I Am A Hero‘ is a Japanese apocalyptic horror movie released in 2016 and directed by Shinsuke Sato. It is based on a manga of the same name by Kengo Hanazawa, which was published from 2009 to 2017.

Suzuki Hideo (played by Oizumi Yo) is an average, normal 35-year-old man. He works as a manga artist’s assistant, but it is a low-paying job and his romantic life is in shambles. When his life could not get any worse, a mysterious virus called ZQN starts spreading around Japan at a rapid rate. ZQN gives humans a zombie-like persona, only leaving behind a person’s most defining trait once they are overtaken by the virus. While trying to find safety, Hideo comes across a high school girl named Hayakari Hiromi (played by Arimura Kasumi). Hiromi does not show traits of being overtaken by the virus, even though several days have passed since she was bitten. Hideo refuses to kill her, and their story of trying to survive in their new apocalyptic world begins.


In the classic zombie movies, which are in my opinion some of the most consistent and hardly ever disappointing films in the horror genre, the “survival plot” featured in the stories often shows the best and worst sides of human beings in survival situations. ‘I Am A Hero‘ features some jump scares, but I believe it is a little more watchable if you are a fan of the ‘Resident Evil‘ series.

The zombie aspect of this movie, in my opinion, gives a feeling of unpredictability that helps build the characters and the relationships within the story. At any moment, a character could get infected by this disease and create a situation where another character close to them has to choose between hope or simply giving up, between death or life. In ‘I Am A Hero‘, there aren’t any larger than life characters. While watching the movie it feels like you are watching regular people facing the ordeal, which is an aspect of the film that I found quite great – no one is completely evil or completely a saint.

Movie Director Shinsuke Sato has built quite a solid reputation when it comes to manga adaptations, starting with ‘Gantz‘, to ‘Inuyashiki‘ and recently ‘Bleach‘ – he is definitely a genius when it comes to pleasing this type of an audience. In my opinion, ‘I Am A Hero‘ is his best work so far. The adaptation is obviously built up around the manga, but the way that he manages to fit a multi-volume manga into a two hour movie is simply brilliant, the characters are well developed, the story is felt throughout the entire movie and the action and the horror are just amazing.

Truth be told, this movie is certainly not for the fainthearted or young audiences as it contains some heavy gore scenes that can be quite a downside, and even unnecessary at times, even though they are featured in the manga. They can make it somewhat hard to watch the film, but otherwise I would recommend it to anyone wanting to see what normal human beings might look like trying to survive against such a disease. For me, this movie is brilliant.

Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Cinematography: 7/10
Cast: 8/10
CGI: 8.5/10
Scary Level: 5/10



The film caps at about two hours and six minutes, so it really takes its time for the build-up and utilizes that extra thirty or so minutes to blow everything out of proportion for the main characters. For a zombie movie that does not do anything particularly different from the others, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The main character Hideo, in particular, showed a lot of growth. For someone who could never do anything right in his life or protect the ones he loves, he showed that he can make a change—not only for himself but also for those around him who need it. Oizumi Yo did an amazing job portraying Hideo. I think he truly understood Hideo’s character and knew exactly how to show Hideo through certain scenes. I think other actors and actresses came across as a little awkward but overall achieved their purpose. The visual effects were spectacular. The way the zombies move and how they “turn” felt very realistic yet chilling and disgusting, so I believe the visuals achieved their purpose. There is a lot of gore, however, so if you don’t like it, you probably wouldn’t be able to stomach watching this.

One problem I have with the movie is that because the original manga was not yet finished at the time of filming, they ended it at a specific point in the manga. Because of this, there was no clear ending. However, I would have preferred a somewhat open ending rather than a contrived one where the director and writer had to make up something that didn’t fit.

I Am A Hero‘, in the end, was a solid zombie film. It managed to build upon what we have seen trillions of times before in other zombie movies while giving us a taste of something new.

Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Cinematography: 8.5/10
Cast: 6/10
CGI: 9/10
Scary Level: 6.5/10