Zako \ Evil Babe classifictions?

Drizzt78

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Just had a discussion with a friend about who does \ doesn't count as a zako, and whether a zako has to be a nameless, faceless, interchangeable minion. Which of these count as zako as far as you're concerned?

Villainess-Zako. Low level, disposable Minions (non combatants) or Mooks (combatants) in identical, similar or theme uniforms.
Zakos may either be Soldiers and have names, different bodies, personalities, hair styles etc. or be clones with codenames, identical bodies, personalities, hair styles and maybe face/head covered.
See: Mooks - TV Tropes (combatants) or
Evil Minions - TV Tropes (non-combatants)

Villainess-Zako-Elite. After fighting zakos, the hero or others will normally find one or more Zako-Elites who may wear similar uniforms to the other Zakos. Zako-Elite is a long engagement with the hero barely winning.

Villainess-Team. A team of hot, diverse girls, usually dressed very differently who use their diverse skills or different body types to achieve their villainous goal. The team may be strictly combatant, infiltration, seduction or a combination.
See: The Team - TV Tropes

Villainess-Femme Fatale. One evil female who will use her beauty to destroy others. Probably not much of a fighter. She will try to poison the hero, stab him in the back, shoot him from behind etc. There are five types of Femme Fatales. Assassin. She is simply trying to kill one or more people. Saboteur She is trying to destroy/slander an, organization or person. Extortionist. She is trying to put an organization or person into a compromised position so she can extort them. Thief. She is simply trying to steal from an organization or individual. Spy. She is there to gather intel.

Villainess-Amazon (Kunoichi). One female combatant like an assassin, martial artist or hit woman. Beautiful but deadly. No attempt to seduce or maybe a very brief attempt to get close before the fighting begins.

Villainess-Evil Overlord. A powerful leader, usually in charge of Zakos, Team(s) and Kunoichi. She is beautiful and opulent, found in extremely expensive clothing that enhances her bombshell physique. The overlord gives orders, plots out traps, sends numerous Zakos to their death and oftentimes under estimates her opponents.
See: Evil Overlord List - TV Tropes
and Evil Overlord - TV Tropes
 

Stuelpner_Karl

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"Zako" is used somehow excessively, interchanging it with "Henchwoman".
(Henchman derives from the German word hengst (stallion), so a henchman is a horseman, not a footman.)

I think to qualify as Zako, they must be part of a group, not really standing out by their skill.
Being not recognizable as an individual is not important. Movie makers just do this for various reasons, like avoiding visible continuity errors in mass battles or letting the audience not feeling sorry for them, thus getting angry at the heroes. As a Zako fan, I always love to see them as individuals, to keep track of someone who is seen standing guard and may later reappear in the big battle. But this guard is still a Zako, even though she's important to me.

However, there is no clear line where mooks or zakos stop and henchpeople start. It often depends on our impression and imagination. Take those from "Death Force" for example.
Death Force 00_.jpg

We see them run out wearing identical bikinis and carrying guns, only to be shot before the can do any damage. So they are clearly Zako. But before this, we saw them work on computers, so we can imagine that they are skilled in this field and actually important for the boss.
 

Amazon Shark

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Thanks for bringing up Death Force, that is something I haven't viewed in a long time. I found those clips to be such a tease because of the quick editing after they got shot. But man so many movies from the 60s and 70s were not afraid of showing big armies with female baddies, often scantily dressed, and shooting them all up.

I always saw "zako" as nameless henchwomen, as opposed to henchwomen who get more focused on in a film, they usually have speaking roles or are identified outside of the general group of nameless henchwomen, usually because of their assumed higher rank. Zako can have lines, too, like when addressing their commanding officer or something like that, but henchwomen (usually) contribute to the plot in some way or just work closer to the main antagonists than the others. They can all still be involved in the final mass battle and treated just like one of the other zakos as they are casually defeated like the others. Many films will feature one henchwoman, and to me, that would usually mean she is not a zako, even if little attention is given to her, her being the lone female baddie is usually more than enough, when you have 20 zakos especially if mixed with males like in Death Force, it is more likely that most, if not all, of the henchpeople will be treated as disposable characters and we will not get too much info on any single one of them, other than that they worked for the wrong organization and were swiftly taken out by the protagonists.
 

osw

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If she’s not important to the story, and she does not lead her group, then she is a Zaloga.
 

Drizzt78

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From the same discussion:
"Most Zakos (in TV and movies too) seem unbelievably stupid and attack fearlessly despite constantly losing. I used to joke about the deaf Samurai movies... "You may have killed the last seven hundred and thirty two men but I'll get you!" Zakos don't seem to have any problem with morale and just keep attacking the hero(es) despite massive losses. I guess that would be just another attribute: Fearless or Human (Idk what to call it).

So fearless Zakos wouldn't cry and whine but instead say something like. "You may've killed me but there are more coming for you!" Heck, most Zakos would die before saying anything.

Here's one of my big Zako scenes: Swords of the Valkyrie.



The girls have names, personalities and are in themed, rather than identical outfits. They will all fight to the death even though they're pretty sure they're outclassed. Some might actually believe that they're going to die. Kestril (heroine) knows she's better than all of them together but has no problem cutting them all down because they work for her opponent and they're trying to kill her."
 

Stuelpner_Karl

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I imagine this kind of Zako starting out as High School bullies, feeling strong as a group. Then they became criminal molls, with their boyfriends as back up. Then they joined the evil army, relying on their numbers or the back up from skilled henchmen or henchwomen. They have a history of kicking downtrodden, outnumbered people. They enjoy it and never face serious resistance.

When they finally meet a heroine like Kestril, they are on an adrenaline rush and do what they are used to do: Attack as a group, not caring for danger. but this time, nobody will take care of the danger for them.
 

zakofan999

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I always thought of a henchman/woman as being the big bad's right-hand person, like Jaws or Xenia Onatopp: the biggest, baddest enforcer who stays behind to fight the hero while the real villain gets away--a unique, serious threat.

I think numbers and disposability make a zako, the uniform and nameless aspects are optional. One Delmo might have a name mentioned on-screen but it doesn't make them not zakos, they still get effortlessly KO'd by the dozen in every scene.
 

meditions

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"Zako" is used somehow excessively, interchanging it with "Henchwoman".
(Henchman derives from the German word hengst (stallion), so a henchman is a horseman, not a footman.)

I think to qualify as Zako, they must be part of a group, not really standing out by their skill.
Being not recognizable as an individual is not important. Movie makers just do this for various reasons, like avoiding visible continuity errors in mass battles or letting the audience not feeling sorry for them, thus getting angry at the heroes. As a Zako fan, I always love to see them as individuals, to keep track of someone who is seen standing guard and may later reappear in the big battle. But this guard is still a Zako, even though she's important to me.

However, there is no clear line where mooks or zakos stop and henchpeople start. It often depends on our impression and imagination. Take those from "Death Force" for example.
View attachment 116519
We see them run out wearing identical bikinis and carrying guns, only to be shot before the can do any damage. So they are clearly Zako. But before this, we saw them work on computers, so we can imagine that they are skilled in this field and actually important for the boss.


Funny that you mention trying to pick out individual Zako to keep track of them throughout the movie. I do the same thing. It is indeed fun to try and keep track of them and see what happens to them.

One example of this is in Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of death. There is a scene where the good guys sneak into the evil lady's compound. When they first enter, two intruders attack, overpower and handgag two guards. The guard closest to the camera looks to be pretty cute. I've tried hard to see if I see her elsewhere in the movie with no luck.

I also agree with the comment elsewhere in the thread about Death Force being sadly disappointing. The idea of the henchgirls in bikinis is really sexy but unfortunately all you get is quick scenes of them being shot. Would have loved to see more involved scenes like perhaps scenes of with some of them being sneaked up on and knocked out move fight scenes with the heroes.
 

Zufallx

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If she’s not important to the story, and she does not lead her group, then she is a Zaloga.
Where'd you get that from? Did you make it up, 'cus Google's got nothing on it.
 
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