OP: 「dots and lines」 by 一青窈 (Hitoto Yoh) loves Mummy-D
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「紅蓮の中で」 (Guren no Naka de)
“Inside the Crimson Lotus Hell”
It’s a good day for everyone in ZETMAN. The premiere plowed through information like a race horse at a derby, but now that the dust has settled and the smoke has cleared, what do we have left? A damn solid second episode.
Of course, there are flaws, but they’re not issues that hinder the flow or enjoyment of the story. The plot progresses admirably and this show has some pretty meaty characters, so minor pacing issues and jarring transitions can be overlooked.
It was Kouga’s (Miyano Mamoru) time to shine, and this episode revealed a lot about his characters and his sense of morality – which admittedly, is a little skewed. He’s young, idealistic, and enthusiastic about becoming the “hero of justice”. This however, reveals one glaring flaw in Kouga’s character: he’s naive to a fault. I thought this before watching the premiere, when he stopped Jin from requesting money from Akemi. Sure, it’s a little unorthodox to ask money from people you save, but Kouga’s words to Jin sounded eerily like rich people complaining they’re poor. He doesn’t realize Jin lives in a different world than he does – that while he can afford to save people for free, Jin can’t. This episode showcases another facet of his naiveté – the concept of his own death never occurs to him and he does not yet know the value of other people’s lives. When characters like that declare their desire to be a “hero of justice”, it’s a little difficult to accept because well… what do they know about justice, exactly? It’s not entirely the fault of Kouga’s character though, as his young age does factor into it. After all, who knows anything about the world when they’re in middle school?
Thankfully, he seems to have realized the limits of what he can do, as he was unwilling to take credit for Jin’s actions. This at least tells me while he’s naive, Kouga isn’t stupid. He wants to “work for justice”, but whatever credit he gets better be out of his own merit. So thumbs-up there.
Now to Jin (Namikawa Daisuke). He sure grew up to be the tall, silent type! I like his relationship with Akemi, and after all the hell he went through last episode, it’s a relief to see him have some semblance of a normal life. Of course, it doesn’t look like “normal” is here to stay, with Akemi seemingly killed and Mitsugai (Iizuka Shozo) figuring out he is the “true” ZET. Amagi Seizou’s (Hirose Masashi) plans of redeveloping the “filth” that is Undertown will most likely affect Jin as well, since that is where he lives.
I have to say though, I love how there’s no secret about who the villain is looking for; it lays out a clear trajectory and presents better conflicts than going around in circles trying to find that one kid with the “special powers”. Of course I don’t love how they got to that point, with Mitsugai conveniently overhearing a distraught Konoha, but if it speeds things along, I’m all for it.
The fight between Jin and the flaming Player also brings up an interesting point: their scent. There were a lot of comments thrown around about it, and I wonder if it’ll play a bigger role later on. Jin’s transformation to ZET was also well-done, and I enjoyed the fact I didn’t immediately get a “heroic” vibe from him. There’s a dispassionate, almost sadistic feel to ZET – there’s hardly any intonation to his voice when he speaks and he exacts violence without batting an eye. Now that’s charisma.
Next week seems to be focused on Kouga and Konoha, and the Amagi family is one filled with some pretty self-centered and egotistic adults (save for Kouga and Konoha’s mother Youko (Hisakawa Aya)). The dynamics within the household are actually pretty intriguing. They’re clearly fractured; Konoha seems to be deathly afraid of her grandfather, and Kouga’s parents had to be told to attend his ceremony by the two subordinates Hayami (Suzumura Kenichi) and Kabe (Kusumi Naomi). Now that Mitsugai has goaded Kouga to “obtain more power” if he wants to work for justice, I’m excited to see what’s in store.
- Full-length image: Preview 01
ED: 「とめる」 (Tomeru) by 一青窈 (Hitoto Yoh)
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