Movie Review ‘ZEBRAMAN’: Striping Evil

Ever felt down about your life or just how monotonous day to day can be? Ever need to have some kind of release? Some people go to the gym. Some people play D&D. And some people, like Shin’ichi Ichikawa, find solace in their favorite tv show from their childhood.
Shin’ichi’s is an old Mach Rider style show called “Zebraman”! Other kids made fun of it and it didn’t last too long, but it sure did make an impression on Shin’ichi. Now an adult, married with two kids, you’d think he’d have no time for such silly things; but his is a far from enchanted life. As a teacher, his students hate him and his son resents him as one. His teen daughter pays him no mind and hooks up with older men. And his wife drinks her days away surrounded by other men.
To take his mind off things, Shin’ichi makes himself a homemade Zebraman costume. At the same time, a boy in a wheelchair becomes a new student. He, too, loves Zebraman. Feeling a kinship to this boy, Shin’ichi sneaks out to surprise the boy in his costume, only to discover he has acquired the powers of the tv superhero!
Meanwhile, a government agency is investigating alien activity, there are a string of murders and public violence, and the school principal is acting shady. How do all these fit together with our hero’s old favorite show? Well, you’ll just have to check it out for yourself!
Director Takashi Miike (of such works as Ichi the Killer, Audition, and Ace Attorney) brings to life Kankuro Kudo’s script. Sho Aikawa expertly plays our multifaceted hero through his sad home life, triumphant heroics, regretful hesitance, and striping evil!
It’s filled with thrills, chills, spills, heart break, and hope! A roller coaster of emotion but a very fun ride.