Japan faces the expensive problems of caring for an aging population. As a solution, Mr. Terada, an official in a mysterious government ministry, unveils the Z-001, a high-tech bed that cares for an invalid's every need... more ». His chosen guinea pig of a patient is Mr. Takazawa, an aged man in the care of Haruko, a pretty young nurse. Haruko realizes that the machine can't attend to Mr. Takazawa's emotional needs and tries to rescue him. When Terada foils her efforts, she turns to a group of elderly patients--who turn out to be ace hackers. The complications pile up when an unscrupulous member of Terada's staff reveals that the Z-001 is actually a prototype battle robot. But once Haruko's aged hackers gain control of it, the Z-001 takes on the personality of Mr. Takazawa's late wife. It sets out to realize his dream of spending a day at the beach at Kamakura, wreaking havoc wherever it goes. Although it's filled with robot battles, sexual jokes, and sinister-sounding acronyms, Roujin Z, written and designed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo, the director of Akira, has a humane warmth that sets it apart from run-of-the-mill anime features. Not rated, but minor nudity and sexual jokes are unsuitable for small children. --Charles Solomon« less
"The premise is simple: to ease the caring for the elderly, the government decides to experiment with automating said care, until the robot caretaker decides to take its charge on a trip to the beach! The result is both humorous and a biting commentary on how we view our elders. Roujin Z is a fun down-to-earth story with a doozy of an ending. I'd recommend it to newcomers to the anime genre - even above other classics like "Akira" - because the story is so much more human and focused. Just don't expect an action-fest.The DVD itself is quite sparse with only a language choice and chapter select. The only annoyance I had was the movie starts without going through the menu first. But the excellent story makes this one worth owning regardless."
Entertaining, light early 90's chase anime
J. Hardy IV | Snohomish, WA United States | 07/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Friday, July 15, 2005 / 4 of 5 / Entertaining, light early 90's chase anime While at once amusing and alarming prescience, this early 90's anime tells a tale of the aging of Japan and the issues the elderly will impose upon the care giving industry. Not the typical anime subject matter, but things kick into gear as a veiled group introduces a super-mecha bed that will tend to the needs of the elderly, bathing, feeding, taking care of their waste, etc. all controlled via a super computer and nuclear furnace. The bed has some hidden capabilities however, and the first test case, an old man, is taken along for a wild ride. The man's human nurse and her friends give chase along with the bed's company when it takes on the personality of the man's deceased wife. What ensues is a chase as the bed tries to take the man to the beach. Must be seen to be believed. Funny and breezy, it's highly recommended."
"Old Man" Z -- Original DVD Review (Not Special Edition)
H. Thompson | Wisconsin, USA | 08/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"INTRO: To start, I was kinda' dissapointed when I figured out this wasn't the DVD release with the extras on it. But then I found out that the "movie" itself wasn't too bad either. :)DVD: The DVD basically was easy enough to get to the movie so I can't say anything bad about the menus or anything. The basic - Jap/Eng audios are available, which is always a must for anime or foreign films.EXTRAS: There are none on this version of the DVD so I can't complain too much since its my own fault...by the Special Edition for extras.STORY/PLOT: This movie is very good. It almost (but not quite) beats Akira (also by Katsuhiro Otomo) in the fact that it mixes a lot of aspects from Akira and incorporates it into a PG-13 (at most) rated movie. Even though they say this movie is about PG-13, I could show this to a kid with no worries really. But then again, that's just me...The movie explains about taking care of the elderly and manages to mix in some great action as well. Its too strange to explain, so just see it to believe me.OVERALL: Overall, I really liked this movie/dvd. I recommend it to anyone that likes Anime, AKira, or works by Katsuhiro Otomo. I will still get the Special Edition for the extras, but this version (the one that started it for me) will always remain in my DVD library."
Roujin Z, big robots and old men make strange bed fellows
disgruntledpoet | Sheridan WY | 08/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's an unspoken rule in film production that any movie with an all star cast or crew is going to be terrible, take the recent movie "A.I." for example. Roujin Z manages to break the mold. The film was designed by Katsuhiro Otomo, (famous for his previous work AKIRA)directed by Hiroyuki Kitakubo (worked on Patlabor-The Movie with Mamoru Oshii) and animated by Fumio Iiada (Wings of Honneamise). The visual style is an interresting blend between Iiada's and Otomo's artwork, the animation is very high quality (though somewhat outdated), and the character designs and motion capturing are some of the best I've ever seen. The story takes place in Japan, where the government is having difficulting dealing with it's aging population. The solution? The new Z-001, a robotic bed to cover a patients every need. Elderly invalid Takazawa is volunteered by his family to test the new bed, and is thus stripped from his volunteer nurse, Haruko. When Takazawa's bed sends out a distress signal Haruko and her friends race to the rescue, but the bed has become more than just a simple care unit. Now the bed has become an unstoppable robot, imbued with the personality of Takazawa's deceased wife and hell bent on visiting the beach! It should be noted that this film was published in the US by USMANGA Corps, the sorriest bunch of adled sods that have ever disgraced the animation industry (disney aside). The dubbing is, of course, horrible beyond belief, so stick to the subtitles."
Must see Anime
(4 out of 5 stars)
"How far do we let technology take us? Should we consign our old people to an uncaring "home", or cherish their hard earned wisdom? This film brings up many questions that are hard to answer, and makes you think about old people and what they want and need. Oh, its funny too, and you have to love the ending (did you like Short Circuit 1 and 2?)"