16 user 15 critic

The Fighter Pilot (2013)

Eien no 0 (original title)
A young woman and her brother explore the history of their grandfather, who died in the WW2. They start contacting the m'en who flew with him, asking them about who he was.


Takashi Yamazaki


Takashi Yamazaki (screenplay), Tamio Hayashi (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
9 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The life of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto from the early 1930's to his death at the hands of the US military in 1943.

Director: Izuru Narushima
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Hiroshi Abe, Shûichi Azumaya
Yamato (2005)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The movie follows 3 Japanese friends from embarking on Yamato, the world's largest battleship, until it's sunk 3 1/2 years later on April 7, 1945 on it's way to Okinawa to stop American advance at the end of WWII.

Director: Jun'ya Satô
Stars: Takashi Sorimachi, Shidô Nakamura, Yû Aoi
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The War ended on August 15th, 1945. What took place in Japan on the previous night? The unknown destiny of the day is unveiled.

Director: Masato Harada
Stars: Kôji Yakusho, Masahiro Motoki, Tsutomu Yamazaki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Chagawa finds it increasing difficult to support his young ward Junnosuke in his store across the street from the Suzuki garage on Third Street. Unless he can provide a better life, ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Stars: Shin'ichi Hatori, Maki Horikita, Fumiyo Kohinata
Rebirth (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After the collapse of their relationship, Kiwako abducts the 6-month old child of a man she was having an affair with. Raising the child as her own, it is four years before the authorities catch up with her and the young child.

Director: Izuru Narushima
Stars: Hiromi Nagasaku, Mao Inoue, Eiko Koike
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the end of World War 2, a group of Japanese soldiers fight on after US forces capture most of the island. They refuse to surrender and continue to resist after the Emperor surrenders.

Director: Hideyuki Hirayama
Stars: Yutaka Takenouchi, Markus Waldow, Sean McGowan
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Young Japanese pilots are trained to sink Allied warships by flying into them.

Director: Taku Shinjô
Stars: Ryôhei Abe, Tôru Emori, Katsutaka Furuhata
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The grand story of Japan's post-war reconstruction is based on the actual story of an oil company's president, namely Tetsuzo Kunioka, who believed in the power of oil, as opposed to coal, ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Stars: Jun'ichi Okada, Hidetaka Yoshioka, Shôta Sometani
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A story about the disappearance of Kirishima, a star athlete of the volleyball club and how this disappearance of his affect every person in his school.

Director: Daihachi Yoshida
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Ai Hashimoto, Suzuka Ohgo
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The Tokyo Olympics are about to open, and Rynosuke Chagawa is excited to receive a new TV set to watch the upcoming events. His wife Hiromi is pregnant and he has built a second level on ... See full summary »

Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Stars: Hidetaka Yoshioka, Shin'ichi Tsutsumi, Koyuki
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Majime, an eccentric man in publishing company, who has unique ability of words, joins the team that will compile a new dictionary, 'The Great Passage.' In the eclectic team, he becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Yûya Ishii
Stars: Ryûhei Matsuda, Aoi Miyazaki, Joe Odagiri
Thermae Romae (2012)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Lucius, a Roman architect, is transported through time to modern-day Japan, where he learns about Japanese bathhouses and uses this to his gain back home.

Director: Hideki Takeuchi
Stars: Hiroshi Abe, Aya Ueto, Kazuki Kitamura


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jun'ichi Okada Jun'ichi Okada ... Miyabe
Haruma Miura ... Kentarô Saeki
Mao Inoue Mao Inoue ... Matsuno
Gaku Hamada ... Isaki
Hirofumi Arai ... Kageura
Shôta Sometani ... Oishi
Takahiro Miura ... Takeda
Tatsuya Ueda Tatsuya Ueda ... Koyama
Ken Aoki Ken Aoki ... Ito
Rakuto Tochihara Rakuto Tochihara ... Teranishi
Ippei Sasaki Ippei Sasaki
Yûya Endô Yûya Endô ... Kagawa
Takehiro Hira
Tarô Suruga Tarô Suruga
Toshihiro Yashiba Toshihiro Yashiba


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. Written by kwedgwood@hotmail.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A grandfather I never knew, Kyozo Miyabe. An incredible pilot but... biggest damn coward in the whole Navy. See more »


Action | Drama | Mystery | War


See all certifications »






Release Date:

21 December 2013 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fighter Pilot See more »

Filming Locations:

Kagoshima, Japan See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$82,879,386, 6 July 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hayao Miyazaki, who criticized the film for "trying to make a Zero fighter story based on a fictional war account that is a pack of lies" had months before released The Wind Rises (2013), a film about the designer of the same aircraft depicted in this film. See more »


US Navy Lookout: It's a Zero!
See more »


Version of Eien no 0 (2015) See more »


Written by Keisuke Kuwata
Performed by 'Sazan Ôru Sutâzu'
Courtesy of Taishita Label Music/Victor Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A sympathetic look at suicide bombers...no wait, come back...
29 July 2015 | by ExpendableManSee all my reviews

Despite being one of the better films hiding among the titles on Netflix, 'The Eternal Zero' doesn't seem to have attracted much attention in the west. Given that it's a film that casts a sympathetic look at Japan's kamikaze pilots though that's not exactly surprising. It's already been subject to a wealth of controversy by critics in Japan and abroad, especially as there's one pivotal scene that compares them (favourably) to modern day suicide bombers.

This is a shame because at it's heart, 'The Eternal Zero' is a defiantly anti-war movie and a genuinely moving one. Beginning at a funeral, it focuses on siblings Kentaro and Keiko Oishi and their quest to find out more about the Grandfather they never knew. They soon discover that their relative Kyuzo Miyabe was a fighter pilot that died in a kamikaze attack on an aircraft carrier but throughout the war, he was almost universally hated by his fellow pilots. They meet with several veterans who all accuse Miyabe of cowardice for avoiding combat at any cost and after being shouted at by several angry old men, are understandably keen to throw in the towel. Then they decide to go for one last interview and things start to get more complex.

From there, the film unfolds Citizen Kane-style through interviews and flashbacks. It turns out Oishi was in truth a brilliant pilot, but one who also desperately wanted to live and return home to his wife. This made him thoroughly unpopular in a culture which at the time venerated the honourable sacrifice, but it also makes him something of a cypher character. Nobody in their right mind would want to smash themselves into a warship in a burning jet plane after all, so how does someone come to be persuaded to do that? And could it happen to any of us or was it something that only Imperial Japan could convince it's people to do?

What follows is a moving story of courage disguised as cowardice and a man who firmly believed in life at all cost rather than pointless deaths. There's a few brilliant scenes where characters juggle certain death against uncertain life, not least where Oishi convinces a fellow pilot not to turn back for a suicide run, only to wind up suffering an even worse fate because of it.

On a technical level too the film does a great job in recreating aerial combat through CGI (a practical necessity given the lack of functioning Zeros nowadays). The focus isn't on the combat though and anyone expecting constant dogfights will be disappointed. The Battle of Midway scene for example ends all too soon and often, we see the aftermath of battle rather than the battle itself. It makes up for it though in the human drama and when Oishi finds himself flying escort to his own students and has to watch them squander their lives pointlessly, it's both visually impressive and moving.

Anyone who still harbours resentment for the Japanese and their actions during WW2 however will still hate this movie. There's no mention of the atrocities of Nanking or the mistreatment of POWs for example, but then they're not the focus of the film. This is about impressionable young men being brainwashed into throwing their lives away and their ancestors struggling to come to terms with it. In that sense, Kentaro and Keiko are representative of modern Japan itself; they don't have to approve of their own history in order to sympathise with it. This is a great film, but it'll provoke a heated argument or two, a fact which it foreshadows in a night out that goes disastrously wrong.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed