|This article is about a/an movie in the Kamen Rider Series.|
|WARNING: This movie contains scenes of graphic violence and blood. Viewer discretion is advised!|
Kamen Rider ZO (仮面ライダーZO Kamen Raidā Zetto Ō), translated as Masked Rider ZO, is a 1993 Japanese tokusatsu movie produced by Toei Company, part of their Kamen Rider Series. Directed by Keita Amemiya, the film was the first joint production between Toei Company Limited and Bandai.
As part of the 40th anniversary of the Kamen Rider Series, ZO was shown on Toei's pay-per-view channel during September 2011.
In the earliest trailer which was titled "Masked -Rider-", ZO's suit looks completely different from the film version. Many years later, Keita Amemiya finally confirmed it is actually Kamen Rider Black's suit since at that time they didn't have a final design.
The film was promoted by the TV special Fight! Our Kamen Rider!- The Strongest Rider, ZO is Born!, broadcast on March 27th 1993.
Masaru Aso was the lab assistant of geneticist Doctor Mochizuki, used as one of his experiments related the creation of the Neo Organism, enabling him to transform into a grasshopper-like being called Kamen Rider ZO. He fled into the mountainside and went into a coma before he was awakened by a telepathic call two years later with an unconscious urge to protect Hiroshi Mochizuki, the son of Doctor Mochizuki.
After an attempt to uncover the meaning of his transformation at Mochizuki Genetics, Masaru senses Hiroshi in danger and saves the boy from Doras as ZO. Weakened after reviving himself following the fight, Doras sends Koumori Man and Kumo Woman to pursue Hiroshi in the meantime. Masaru learns that Dr. Mochizuki mysteriously vanished before he revealed himself after a misunderstanding with Reiko and her karate class. By then, ZO battles Koumori Man to cover Hiroshi and Reiko's escape before they are sucked in a pocket dimension by Kumo Woman, both monsters created by Doras. But ZO saves them and kills Kumo Woman before Koumori Man swoops down and snatches Hiroshi off, with ZO in pursuit.
After saving Hiroshi, Masaru reveals to Seikichi that Dr. Mochizuki used him in his experiments. Refusing to believe it, Hiroshi ran off before Masaru found him and fixed the watch, recognizing the melody that stirred him out of his rest as he helps Hiroshi cope with this new information. However, Koumori Man assumed Mochizuki's form to lure Hiroshi away and capture him with Doras knocking Masaru out cold. Making his way to a complex, ZO kills Koumori Man before making his way to Hiroshi and Dr. Mochizuki, learning that the geneticist was the one who woke him up and that the Neo Organism has been acting on its own whim the entire time to become the perfect being.
ZO attempts to fight Doras, only to be assimilated into the Neo Organism. Doras then proceeds to use the boy as bait to force Mochizuki to complete its evolution. However, the watch manages to hold Doras at bay as ZO breaks out of the monster and Mochizuki sacrifices himself to destroy the pool, the Neo Organism's life source. The complex then detonates as ZO and Hiroshi escaped with their lives. Dropping Hiroshi off with Seikichi, Masaru leaves to parts unknown.
|Kamen Rider ZO||Masaru Aso|
S.I.C. Hero Saga
- Kamen Rider ZO (& J): ZO vs. J (MASKED RIDER ZO (& J） -ZO vs J- Kamen Raidā Zetto Ō (ando Jei) -Zetto Ō vs Jei-)
- Masaru Aso (麻生 勝 Asō Masaru): Kou Domon (土門 廣 Domon Kō)
- Hiroshi Mochizuki (望月 宏 Mochizuki Hiroshi): Shohei Shibata (柴田 翔平 Shibata Shōhei)
- Doctor Mochizuki (望月博士 Mochizuki-Hakase): Isao Sasaki (佐々木 功 Sasaki Isao)
- Seikichi Mochizuki (望月 清吉 Mochizuki Seikichi): Hiroshi Inuzuka (犬塚 弘 Inuzuka Hiroshi)
- Reiko (玲子 Reiko): Naomi Morinaga (森永 奈緒美 Morinaga Naomi)
- Kuroda (黒田 Kuroda): Kenji Ohba (大葉 健二 Ōba Kenji)
- Nishimura (西村 Nishimura): Masaru Yamashita (山下 優 Yamashita Masaru)
- Miyazaki (宮崎 Miyazaki): Iori Sakakibara (榊原 伊織 Sakakibara Iori)
- Neo Organism/Doras (ネオ生命体／ドラス Neo Seimeitai/Dorasu, Voice): Shingo Yuzawa (湯沢 真伍 Yuzawa Shingo)
- Kamen Rider ZO: Jiro Okamoto (岡元 次郎 Okamoto Jirō)
- Doras: Kazutoshi Yokoyama (横山 一敏 Yokoyama Kazutoshi) and Seiji Takaiwa (高岩 成二 Takaiwa Seiji)
- Koumori Man: Kiyohito Nakagawa (中川 清人 Nakagaewa Kiyohito)
- "Hohoemi no Yukue" (微笑みの行方 "The Whereabouts of Smile")
- "Ai ga Tomaranai" (愛が止まらない "Love Doesn't Stop")
Kazuhiko Shimamoto drew a manga adaptation of the film. The manga takes some liberties with the plot: including expanding the role of several characters and a different characterization of ZO himself. The manga is also more graphic and violent than the movie. It includes a short story about Kamen Rider Black and a short story about Kamen Rider creator Shotaro Ishinomori himself.
The movie was adapted into a full motion video game for the Sega CD with an interface similar to Dragon's Lair, the game was released in America as The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO. This is one of the few Kamen Rider entries to be released in the US, even if the movie itself was never released there.
Footage with the Neo Organism monsters was used in Saban's Masked Rider in its 2-part pilot and 2 other episodes.
Some of the music from the movie appeared in the Juukou B-Fighter movie as well as episodes 49-51 & 53 of the series.
Home video releases
- ZO was originally released on VHS video and Laserdisc on October 11, 1993.
- ZO was released on DVD on December 21, 2003.
- On December 24th, 2015, ZO was released to Blu-ray as part of the Kamen Rider: Shin · ZO · J Blu-ray Disc BOX, compiling the three Kamen Rider Series films of the 1990s as well as the anime Kamen Rider SD: Strange!? Kumo Otoko.
- Like Kamen Rider Shin, this film was labeled as a 20th anniversary event. However, it was released in 1993, the franchise's 22nd year.
- This mistake would humorously be brought up by ZO himself as one of his many complaints about how he is treated by Toei in one of the Let's Go Kamen Rider Net Movies.
- In a 2017 interview, the film's director Keita Amemiya confirmed that Kamen Rider ZO was intended to continue into a planned TV series, but due to creative issues and problems the project never made it past the early planning stages.
- Kamen Rider ZO at Wikipedia
- Kamen Rider ZO at Japanese Wikipedia
- Theatrical Trailer at the Toei Movie Youtube Channel (Japanese)
- ↑ Director's interview in Blu-ray disk
- ↑ http://tokusatsunetwork.com/2017/05/video-tokusatsu-network-interviews-keita-amemiya-garo/
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