ZETMAN – 08
「普通の家族」 (Futsuu no Kazoku)
First world problems, Hanako. First world problems. I think I’ve beaten the dead horse more than enough ways to make my point, so my beef with the characterization/development of Hanako will be laid to rest. I’m still hoping the producers will prove me wrong, but at this point in the game I think it’s something I’m just going to have to accept.
That aside, everything is finally laid out in the open and looking strictly at plot, things can only go up from here – even though I can’t quite tell where each thread is headed, the direction is interesting enough to keep me hooked. Seiji still continues to be an enigmatic figure, not only because he’s a creepy liar, but he’s a loose cannon… and one can never be too wary of loose cannons. I would really love to see Evol brought into the thick of things since they present a more complex world involving Players than what the audience has been shown through Mitsugai’s perspective. To him, the Players are simply genetic experiments gone awry that must be exterminated – it’s a classic case of Frankenstein and his monster. In this case, the Players have split into two factions: ones that side with Evol and hence want to live in peace amongst the humans, and the renegade ones that Jin and the Cleaner must take care of. I’m not sure whether or not Mitsugai distinguishes between the two “factions”, but at the very least he merely views them as failed research, not as misplaced creatures that could possibly coexist peacefully with humans.
There’s also thirty different kinds of wrong about keeping Grandpa “alive” like that, although one could argue that Mitsugai was acting for the “greater good”. He’s violated just about every ethical rules there is to violate though and while I find the whole notion frightening, it paints Mitsugai in such a grey light that I’m always vacillating between looking at his character as a protagonist or an antagonist. Clearly, his objectives themselves are just. Get rid of the monsters that wreak havoc on innocents; it’s the classic motto for any self-respecting hero. But that’s never the issue in ZETMAN – the issue has always been how that motto is achieved. Purely by definition and by removing any personality, Kouga is the one character that embodies it – the hero of justice swathed in his white ideals. ZETMAN has managed to twist the stereotypical archetype so that he’s no longer the primary character the audience roots for. It shoves a grey-shaded hero to the front, a broody guy whose raw charisma and exacting nature is anything but stereotypical.
They do the same thing with Mitsugai, showcasing a character layered with complexities that commits almost hypocritical actions (He fights for justice? Yay! He also keeps around a dead guy’s head to coerce information out of it for his cause! Oh, okay?!). What he does results in palpable pain for Jin and it was truly heartbreaking to watch him realize what his beloved Grandpa has been reduced to. It’s bound to create some kind of rift between him and Mitsugai, which I’m waiting for with eager anticipation… not because I’m a sadist or anything, but because it’ll bring about a conflict rife with tension and drama only ZETMAN is capable of bringing.
Show me how many shades of justice there really are, ZETMAN!