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Zebraman 2: Attack on Zebra City

Japanese, 2010

Directed by Takashi Miike

Starring: Sho Aikawa, Riisa Naka, Tsuyoshi Abe, Masahiro Inoue

106 minutes

Reviewed by Jeremy Silman

Rating (a 1 Ė 6 scale): 5

After enjoying the sublime wonders of Miikeís Zebraman, I was overjoyed to hear that a sequel was in the works. And, like Apple mania where everyone tries to guess what the latest iPhone or iPad will look like, I imagined various Z-2 scenarios, from banal to outrageous. But even my most demented possibilities didnít match what Miike had in store for me.

In Z-2, itís 2025 and we find ourselves in a dystopian world where Sho Aikawa has no idea who he is, Zebra Armies patrol the streets of Zebra City killing anyone that stands in their path, and a Zebra Queen enthralls the beaten down masses with her Zebra singing and dancing. Iím not kidding. Clearly, this is a much darker movie than the first one!

Miike, who has been a little tamer than usual these last few years, throws off the shackles of sanity and takes us to places weíve never been before Ė something he used to do with far more regularity. Here we get madness, battle, chaos, despair, redemption, and a final fight vs. a giant, unstoppable green alien. Hopelessly outgunned, Zebraman turns to one final weapon in his efforts to save the Earth: a straw. Zebraman 2, though vastly different in tone to its brilliant predecessor, stands tall and proud on its own. Endlessly entertaining, mind-blowing, and sheer fun, you canít go wrong watching this movie.

A challenge: Take 1,000 guesses as to how this movie will end and you wonít come close. Miike knows how to close the show!