Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Apocalypse Zero (original title: Kakugo no Susume) is a Japanese comic by Takayuki Yamaguchi and a two-episode anime series. The anime, created in 1996, is regarded as the most violent ever released. The very short series has been accused of unoriginality because of its use of motifs and themes from The Guyver and Fist of the Northstar .
In post-apocalyptic 21st century Japan, Kaguko and Harara are two high school children who live in the ruins of Tokyo. Their father gave them armoured exoskeletons, called Zero armour, which were made from the souls of dead soldiers. The people of Tokyo try to continue the routine of their pre-apocalypse lives and Kaguko protects them from violently hostile mutant creatures. Harara, however, falls under the influence of the evil within the Zero armour, kills her father and seeks to realise a utopia without humans. The siblings fight and Kaguko wins.
The imagery is self-consciously extreme with grotesque violence (a girl's entrails spill out of her mouth when she is crushed; a man's face is torn ripped off before he is swallowed, partially digested and then regurgitated as a conscious skeleton) and absurd sexual distortions. The strong colours and extreme stylisation offer a further sensory assault. Unusually for anime, there is little humour in any aspect of this work other than the gross exaggeration, which strengthens the sense that it is intended to shock.
The United States licence for Apocalypse Zero was acquired by Media Blasters who created a dubbed English language version of the anime translated by Takashi Sakudo and produced by the Anime Works studio. This version was released in the US on June 20,2000.
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