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Ichikawa learns that he has zebra powers.

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ZEBRAMAN - 2 Slimes
Not Rated
Copyright 2004 Bingo Y.K.
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 25 January 2010

Capsule Review:    

Zebraman is a superhero whose costume resembles Batman's, except that Zebraman's costume is inspired by the striped members of the Equus genus. So, imagine Batman with a striped suit and horse ears. That's Zebraman, the star of a forgotten 1978 television series of the same name and the personal hero of Mr. Ichikawa, a timid educator whose life is dreadful affair. To escape from reality, Ichikawa creates a Zebraman costume and pretends to be the iconic protector of Earth. His passion for black and white happiness is fanned to a roaring fire after he meets a young boy who knows all about Zebraman due to the Internet.

The trick here is that Zebraman was more than just a silly kids show about a superhero fighting aliens. All of the scripts were messages fortelling an alien invasion that is brewing under Ichikawa's school. Yeah, a UFO filled with squishy aliens crashed and the government built a school on top of it - idiots. As the aliens start possessing citizens and using them them as people puppets, the protagonist discovers that maybe he really is Zebraman.

What works for this film is that the Zebraman story is played with a serious tone. At first it is only the escapist fantasy of a lonely man, but later Ichikawa starts to actually display superhero powers when he runs into an alien-possessed killer. The ability to dodge deadly attacks obviously surprises the mousy schoolteacher, and when Ichikawa is trying to learn to fly, watching his (non-)progress is brutal.

Kids, if you jump off a bridge to practice flying, pick your bridge carefully.

On the other hand, anything to do with the government agency that is trying to cover-up the alien invasion is extremely silly. Two of the agents put up a gay front to avoid public suspicion about their activities, and the Colonel in charge of the military keeps getting hurt until he looks like the Invisible Man. Oh, and the song during the end credits is completely out of left field. I have no idea what that man is singing about, even with the subtitles. Ice cream floats? UPS deliveries on Sunday? Japanese men singing sha la la la, and it coming out "sha la la la" (vice "sha ra ra ra")? Incredible!

Things I Learned From This Show:  

Green Dot Superhero costumes need spandex like the desert needs the rain.
Green Dot Being punched in the face by a horse will clear your sinuses.
Green Dot Interestingly, the odds of a scalding hot alien landing on your head are ten times higher in Japan than in any other country.
Green Dot Gravity might be a harsh mistress, but Mother Earth is a sadistic, controlling b****h who doesn't know when to let go.
Green Dot Soccer is a form of martial arts.

Stuff To Watch For:  

Green Dot 4 mins - That'd be one way to keep from seeing the ring.
Green Dot 36 mins - Human origami: beautiful pain.
Green Dot 45 mins - Anyone who wants a Zebranurse of their own, raise your hand.
Green Dot 46 mins - Everybody should have their hands in the air right now.
Green Dot 101 mins - Is there any reason that the alien(s) keep imprisoning the kid inside an extraterrestrial booger?


Ichikawa: "But all of my friends complained 'Why black n' white on a color TV?' They called him undertaker man. The villains were flashier and the theme song was geeky."
Kid: "That's the best part."
Ichikawa: "You are so right!"

Ichikawa: "He was sending a warning to mankind via his Zebraman scripts. However, the show was cancelled."

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