“Apocalypse Zero: Kakugo the Final Soldier” is a two-volume OVA from 1996, directed by Toshiki Hirano (“Fight! Iczer-1”, “Dangaioh”, “Zeorymer”), and based on the manga/comic by the completely un-squeamish Takayuki Yamaguchi ("Shigurui").
Welcome to the Apocalypse. New Tokyo: three years of war, economic failure, famine, and natural disasters have left the city as a garbage heap of crumbling buildings infested with giant flesh eating cockroaches that subsist on the unclaimed piles of human bodies; a lawless town where the true heirs to our planet, giant, sexually mutated deviants and psychopaths known as Tactical Evils, literally feed on the common citizenry. But, just because you’re dying from the radioactivity, and living in a apocalyptic hell, that doesn’t mean you’re excused from having to put on your uniform and attend your ultra-nationalistic school.
Please be sure to be armed on your way home.
“My scared flesh will be the proof of my victory!”
Humanity’s only chance for survival is Kakugo Hagakure. Through the pain, violence, and militaristic discipline inflicted upon him by his father, Oboro Hagakure, Kakugo has merged with mankind’s greatest weapon, the Fortified Armor Shell: Zero, a power-suit created from the souls of WWII-era soldiers who had the resolve to give up their very being to human experimentation, in order to ensure the continuation of Imperial Japan. Only Kakugo has the strength and willpower needed to fight an army of malformed Tactical Evils, debased, self-serving human urges, and feelings of love, rivalry, and the need to proclaim one’s own individuality; desires for freedom of expression, and sexual promiscuity; as well as the youth sacrificing, elderly; and defeat the narcissism of his feminine transformed brother, Harara.
“It’s such a drag to be the best at everything.”
An irradiated Saturday Morning cartoon in the style of a Metal-Hero live-action show, Apocalypse Zero goes so far out there, in so many directions, it zooms past anything that could be described as insulting. It defies reason, to become something more. It’s beyond badass; edgy, gruesome, hilarious, and awesome!
“The cockroaches are getting bigger all the time.”