The main character of the “Zero Woman” series is Special Undercover Agent Rei (her family name’s never been revealed), who works for “Section Zero” of the Tokyo Police Department. Her risky assignments require her to infiltrate the criminal underworld where, even though she often finds herself in “compromising” positions, she always manages to come out on top.
The role of Rei has been played by a total of 10 different actresses over the years, the first of whom being 70s pink film queen Miki Sugimoto (above). See the others after the jump.
(Author’s Note: For those that want more information on these movies or the actresses, you can find a lot of it here. If anyone still wants additional details and a Google search doesn’t provide them, click on my “Contact” tab, use the form to send me a message, and I’ll be happy to do what I can.)
|Original poster for the 1974 film, Zero Woman – Red Handcuffs that starred
Miki Sugimoto, whose short acting career spanned from 1971-1977.
|After 21-year hiatus, Rei reappeared in the form of actress/singer/model
Natsuki Ozawa in the simply-titled Zero Woman.
|Described by one reviewer as “a cross between Susan Sarandon and Rosamund
Kwan,” Kumiko Takeda took on the role in 1996’s Assassin Lovers.
|The 1997 film, The Accused featured Mai Tachihara, who was
the lowest-profile actress to play the part.
|Mikiyo Ono, who was a member of the J-Pop singing group “Coco,”
starred in the second 1997 Zero Woman film, The Hunted.
|Personal favorite Chieko Shiratori (not to be confused with pro wrestler Chikako
Shiratori) nicely filled the role of Rei in 1998’s Dangerous Game.
|1999’s Zero Woman Returns featured Saori Ono, another actress who
hasn’t seemed to have appeared in much else.
Maiko Tohno (also spelled Maiko Tono) starred in 2005’s Zero Woman.
The second one in the franchise with no subtitle.