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[R1 DVD art]
AKA: Old Man Z, 老人Z
Genre: Quasi-mecha science fiction / social satire
Length: Movie, 80 minutes
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from US Manga Corps out of print.
Content Rating: 13+ (nudity, adult themes, adult situations, profanity)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Akira, Robot Carnival, Memories
Notes: Directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo and written by Katsuhiro Otomo.
Rating:
 

Roujin Z

Synopsis

After years of trying to solve the dilemma of how to handle health care for the increasingly large elderly population of Tokyo, an solution is finally found. A new type of hospital bed/health system called Roujin Z is in the experimental stages, and promises to revolutionize elderly patient care all over the world. Basically, you strap the subject into the bed, and, um, just leave him or her there for the rest of his or her life, letting the machine do all the work for you. Swell, huh?

Young nurse Haruko's patient is chosen to be the first victim--ah, test subject for the device, but Haruko knows that her patient hates being strapped inside the hi-tech prison. When she tries to contact him through various means, well... let's just say that Roujin Z has other capabilities besides just health care. Will Tokyo survive the debut of Roujin Z? Will Haruko keep her job? Will her dorky friends go to jail? And why in the world does Roujin Z seem to be inhabited by the spirit of the patient's deceased wife?

Review

I didn't really know what to think of this flick when I first saw it. Roujin Z was directed by the same guy who brought us Akira, if that's any indication at all. Needless to say, the atmosphere is really bizarre, surreal, with just the right touch of familiarity to make you feel uncomfortable.

Roujin Z is apparently a scathing satire against health care, the elderly, the young, the military, and anything else you could think of. No one is portrayed as very sane in this flick, with the exception of Haruko. A lot of the situations posed by the anime are so patently bizarre and outrageous that you have to take them as being in jest. I mean, they couldn't be serious, could they?

The art, soundtrack, and characters are all bizarre, fitting nicely with the flavor of the flick (kind of a strawberry rubber tire). Animation is pretty good, too; some of Roujin Z's antics are especially good eye-candy. The dubbed version that I saw featured pretty good dubbing; no one sounded really forced or out of place.

All in all, a fun watch that you'll probably enjoy if you're in the right mood. Being sleep-deprived and on a caffeine high might help.

Raphael See

Recommended Audience: Some mild profanity, and non-casual nudity. Some of the innuendoes and themes are too mature for young audiences.



Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Roujin Z © 1991 Tokyo Theaters Co, Inc / The Television Inc / MOVIC / TV Asahi / Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc