Apocalypse Zero

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Apocalypse Zero
ApocalypseZero vol1 Cover.jpg
Cover of Apocalypse Zero volume 1 as published by Media Blasters
(Kakugo no Susume)
Genre Martial arts, Post-apocalyptic science fiction
Written by Takayuki Yamaguchi
Published by Akita Shoten
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Champion
Original run 19941996
Volumes 11
Original video animation
Directed by Toshihiro Hirano
Studio Ashi Productions
Licensed by
Released October 23, 1996December 18, 1996
Episodes 2
Anime and Manga portal

Apocalypse Zero (覚悟のススメ Kakugo no Susume?, lit. "Onward Kakugo") is a manga series written and illustrated by Takayuki Yamaguchi.

The manga was adapted into a two-part original video animation in 1996.


Kakugo and Harara are siblings trained to fight the monsters roaming in post-apocalyptic 21st century Tokyo. To aid them, Kakugo and Harara were entrusted with "Fortified Armor Shells", exoskeletons forged from the souls of deceased warriors. After Harara succumbs to the evil within the armor, it is up to Kakugo to defeat his sibling.


Kakugo Hagakure

Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera (Japanese), Lex Lang (English)

The main protagonist of the series, he received the Zero armor. Unlike Harara, Kakugo stuck to his duty to protect innocent citizens in trouble. This leads to several encounters with the monsters that inhabit the city and finally Harara, himself.

Harara Hagakure

Voiced by: Megumi Ogata (Japanese), Mona Marshall (English)

Kakugo's older brother and the main antagonist of the series. Believing humanity responsible for the death of the environment, he has become determined to destroy all humans, with the aid of beings known as "Tactical Evils." Harara received the Kasumi armor, which he used to kill his father and defeat his brother in their first battle. After Kakugo defeats all of Harara's Tactical Evils, Harara possesses the defeated form of Eikichi in an attempt to finally destroy Kakugo. In the ensuing battle, Kakugo manages to emerge victorious over his sibling. He is male despite having a body and voice of a woman.

Tsumiko Horie

Voiced by: Mitsuko Horie (Japanese), Sherry Lynn (English)

A girl at the school Kakugo attends. She falls in love with Kakugo after witnessing him destroy the city's monsters.

Kazu Shimada

Voiced by: Shin-ichiro Miki (Japanese), Dave Mallow (English)

A student at Kakugo's school, he falls victim to Hamuko. After having his face sucked off, he is devoured by her and later regurgitated during Hamuko's battle with Kakugo. His body is later cremated by Kakugo after the fight.

Oboro Hagakure

Voiced by: Shukatsu Shibata (Japanese), Tony Pope (English)

The father of Kakugo and Harara who was responsible for their training. Harara ended up turning on him and killed Oboro during a fight.

Hiroko Uchiyama

Voiced by: Yuka Imai (Japanese), Michelle Ruff (English)

Shimada's girlfriend, she was killed by Hamuko right in front of him.


Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (Japanese), Mari Devon (English)

One of Haoka's friends, usually seen with Ponsuke. He is attacked Dogumakuro's Flower, but saved by Kakugo.

School Principal

Voiced by: Kenichi Ogata (Japanese), Bob Papenbrook (English)

The head of the school in New Tokyo. He appears to care for his students, showing dismay when Shimada and Hiroko fail to arrive to class.


Voiced by: Kitaro Katashiro (Japanese), Selece Zan (English)

Haoka's other friend. Generally seen with Ponta. He has a sword for protection.


Voiced by: Kunihiko Yasui (Japanese), Derek Stephen Prince (English)

Harara's Security Chief.


Voiced by: Masako Katsuki (Japanese), Melodee Spevack (Credited as Sonja S. Fox) (English)

A large monster with clown-like features and the first Tatical Evil Kakugo encounters. She enjoys killing females outright and consuming the men they were with. She also wears the face of her most recent victim over her breast. After attempting to simply subdue her, Kakugo finally kills her after disabling her powers.


Voiced by: Minami Takayama (Japanese), Jessica Gee (English)

A friend of Horie. She is distinguished by the bandages she wears over her face, it is never revealed why she wears them.


Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba (Japanese), Steve Kramer (English)

One of the teachers at the school. Unlike the principal, he shows little remorse for the loss of students and doesn't take his job seriously, as evidenced by his consumption of alcohol.


Voiced by: Terrence Stone (English)

An Executive at Harara's fortress. He is responsible for reporting the threat of Kakugo to her and advises against her actions during the final battle.


Voiced by: Takeshi Aono (Japanese), Steve Kramer (English)

An elderly Tactical Evil who is sent to attack Kakugo. Though he manages to gain the upper hand against the unarmored Kakugo, he is quickly defeated once Kakugo gains his Zero armor. His body is then possessed by Harrara and perishes along with her when Kakugo defeats him.


Voiced by: Toshiyuki Morikawa (Japanese), Doug Stone (English)

A feared student at the school, he resents anyone who goes after Horie. Haoka initially dislikes Kakugo, but eventually comes to respect him. He is injured by Eikichi, but appears alive at the finale.


Voiced by: Derek Stephen Prince (English)

The second Tactical Evil encountered, Dogumakuro is a mutant rock star capable of electrocuting his opponents with his tongue. Kakugo manages to overcome this and defeats him by shattering his skull and evaporating his body.


Voiced by: Doug Stone (English)

First appearing as the head of the school's security, Rai is actually Harara's Security adviser. He delivers fighters for Harara to kill at her fortress.


Voiced by: Yuko Miyamura (Japanese), Melissa Fahn (English)

Taking on the form of a nurse, Megumi is a Tactical Evil who attempts to seduce men before killing them. Capable of regenerating limbs, Kakugo kills her by fully dismembering her.


Voiced by: Tony Pope (English)

The general of the Tactical Evils.



The Apocalypse Zero manga series was written and illustrated by Takayuki Yamaguchi. It was originally serialized in the Akita Shoten magazine Weekly Shōnen Champion from 1994 to 1996. A total of 11 tankōbon (chapter collections) volumes were published by Akita Shoten.[1][2] An English translation of the manga was published as a graphic novel in the US by Media Blasters beginning on January 19, 2005. The manga was sold shrink wrapped, presumably due to the large amount of violence.[3] Only six of the original 11 volumes were translated and released, as Media Blasters chose to cease publication of the series in early 2007.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]


The Apocalypse Zero anime OVA was co-produced by Victor Entertainment, Tomy and Big West Advertising, it was animated by Ashi Productions and directed by Toshihiro Hirano. It was released in Japan in two volumes from October 23, 1996 to December 18, 1996. The US license for Apocalypse Zero was acquired by Media Blasters who created a dubbed English language version of the anime translated by Takashi Sakudo and produced by Bang Zoom! Studios. The two VHS volumes were released from June 20 to August 22, 2000.[11][12] A DVD release containing both episodes was released on August 28, 2001.[13]

Video game[edit]

A video game based on Apocalypse Zero was released on the PlayStation on March 21, 1997 exclusively in Japan by Tomy.[14] The game is a standard 3D fighting game allowing the player to go head-to-head against the CPU or against another player. It features seven characters to choose from based on both the anime and manga, and animated cut scenes taken from the OVA.


Due to the use of gratuitous violence and repulsive imagery, critical reception to Apocalypse Zero has been largely negative.[15][16][17][18] John Oppliger of AnimeNation called the Apocalypse Zero OVA "the most viscerally violent and gruesome anime" he has seen and "arguably the most grotesque anime ever made".[19] Animerica called Apocalypse Zero the "Best Anime Splattervision" in its "Best of the Best" awards. "When a 45-minute video features a scene where someone's face is sucked off, and that's not even the most shocking thing in the video," the magazine proclaimed, "you know you'll be getting your horror-show money's worth."[20]


  1. ^ 覚悟のススメ 第1巻 [Apocalypse Zero Volume 1] (in Japanese). Akita Shoten. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ 覚悟のススメ 第11巻 [Apocalypse Zero Volume 11] (in Japanese). Akita Shoten. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  3. ^ "Level C Uncut but...". Anime News Network. November 24, 2004. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  4. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Vol. 1 (v. 1)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  5. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Volume 2 (6) (v. 2)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  6. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Volume 3 (6) (v. 3)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  7. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Volume 4 (v. 4)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  8. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Volume 5 (v. 5)". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  9. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Volume 6". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  10. ^ "Media Blasters pulls out of Seinen / Older Shounen Market". Anime News Network. March 14, 2007. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  11. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Battle 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  12. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Battle 2". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  13. ^ "Apocalypse Zero - Battle 1-2". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  14. ^ 覚悟のススメ [Kakugo no Susume] (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  15. ^ Santos, Carlo (August 27, 2005). "Apocalypse Zero GN 1 - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  16. ^ Beveridge, Chris (September 25, 2001). "Apocalypse Zero". Mania.com. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  17. ^ Ross, Carlo. "Apocalypse Zero". THEM Anime Reviews. Archived from the original on 30 November 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-09. 
  18. ^ "Apocalypse Zero Vol. 1.(Brief Article)(Book Review)". Publishers Weekly. December 20, 2004. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  19. ^ "Ask John: What is the Most Violent Anime Ever?". Anime Nation. 2004-12-17. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  20. ^ "Best of the Best". Animerica. Archived from the original on 2004-06-11. Retrieved 2011-07-02. 

External links[edit]