|Number of episodes:||32|
|Original airing:||Febuary 2, 1977 - September 28, 1977|
Kaiketsu Zubat (快傑ズバット Kaiketsu Zubatto?), translated into English as Swift Hero Zubat, Extraordinary Zubat or Vigilante Zubat, is a tokusatsu superhero series that on TV Tokyo in 1977. Created by Shotaro Ishinomori, this 32-episode series harkens back to tokusatsu superhero shows of the 1950s, but with a late-70s twist. The series was released on DVD in 2008.
After the private detective Ken Hayakawa's best friend, Goro Asuka was murdered by the criminal group Dakker, Ken tries to find out who the killer is, then get revenge. Using the Gorou suit design originally intended for space exploration, Ken invents Zubat Suit which gives him the speed, dexterity and superhuman strength, making him as Swift Hero Zubat.
This series is popular with fans of Ishinomori, and unique as the titular hero Zubat does not "henshin" like the other superheroes he created. Ken Hayakawa (Hiroshi Miyauchi), a private detective dressed in black and red gringo cowboy attire, actually just puts on his red & black "Zvasuit" (hidden in his white guitar, which is opened with the push of a button), which looks no different from that of a Sentai hero:
- A helmet with "Z"-themed features and an open/close visor and mouthpiece
- A streamlined rubber jumpsuit with a white scarf (another Ishinomori trademark).
The villains are also unusual as they are not monsters. Instead, it is a criminal syndicate known as Dakker, which has a mysterious leader (who is revealed in the final episode), and outlandishly-dressed criminals. Early episodes of this series even had a bizarre Japanese "wild west" setting. An episode would generally have a single head criminal, and a yojinbo, somehow terrorizing a group of people. Hayakawa Ken would happen upon this, and meet the yojinbo, which would lead to a demonstration of the latter's preferred skill, only for Hayakawa Ken to show that he was much better.
The Consortium of Evil, Dakker
- Ken Hayakawa (早川 健 Hayakawa Ken?) / Kaiketsu Zubat (快傑ズバット?): Hiroshi Miyauchi (宮内 洋 Miyauchi Hiroshi?)
- Midori Asuka (飛鳥 みどり Asuka Midori?): Nobuko Oshiro (大城 信子 Ōshiro Nobuko?)
- Osamu Terada (寺田 オサム Terada Osamu?): Nobuyuki Nakano (中野 宣之 Nakano Nobuyuki?)
- Shingo Tojo (東条 進吾 Tōjō Shingo?): Makoto Saito (斉藤 真 Saito Makoto?)
- Leader L (首領L Shuryō L?): Ryuji Hayami (はやみ 竜次 Hayami Ryuji?)
- Narrator (ナレーター Narētā?): Shin Aomori (青森 伸 Aomori Shin?)
Stunt suit actors
- Ken Hayakawa (快傑ズバット Kaiketsu Zubat?): Yutaka Nakamura (中村 裕 Nakamura Yutaka?)
- Dakker Members (ダッカー団員 Dakkā Dan'in?):
- Episode 1: After the Explosion, the Wandering Begins
- Episode 2: The Bird Migrates into Flames
- Episode 3: The Golden Angel of Sorrow
- Episode 4: A Critical Strike, Through Tears
- Episode 5: The Flower Girl and the White Powder
- Episode 6: Machine Guns Over the Ocean's Roar
- Episode 7: A Bad Wind in a Harbor Town
- Episode 8: Propane Explosion of Sorrow
- Episode 9: Turn Back to the River of Tears
- Episode 10: Knock Baseball's Enemies Out of the Park
- Episode 11: Don't Die, Dear Friend! One Second to Execution!
- Episode 12: Ten Seconds to Execution
- Episode 13: The Ballad of the Young Killer
- Episode 14: White-Fletched Arrows and a Tearful Parting
- Episode 15: The Sad Mother's Lullaby
- Episode 16: Falsely Accused, Ken Falls into Sorrow
- Episode 17: The Grief-Stricken Sister and a Pair of Kens
- Episode 18: Bubble Love in Peril!
- Episode 19: Blighted Love: The Torn Love Letter
- Episode 20: The Lady Dragon and a Tearful Vow
- Episode 21: Farewell, My Long-Lost Mother
- Episode 22: The Young Boxer and Tears for a Father
- Episode 23: The Three Oogami Sisters and Brother Tenichi
- Episode 24: Ken's Tears and Love in a Strange Town
- Episode 25: A Tearful Departure on Mt. Koujin
- Episode 26: Forgive Me, My Son!
- Episode 27
- Episode 28
- Episode 29
- Episode 30
- Episode 31
- Episode 32
- Tokyo 12 channels (now TV Tokyo)
- Sapporo TV (STV): Saturday 17:00-17:30
- East Japan Broadcasting System (KHB): Saturday 7:30-8:00
- Nagano Broadcasting (NBS): Friday 18:00-18:30 (22 April - 2 December 1977)
- Chubu Nippon Broadcasting (CBC): Thursday 17:30-18:00 (February - March 1977) - Thursday 17:25-17:55 (April - September 1977)
- Kansai TV (KTV): Sunday 11:00-11:30 (4 days delay)
- TV West Japan (TNC): Saturdays 18:00-18:30 (10 days delayed)
- Kumamoto Broadcasting (RKK): Thursday 17:00-17: 30
- Toyama TV (BBT): Monday 16:30-17:20
From November 5th, 2012 to February 24th, 2013, all 32 episodes of Kaiketsu Zubat were released on YouTube's Toei Sci-Fi Live YouTube Official channel and re-released from August 4th, 2014 to November 23rd, 2014.
- This series would be parodied by Daicon Films (now Gainax) in 1982, in a series of short films starring the superhero Swift Hero Noutenki (who also has the same alter-ego, Ken Hayakawa).
- Zubat's name is based on the sound effect "zubatto," which is the sound of something being hit right on target.