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ZETMAN – 05

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「アルファス」
“Alphas”

Before I start… justice white? Really, Kouga?

When someone presents an action suit modeled after an anime character, I don’t know if the first thing I’d notice would be that it’s missing a cape, is the wrong color, or that it’s missing a visor – but at least Kouga can be counted on to notice these things! Never mind the fact those things were left out of the prototype due to very good and legitimate reasons – Kouga won’t settle for anything less than an exact replica of his childhood hero. It’s also a testament to what money and technology can do because in the end, it’s not necessarily about what Kouga can achieve on his own but what his money can buy him. He may be able to enforce his brand of justice now, but once you strip everything down, all he is, is just a high school kid trying to play the big leagues.

Perhaps the series of “tests” orchestrated by Jirou will help shape Kouga up to be a better hero. Not having read the manga, I’m not sure what these trials are meant to prove; they don’t feel like a very good measure of justice, and as horrible as the consequences were, I find it hard to blame Kouga for his choices, since it’s almost a no-brainer to choose to save your younger sister over three complete strangers. From the situation at hand, it was the best choice for him to make so it’s hard to hold him at fault. It would make more sense to test Kouga’s morals in a more ambiguous manner… For example, take an orphanage or a school and ask him which one not to set on fire. It’s gritty, it’s real, and it presents a much more complex problem than just asking Kouga whether or not he’d save Konoha – a family member – as opposed to three strangers. I’m not downplaying the loss of their lives, which is terrible, but in the grand scheme of helping Kouga grow, I’m not sure it’s an effective catalyst.

Speaking of catalysts, I’m still undecided on where Hanako stands in terms of Jin and his own character development. Originally I thought Konoha was out of the running to be the “light of Jin’s life” so to speak, and that perhaps Hanako would take on that role instead. As of this episode I’m not sure where she stands nor do I like the sudden downturn her personality seems to have taken. What I admired was her exuberant nature, not this petty, pretend-girlfriend that showed up this week! Her reactions were all over the place and doesn’t quite make any sense – it’s as if the producers skipped over a bunch of material and the result was a choppy development. They’re not dating, so Hanako’s outburst was nonsensical and I nearly had to roll my eyes at the inconsistency of her character.

There wasn’t much of Jin this week as this was a Kouga-centric episode, but as always, I liked what I saw. He and Kouga both present an interesting twist on the argument that “heroes are made, not born”; on the surface Jin would appear to be the hero that was “born” with his powers, but I’m not sure that’s the case. While the supernatural (or at least the highly technological) is at play in ZETMAN, money and power are also two big players that should be taken account when trying to see what it is trying to convey. It flips Kouga and Jin’s roles, since with all the money in the world, power, and technology at his disposal, Kouga is the hero “born” with his powers, while as the anti-hero, Jin is the one growing into one. I admit my perspective doesn’t quite align with the traditional viewpoint, but the show always presents a very interesting and liberal look on justice and heroes, so I think my interpretation is still within grounds of what ZETMAN tries to convey.

Along with its unconventional heroes, the show has surprised me with its ability to subvert expectations before, and it does so once again with ‘EVOL’. It’s an interesting concept that proves there’s more to the issue of Players than meets the eye and I remain intrigued with the show’s ability to present such malleable definitions of protagonists and antagonists.

Full-Size Images: 04, 15, 19, 22, 31, 33, 36
Random Thought: Kouga, have you looked in the mirror lately? Stop gelling your hair, please.

 

Preview

ZETMAN   05   Preview 01 ZETMAN   05   Preview 02 ZETMAN   05   Preview 03
May 2, 2012 at 2:07 am
29 comments »
  • May 2, 2012 at 2:18 am-blacksheep

    I really like your point in there. The producers might have skipped a lot of things because I didn’t liked Hanako’s reaction when they saw Konoha. I mean she has only met Jin for a day, what the heck is her problem?

    • May 2, 2012 at 8:18 pmBakaMochi

      Yeah… that really irked me :/ It’s really too bad because I liked her spunky attitude last week.

  • May 2, 2012 at 2:30 amJenanime4eva

    Haitani is such an metrosexual player, filing his nails in the middle of a conversation with Jin LOL XD.

    The only female character I genuinely like at the moment is Auntie Akemi, who I still very much respect after protecting Jin in the first episode and taking care of him afterwards :). Hopefully, the other two main girls, Hanako and Konoha, will grow on me in time after some more character development :P.

    I love the action scenes in Zetman, but I am starting to wonder…is Jin going to get stabbed in the chest at least once every episode? XD

  • May 2, 2012 at 2:30 ambelatkuro

    Kouga must not have watched ‘The Incredibles’ movie. Bad things happen to heroes wearing capes.

  • May 2, 2012 at 3:10 ambingo

    Hanako is my favourite girl from the manga.
    I wonder why some companies bother trying to compress a longer manga into 13 episodes? Most fans of the manga will not like that and anime only people are just confused. The manga is great but the adaption is just bad and extremely rushed.

  • May 2, 2012 at 3:38 amAnonymous

    Kouga needs to get bitten by a spider real quick to cure him of his ‘Super-Heroism’.
    Nothing like living the Peter-Parker-dream to make anyone appreciate being normal.

  • May 2, 2012 at 4:35 amKoroshiyaKi

    I would like to point out, Jin was artificially created to have his power. So if anything he was “born” and “made” all in one.

  • May 2, 2012 at 4:58 amwalaoa

    Actually even after following the manga for more than 17 volume the two main girl still din’t grow on me. Both of them still remain quite annoying in their on way. Konoha with her lack of confident and timidness, Hanako with her hyperactive , self centered and possessiveness.

    As for the justice test thing with kouga , i explain more about it in the spoiler below even though i personally don’t think i reveal that much.
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • May 2, 2012 at 5:01 amJHN

    The whole choice thing reminded me of F/SN. So maybe that’s why I didn’t find it such a strange test.

    The choice is basically this. Are you willing to risk losing one close live, in order to save three lives you don’t know.

    Under Kouga’s motto of justice, he should have chosen to save three lives. But his personal feelings made him value one live over three others. Thus a reality check on how difficult his dream actually is.

  • May 2, 2012 at 5:59 amSeishun Otoko

    • May 4, 2012 at 3:28 pmomeganx

      lol nice

  • May 2, 2012 at 6:21 amjreding

    I’m not much interested in superheroes or monsters but I really like this show’s art style and in particular the girls. If only Konata’s uniform were not such a fashion disaster.

    I also had a look at the manga which seems to have excellent and very detailed artwork. I hope I find time to read it soon.

    Re Hanako: She’s my favourite. I might be wrong but I assume that she’s basically homeless. Therefore I can understand that she wants to stay w/ Kouga and is afraid of having to leave him (and his place). No wonder she’s so clingy.

    At least she has money for braces as opposed to some members of a certain idol group.

  • May 2, 2012 at 6:31 amStereoman

    I’m liking Hanako very much. It makes me so happy to see a character with braces (I’ve had braces several times)!

    • May 2, 2012 at 8:00 amLightnDark

      I agree with the first sentence..Not so much the latter.

      Hanako is like this random girl that appeared out of nowhere (at least in the anime) and intruded upon Jin’s somewhat solitary life. It feels like a mismatch yet they kinda suit each other over Jin X Konoha (at least for me). Her character so far isn’t the most likable but somehow I don’t find it too jarring because it feels as if she has some sort of issues deep down within.

      I hope the adaptation will delve more into her background and story to flesh her out and not dump out her as some minor character. I definitely want to read the manga when this show ends!

      • May 2, 2012 at 10:36 amwalaoa

        Hanako do have her own backstory in the manga but with the episode limitation in this anime , i doubt they have to to animate her backstory.

        Even after knowing her backstory from manga, i still can’t find myself to like her, she is a but too clingy, annoying and easily jealous.

  • May 2, 2012 at 7:44 amCTT

    If Hanako is homeless, how is she going to get those braces off?

  • May 2, 2012 at 8:39 amxRichard

    This is the episode where I can’t take it anymore.

    The anime is RAPING the characters, with Kouga being the main victim.

    • May 2, 2012 at 9:31 ambingo

      In my opinion, Kouga was imo never an great and appealing character in the first place. Everytime the fucus shiftet to him in the manag, i felt the incredible desire to skipp the chapter. I always felt that the story would better if he didn’t exist and those chapters that were wasted on him could have been used for Jin and the other characters. I just find him inredible annoying.

  • May 2, 2012 at 1:15 pmYanDaMan

    I mentioned on last week’s episode that they skiped a huge arc concerning Kouga that helped him grow in his ideals, and it seems they are starting it this week. Thing is they had things completely out of order. All the Jin moments in this episodes were supposed to happen after Kouga’s ordeal, and he wasnt introduced to his power suit until after the ordeal also. I wonder why they chose to reverse the order of events. It would’ve made much more sense to keep it the same as the manga.

    Hanako bugs me. I never liked her character in the manga and i certainly dont like her here. She’s got that really obnoxious self-centered attitude, especially for one being some random person who dropped out of nowhere with no relevance. I’d much prefer Konoha as the potential lover, since at least she’s not selfish like Hanako and as demonstrated by how she helps the homeless by giving them food, would be a perfect fit for how Jin protects those homeless from violence.

    One thing that really bugged me about this episode though, is how they just flat out revealed who the leader of Evol was. This was not supposed to happen in the manga until much later, which came across as a nice plot twist to me. Now the anime reveals his identity right now, which was…pretty stupid. I dont know what they are planning to show in this 12 episode anime, but i still feel like its not the right place to reveal his identity, especially when it serves no purpose at the current time to the plot.

    • May 2, 2012 at 3:45 pmxRichard

      “The ordeal” will surely be completely re-written a completely different from the manga (and most likely toned-down by a lot). Because Kouga now has his suit and that fact changes everything.

      • May 2, 2012 at 3:46 pmxRichard

        God this site needs an edit function :(

    • May 2, 2012 at 8:14 pmBakaMochi

      Oh… I had no idea there was such a difference o.o I mean flow-wise it wasn’t a big problem but it did seem like a somewhat random bit of info that got thrown in there. Kindda saps the tension out of things though, I suppose.

      As for Hanako, I was willing to attribute her fear of being alone to the trauma she suffered last episode because really – being almost killed by a bunch of 3 scary dudes is kind of scary, but when she pulled that stunt in front of Konoha and her friend? I thought maybe, maybe she was doing the arm-link thing to help Jin. But nooooo it was just her being petty. My respect for her character dropped a lot because frankly, she was no right whatsoever to be freaking out like that. Not cool.

      • May 3, 2012 at 12:54 amYanDaMan

        Yeah as xRichard said, the fact that Kouga got his power suit already before the Jirou arc makes no sense and will most likely be a lot different in the anime, since it was probably one of the most dark and disturbing part of the manga.

        As for Hanako, well you nailed what irked me about her, and unfortunately she doesn’t get any better later either, which is why I cant stand her.

      • May 6, 2012 at 9:20 amViciousOne

        I have to disagree there. I thought it was pretty obvious that she acted that way because she thought Konoha was Jin’s girlfriend. Even if she didn’t know that Jin and Konoha weren’t a couple, it was pretty obvious that Konoha has feelings for Jin. From the perspective of Hanako, she could make it appear like Jin is with her now making him less likely to leave her as Hanako has stated many times that she does not won’t to be alone. Also, Jin is sort of a moderately attractive guy so it would make sense that many girls that aren’t shy would want other females to envy her similar to how some men have “trophy wives.” This really plays well off her spunky personality.

        I dunno, it just made perfect sense to me.

  • May 2, 2012 at 2:05 pmGhostalker

    I’m quite happy on the direction this series are heading, while I’m not really into shows with a superhero theme, still this series manage to capture my attention in a good way.

  • May 2, 2012 at 2:48 pmMarineCorps

    I think the point of the test was to get him to think. As the guy said on the phone “I said I wanted to be your friend therefore I would never hurt your family” He should have relized that and taken the other choice.

  • May 2, 2012 at 3:32 pmTez

    Bakamochi I have to disagree on you comment about the test. Saving a group of strangers or 1 loved one is the traditional test of a true hero. Immortalized in The Amazing Spider-man comic book and copied over and over in various other media.

    The reason this works is that a hero is supposed to be selfless. There is no test of this if you have and orphanage and a school. There is no personal element to truly test if the hero can make a real sacrifice.

    Anyways the correct answer is to save both ;)

    • May 2, 2012 at 8:17 pmBakaMochi

      You make a really good point actually. I never really thought of it that way… I guess it makes sense though because one of the fundamental problems Kouga has is his selfishness – he’s unwilling to make sacrifices to achieve “justice”.

      Thanks for your insight! :D

  • May 2, 2012 at 4:19 pmLucas.R.J

    “evol”..= =!…why I consider it means “love” at the beginning