Kaiketsu Zubat title card
Kaiketsu Zubat
Number of episodes: 32
First episode:
Original airing: February 2, 1977 - September 28, 1977
For the eponymous hero, see Ken Hayakawa.

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.


Zubat Ken Hayakawa


The Consortium of Evil, Dakker



Stunt suit actors


Broadcast stations

Expanded media

Online distribution

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.

Card game



  • 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.

External links

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