The Legend of Zorro (anime series)

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The Legend of Zorro
Kaiketsu Zorro.jpg
Promotional poster for the television series Kaiketsu Zorro
快傑ゾロ
(Extraordinary Zorro)
Genre Historical, adventure
Anime television series
Directed by Katsumi Minoguchi
Written by Sukehiro Tomita
Music by Hiromoto Tobisawa
Studio Ashi Productions
Mondo TV
Original network NHK
Original run April 5, 1996March 28, 1997
Episodes 52
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The Legend of Zorro (Japanese: 快傑ゾロ, Hepburn: Kaiketsu Zoro, lit. "Extraordinary Zorro") is an Italian/Japanese anime, based on the western character Zorro. Fifty-two episodes were produced, although only forty-six were broadcast in Japan. The series became very popular in European countries, including Portugal and Spain, the colonial powers in the story.

Plot[edit]

Diego de la Vega, the eighteen-year-old scion of a local landowner, returns from studying in Spain and discovers that his homeland has fallen under the dictatorship of Captain Raymond and Lieutenant Gabriel. Outraged by the oppression, Diego decides to fight the tyrants. Disguised as Zorro, a masked swordsman, he helps the weak, riding away on his horse, Viento.

In his day-to-day life, Diego portrays himself as a clumsy, cowardly boy who flees when faced with dangerous situations only to appear moments later as Zorro. As the local hero, he is known to punish his enemies by cutting a "Z" shaped mark into them with the tip of his blade. Diego is accompanied by Bernard, his sidekick who wears a similar costume and has the nickname "Little Zorro".

Diego's childhood friend and sweetheart, Lolita Prideaux, believes that Spain changed him and she scolds him relentlessly for his idiotic behavior. Lolita is a sweet-tempered girl who wants to fight evil and protect the people by helping Zorro from behind the scenes. She later develops feelings for Zorro, though she is unaware of his true identity.[1][better source needed][2]

Main characters[edit]

Don Diego de la Vega/Zorro
Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (Japanese)
The main protagonist of the series. As Diego he pretends to be lazy and clumsy, playing the role of a cowardly fool to hide his secret identity. As Zorro he is the most noble-minded swordsman in the world. Diego is a rival of Captain Raymond but feels a deep affection for the other man. Diego is calm and reasonable, contrasting with his hot-headed and stubborn companions.
Lolita Prideaux
Voiced by: Maria Kawamura (Japanese)
The female protagonist of the series. Diego's spunky blond childhood friend and love interest. She is a laid-back and average girl. She acts bossy towards Diego, but she has romantic feelings for Zorro.
Bernard/Little Zorro
Voiced by: Rica Matsumoto (Japanese)
Diego/Zorro's sidekick, an abandoned orphan found by Diego when he was still a baby. Diego adopted and took care of him as if he was his younger brother. He helps Zorro by eavesdropping and gathering information, and later develops his own alter ego, "Little Zorro".
Captain Raymond
Voiced by: Jûrôta Kosugi (Japanese)
The main villain of the series, commander of the Spanish Army in California. Zorro describes Captain Raymond as an honorable man who keeps his word. Captain Raymond has his own agenda, but he helps other people as well. He is initially portrayed as handsome, generous, and loyal. However, in episode 47, the character suddenly changes and plots to assassinate the governor general. This change was controversial with audiences, and episodes 47 onward were not broadcast in Japan for that reason.
Lieutenant Gabriel
Voiced by: Kenyuu Horiuchi (Japanese)
A young Spanish officer who serves as Captain Raymond's right hand man in California. Lt. Gabriel has feelings for Lolita.
Don Alejandro de la Vega
Voiced by: Ikuya Sawaki (Japanese)
Diego's father.
Sergeant Pedro Gonzales
Voiced by: Kôzô Shioya (Japanese)
A stout sergeant who often serves as comic relief. Comparable to Johnston McCulley's character from 1920's The Mark of Zorro.

Episode list[edit]

The Legend of Zorro (1996)[edit]

No. Official English title
1 "Return of the Hero"
In 1800, California is under The Spanish Empire. Diego is on a ship to go back to his home country, California, because his father asks for his return. Lolita is helping Cekita and his wife and baby to run away from California, because Cekita was teaching freedom to the people. Lolita meets Diego at the ship and he helps her to hide them but failed. The army finds them, arrests them, but leave the baby. Diego and Lolita attend Diego's welcome back party. Soldiers come and report that Cekita is to be executed. Everyone at the party is insistent on going to watch the execution. Zorro (Diego) arrives to stop the execution and helps Cekita and his wife to run away. The following dawn soldiers search inside the ship, but nothing is found. Lieutenant Gabriel sees a small boat and realises that Cekita may be on other shore preparing to meet it. Gabriel finds Cekita and his wife and stops them. Zorro arrives and defeats Gabriel. Cekita and his wife are able to escape..
2 "The Barrels of Wine"
One night, two carts full of the farmer Vega's wine are being moved from a farm to the warehouse. The carts pass through a mountain pass. A group of bandits ambush the cart and steal the wine. These bandits are being paid by a liquor seller, Brown. Soldiers go to Vega family to collect taxes, but the Vega’s can’t pay since they don’t any money from selling the wine. The army takes their wheat instead. Diego plans to trap the bandits. He, Lolita and Bernard with the help of Sergeant Pedro with two police officers discover the warehouse where the stolen wine is stored. Some bandits scare the police away by telling them that other bandits are coming to steal the wine. Diego pretends to be scared and also runs away. Lolita tries to rush through the bandits but fails. Zorro arrives and stops the bandits. One of bandits takes away a cart of wine. Zorro whispers to Bernard that he has already marked all the barrels with a “Z” sign. Bernard with his friends examine all of the barrels around the city. They find the barrels with the “Z” sign in Brown's yard. Brown tries to bribe the army Commander, Luis, with the wine. Zorro arrives to interrupt them. He fights with the bandits and wins. He takes the money which Brown acquired by selling Vega’s wine and return it to Vega.
3 "Proposal of Marriage"
It is morning, Diego is sleeping under the sun, while his father, Don Vega is working in the fields and sweating heavily. The villagers assume that he is a lazy guy. Don Carlos, Lolita’s father, sees him and has doubts about allowing him to marry his daughter. But Katherina, Lolita’s mother, sees that if Lolita marries Diego, they can get the share of Don Vega's land. But Lolita considers that Diego has become a lazy, boring, coward and a good for nothing man. Lieutenant Gabriel with his company come to Don Carlos' house. He delivers a marriage proposal to Lolita, but Lolita doesn’t want to see him. Don Carlos says Diego is her fiance. Gabriel visits Diego and asks him for a duel. Diego refuses and all the villagers laugh at him. Gabriel puts Diego in jail for no reason, and then hires an arsonist to burn down Don Carlos’s warehouse. Gabriel plans to help catch the arsonist to impress Don Carlos and Lolita. Lolita runs away and Gabriel kidnaps her. Bernard and his dog help Diego to escape from jail. Zorro (Diego) catches the arsonist as he is about to burn another warehouse and forces him to confess where Lolita is being kept. Zorro arrives, fights the guards, and rescues Lolita. Gabriel attempts to stop him but fails. Commander Raymond arrives with the captured arsonist and lectures all of his men that bad behaviour is forbidden. Lolita safely arrives home.
4 "Wake Up My Friend!"
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5 "The Ties of Blood"
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6 "The Red Jewel"
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7 "Too Many Borros"
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8 "Killer Guitar"
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9 "The Treasure of Dreams"
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10 "Untrue Feelings"
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11 "Mystery Mountain"
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12 "Man's Best Friend"
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13 "Little Zorro at Full Blast"
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14 "Mystery Mountain"
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15 "Lolita's Kiss"
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16 "The Sword from Japan"
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17 "Cornered"
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18 "The Clever Detective"
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19 "A House of Deadly Tricks"
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20 "Vengeance"
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21 "Wings of Dreams!"
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22 "Gonzales, the Thief"
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23 "The Bride from Spain"
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24 "The People's Enemy"
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25 "Tears of a Clown"
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26 "Pepita"
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27 "Lady Barbara"
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28 "The Haunted Ruins"
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29 "The Great Art Swindle"
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30 "Gonzales in Love"
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31 "Fire in the Sky"
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32 "A Doctor's Dilemma"
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33 "Lolita in Love"
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34 "The Order to Kill Zorro"
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35 "Gonzales in Love again"
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36 "Unmasked!"
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37 "Diego Under Cover"
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38 "The Underwater Adventure"
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39 "The Battle in the Storm"
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40 "My Fair Lady Zorro"
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41 "Lolita, Get Your Gun!"
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42 "Trapped By Ninja Magic"
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43 "Beauty and the Monster"
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44 "Gabriel's Rebellion"
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45 "The Legend of the Sacred Wood"
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46 "The Hypnotic Doctor"
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47 "The Kidnapping of the Governor General"
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48 "A Righteous Military Officer"
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49 "Farewell to the Army"
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50 "The Blast Off the Demonic Cannons!"
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51 "A Prelude to the Collapse"
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52 "The Sword of Justice Forever"
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Music[edit]

The series soundtrack contains two pieces of thematic music. The opening theme is titled "Zorro", and the closing theme "Chikai" (誓い; "Oath"). Both are sung by Masaaki Endoh and are used for all 51 aired episodes.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Production Reed
  2. ^ 1996 Ashi Productions TV Series
  3. ^ "Kaiketsu Zorro (TV) - Anime News Network". www.animenewsnetwork.com. Retrieved 2017-12-08. 

External links[edit]