The Zero was a fine (aquatic) bird. But do not forget itsmuch less well known terrestial cousin:
The Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa "Oscar" was a single-engine land-based tactical fighter. Almost as good (and closely resembling) the "Zero", it was our enemy in Burma. Luckily the Japanese Army Command frittered it away on "hit and run" ground attacks, instead of using it as an interceptor, which was what it was. 100 mph faster, infinitely more agile and more heavily armed, it would have cut our Vultee Vengeance dive bombers to ribbons.
I believe that Japanese pilots had more "kills" with the "Oscar" than with any other type. But it was outshone by the more glamorous "Zero" (like Spitfire/Hurricane).
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