「涙」 (Namida)

I guess we’re back to the derby, because ZETMAN‘s pacing is one crazy racehorse. There are some monstrous amounts of content shoved into this episode and while it worked out as a whole, I’m still not quite sure where I stand when it comes to deciding how this episode impacts me emotionally.

It’s never taken Jin much to wrench sympathy out of me. His very screen presence screams out “kicked puppy” and his character has always been able to draw some nice, raw emotional beats in every scene he’s in. Jin draws me into the moment and as a viewer, I can’t help but find his plight utterly saddening and his character charismatic and dynamic – he commands my attention and I have to credit Namikawa Daisuke for bringing Jin’s emotions to life. Jin is a difficult character to portray properly, since he’s one step away from falling into Angsty 1D Shounen HeroTM category; there’s only so much a good plot and a tragic backstory can do to make the hero look good. While it’s entirely possible to have a good show with an Angsty 1D Shounen HeroTM, in order to be truly invested I believe the main character himself has to step up to the plate and be someone deserving of the title “hero”. And Jin fits the bill quite well. Putting all the terrible things that have happened to him aside, this episode affirmed that Jin possesses what is arguably the most important quality a “hero” must possess: the ability to put others before himself.

Every hero makes sacrifices – it’s an unwritten requirement. In Jin’s case, he has to sacrifice his desire to be with his Auntie, a woman he clearly considers his mother. It’s heartbreaking to watch him give up his only family, and the feeling is only amplified when he names his conditions to Mitsugai and it turns out to be all for Akemi’s benefit. The moment is proof Jin is a “hero” through and through, and the defining character trait that separates him from Kouga’s selfish desire for heroism. For Jin, heroism is just something that happens as a consequence of his actions and not something he actively pursues. For Kouga however, it’s his end game. It’s why he’ll never draw the same kind of sympathy as Jin does and why he’ll never be as polished a character.

Kouga is a difficult character to understand, as his pursuit of justice seems more like an outlet for him to escape his life. As I mentioned last episode, the Amagi family is a broken one. Therefore it’s only natural for the children to feel oppressed and perhaps end up psychologically broken as well. I suspect this is Kouga’s case; what he wants out of his desire to become a hero is not “justice” but an escape from reality. This would make him a more pitiable character, but that’s precisely it: you feel pity not sympathy. Of course, that’s all just my conjecture, as I’m really trying to find ways to sympathize with and like Kouga here. He is supposed to be Jin’s opposite, but as of this episode, he’s still miles and miles away from even coming close to showing the kind of depth Jin is capable of (and there’s way more to Jin – it’s not difficult to tell). I’m still holding out hope Kouga will show some growth and finally bud into the hero that is deserving of fighting for justice though, and hopefully that moment isn’t too far off.

ZETMAN presents some interesting “heroes” that fight for “justice”, and one character that I never thought would join those ranks was Amagi Mitsugai. Boy was I fixed onto the thought he was an antagonist. But when there’s a filthy rich character with questionable family relationships and a genetically modified monster sequestered in some shady basement laboratory, what is one supposed to think? It’s not a plot twist that came totally out of left field though; shrewd viewers would have been able to see that there was nothing that would outright present Mitsugai as a villain and this new revelation doesn’t alter his character in any way, which is the most important thing. Mitsugai still possesses his grey moral values and his pursuit of justice is still within the boundaries of what he told Kouga last week: justice is an elusive concept. It’s certainly true here since the methods he used to induce Jin’s transformation to ZET is in no way honorable. It was damn effective though, and succeeded in bringing Jin to his side, so Mitsugai is well on his way to achieving his own brand of justice. Nothing is set in stone though, and with the sinister smile he had, there’s still a chance this side of him was all a ruse and he just might be that shady character I thought he was. Whatever the “truth” is though, it’s going to be a fun ride.

And uh… some serious animation error?

EDIT: The missing mark is not an animation error – an explanation is provided in the spoiler tags, courtesy of walaoa!

Show Spoiler ▼

Full-Size Images: 06, 09, 33




  1. This show continues to impress me. I agree with basically everything you said minus(kinda) one thing. I think Kouga is SUPPOSED to be a little less sympathetic than Jin. I think that’s the point. While this is, sort of, a two protagonist show, in the end it’s Jin’s, and I think Kouga is there in a lot of ways to reveal things about Jin’s character through being different. And I think this episode illustrated that well. Could just be me though.

  2. I just found it weird how when he saw his “auntie” being “killed” he rages, then he transforms and then…. He just took it easy. It kinda threw me off because he was supposed to be on the revenge vibe but he just took the hits, playing with the beast and then- almost like it was a chore- decides to kill him.
    Reeeally seemed weird since his transformation was due to his aunt dying.

    Otherwise awesome

  3. Im glad auntie is alive and well.

    I completely agree, Jin and all his actions to put others before himself has really won me over. I definitely felt for him, especially when he named all those conditions to help Akemi. What a great guy.

  4. Heros are not born or made, they just come to existence when someone puts the people around them before themselfs, because their happiness is linked to the happiness of others, even if it to make sacrifices.

  5. Reply to BakaMochi
    And uh… some serious animation error?

    This is actually explained thoroughly in the manga. Some anime viewer might not be able to understand that scene. I included the full explanation in the spoiler below . It isn’t much of a spoiler .
    Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Oh! Hmm… yeah come to think of it the dialogue was there, but it was pretty understated and rushed. I’ll add your explanation to the post under the spoiler tags though. Thanks a lot for the clarification! 😀

  6. Wait, wait… fourth episode is already doing a timeskip and introducing Hanako… are they going to completely skip over Kouga’s party? That’s like half the reason I am watching Zetman.

  7. Soo, how many chap. hv they run through this time, manga readers??? The pacing is really quite fast…..

    And boy, who knew the evil grandpa turn out to be “good” and is Jin grandpa being hook up as a human CPU??? And tht auntie is really immortal…. And frm wht we see this will be a “idealistic vs. cynical” hero duo….

    Could someone plz re-explain wht the deal w/h tht giant ring??? Yeah I am quite the Daichi guy sometimes…

    1. It’s hard to say how many chapter they run through this time. Because the part about jin auntie and the laboratory fight is around 1/2 + of vol 3 and the part where he decided to help the old man is from the flashback in vol 6.

      So i guess the run through around 1 vol+ i guess if we combine both of them .

      and about the 3 volume the skipped
      Show Spoiler ▼

      The ring is something that they created to force the player to revert to their original form which jin have it in his left hand .

  8. why are they going so fast knowing the manga releases slow and isn’t even done. I hope we don’t get some bleach filler nonsense or crappy Claymore ending. I know they want animate popular manga to get views but try some that are complete like Blame or Eden. I like the animation of Zetman but they are leaving and changing stuff too much. The only reason I watch it still is because there aren’t that many action shows out lately.

      1. Show Spoiler ▼

      2. its explaining things better. i just think its going a bit too fast. They’re compiling too much together. I want the Zetman anime to last as long as possible is basically what I’m getting at.

  9. Kouga “part” is central to his later development as a real hero though, hate that if they “skip” it due to censorship issue.

    It is amusing how Kouga will develop later, with his full knowledge that his idea of “heroism” is nowhere near what true “heroic actions” a real hero will take. But that would come later!


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