Zone Fighter

Zone Fighter

 

Japanese Title

流星人間ゾーン
[Ryusei Ningen Zone]

Type:
Premiere:
Finale:

Television Show (26 episodes)
April 2nd, 1973
September 24th, 1973


Episode Guide - Stock Footage - DVDs - CDs - Pictures - Background - Concept Art - Cut Scenes - Reviews

HISTORY

Also sometimes referred to as Zone: The Human Meteor, the show's literal title, Zone Fighter is Toho's best known live action show internationally. It was Toho's answer to the rising popularity of television in the 1960's and 1970's in Japan, particularly the show Ultraman. Zone Fighter boasted some of the top names Toho had to offer in the genre for its production, including directors Ishiro Honda, who directed the bulk of the episodes, and Jun Fukuda. The show also featured a rather modest budget with special effect work by Koichi Kawakita and Teruyoshi Nakano.

The main story of the series documents the adventures of the Zone Family after landing on Earth. This is following the destruction of the Zone's home world, Peaceland, by the Garoga Forces, a hostile alien race. The Garogas also venture to Earth and attempt to conquer the planet. However, their efforts are foiled time and time again by the Zone Family, using their inherit powers along with a variety of gadgets and vehicles at their disposal. The Garoga's preferred attack tactic, though, is the use of their genetically created creatures, almost always of immense size. This calls for the oldest brother to change into Zone Fighter, a large being of extraordinary power, to do battle with the monsters.

The Zone Fighter series is most renowned for featuring three of Toho's better known characters in several episodes: Godzilla, King Ghidorah and Gigan. Godzilla appears in five episodes in total, King Ghidorah in two, and Gigan in one. Staying true to the nature of the Godzilla films at the time, the King of the Monsters appears here as Zone Fighter's ally, while King Ghidorah and Gigan both face off against the title character on separate occasions.


Monsters



Aliens, SDF & Misc.

Zone Aliens
Zone Aliens
Mighty Liner
Mighty Liner
Pandora Capsule
Pandora Capsule

EPISODE GUIDE

  Title Air Date
1 Destroy the Terror-Beast Missile! 04/02/1973
2 Attack! Destro-King 04/09/1973
3 Strike! Garoga's Subterranean Base 04/16/1973
4 Invasion! The Giant Garoga Army - Enter Godzilla 04/23/1973
5 Shoot Down King Ghidorah! 04/30/1973
6 King Ghidorah's Counterattack! 05/07/1973
7 Zone Family's Critical Moment! 05/14/1973
8 Smash the Terrifying Invader! 05/21/1973
9 Search for the Secret of the Red Spider! 05/28/1973
10 Zone Fighter Annihilated! 06/04/1973
11 Just in Time: The Roar of Godzilla! 06/11/1973
12 Terror-Beast HQ: Invade the Earth! 06/18/1973
13 Absolute Terror: Birthday of Horror! 06/25/1973
14 Insane With Anger! The Garoga Boy's Squad 07/02/1973
15 Submersion! Godzilla, Save Tokyo! 07/09/1973
16 Counterstrike of Terror! Garoga-Robot! 07/16/1973
17 Go! Fighter Emergency Take off! 07/23/1973
18 Directive: Destroy the Japanese Laboratory! 07/30/1973
19 Order: Crush the Earth With Comet K! 08/06/1973
20 Desperate Struggle! Can You Hear Fighter's Song? 08/13/1973
21 Invincible! Godzilla's Violent Charge 08/20/1973
22 Counterstrike! Defeat Super Jikiro 08/27/1973
23 Secret of Bakugon: The Giant Terro-Beast! 09/03/1973
24 Smash the Pin-Spitting Needlar! 09/10/1973
25 Bloodbath! Zone & Godzilla vs the United Terror-Beast Army! 09/17/1973
26 Pulverize Operation: Garoga Gamma-X! 09/24/1973

DVDs and Blu-rays

Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor DVD Box Odessa Entertainment (2001)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 1 Odessa Entertainment (2002)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 2 Odessa Entertainment (2002)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 3 Odessa Entertainment (2002)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 4 Odessa Entertainment (2002)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 5 Odessa Entertainment (2003)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 1 Toho (2016)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 2 Toho (2016)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 3 Toho (2016)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 4 Toho (2016)
Japan Region 2 Zone: The Human Meteor 5 Toho (2016)

CD Soundtracks

Compilations

Background and Trivia

  • Toho submitted the television show to the US copyright office on December 27th, 2001 with the registration number of PA0001195978. The 26 episode series was submitted under its international title, Zone Fighter, and its Romaji title of Ryusei Ningen Zone.
  • The budget for the show was roughly ¥500,000,000.
  • Director Jun Fukuda is not particularly proud of his work on the series. When asked about the TV show in interviews, the director would often give responses such as "you don't have to mention that". This account is mentioned in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • The show originally aired on Nippon Television Network on Mondays at 7:00PM (19:00).
  • Despite the show ending with no definitive conclusion, it was noted that 26 episodes is all that was originally planned to be produced. It was not impacted and canceled due to financial pinches from the oil crisis occurring around this time. This information is found in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • The 1998 CD-Rom Godzilla Movie Studio Tour mentions the show in reference to their listing for Gigan. In English, the CD-Rom cites the show as Ryusei Ningen Zone. However, it should be noted that this predates Toho's copyright claim for the show under the title Zone Fighter which happened three years later.
  • When director Jun Fukuda, who worked on the series, was asked about kaiju in media, he noted that he felt TV was not a good venue for them. He preferred movies and the big screen experience for featuring them. Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano, who also worked on the series, felt differently. He actually preferred the 1.33:1 scope that TV offered the genre, stating that it made the monsters feel taller, larger and more massive. He notes that Godzilla (1954) and Rodan (1956) used this aspect very well and that were "way more awesome than anything that followed". These details are located in Age of the Gods (self-published).
  • In Episode #8: Smash the Terrifying Invader!, a Lake Tanzawa (丹沢湖 - Tanzawako) is featured. This is where the Terror-Beast Missile falls into the water. However, Lake Tanzawa is an artificial lake that was created by the completion of the Miho Dam in 1978. As a result, the appearance of the lake in the show actually predates the creation of the actual lake five years later.
  • In Episode #9: Search for the Secret of the Red Spider!, the Zone Family ends up going to a zoo in the episode. While there, many sound effects are heard to represent the various animals. Interestingly, many of these sound effects are samples that were used to create the roars for well known kaiju. Examples include a cheetah using the King Kong roar, a tiger using the Manda roar, a orangutan using the Minilla roar, a black bear using the Giant Condor roar and a sea lion using the Black Moth roar.