Directed by Noboru Iguchi
Screenplay by Noboru Iguchi
Chief Inspector Nitta
The movie is divided into two chapters. Chapter 1 is set in 1982.
Daimon, Yutaka: Date of birth: February 29, 1960. Blood Type: O. Height 180cm, Weight 67.5 Kg. A Secret Police agent whose father created the titular robot. Daimon dedicated his life to karate to escape the feelings of being rejected by his father. It was only after Dr. Daimon's death that he discovered Zaborgar in his father's basement laboratory. A lover of justice, he is nevertheless prone to confusing duty and revenge, and his anger easily overtakes his judgement. Unlike in the TV show, it does not seem like Daimon's anger fuels Zaborgar. To deal with depression, Daimon becomes addicted to cream puffs, which cause him health issues later in the movie.
From left to right: Inspector Nakano, Chief Nitta, Detective Matsue, Ken.
In this version, Chief Nitta, Daigoro only has a daughter. He does not have a son called Hiroshi like he did in the TV show, played by the JINZOU NINGEN KIKAIDA Masaru actor Kamiya, Masahiro. However the daughter is also only ever spoken about and never seen. Instead, he is a father figure of sorts to Daimon, Yutaka, in the first half of the movie that takes place in 1982. He praises Daimon for his skills while admonishing him for confusing duty and a desire for revenge. Although he is as righteous as Yutaka, Chief Nitta has his hands tied by burocracy and in particular he is held back by Minister Wakasugi. This further frustrates Daimon and drives him to disillusionment.
Detective Nakano is more manic than his TV counterpart, while Matsue, Ken shares his name with a major character of the TV show's second series, but nothing else.
Your typical politician and the requisite evil burocrat. Ungrateful, philandering, whiny, power-abusing, two-faced and cowardly, this type of villain represents a shift in Japanese attitude towards government power, which was also a theme in the movie SHIN GODZILLA. He is original to this movie.
As in the TV series Yutaka
Daimon and Denjin Zaboga battle the
terrorist group SIGMA,
led by the human hating cyrbog Dr. Akunomiya who seeks to use human DNA mixed with the metal Daimonium to create a giant robot.
The primary foe of Yutaka Daimon is Miss Borg, the first agent of SIGMA to appear in the film.
The Sigma executives shown in
chapter 1 are male cyborgs. In this version they are depicted as
arrogant, sexist and stupid.
From left to right: King Africa (Kingu Afurika), Burner 8 (Baanaa 8), Electric Andes (Eleki Andesu), Apache Drill (Apachi Doriru), Baron Eyepatch (Gantai Danshaku). In the original, Burner 8 was a simple Sigma Mecha Borg and appeared in episode 19. In this version he has been elevated to Sigma Executive. Apache Drill's drill has been inexplicably replaced by a nunchaku, rendering his name meaningless and confusing since Electric Andes has a drill. Baron Eyepatch is the equivalent to Pirate Jack from the original. The Sigma Executive costume design is mostly unchanged, with King Africa retaining the original Ping-Pong ball eyes.
Of course, those guys appeared to get into fights with Daimon, Yutaka. Changes were made to the Sigma Soldiers (Shiguma Dan Setoin). These changes may have had something to do with the low budget. All the Sigma Soldiers lost their customary leather jackets, which were replaced with security guard-style black shirts, and were given masks in order to further conceal their faces. The budgetary impact is that not only shirts are cheaper than leather jackets, but with all of them masked to look exactly the same, they can be multiplied by CGI and less stuntment need to be hired. This is just a theory. What is puzzling is how in some scenes they use M16 automatic rifles instead of their traditional Pole Rifles, which in the series behave pretty much the same way.
Zaborgar has to fight Samurai Robot Yoroides. Yoroides is original to this film. He possesses a pig-like snout which is supposed to extract the DNA from his victims through a stolen kiss. The effect is similar to that of the plunger weapon used by the Daleks in DOCTOR WHO.
SIGMA MECHA ANIMALS
Ant Robot Arizairaa
is brought back from episode 1 of the TV series. While the
is not like the original, it captures the feel of the show and would
not have been out of place in any episode of DENJIN ZABOGA. In the
official English-language release, it is given the absurdly ridiculous
name "Diarrhea Robot". Those subtitles in general are only a few steps
up from HK "engrish".
BULLGUNDER originally appeared in episode 26. Here he is presented with a different color scheme than in the series. A number of smaller versions, "Mini Bullgunders", appear later on, with a color scheme closer to the original's. The large Bullgunder was built on a truck borrowed from a friend of the director's who worked at a shipping company and took a whole 25% of the monster molding budget for the film. The arms and hands were animated in CGI.
Black Hawk Robot, a female version of the TV show's Machine Hawk. The gender change was a letdown for fans who wanted to see the real thing finally henshin into a robot. It was done mostly to extract cheap hentai "jokes" that weren't funny.
In the movie the three yellow, red and blue male androids ("Ruggers") from episode 17 of the TV series are replaced with "Miss Ruggers", three female cyborgs. They call Miss Borg "sister" but warn her that the team has no place for mavericks and that they will destroy her if she betrays their mission. Rugger Red is the leader and has the better comedic instincts. Rugger Yellow briefly disguises herself as a human, and Rugger Blue...well, it has to be seen to be believed.
After the defeat of Miss Borg the movie jumps forward in time 25 years to Chapter 2. Famous Japanese comedian Itao, Itsuji takes over the role of Daimon, Yutaka.
Daimon has acquired diabetes from eating too many of his favorite cream puffs when depressed. And the older Daimon, Yutaka faces a new foe, Akitzuki, Gen, and a new ally Miss Borg's daughter Lady Borg/Akiko.
From this point on, the movie takes a complete turn away from canon and re-imagines even more than before. At this point in the movie, it suffers a change in style which is very perceptive in how tokusatsu has changed over the years. The first part had a few jokes that didn't work, but it nearly perfectly captured what it was like to watch tokusatsu in the 1970's. In part 2, there are no karate fights against hordes of Sigma henchmen in quarries, no rubber-suited kaijin, and the entire atmosphere has more in common with modern-day shot-on-video shows such as KAMEN RIDER WIZARD (which came out a few years after this movie). Although classic characters are brought back, their histories are completely changed.
This version of Akitzuki, Gen is well done but not as intense as the original.
Akitzuki, Gen's personality is retained and he is spiritually recreated by RUN&GUN rock star Miyashita, Yuuya. The characterization follows the blueprint laid down by Kazato, Ken. But Miyashita's Akitzuki seems to derive a bit more pleasure from the thought of defeating Daimon, Yutaka, whereas Kazato's Akitzuki's rage didn't allow him to feel joy in what he did.
As in the show, Dr. Akunomiya was able to bend Akitzuki, Gen to his will through Akitzuki, Gen's head band, which Akitzuki could not remove. However, before finding out about his own true identity, he appeared to look up to Dr. Akunomiya as a father figure, even showing concern for the SIgma leader's health.
Lady Borg's story is also changed and made more interesting. In the original she survived only for 3 episodes (37-39) and was in no way connected to Sigma's Jumbo Mecha plan. In this, she drives the entire plot of Chapter 2. In her normal cyborg form she is given a sailor dress for no good reason. The performance is a tad more driven than that of Yoshida, Taeko from the series, but the sense of dread is retained. She is played by the KIKAIDER REBOOT Mitsuko actress Satsukawa, Aimi.
THE LEAGUE OF SMILES
SIGMA's giant robot Jumbo Mecha is finally completed. It is based off the Jumbo Mecha from episode 11 but much larger and it is also given a surprisingly different identity.
director had scripted it to be about 45 meters in height, but the VFX
supervisor explained that this would make it too small for the
motorcycle chase to the top to make sense. It was then increased to 160
meters, making it about three to four times the size of the average
Ultraman, and about half size as the final form of the garbage monster
Dustman from SPECTREMAN.
And Zaborgar is upgraded to Strong Zaborgar. The bazookas used as weapons on TV are used to make Zaborgar fly. This version does not merge with Machine Baja to transform. Director Iguchi, Noboru, says he was influenced by the IRON MAN films of recent years, and it shows. The fight in the skies was entirely CGI, with models created in Maya 2010 and virtual cityscape backgrounds put together in Autodesk Stitch.
The Dinosaur Army of the second half of Denjin Zaboga does not appear in this movie, though a reference is made to them via the Miss Ruggers' built-in weapons (which also reference GODZILLA in design).
third form of Zaborgar is PARALIN ZABORGAR (Wheelchair Zaborgar). It is
viewed in a flashforward to 2050 along with a 90 year old Daimon,
Yutaka. He is played by Kikuchi,
Eiichi, the original Inspector Nakano in the DENJIN ZABOGA TV series,
and also the
ULTRAMAN JACK suit actor.
Karate-Robo Zaborgar can be purchased on Amazon