October 31, 2010

Toku Spotlight: Kaiketsu Zubat

Kaiketsu Zubat, or Swift Hero Zvatt, was a tokusatsu series that aired from February 2 to September 28, 1977 for 32 episodes.

 A cowboy-attired private detective, Ken Hayakawa "transforms", just by putting on a red and black "Zvasuit" that is hidden in his guitar. After his best friend is murdered by the criminal organization Dakker, he creates a suit that gives him super strength, speed, and agility. The villains in the series are many, but the series has no monsters-of-the-week. Ken works secretly as Zubat, with only his friend, police detective Shingo Toiyo knowing his secret identity.

 Zubat has a whip that collapses into a dagger as his main weapon, and after subduing the episode's boss, he finishes each off with his "Zubat Attack" kick.

 The "Zvasuit" has an unfortunate side effect. As soon as the mask's closed, a timer on the mask's side starts running, which indicates that Zubat must defeat the Dakker boss in five minutes, or else the suit will explode. This mechanism was tested in one episode with a dummy inside the suit.

 Ken Kayakawa is played by Hiroshi Miyauchi, a familiar face in '70s tokusatsu, as he's played characters such as Kazami Shiro in Kamen Rider V3, Akira Shinmei/AoRanger in Himitsu Sentai Goranger, and Soukichi Banba/Big One in J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai. Creator of Zubat (and these aforementioned series) Shotaro Ishinomori guest-starred in one episode.

 Here's the theme song:


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