|Also known as||Swift Hero Zubat|
|Created by||Shotaro Ishinomori|
|Written by||Shukei Nagasaka|
|Directed by||Hideo Tanaka|
|Theme music composer||Kensuke Kyo|
|Opening theme||Zubat of Hell|
|Ending theme||A Road a Man Must Travel Alone|
|Country of origin||Japan|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||32|
|Production companies||Toei Company|
|Original network||TV Tokyo|
|Original release||February 2 –|
September 28, 1977
Kaiketsu Zubat (Japanese: 快傑ズバット, Hepburn: Kaiketsu Zubatto), is a tokusatsu superhero series that aired in 1977. Created by Shotaro Ishinomori, this 32-episode series (which aired on TV Tokyo from 2/2/1977 to 9/28/1977), harkens back to tokusatsu superhero shows of the 1950s, but with a late-1970s twist. The series was first released on DVD in 2008.
Story and other details
- "Here with a "zubat"! Solving problems with a "zubat"! I call myself the wandering hero! Kaiketsu Zubat!" (ズバッと参上、ズバッと解決、人呼んで さすらいのヒーロー！ 快傑ズバット！, Zubatto sanjō! Zubatto kaiketsu! Hito-yonde sasurai no hīrō! Kaiketsu Zubatto!)
This series is popular with fans of creator Ishinomori, and unique as the title hero Zubat does not "henshin" (transform) like the other superheroes he created. Ken Hayakawa (played by veteran Hiroshi Miyauchi), a private detective dressed in black & red gringo cowboy attire, actually just puts on his red & black "Zubasuit" (hidden in his white guitar, which is opened with the push of a button), which looks no different from that of a Sentai hero:
- A helmet with "Z"-themed features and an open/close visor and mouthpiece
- A streamlined rubber jumpsuit with a white scarf (another Ishinomori trademark).
The villains are also unusual, as there are no monsters, rather they originate from a large criminal organization named Dakker, which has a mysterious leader (who is revealed in the final episode as Fuhrer D), and outlandishly-dressed criminals. Many episodes of this series even had a bizarre Japanese "wild west" setting.
An episode would generally have a single head criminal, and a yojimbo ("bodyguard"), somehow terrorizing a group of people. Ken Hayakawa would happen upon this, and meet the yojimbo, which would lead to a demonstration of the latter's preferred skill, only for Ken Hayakawa to show that he was much better.
- Right After the Wandering Blast (さすらいは爆破のあとで, Sasurai wa Bakuha no Ato de)
- Migratory Birds Right in the Flames (炎の中の渡り鳥, Honō no Naka no Wataridori)
- The Sorrow Solid-Golden Angel (悲しき純金の天使, Kanashiki Junkin no Tenshi)
- The Tearful Enemy Breaks Right Through (涙の敵中突破, Namida no Teki Chū Toppa)
- The Flower Vendor Girl and the White Flour (花売り少女と白い粉, Hanauri Shōjo to Shiroi Kona)
- The Machine Gun Howls in the Sea (海にほえるマシンガン, Umi ni Hoeru Mashingan)
- The Nefarious Wind Blows Through the Seaport (悪い風だぜ港町, Warui Kaze daze Minatochō)
- The Sorrowful Propane Blast (哀しみのプロパン爆破, Kanashimi no Puropan Bakuha)
- Looking Back at the Tearful River (涙の河を振り返れ, Namida no Kawa o Furikaere)
- The Baseball Opponent Flies to the Curb (野球の敵を場外へ飛ばせ, Yakyū no Teki o Jōgai e Tobase)
- Don't Die, my Friends! Crisis One Second Back (死ぬな友よ! 危機一秒前, Shinu na Tomo yo! Kiki Ichi-Byō Mae)
- An Executioner 10 Seconds Ago (死刑執行10秒前, Shikeishikkō Jū-Byō Mae)
- The Boy Killer's Ballade (少年殺し屋のバラード, Shōnen Koroshi-Ya no Barādo)
- The White-Feathered Arrow's Farewell Tears (白羽の矢 涙の別れ, Shiroha no Ya Namida no Wakare)
- The Sorrowful Mother's Lullaby (哀しき母の子守唄, Kanashiki Haha no Komoriuta)
- The Sorrowful Ken's Accused of Murder (殺しのぬれぎぬ 哀しみの健, Koroshi no Nureginu Kanashimi no Ken)
- The Little Wailing Sister: Two Kens (嘆きの妹 ふたりの健, Nageki no Imōto Futari no Ken)
- Look Out! The Soap Bubble's Love (危うし! シャボン玉の恋, Ayaushi! Shanbontama no Koi)
- The Tragic Love Breaks the Love Letter (悲恋 破られたラブレター, Hiren Yaburareta Raburetā)
- The Female Dragon Vowed to Shed Tears (女ドラゴン 涙の誓い, Onna Doragon Namida no Chikai)
- Farewell, Eyelidded Mother (さらば瞼の母, Saraba Mabuta no Haha)
- The Young Boxer: Tearful Father (少年ボクサー 涙の父, Shōnen Bokusā Namida no Chichi)
- The Okami Family Home: The Three Sisters and Ten'ichibo (大神家一族の三姉妹と天一坊, Ōkami Ichizoku no Sanshimai to Ten'ichibō)
- The Tearful Ken: The Unknown Town's Lover (涙の健 見知らぬ街の恋人, Namida no Ken Mishiranumachi no Koibito)
- Kojin'yama's Tearful Farewell (荒神山 涙の別れ, Kojin'yama Namida no Wakare)
- Forgive Me, My Child! (許せ我が子よ!, Yuruse Waga Ko yo!)
- Surprise! Is that the Perpetrator who killed Asuka?! (意外! 飛鳥殺しの犯人?!, Igai! Asuka Koroshi no Hannin?!)
- And then, He Becomes Nobody (そして、誰も居なくなる, Soshite, Dare mo Inaku Naru)
- Orphaned Children: Tearful Revenge (父母なき子 涙の復讐, Fubonaki Ko Namida no Fukushū)
- Between the Sorrowful Life and Death (悲しき生と死の間に, Kanashiki Seitoshi no Ma ni)
- Showdown! Leader L's the Real Culprit? (対決! 真犯人首領L?, Taiketsu! Shinhan'nin Shuryō Eru?)
- The Day-to-Day Battle Bids Farewell, And then (さらば斗いの日々、そして, Saraba Tatakai no Hibi, Soshite)
- Ken Hayakawa (早川 健, Hayakawa Ken): Hiroshi Miyauchi (宮内 洋, Miyauchi Hiroshi)
- Midori Asuka (飛鳥 みどり, Asuka Midori): Nobuko Ōshiro (大城 信子, Ōshiro Nobuko)
- Osamu Terada (寺田 オサム, Terada Osamu): Nobuyuki Nakano (中野 宣之, Nakano Nobuyuki)
- Shingo Tōjō (東条 進吾, Tōjō Shingo): Shin Saitō (斉藤 真, Saitō Shin)
- Leader L (首領L, Shuryō Eru): Ryūji Hayami (はやみ 竜次, Hayami Ryūji)
- Narrator (ナレーター, Narētā): Shin Aomori (青森 伸, Aomori Shin)
- Opening Theme
- Jigoku no Zubat (地獄のズバット, Jigoku no Zubatto, The Infernal Zubat)
- Ending Theme
- Otoko wa Hitori Michi o Yuku (男はひとり道をゆく, The Man Goes Down the Road Alone)
Kamen Rider 40th Anniversary film
Zubat, along with Kikaider, Kikaider 01, and Inazuman made an appearance in OOO, Den-O, All Riders: Let's Go Kamen Riders (オーズ・電王・オールライダー レッツゴー仮面ライダー, Ōzu Den'ō Ōru Raidā: Rettsu Gō Kamen Raidā) in commemoration of the Toei Company's 60th Anniversary in 2011. This brief appearance saw the four heroes destroy the Kamen Rider Stronger villain, General Shadow.
This series would also be parodied by Daicon Films (now Gainax) in 1982, in a series of short films starring the superhero Kaiketsu Noutenki (who also has the same alter-ego, Ken Hayakawa). Zubat's costume was also a basis for the video game superhero parody Viewtiful Joe.
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- "キャラウイール ミニカー 快傑ズバット ズバッカー". rakuten.co.jp. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
- "Kaiketsu Zubat: Dakka - Dagger". Archived from the original on 2008-01-04. Retrieved 2008-03-31.