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ZETMAN – 12

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「赤い杭」 (Akai Kui)
“The Red Stake”

Um… gg Hanako? Putting the sheer wtf-ery aside, I actually really like where the producers are headed with this finale – it seems like an anime-original ending (is it?), and as a way to tie up all the loose ends, it’s certainly not a bad way to go about doing things. Some plot points are still left untouched and their relevance still not fully explained, but I’d rather ZETMAN focus on the few key individuals than trying to give a satisfactory ending to everyone involved. Given a choice, only the most important things should see resolution and in this case, it’s the issue of Jin coming to terms with who he is meant to be and who he himself wants to be. Thank the gods they’re bringing the conflict back to this instead of Kouga and his drivels of “justice”.

Kouga is on the fast-track to insanity, if his facial gymnastics are any indication. He shoots both his parents and shows no remorse. It could be the adrenaline rush, but with all his self-righteous speeches he spared this week, I’m more inclined to believe Hayami and Jirou succeeded in breaking his mind; all that matters to him is justice and preserving Alphas’ honor rather than actually trying to right any wrongs. Technically, aside from shooting his mother who was actually innocent of any wrongdoing, Kouga’s actions can be justified as “right” if we’re looking at justice as strictly a method that punishes evil. It’s obviously not that simple though, since his actions bring out a sense of unease and outright antagonism in viewers – they’re right, but they don’t feel “right”.

He certainly is not the right person to be preaching about evil, and I wonder if he’ll ever realize just how far he’s gone. Not even his three mechanics seem to care, and I actually had to laugh that they didn’t even realize he’d shot his own parents until Mayu pointed it out. Seriously, guys? That was before the cameras got shot… what were you watching? I know their loyalty is to Kouga, but it’s troubling when a fragile person like Kouga has no one around him to act as a limiter of sorts when his obsession with justice causes his moral compass to go out of hand. They’re feeding his behavior without regards to consequences it could have, and at the end of the day, the blame doesn’t rest solely with Kouga. Part of it rests on the people who enabled him to become that way, gave him the tools to run wild. Of course Kouga is the person ultimately responsible for his own actions, but would it really be the same for him now if he had had someone to stop him, to tell him to reevaluate himself and force him to consider the bigger picture?

It all boils down to the life he’s had up until now, which is fractured at best. It’s interesting to contrast him with Konoha because compared to him, she’s relatively normal when it comes to determining what “justice” is. I’m actually surprised the Amagi siblings are so different, since they’ve had the same upbringing.

Contrasting Kouga and Jin is also a fun thing to do, and how their childhood affected them as young adults is painfully clear here – Jin might not have had a luxurious life, but he had two loving guardian figures who strove to give him the best they could and gave their all to protect him when the need arose. Their love and sacrifice drive him even to this day, and it’s the memories he has from his childhood that differentiates him from the other Players, and from Kouga; he knows what it means to save people, and this is the kind of justice that resonates with the viewers.

I’m not sure how successful he’ll be at saving Hanako though – and let me take this moment to say I’m a little mollified now that I see she’s served a specific purpose. And the producers even managed to tie together what seemed like throwaway tidbits into a surprising twist! I always figured Hanako was going to die, and the revelation she’s a Player doesn’t necessarily draw my sympathy, but it actually gives her a viable reason to be killed than simply dying for the sake of torturing Jin. Now she has to die because that hideous form (and it’s actually one of the grossest transformation this show has to offer) is apparently permanent – a little too convenient, but hey, the if the end result is some angsty drama, I’ll take it. The kicker is, of course, the fact Jin will most likely be the one to kill her. It’s also possible Kouga will be the one to do so when Jin shows hesitation, leading to an epic show-down between the two. Either way though, it’s going to be a messy end and how much emotional impact the scene has will be determined by how much of Hanako’s character was “real”.

Personally, I would like to believe those corny scenes were real, no matter how cheesy and cringe-inducing they were. But Seiji’s interference throws a wrench into things, as well as the fact Hanako’s Player form is the Sand Monster the police has been chasing. I guess the important question is whether or not she was ever conscious when she killed those people; the answer to that will probably naturally lead to whether or not her feelings were real. It’s possible she was unaware of her Player side, but none of the other Players in the show has ever shown that kind of behavior, so I’m not sure what to think.

But tl;dr: epic showdown ahead! Let’s go out in a blaze of glory and blood, ZETMAN!

P.S.: Yes… Seiji was always there

P.P.S.: I don’t know if “some weight” cuts this – it’s actually kind of unreal how huge she gets.

Full-length images: 30.

 

Preview

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June 19, 2012 at 12:16 am
21 comments »
  • June 19, 2012 at 12:55 amJenanime4eva

    I can’t help but laugh at the sheer number of times Jin has been stabbed in the chest up to this point XD.

    Hooray for Kouga coming to the rescue of his boyfriend Jin! :D

    Haitani is so manipulative and kinda hot :P. Also wow, his transformation :O.

    Wait what…Hanako is also a player?! o_O WTF?!!! Talk about a cheeseball of a twist. Yes, I know the headaches might have been a clue (I was hoping that was just a red herring), but I still think it’s a bit of a naff twist. Haitani’s line to Hanako “Tanaka-kun, you’ve put on some weight” was hilarious though LOLOLOL XD.

    So the finale will be the epic showdown between Haitani and Red Zetman. Awesomesauce :).

    • June 19, 2012 at 3:16 amPrimusLune

      lol saw your post at MAL XD

      • June 19, 2012 at 3:44 amJenanime4eva

        Yeah I got lazy and just copied and pasted what I wrote over here XD.

        The manga is definitely worth a read. Since I experienced the manga first, the anime came at me like a shinkansen train :P. Instead of going from A->B->C->…->Z we have A->Z BAM! THE END. Other than the obvious pacing issues, I do still enjoy this anime. However, this series could have been incredible with 26 episodes by allowing more plot and character development.

      • June 19, 2012 at 3:23 pmBarney

        Jin’s just thinking that he had sex with hanako ,and that is also what drove kouga crazy…..his unrequited love.

        I taught them better

    • June 19, 2012 at 9:58 amAni_BEE

      The headaches during player fights and the regular drug/medication taking had me thinking last episode she was part player. Is Hanako adopted or is she just a child of a player(s)?

  • June 19, 2012 at 3:16 amPrimusLune

    I dont actually like Hanako as a character, but discovering that she was actually a player was really shocking and well, kinda sad. I heard that this is an original anime ending and it seems many manga readers are pretty unhappy of its evolution (not a manga reader btw). Indeed next week will have a pretty messy end.

    :/ I kinda have mixed feelings of reading the manga actually.

  • June 19, 2012 at 3:50 amj4c06

    Hmm… If Hanako is a Player, why would she have parents? Maybe it is not real Hanako? After all, Amagi did use a double earlier, to make Jin transform… Also, if she is real and she is the Sand monster, then she should have transformed back and forth a few times, so why is it impossible now?

    • June 19, 2012 at 4:31 amSlushiZ

      Well according to what Seiji said this episode, Players who regress due to the ring of exposure from red ZETman (the diamond sparkle effect we saw) can’t change back to being human. And yes, id also like to know where Hanako got her family from. Maybe she is a human who Seiji later turned into a player or like adopted.

  • June 19, 2012 at 4:01 amplourx

    @Jenanime4eva
    You’re right I totally forgot about the headaches, I bet she had a bad headache at each murder scene, maybe they will use it to explain a non-awareness of her being a Player?

    Anyway most girls totally freak out when they gain a little weight, just imagine their reaction if they were transformed into THIS…

    • June 19, 2012 at 4:31 amJenanime4eva

      I’m also curious about the fact that Hanako has human parents. Maybe she was adopted or her parents are actually players themselves? :P

      I guess Hanako should lay off the human cakes from now on XD.

  • June 19, 2012 at 6:56 ampk

    Well this explains her being nekkid and surrounded by the sandy remains of her crabby attackers.. Damn haha how did we not see this coming? I got the feeling she was either a player or an artificial human… but the sand monster? WP Zetman, wp.

  • June 19, 2012 at 7:57 amRyougaZell

    *sigh*

    I planned to allow this series to end and then to marathon it… but being a manga reader I’m not really convinced on the route they took here… so I’m not sure I’ll marathon it after all. Oh well.

  • June 19, 2012 at 8:56 amStereoman

    “facial gymnastics” LMAO

  • June 19, 2012 at 11:32 amYanDaMan

    I dont get why you’re condemning Kouga for shooting his mom. SHE got in the way trying to save some undeserving asshole. Come on. Im glad Kouga didnt puss out and went through with pulling the trigger on his father, who was the cause of all the problems and felt no sympathy to it, he was EVEN ABOUT TO KILL KOUGA for Godsake, bragging how he can easily be replaced by 1000 clones of Kouga. You honestly feel Kouga was wrong here?

    Anyway, in the manga Hanako is not a player, nor are there any hints towards it. In fact, many manga events actually greatly contradict any possibility that she would ever be a player. Like Show Spoiler ▼

    I’m actually fine with the anime original ending. Its certainly a nice twist compared to the manga, which takes freaking ages to get translated.

    • June 19, 2012 at 2:06 pmBakaMochi

      Maybe I wasn’t clear enough in the post, so I’ll explain my reasoning here: yes, his mother got in the way. Is it partly her fault she got shot? Maybe. But is it wrong for Kouga to show no remorse after he shot her (accidentally or not)? Yes. That’s my issue with him – his father I can understand to some degree, but I was under the impression he was on good terms with his mother. Yet he doesn’t apologize, doesn’t even show a shred of sadness; even Jin has more of an averse reaction to the whole thing than Kouga does.

      It’s like he doesn’t even care who he kills anymore – if they get in his way, they’re collateral damage. Technically, collateral damage isn’t his fault, and you can even argue none of Kouga’s actions are “wrong” (although I would still argue that shooting his mother was wrong. He didn’t have to pull the trigger, but did), but none of his actions feel like someone trying to achieve justice. Can you call someone that cold-blooded a hero? That is what I’m condemning him for; he’s self-righteous, criticizing Jin for “choosing the path of evil” when he should really be directing that at himself.

      Also, it’s hard to tell if Seizou even knows Alphas = Kouga. I rewatched the scene several times, but it’s still hard to tell. He might, but it’s pretty vague and up for interpretation – he does refer to Kouga as “Alphas” only, which indicated to me at least that he might not know Alphas’ true identity.

      So yeah, I still Kouga is in the wrong for killing his parents, since heroes don’t go around killing their own family in cold blood.

      Whew. Now someone is probably going to mention Kiritsugu, but I’ll address that when/if that comes.

      • June 19, 2012 at 9:05 pmYanDaMan

        I guess in Kouga’s mind, if you’re gona shield the #1 evil man in the world, you’re not worth sympathy. Not saying I fully agree with him but at least I can see where he’s coming from. Besides Kouga is still on the edge from the Jiro’s party after Jirou revealed his father’s sins and how “all those girl’s death were due to your father”.

        Maybe he’s wrong, sure. But given his circumstances and the current state of affairs, with monsters all over the place, I’d hardly blame him for the way he’s acting.

  • June 19, 2012 at 11:44 amHidekee

    Now I understand this scene: http://randomc.net/image/ZETMAN/ZETMAN%20-%2007%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

    Maybe Haitani lies about ring of exposure and Jin don’t need kill Hanako… Making in end a EVOL family XD

  • June 19, 2012 at 9:52 pmZero

    I dont mind this anime only revelation but God I hope they don’t do this in the manga

  • June 20, 2012 at 12:02 amS.W.A.T.

    After reading some of these comments I guess not many have read this Manga..I feel the show butchered and rushed this in soo many ways. I know it was set for a certain amount of episodes and it was a make or break b/c I doubt this show will got to a season 2.

    You will deff understand more in the manga and characters are explained especially Kouga and his Grandfather and what he is fighting for…too bad the show couldn’t to more of a character build up instead of making Kouga look crazy

  • June 20, 2012 at 5:28 amOrinX

    DO YOU STILL LOVE ME

  • June 20, 2012 at 1:52 pmManga Therapy

    I like how they brought in all the EVOL that showed up in Volume 15-17 into one episode.