Screenshot from the Zillion television series
(Akai Kōdan Jirion)
|Genre||Adventure, Science fiction|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Akira Watanabe|
|Original run||April 12, 1987 – December 13, 1987|
|Original video animation|
|Zillion: Burning Night|
|Directed by||Mizuho Nishikubo|
|Released||June 21, 1988|
Zillion, full title Akai Kōdan Zillion (赤い光弾ジリオン?), is a Japanese anime television series that ran from April 12, 1987 to December 13, 1987 on Nippon Television in Japan and was produced by Tatsunoko Production. After the production of the anime, Tatsunoko Production and Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, the producer of Zillion, established IG Tatsunoko (which later became Production I.G) to obstruct the dispersing of the excellent staffs of Tatsunoko branch which had done actual production. Therefore, Zillion is considered to be Production I.G's first work.
Five of the 31 episodes were dubbed into English and released on VHS in the United States by Streamline Pictures. This anime was featured in the music video for Michael and Janet Jackson's collaboration "Scream". Samples from the English dub of the anime were also featured in Del the Funky Homosapien's single "Cyberpunks".
The story takes place on the planet Maris in the year 2387. Around this time, the Nozas started a genocide program to kill all humans in order to lay eggs and reproduce on the planet. Three mysterious guns dubbed the "Zillion Weapon System" appear and three teens (JJ, Champ, and Apple) are chosen to wield them as a task force called the White Knights, whose purpose is to fight back against the Nozas.
- J.J. (JJ): the series' 16-year-old main protagonist and third member of the White Knights. He is an avid fighter.
- Champ (チャンプ Chanpu): the 18-year-old primary leader of the White Knights
- Apple (アップル Appuru): the 17-year-old female member and navigator of the White Knights
- Amy Harrison (エイミ・ハリソン Eimi Harison): a primary assistant of Mr. Gord. She has a liking for J.J.
- Mr. Gord (Mr.ゴード Mr. Gōdo): the commissioner/commander of the White Knights
- Dave (デイブ Deibu): a mechanic and assistant pilot, later member of the White Knights
- Opa-Opa: White Knights' companion and ally, and later member of the White Knights
Two video games have been spawned with the story loosely based on the series with Zillion and Zillion II. An original video animation (OVA) movie titled Zillion: Burning Night has also been released after the success of the TV series. It also left a legacy of becoming the first anime to inspire a video game hardware, namely Master System's Light Phaser.
Despite the cult success of the video games, the Zillion anime received only a very brief release in the early 1990s in the United States. The first five episodes of the TV series, as well as the Burning Night OVA were dubbed and released on VHS by Carl Macek's Streamline Pictures line.
In 1993, Eternity Comics published a comic book adaptation, written by Tom Mason, drawn by Harrison Fong, and lettered by Tim Eldred.
|Name||Japanese Voiced by||US Voiced by|
|Champ||Kazuhiko Inoue||Kerrigan Mahan|
|J.J.||Toshihiko Seki||Doug Stone|
|Apple||Yuko Mizutani||Barbara Goodson|
|Dave||Daiki Nakamura||Eddie Frierson|
|Chieko Honda||Wendee Lee|
|Gord||Yuzuru Fujimoto||Michael Forest|
|Osamu Kobayashi||Tom Wyner|
List of episodes
- "My Name Is J.J." (US title: "They Call Me, J.J.") (Original Airdate: April 12, 1987)—J.J. becomes the newest member of the White Knights
- "Attack the Enemy of the High Skies" (US title: "Hang Fire") (Original Airdate: April 19, 1987)—J.J. misunderstands the usage of the Zillion weapon system
- "0.1 Second Chance!" (US title: "Split—Second Chance") (Original Airdate: April 26, 1987)
- "Trap of the Shapeless Ninja Squadron" (US title: "Target, The White Knights") (Original Airdate: May 3, 1987)
- "Apple Order Violation!?" (US title: "Judgement Call") (Original Airdate: May 10, 1987)
- "Take Off, Tricharger" (Original Airdate: May 17, 1987)
- "Struggle 'Til Death! J.J. vs. Ricks" (Original Airdate: May 24, 1987)
- "Strike the Oceanfloor Base!" (Original Airdate: May 31, 1987)
- "Stolen Zillion" (Original Airdate: June 7, 1987)
- "Flames! Ricks' Counterattack" (Original Airdate: June 14, 1987)—Apple and Amy are captured by Ricks and his henchmen
- "Birth of New Zillion!" (Original Airdate: June 21, 1987)
- "Attack! Triple Shoot" (Original Airdate: June 28, 1987)
- "Angry Shutter Chance" (Original Airdate: July 5, 1987)
- "Nightingale of the Battlefield" (Original Airdate: July 12, 1987)
- "Life Or Death!? Confrontation of Fate—Part. 1" (Original Airdate: July 19, 1987)
- "Life Or Death!? Confrontation of Fate—Part. 2" (Original Airdate: July 26, 1987)
- "Tears! Let's Search J.J." (Original Airdate: September 6, 1987)
- "The Beautiful Noza's Challenge" (Original Airdate: September 13, 1987)
- "Match! Let's Throw the Coin" (Original Airdate: September 20, 1987)
- "Kick with a Broken Heart" (Original Airdate: September 27, 1987)
- "Clash! The Sniper" (Original Airdate: October 4, 1987)
- "Great Victory from a Lie!" (Original Airdate: October 11, 1987)
- "Terror! Demon's Bio Weapon" (Original Airdate: October 18, 1987)
- "Great Adventure! Warrior Opa-Opa" (Original Airdate: October 25, 1987)
- "Gentle Fugitive Apple" (Original Airdate: November 1, 1987)
- "Revenge Demon Ninja!" (Original Airdate: November 8, 1987)
- "Extraordinary Rebel Ricks" (Original Airdate: November 15, 1987)
- "Mystery!? Zillion Power" (Original Airdate: November 22, 1987)
- "Heroic! Ricks Dies!?" (Original Airdate: November 29, 1987)
- "Planet Maris on the Corner!" (Original Airdate: December 6, 1987)
- "Last Shoot for Victory" (Original Airdate: December 13, 1987)—the White Knights' final fight against the Nozas
- “Pure Stone” by Risa Yuuki
- “Push!” by Risa Yuuki]] (eps. 1–20)
- “Rock Candy” by Risa Yuuki (eps. 21–31)
Two games were made based on the series, both by Sega for the Sega Master System: Zillion, an action game similar in play style to Metroid and Impossible Mission and a sequel, Zillion II: The Triformation, which was a faster-paced game involving a powered armor mecha which transformed into a motorcycle.
The Light Phasers wielded by the characters looked the same as the Sega Master System's light gun. A Zillion-based laser tag toy line also by Sega was also released in stores of Toys R Us; it was also released in Brazil by Tectoy.
Opa-opa, one of Sega's early mascot characters (debuting in the 1986 arcade game Fantasy Zone), was a frequent minor character on the show. His frequent involvement with the show led many to believe that Fantasy Zone was actually a spin-off series based on the character, but in reality Opa-Opa was around a year prior to the anime, and was a guest character from the start. The fact that he appears so frequently on the show is simply a testament to the character's popularity in Japan at the time.
Later in the series, Sega and Tatsunoko changed the design of the anime series' guns, simultaneous with a cosmetic change in the laser tag guns on which they were based.
Zillion: Burning Night, known in Japan as Red Photon Zillion: Songstress's Nocturne (赤い光弾ジリオン 歌姫夜曲 Akai Kodan Jirion Utahime Yakyoku?), is a Japanese direct-to-video anime release by Tatsunoko. It is also referred to as "Red Bullet Zillion: Burning Night" and "Zillion: Burning Night Special". The OVA was not stretched into a full length series since the Light Phaser was only as marketable as the life span of the Sega Master System itself.
In the peaceful aftermath of the Nozsa wars, the charismatic heroes known as "The White Knights" have changed career paths to becoming music making rockstars. J.J., Dave, Champ and Apple have formed a rock band called, "The White Nuts". Their music career would soon be interrupted by a new threat of colonial settlers. Apple is kidnapped by the sadistic ODAMA Clan - a family of ruthless killers. Located in a heavily fortified mountain retreat, J.J. and company attempt a rescue mission with their laser weapon Zillion. But the former Knights only have a limited supply of Zillium for the Zillion guns. A mysterious stranger named Rick turns out to be an old lover of Apple.
|Name||Japanese voice||English voice|
|Champ||Kazuhiko Inoue||Kerrigan Mahan|
|J.J.||Toshihiko Seki||Doug Stone|
|Apple||Yūko Mizutani||Barbara Goodson|
|Rick||Shō Hayami||Michael McConnohie|
- "石川社長が20年を語る 「プロダクション I.G 創立20周年記念展」開催中" (in Japanese). mycom.co.jp. 2007-12-28. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- "第25回 株式会社プロダクション I.G代表取締役社長 石川光久-その２-悔しさから独立、フリーに" (in Japanese). CodeZine. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2008-06-20.