Sorry for the wait, everyone!
「未熟な感情」 (Mijuku na Kanjou)
Feverish pacing, thy name is ZETMAN. Buckle up everyone, because this adaptation moves fast.
Not only does the premiere of ZETMAN speed through the introduction of its characters, it blazes through several key developments in order to lay down the foundation for the premise: Players – genetic experiments gone wrong – roam the streets, committing gruesome murders. One of these Players, at the behest of Haitani Seiji (Yusa Kouji), kills everyone in Jin’s little ‘town’, including his beloved grandfather.
The above happens in the first twelve minutes of the show.
There are other developments, namely Jin’s rescue of his future guardian Kawakami Akemi (Hayamizu Risa), but the death of his grandfather is the catalyst for the rest of the episode, as well as the driving force behind Jin and Akemi’s interactions. Now… fast pacing is not necessarily a bad thing, but I have to question the decision to blast through such an emotional moment. Time constraints of a 1-cour adaptation (if ZETMAN does indeed turn out to be 1-cour) is always an issue, but the death of his grandfather is a pretty crucial development; Jin has no one left, and while the scene of him trying to heal his Grandpa’s wounds was touching, the rest of it left much to be desired.
Thankfully though, Jin’s reaction to his death and Akemi’s interactions with the young orphan are considerably better to watch. It still feels too fast and too forced at times, but it’s still possible to appreciate the emotional gravity behind a child coming to terms with ‘death’ and the kindness of a woman trying to help said child even when she knows next to nothing about him. It looks like Akemi has – or had – a son, so Jin is probably reminding her of her own child in many ways. The scenes where she tries to protect him from the Player are rather touching since Jin technically is a stranger, and no one in that situation is going to tackle a hideous reptilian monster to save someone else’s skin. I literally sighed in relief when they showed her alive at the end, because it’s just too sad to take her away from Jin as well when he’s lost his grandfather and is inadvertently rejected by his friend.
The Amagi siblings Kouga (Kaida Yuki) and Konoha’s (Hanazawa Kana)relationship to Jin goes through a significant change here, with all three of them being ‘allies of Justice’. It’s an interesting choice to have them be childhood friends and considering Kouga and Jin are being set up as opposites (two faces of the same coin, so to speak), this could prove to be a very interesting take on their ideas of ‘justice’. Kouga adheres to a very strict code, while Jin does not have quite the same fervor as his friend does; not only is it a difference in upbringing, it’s a contrast that I hope will get explored more when the two grow up.
In the antagonists’ side of things, we have Amagi Mitsugai, who is looking for a ‘devil who can’t be killed’ and the mysterious Seiji. As of now, I have to say I see Seiji as the bigger threat, mostly due to his drawl and the dangerous aura he has about him. He has more direct interactions with the Players as well, and whenever he does come in contact with them, it usually does not end well. Amagi seems to be the standard ‘greedy corporate villain’ type, although it’s far too early to make any concrete judgments. He’s clearly involved in the creation of Players, and highly invested in finding ‘ZET’, so it’ll be interesting to see what his relationship with Seiji is, if there is even a relationship at all. The Sweeper (Koyama Rikiya) is an intriguing addition as well, and I look forward to seeing what these antagonists have in store for the protagonists
Since ZETMAN is an adaptation, there will inevitably be comparisons. There was quite a bit of shuffling done with this episode; the main ones I can spot are the scenes where Jin saves Akemi, the scenes of Gorou’s death and the relationship between Jin, Kouga and Konoha. The changes are what contributes to the harried feeling I got as I was watching – Kouga was not even introduced at this point in the manga, and I assume the producers wanted to lay down the foundation as quickly as possible in order to move on to bigger and better things. With most of the introductory stuff out of the way, hopefully the adaptation can start to focus more on the plot. I’m hoping to see some nice conflicts between Kouga and Jin, as well as good character developments for both of them as separate characters. And of course, I’m expecting some blood and guts spilled in the future – although if this episode is any indication, it looks like I won’t be left wanting on that front. The censoring isn’t too, too bad, and it was more of a problem during the bath scene rather than any of the action scenes. At the very least it will not get the way of enjoying the show. The adaptation also has a pretty interesting style of animation they use during fight sequences, so all in all, ZETMAN isn’t off to a bad start.
Here’s to hoping the pacing settles down and ZETMAN starts showing us what it’s made of next week!
Now, I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but a quick reminder: please refrain from posting spoilers. If you must, remember those spoiler tags – they need your love and care!
Also note, the OP was used as the ED this week
OP: 「dots and lines」 by 一青 窈 (Hitoto Yoh) & Mummy-D
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼