The Eternal Zero

Synopsis: 26 year old Kentaro discovers his biological grandfather died as a kamikaze pilot during WW2. He and his sister begin an investigation into what kind of person he was, interviewing men who fought with him. There follows the story of Japanese Navy Air Service Platoon Sergeant Miyabe, as told by four of the men who knew him best. Intricately woven the film follows him through Pearl Harbor, the Midway Battle and the Battle for Okinawa. When he finally loses his will and respect for life he enrolls in the Special Attack Force and passes his responsibility to return to his wife and infant daughter on to a younger pilot. An engaging tale of a man brave enough to challenge accepted ways of thinking.
Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Takashi Yamazaki
  9 wins & 4 nominations.
144 min

Oishi Family Funeral

I never thought Grandpa would cry so much.

Never saw him like that.

Well, he loved her so much.

When you think about it,

Grandma sure had a happy life.

But she had a hard time in the war.

Her first husband died as a Kamikaze.

She was married before?

Wait a second. I never knew this...


Of course...

That was my actual father...


How come you're still in bed?

Are you confident you?! pass the Bar

this year?

Get lost. What do you want?

Don't you want to find out more

about Grandma's first husband?

After it came up the other day,

Mom said it'd been on her mind.

She didn't tell me. You go ahead...

Don't sulk, idiot...

It's your real grandpa. Surely you care...

Look, I haven't got my head around it yet.

It's the war's 60th anniversary next year.

Wouldn't this make a good book?

You're not hearing me.

I need to take my writing to a new level.

So that's what this is about...

Suit yourself. I'm going now.

Wait, wait! I'll pay you.

Oishi Residence.

You're still working

these pro-bono cases, Grandpa?

Lawyers make a ton of money

out in the real world.

So you're studying hard?

I knew it...

Flunking four years in a row

makes you reconsider.

Maybe the Bar just isn't for me.

It's probably lack of willpower.

I thought I'd follow your footsteps but...

Poor Kentaro...

We're not here to talk about this, eh?

You're the one who wanted permission

before digging deeper.

Deeper into what?


I didn't want to go poking around

behind your back.

It's okay.

I want you to know about him.

For your own sakes...

Kyuzo Miyabe, born Tokyo, 1918.

Joins Navy in 1934.

In 1945, killed in the East China Sea.

Didn't write a will. Left barely a trace.

He married Grandma in 1941.

Mom was born the next year.

But in their four years together, he was

at the front almost the entire time.

He died at the age of 26.

26 years old?

Same age as you now.

Why that look?

I can't read this...

That generation's handwriting

is just too sophisticated.

Where did you get this?

Found a bunch of veteran groups online.

Wrote to see if anyone knew Kyuzo Miyabe.

These are all the replies.

There are so many...

Hasegawa-san, you knew our grandfather?

I sure did.

We're trying to find out

what kind of a man he was.

That man

was the biggest damn coward

in the whole Navy.

All he cared about was survival.

What do you mean by that?

Exactly what I said.

Clinging on to life no matter what.

We pilots put our lives

at the nation's disposal.

But that wasn't the case

with Kyuzo Miyabe.

All he cared about was saving

his own damn skin.

The day I lost my arm

his plane barely had a scratch.

Not a single bullet hole.

After aerial combat like that...

it was an impossibility!

He failed to do his duty...

Sat out the fight miles away.

With all due respect,

he died on a Kamikaze mission.

That hardly sounds like cowardice...

I can imagine how he cried

as he realized

that was one duty he couldn't shirk.

Anything wrong?

Mom, can I ask...

Didn't you ever enquire about him?

I sure did.

I asked what my real father was like.


Your grandma would just smile

but said nothing...

Maybe it wasn't a very happy marriage.

Supposing he wasn't regarded

very highly...

Is that true?

Just for instance...

Supposing we find out

something like that...

It would explain

why she never spoke of him.

A disgrace to the Imperial Navy.

That's what they called him...

Always flew away from the fight.

We lost several bombers

because of his negligence on patrol...

Let's go home.

Our grandfather...

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Takashi Yamazaki

Takashi Yamazaki (山崎 貴, Yamazaki Takashi, born June 12, 1964 in Matsumoto, Nagano) is a Japanese film director, screenwriter and visual effects director. He won the Best Director and Best Screenplay prizes at the Japanese Academy Awards in 2006 for Always: Sunset on Third Street. He is a member of the animation and film visual effects studio Shirogumi. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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