Kamen Rider ZO
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|Kamen Rider ZO|
Cover art of the DVD.
|Hepburn||Kamen Raidā Zetto Ō|
|Directed by||Keita Amemiya|
|Produced by||Ishimori Productions |
|Written by||Noboru Sugimura|
|Music by||Eiji Kawamura|
|Distributed by||Toei Co. Ltd|
Kamen Rider ZO (仮面ライダーZO Kamen Raidā Zetto Ō), translated Masked Rider ZO, is a 1993 Japanese tokusatsu superhero movie produced by the Toei Company as part of their Kamen Rider Series. Directed by Keita Amemiya, it was the first joint production of Toei and Bandai. A Sega CD interactive movie was released for ZO in 1994, and was distributed in the United States as The Masked Rider: Kamen Rider ZO.
To commemorate the series' 40th anniversary, ZO was shown on Toei's pay-per-view channel in September 2011. The film's protagonist, Kamen Rider ZO, appears in the later Kamen Rider Decade television series and is a playable character in the 2011 Nintendo DS video game All Kamen Rider: Rider Generation.
Masaru Aso is the laboratory assistant of geneticist Doctor Mochizuki. He is used in one of Mochizuki's experiments related to the creation of the Neo Organism, enabling him to transform into the grasshopper-like Kamen Rider ZO. He flees to the mountains and lapses into a two-year coma before he is awakened by a telepathic call to protect Hiroshi Mochizuki, the doctor's son. After an attempt to discover the meaning of his transformation at Mochizuki Genetics, Masaru senses that Hiroshi is in danger and saves the boy from Doras as ZO. Masaru then reveals himself to Reiko and her karate class. ZO battles Koumori Man (created by Doras) to cover Hiroshi and Reiko's escape, but they are sucked into a pocket dimension by Kumo Woman (which was also created by Doras). ZO saves them and kills Kumo Woman; Koumori Man snatches Hiroshi, with ZO in pursuit. After he saves Hiroshi, Masaru tells Seikichi (Hiroshi's grandfather) that Mochizuki used him in his experiments. Refusing to believe it, Hiroshi runs off. Masaru finds him and fixes his watch, recognizing the melody which awakened him as he helps Hiroshi cope with the revelation. Koumori Man assumes Mochizuki's form to lure Hiroshi away, and Doras knocks Masaru unconscious. Masaru awakens when a grasshopper shows him where Hiroshi has been taken. Making his way to a complex, ZO kills Koumori Man. He finds Hiroshi and Dr. Mochizuki, learning that the geneticist was the one who woke him up and that the Neo Organism has been acting independently to become a perfect being. When ZO tries to fight Doras, he is absorbed by the Neo Organism and Doras uses Hiroshi to force Mochizuki to complete its evolution. The music from Hiroshi's watch keeps Doras at bay as ZO escapes from the monster, and Mochizuki sacrifices himself to destroy the pool (the Neo Organism's life source). The complex self-destructs as ZO and Hiroshi escape. Leaving the boy with Seikichi, Masaru leaves for parts unknown.
- Masaru Aso/Kamen Rider ZO (麻生 勝／仮面ライダーZO Asō Masaru/Kamen Raidā Zetto Ō): The hero of the story, Masaru was Doctor Mochizuki's assistant until Mochizuki experiments on him. Although he hates Mochizuki, Masaru eventually forgives him.
- Hiroshi Mochizuki (望月 宏 Mochizuki Hiroshi): A young boy who lives with his grandfather, Seikichi, and is targeted by the Neo Organism. Hiroshi longs to be with his father, who went missing years ago. As a memento, Doctor Mochizuki gave Hiroshi a pocket watch which plays music. Hiroshi is afraid of ZO at first, but eventually calls him onii-chan (brother).
- Doctor Mochizuki (望月 博士 Mochizuki-hakase): A mad scientist who turns Masaru into ZO and creates the Neo Organism. Although he dreams of creating a "perfect lifeform", it turns on him. Mochizuki uses grasshoppers to telepathically contact ZO.
- Neo Organism (ネオ生命体 Neo Seimeitai): A pool of living fluid which relies on its container for survival. It assumes the appearance of a deformed, egotistical, unemotional boy resembling Hiroshi. It becomes the grotesque, Kamen Rider-like Doras (ドラス Dorasu) to find Hiroshi and force Dr. Mochizuki to complete its evolution into a perfect life form and destroy the human race and its imperfections. Doras can regenerate after injury, absorbing materials to upgrade itself. When Doras absorbs ZO, it becomes Doras Strengthened Form (ドラス強化体 Dorasu Kyōkatai).
- Kumo Woman (クモ女 Kumo Onna): A monster created by Doras, she is a four-legged spider who captures Hiroshi.
- Koumori Man (コウモリ男 Kōmori Otoko): Another monster created by Doras, he is a black bat-like entity which can disguise itself as a human. As Mochizuki, it lures Hiroshi to its master's hideout.
- 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)
"Hohoemi no Yukue" (微笑みの行方, "The Whereabouts of Smile") and "Ai ga Tomaranai" (愛が止まらない, "Love Doesn't Stop"), composed by Eiji Kawamura with lyrics by Akira Ōtsu, were sung by the Japanese group infix.
ZO vs. J
The S.I.C. Hero Saga story, published in Monthly Hobby Japan magazine from February to May 2005, contained a crossover with Kamen Rider J entitled Masked Rider ZO (& J): ZO vs. J (MASKED RIDER ZO (& J）-ZO vs J- Kamen Raidā Zetto Ō (ando Jei) -Zetto Ō vs Jei-). In the story, the Neo Organism Doras obtains the Fog Mother's powers. It introduces the characters Red Doras Ver. 2 (赤ドラスver.2 Aka Dorasu ver.2), Doras Ultimate Form (ドラス究極形態 Dorasu Kyūkyokukeitai) and Fog Doras (フォッグ・ドラス Foggu Dorasu).
Kazuhiko Shimamoto drew a manga adaptation of the film. It takes some liberties with the plot, expanding the role of several characters, a different characterization of ZO and more-graphic violence. The manga includes short stories about Kamen Rider Black and Kamen Rider creator Ishinomori.
Saban Entertainment spliced together footage from Kamen Rider ZO for its Masked Rider TV show, with the monsters used in some episodes. Doras became Destructosphere, and was the first monster sent by series villain Count Dregon in the opening two-part episode "Escape From Edenoi". Kumo Woman became Arachnida, appearing in the episode "Stranger from The North" and with a monster from the sequel Kamen Rider J. Koumori Man became Parasect and appeared in the episode, "Cat-Atomic".
- Televi Magazine First Issue 31st Anniversary Project: All Hero Great Assembly (テレビマガジン創刊31周年記念企画), December 2002
- Televi Magazine Deluxe 66, January 17, 1997. ISBN 4-06-304418-1
- "仮面ライダーZO みんなのクロスレビュー、最新情報". Famitsu.com. Retrieved 2011-11-21.
- "2011年9月のラインナップ". Toei Channel. Archived from the original on 2012-05-06. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
- Uchusen, No. 125. July 2009
- "仮面ライダー総集結のアクションゲーム『ライダージェネレーション』が発売！". Dengeki.com. 2011-05-23. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
- Kamen Rider Art Collection: Hero Edition (仮面ライダーアートコレクション ヒーロー編). Page 72-74, June 2003. ISBN 978-4-8402-2373-7