Roujin Z

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Not exactly a parody of Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira, this Japanese animated feature (shorn of six minutes in its English version) does have a lot of fun challenging and sometimes reversing the psychedelic-punk precepts of the earlier film. Otomo's storyline and machinery designs are as imaginative as ever, but the sci-fi elements are subordinated to a celebration of old-time Japanese working-class humour, sexuality and values. It's set in the real world, where women are strong and make all the running, and men are bombastic, cowardly or weak - none weaker than the elderly widower Takazawa, who must have his every want attended to by student nurse Haruko. Takazawa is selected as guinea-pig for trials of a computer-controlled bed, which offers all the services of a geriatric ward in one ultra-tech package. The plot hinges on the moment when the machine's core bio-chip is taken over by the spirit of Takazawa's wife, who wants to resume a mature sexual relationship with her husband.

By: TR

Release details

Duration: 84 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Hiroyuki Kitakubo
Screenwriter: Katsuhiro Otomo
Cast: Allan Wenger
Toni Barry
Barbara Barnes
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