
. The show has many campy moments since it was aimed at kids. Despite this camp however the show could be surprisingly violent for a kids show. You haven't lived until you've seen Zone Fighter rip out a monster's eyes, cut off its arms, shoot off its head, and then fly its corpse into space just for cheating in ring toss. There's a lot of Monster of the Week
so you'll rarely see the same kaiju twice, especially given what happens to said monster.
Zone Angel and Zone Junior will often help their brother recharge when he is running low on energy by shooting a beam into the capsule on the tip of his head crest or by using their aircraft called Smokey to fire a replacement capsule after the current one falls off. Zone Great, the grandpa, will sometimes help by pulling a lever which will send his energy into the sky and rain down on an attacking kaiju as a lighting bolt called the Thunder Bolt. The family friend Hideaki Obara is only human but will also lend a hand in stopping the Garoga. Godzilla
will also help time to time, and the family even made a sort of "Godzilla Cave".
Zone Fighter's trademark power is his Meteor Missile Might in which wristbands filled with anti-kaiju missiles are fired. Unlike the armies', they actually kill monsters and are very accurate, to the point that they even rival Showa Mechagodzilla's Finger Missiles or Heisei Moguera's Spiral Grenade Missiles. These missiles' destructive power rivals even the first Mechagodzilla's finger missiles. He can also fire a Meteor Proton Beam which can blow up a kaiju with a single blast and is used on monsters too powerful to be killed by the Missile Might Attack. He can also fire a stream of arrow shaped energy which can be either two little red stream, one large red stream, or two very short yellow ones. He can fire a Subduing Mist which acts as a sort of drug to calm down a monster, he can run at jet speed and fly. He also can make a Zone-Barrier to block projectiles or make a Hyper-Barrier to reflect projectiles back at the source.
Zone Fighter provides examples of the following tropes:
- Alien Invasion: Subverted by Zone Fighter and his family as they try to save the world from giant monsters called Terror Beasts. Played straight with the evil Garoga who not only want to destroy Earth but have destroyed Planet Peaceland, Zone's home world and making him and his family the last of their kind.
- Attack Reflector: Zone Fighter can make a forcefield in the shape of a shield called the Hyper Barrier to reflect beams right back at an attacking monster.
- Awesome but Impractical: Zone Fighter can grow to become a 62 metes, 55,000 tons sentai more powerful then Godzilla but only for a few minutes.
- Badass: Zone Fighter has beaten Godzilla in a friendly match, fought King Ghidorah twice leading to a draw and even killed Gigan! That's right! Gigan isn't in any more films until Godzilla Final Wars because he was killed.
- Big Bad: Garoga and King Ghidorah.
- Big Damn Heroes: Zone Fighter obviously. Sometimes Zone Angel, Zone Junior, and Zone Great.
- Breath Weapon: Several monsters in the show including Godzilla and King Ghidorah.
- Crossover: Godzilla did show up on the show five times after all, and King Ghidorah twice. Gigan only once but that's understandable what with him being killed on the show.
- Curbstomp Battle: Godzilla vs. Gigan round 2, King Ghidorah vs. Zone Fighter round 1.
- Delayed Explosion: The whole point of the show, Zone's Meteor Missile Might will kill a kaiju who will then explode mere seconds after falling over, sometimes even before that. Some monsters even have there heads randomly pop off a few seconds later then suffer a Delayed Explosion.
- The Dragon: Literally, with King Ghidorah.
- Dueling Movies: In this case Dueling Shows since Zone Fighter is "inspired" by Ultraman.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Even more so when said dinosaur is none other then the nuclear menace Godzilla.
- Eye Beams: At least two monsters in the show have them.
- Eye Scream: Zone Fighter rips out the eyes of a monster after karate-chopping him hard enough for them to pop out of their sockets.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Quit a few in this show.
- Fighting a Shadow: Subverted in one episode; also notable as the monster spawned from Zone Fighter's shadow is the ONLY monster Zone Fighter could not kill in the series.
- Follow the Leader: Giant hero similar to Ultraman? Check!
- The "family of superheroes" aspect also makes it similar to Shazam
- Friendship Moment: Zone Fighter has given quite a few of these to Godzilla in their fights together, particularly in the episodes featureing Zandolla and the Jellars.
- Glass Cannon: Zone Fighter dishes out a lot of damage but he has a hard time taking it.
- Hot-Blooded: The theme song. Sung by Masato Shimon, so it's gotta be.
- Make My Monster Grow: Zone Fighter grows to giant size in mere second to fight giant monsters for a few minutes before needing to recharge.
- No Export for You: The show has never been sold out of Japan.
- Our Dragons Are Different: King Ghidorah again.
- Our Monsters Are Weird: Most of the evil monsters in this show are just too strange to even begin to describe.
- People in Rubber Suits: Well, duh.
- Special Guest: Godzilla, King Ghidorah, and Gigan.
- Spell My Name with an "S": In Japan, Zone Fighter is known as Zone The Meteor Man or The Human Meteor Zone.