Str manga zains

A crowd of Zains, human test subjects

Zains (ザイン) is a term used in the Strider Hiryu manga to refer to the victims of the ZAIN Project.[1]

Zains are the result of the project's brainwashing experiments on human test subjects. As the project has not been perfected, however, these subjects have lost their minds and become little more than living zombies: due to how the ZAIN Project alters the mind, the subject suffers from constant feelings of isolation, a sense of being alienated from everyone and everything, as well as a deep paranoia in which the subject believes everyone around them is plotting their death. These hallucinations remain with them constantly, and although they may appear normal on the surface, deep inside they are hateful and threatened to the point they become violently aggressive to anyone on their proximity, even if they are close friends or relatives.[2]




Mariya under the influence of ZAIN

Mariya is the first known person used as a test subject in the project. Two years before and through unknown circunstances, Mariya was implanted with the transmitter and subjected to the ZAIN Project's influence. This resulted in Mariya turning insane and highly aggressive, leading to her killing ten Strider trainees. When Hiryu was sent to stop her, she didn't respond to her brother's pleas and was eventually fatally injured in self-defense.

At that moment the brainwashing wore off and she recovered her true personality while retaining no memories of what she was doing, as she could only ask Hiryu what just happened before dying.



Kain under ZAIN's influence

After his capture by the Kazakh Secret Police, Kain was subjected to the ZAIN Project as another test subject and almost became a Zain himself.

When he was found by Hiryu and Sheena, he was inmersed in a deep coma and nothing they tried would wake him up. After awhile, Kain finally awakened while the trio stayed at a Rebel Army safehouse. At first he appeared to be normal, although he was detached and spoke no word. As soon as he reclaimed his Cypher, however, Kain turned violent and attacked Sheena and Hiryu, while claiming Hiryu was there to kill him.[3]

While in this state Kain acted vicious but still not entirely gone, as he was still able to form coherent phrases and reacted to attacks[4]. Fortunately the effects were not permanent and after the transmitter was destroyed, Kain returned to his true self after staying unconscious for a short time, with no memories of what he did while under the effects of the mind control.

Kazakh test subjectsEdit

Several human test subjects were used in the secret ZAIN laboratory found within the Kazakh Federation Mental Institute. They all turned out to be failures and have long since lost their sanity, being only capable of grunting and attacking any perceived threat to themselves. The Institute director has kept these subjects inmprisoned in cells located inside the institute, planning on releasing them as a defense against intruders.

The Zains all wear simple white prison uniforms with a numbered "Z" mark to identify them, going up to atleast "Z 60"[1]. They are seen wielding basic weapons like knives and nailed boards, although they are so far gone they can merely swing them around. The group appears to be conformed of men exclusively, including atleast one little kid.[2]

They were released to face Hiryu and Kain, and used by Commander Keith's men to attack them with throwing knives while using them as cover. An enraged Hiryu after he noticed the little kid, however, went through the crowd without killing any Zain and instantly murdered all the soldiers for using innocent people like this.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 3, Pg. 96. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 3, Pg. 82. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  3. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 2, Pg. 58-61. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
  4. Wada, Tatsumi (November 10, 1989). Strider Hiryû. Chapter 2, Pg. 64-65. Kadokawa Shoten. ISBN 4-04-713009-5.
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