An elderly invalid is volunteered for a bizarre experiment. The Z-001 is a machine that take care of all human needs when linked with the brain waves of the subject. But due to a secret military prototype of the Z-001, the machine has turned into an unstoppable robot.
Japan faces the expensive problems of caring for an aging population. As a solution, Mr. Terada, an official in a mysterious government ministry, unveils the Z-001, a high-tech bed that cares for an invalid's every need. His chosen guinea pig of a patient is Mr. Takazawa, an aged man in the care of Haruko, a pretty young nurse. Haruko realizes that the machine can't attend to Mr. Takazawa's emotional needs and tries to rescue him. When Terada foils her efforts, she turns to a group of elderly patients--who turn out to be ace hackers. The complications pile up when an unscrupulous member of Terada's staff reveals that the Z-001 is actually a prototype battle robot. But once Haruko's aged hackers gain control of it, the Z-001 takes on the personality of Mr. Takazawa's late wife. It sets out to realize his dream of spending a day at the beach at Kamakura, wreaking havoc wherever it goes.
Although it's filled with robot battles, sexual jokes, and sinister-sounding acronyms, Roujin Z, written and designed by Katsuhiro Ôtomo, the director of Akira, has a humane warmth that sets it apart from run-of-the-mill anime features. Not rated, but minor nudity and sexual jokes are unsuitable for small children. --Charles Solomon