「操り人形」 (Ayatsuri Ningyou)

Um… I don’t think I’ve ever been as confused about an episode as I am about this one… I’m still not really sure what to make of the events that transpired, and some parts are just so utterly confounding/inconsistent that I almost want to take it out of the equation to simplify things a little because well… things could really use some simplifying here.

It’s a personal policy of mine to only stick to one medium if a manga/LN/etc. is getting an anime adaptation for at least the duration of air time. Therefore I don’t know what the atmosphere is like in the manga; there have been quite a lot of comparisons to it though, and I can see the producers had a tough time adapting such dense material into thirteen short episodes. That’s not really an excuse for the derailment ZETMAN suffered this week, as part of the producers’ job is to pick and choose the material so that an adaptation can stand on its own with coherency.

Up until now I haven’t had any particular problems with this and while blazingly fast, I didn’t feel like my comprehension of the story was hampered by the omitted material. One of my biggest worries for ZETMAN as it neared its end was the resolution of some key plot points: namely EVOL, Jirou and Seiji. The three threads are intertwined quite closely, which is surprising we haven’t seen hide nor hair of the Player organization even after the boss went to Jin to ask for help. I’m finding that the show tends to drop a character and/or plot points and not come back to it until several episodes later though, so perhaps EVOL will still have a chance to squeeze itself into the final two episodes. I just hope their entrance into the main story won’t so jarring or seemingly random.

One of the things I had a hard time reconciling was Hayami’s heel-face-turn; after carefully combing back to the beginning of the series, and taking into account the very recent ones, I suppose it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that he ended up as a bad guy. But there’s just something utterly off about the way the bomb was dropped and I can’t quite explain it – it all felt strangely contrived. Despite this though, the whole ordeal did manage to do some good: Kouga losing it was just spectacular. He really does want to be a hero, even though it’s quite clear he just doesn’t cut it. I feel Jirou was pretty spot-on with his analysis of Kouga and it further reinforces my view that what he seeks isn’t justice, but a pure adrenaline rush. That twisted smile tells it all really; no way is that the expression of someone wanting to save people – killing them is more like it.

It’s interesting though, that of all the Amagis to blame, Jirou seems to place the blame squarely on Seizou. It’s definitely not what I expected, since Mitsugai has been hinted to be the brains behind the operation that resulted in the birth of Players. It certainly doesn’t paint Seizou in a favorable light though and I wonder if his father is just trying to clean up his son’s mess; that would add another layer of complexity to the Amagi dynamics, and bring Seizou a little closer to the center of it all. He’s very much been a peripheral character throughout the show, so nothing’s really been shown about him aside from the fact he’s not a very caring father.

ZETMAN is heading into the great unknowns as it heads into its final two episodes, and I’m really hoping it won’t crash – bringing back the magic of the first few episodes will be perfect, centering the show back onto Jin and his struggle has the reluctant hero.

P.S.: It’s nice to see Mitsugai at least tried to keep his promise, though.
P.P.S.: … Hannibal?

Full-length images: 2, 9, 11, 17, 22, 33, 36.




  1. Just read the manga last week, and yes its totally different than the anime. However they are doing a decent job trying to draw from the manga to create a 13 episode anime. But when i realised they they were trying to directly connect past and present events together, i realised that something is going to fail really badly.

  2. Ohh Kouga…maybe part of the reason your so lost is because you’re taking moral pointers from a man who’s self-confessed to being an irrational,revenge driven sadist out to get your father by hurting you. R.I.P innocent fly kid. Also I swear a saw Hanako get kidnapped?!? Looks like she’s replacing Konoha’s usual damsel in distress role 🙁

  3. The lack of comments here leaves me in despair

    Jirou and Hayami’s departure was just as quick as their revelation of their master plan.
    Though it had a buildup, the followup and the conclusion came up a bit quick that it lacked impact. Plus Hayami’s reasoning was a bit shallow. Though they did do some damage to Kouga and his reason to become a hero.
    Now it’s down to Haitani. The preview looked interesting with Zetman supposedly the enemy?
    Really hope the last 2 episode do well.

  4. They basically tried to cram like what, FIVE different plot points into a single episode here? The whole “party” that Jirou organized was supposed to happen before Kouga gets his power suit. Hayami revealing himself as a “bad guy” dont happen till way later, and I put that in quotes because I’m still unsure what his true side is in the manga. Seiji provoking other Evols to go on a rampage happens just about now where the anime currently should be compared to the manga…the list goes on.

    I mean, yeah, the show is almost over, you got like 1 or 2 episodes left. But seriously how do you plan to cram all this stuff and have a coherent closure? I dont even…

  5. oh man, after a long day at work, and a splitting headache, i decided to watch this when i got home. i think that was a mistake. i asked myself is this a bad episode or a bad show? at the time, i was thinking ‘bad show’ because not much has been working in regards to the story/plot/characters…its a mess really. then the next day i was feeling better and i thought – meh, overall i still enjoy zetman and i’ll continue to watch it to the end.

  6. This anime is changing so many things compared to the manga, but in some points they are getting very close to the manga story so we will probably get extra info in the anime that manga readers dont know yet.
    Will be interesting if the manga ending will be something similar to the anime one

  7. I haven’t read the manga. The anime story is fine to me but it is a simple storytelling, not as rich as the manga (as I gather from several comments). I probably will not pickup manga but this anime is entertaining for me.

  8. @Bors agree this ep made sense to me at least within the confines of it being a 13 ep series. I’m really liking the art btw, has a hand-drawn nineties feel. Anyway I just watched ep 12 and it is really good, promise.

  9. This could have been good, but yeah… way too many things are trying to get crammed in there and the way they’re picking which scenes and when to show them is all effed up. I kinda wish it had been picked up as a 2-cour show so it would have more time to develop it’s plot points like the manga. Ahhhh well.

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