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「疫病神」 (Yakubyougami)
“Angel of Death”

Things take a slower turn in ZETMAN, although the show still retains its tendency to cram as much as possible into one episode. It’s almost all action this week though, so the quick pacing wasn’t too glaring an issue as it has been for some past episodes (most notably the premiere and last week’s).

The story skips two years ahead from where it last left off with Jin living his life in solitude, prompted by Mitsugai’s warning that being close to people will only result in their lives being put in danger. It’s a lonely road he walks, but at the same time it also seems to suit him – Jin has never really formed solid relationships, and other than Akemi, there’s no one that could be considered a “constant presence” in his life. While it’s still heartbreaking to see Jin isolate himself, the lack of close-knit ties downplays his sacrifice a little and is somewhat disappointing to see from a viewer’s perspective. The producers should really have fleshed out Konoha, Kouga and Jin’s childhood friendships a little better, since that could have been a great source of empathy. At first, his rejection of Konoha drew a mixed reaction from me because while it was sad to see, at second glance, it’s a little hard to believe she would have so much attachment for someone she has only seen sporadically throughout her life. Conversely, when I considered the fact she and Jin started out as “childhood friends”, it was still puzzling she would have such an understated reaction. That said, understated is much better than over exaggerated dramatics so although I had some misgivings about seeing how Jin’s noble sacrifice panned out, it was still a nice scene to watch. And considering some clever directing choices that were at play (the distance between the two, and that great heroic shot) that moment, it’s a lack of development I can easily forgive.

It doesn’t look like Jin will stay lonely for much longer though, and I’m interested to see what kind of role this spunky new girl Tanaka Hanako (Ise Mariya) will have in his life – romantic, perhaps? Every Superman needs his Lois Lane! Well romantic or not, I hope she gives Jin some color in his life since he duly deserves it. Hanako serves as a good contrast to Jin’s taciturn nature and perhaps she’ll have better luck than Konoha in breaking through the wall of isolation he’s built around himself; Konoha is much too demure to make a dent, and the fact she lives in a completely different world than he does is also an obstacle that’s difficult to overcome. She doesn’t have the same sort of naive ignorance Kouga does, but her timid, subdued nature is going to actively work against her getting closer to Jin… which is too bad since I rather like them together. But Jin needs someone who’s not going to back off just because he tells them to, and Hanako seems a better candidate for his affections at this point.

I’m always content with how ZETMAN continues to portray Jin, because they always ground his actions in selfless desires and manage to craft a conventional hero out of a very unconventional protagonist. Jin’s no typical “ally of justice”; he’s not an enthusiastic teenager out to save the world with his cool weapons while maintaining his double life as a normal high school boy. That’s Kouga’s job, and I’m fascinated by the fact the show seems to mock that viewpoint – Jin keeps growing and growing while Kouga is simply stuck where he is, even though he possesses the enthusiasm and desire for “justice” that all typical heroes have. But not only is his definition of “justice” a little grey, he’s not quite the hero you want to root for because he hasn’t shown an effort to risk something to achieve heroism. With his shiny new gadgetry and the ominous preview next week though, it looks like I’ll have to eat my words, which I don’t mind at all! Come on Kouga, let’s see you become that hero.

Full-Size Images: 05, 09, 24, 28, 35

P.S.: They actually have a reason for Jin’s endless supply of identical shirts!

 

Preview

ZETMAN   04   Preview 01 ZETMAN   04   Preview 02 ZETMAN   04   Preview 03
April 25, 2012 at 9:48 am
19 comments »
  • April 25, 2012 at 10:00 amTez

    No mentions of the cliche plucky sidekick appearing this ep?

    Well I tell you what isn’t cliche… i don’t think I’ve ever seen an anime character with braces.

    • April 25, 2012 at 10:21 amMrMartini

      I find it cute, but I don’t know why. Maybe it’s like the b-side to the glasses fetish?

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:17 amrasone0104

    4eps in and still loving the op song…. cant wait for the black sweeper to be born…

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:39 amLightnDark

    Kouga pulling off a Bruce Wayne here..Except that he really needs a better hairstyle.

    • April 25, 2012 at 8:57 pmKoroshiyaKi

      If you think about it the dual protagonists of Zetman are pretty much what you would get if you ripped apart Batman into two people (aside from the genetic modification/construction of Jin).

  • April 25, 2012 at 10:41 amjrj

    that preview sure is sinister…
    the new girl with braces is fun to watch… at least better than the childhood friend…
    when would the true ZET be “born again?”

  • April 25, 2012 at 11:37 amXRick

    So they decided to leave Kouga’s big event for after the timeskip, huh?
    I just hope it goes way better than in the manga, that alone almost made me lose interest in following it while seeing the series, it was total crap and the worst part of the story that I’ve read so far!!! Oh the Rage!!!

  • April 25, 2012 at 12:56 pmYanDaMan

    The reason Konoha likes Jin was never shown in the anime. For those who read the manga, its pretty obvious and shown in an early chapter.

    I’m also surprised episode 4 skipped a good 40+ chapters in the manga. They totally skipped the events concerning Kouga that eventually made me stronger and more determined. Wonder if they’re planning to animate that part at all.

    By the way how do you use spoiler tags?

    • April 25, 2012 at 1:07 pmXRick

      I guess they will go through that part next episode, but in a different way, hopefully better than the crap that it was in the manga, my most hated event of this story so far.

      • April 25, 2012 at 4:32 pmYanDaMan

        Well due to the events of next episode, Kouga will already have “that”. So I doubt they’ll animate the skipped chapters unless they show it as a flashback. Though the content might be too gruesome for viewing, who knows.

        But yeah I like the anime and everything but it really feel like they are rushing to cram as much as possible in 12 episodes.

    • April 25, 2012 at 4:18 pmBakaMochi

      Use (spoiler) content (/spoiler) – just remember to use <> instead of ()(/) and you should be set! :D

  • April 25, 2012 at 1:07 pmBijyu

    Two girls tied up and unconscious in the preview? I feel bad for the girl who isn’t a main character. Because from what I have seen in this show she will be killed by a monster or some such in a horrific way so they can make Konoha’s situation look all the more desperate.

  • April 25, 2012 at 4:44 pmMrRei

    I’m a little disappointed.. Show Spoiler ▼

  • April 26, 2012 at 12:53 amwalaoa

    I don’t like the looks of the white Zet. I guess the final form of Zet will be the red & black Zet in the OP song.

    One thing that keep me interested though is the way the anime change the order of key event in the manga. Hopefully this changes can make the anime interesting.

  • April 26, 2012 at 2:33 amYanDaMan

    Man so little comments for this show. Few people are watching this, makes me sad :<

    • April 26, 2012 at 3:32 amKusabi

      Yeah, it makes me sad too. Maybe the story is a bit cliche, “transformed hero beat some kind of alien every week” theme, but they deliver it with some fluid battle scenes and realistic facial design, and that OP! I can’t bring myself to skip it even I watch and hear it again and again.

  • April 26, 2012 at 8:29 amOutcast

    How does this transforming work. When you transform you can only transform back if there are no players around? Or you killed all the players.
    Why is that?

  • April 27, 2012 at 11:51 pmD-LaN

    Finally watch it….. So manga reader, how much they skip thid time? I just got this feeling tht the Amagi old guy is the Big Bad…

  • April 29, 2012 at 11:00 amViciousOne

    I like the girl with braces. She seems pretty interesting. Hope nothing bad happens to her.

    Also, we need more girls with braces in anime!!!