First Impressions – Zetman

Superpowers fueled entirely by angst, brooding, and angsty brooding.

Zetman is the only series I’ve read a little bit of in manga form, so I can’t say I don’t have high expectations. I can see lots of different ways they might take the series to fit in the 13 episode limit, so let’s see how much they decide to cram into just one episode!
 Sooo another series with super power suits? Will this be fantastic like Tiger and Bunny or a massive failure like Sacred Seven? Either way I am curious how Zetman turns out, but I won’t hold my breath to long…anyway I hope you enjoy this first impression of Zetman!
 The tidal wave of new spring shows continues with the comic book lookalike, Zetman. It’s dark, gritty, and bloody, so turn away if you’ve come here looking for rainbows and sunshine. Alright, bring out the superheroes and try to impress us!

So here’s the dealio: weird monsters called Players used to fight each other while rich, white people bet on them like horses. It turns out the Players didn’t like it very much so they gained autonomy and busted out, mostly thanks to one poor human who was experimented on and turned into a derranged-looking werewolf. Amongst all the chaos, the Players escape into society to go wild while two humans manage to escape. One of them appears to be a baby in a pod, which may be yet another experiment.

Players like to kill things, that much is evident in the way they are going around, well, killing people. Using the ability to take on a human form to their advantage, they can murder someone in plain sight so fast that no one even notices until it’s too late. The police is determined to catch the killer before the world finds out about this supernatural monster business, and the first step appears to be catching this one “demon child.” We cut to a scruffy, homeless boy (who may or may not be this unkillable monster child) who is heading out to be a vigilante and fight crime with his friend. His caregiver, an old man with a beard big enough to smother a full grown person to death, gives him some advice along the lines of “don’t be violent, you little snotnosed brat.”

“What about that time we beat up that kid and took his cellphone? Was that okay?” “…..Yes.”

Of course, little Jin attacks the first band of punks he sees and saves a stripper named Akemi from being shanked and/or raped. He asks for 10000 yen in return (just move the decimal two places to the left for a super rough calculation in american/canadian dollars), but his stinking rich friend drags him away before he can take it. The three of them sit on a bench and chatter idly for a bit. Jin shows a totally unimportant circular birthmark on his hand that definitely has no significance whatsoever. Ignore it.

Jin’s friends have to leave all of a sudden, so Jin is left alone…until the stripper chick finds him again. She gives him his money and her business card, then leaves him to return home and find his entire community dead. Jin is a very sheltered child, and doesn’t quite know what death or blood or even common sense is, so he is very confused to find his grandfather figure covered in ketchup. He stuffs him in a cart and wheels his corpse all around town looking for a doctor. Jin doesn’t have the money to pay for treatment, so he tries to call up his super rich friend Kouga for money.

He went out to buy milk and came back with an old man. It happens sometimes.

Kouga is rolling in dough, but his father doesn’t want him hanging around with street urchins. He snaps his cell phone in two, and thus crushes Jin’s hopes. Luckily, there’s still the stripper! She finds him standing in front of her strip club with his grandfather. They take him to the doctor, but there’s not really anything they can do, so Jin is completely on his own now. Akemi pities him, and takes him home so she can look after him and have a gratuitous bath scene with him. Luckily, things don’t get weird, and the tone is more depressing than BOW CHICKA WOW WOW.

They go shopping later on and all goes well until Akemi is IMPALED BY A GIANT TONGUE! Man, I hate when that happens! The serial killer Player from before continues his rampage with these two, toying with Akemi and Jin by using nonfatal blows. Jin refuses to run, which leads to him getting protecting so many times that Akemi eventually can’t move anymore. The Player transforms back into his original, monster form at this point to really get into killing mode. Pissed beyond measure, Jin enters a superhero mode he never knew he had and destroys the chameleon in one hit. As he attacks, the chameleon recognizes his power as that of…something.

After the fight, Jin reverts back to normal and crumples to the floor, unconscious. A mysterious guy with hair covering one eye appears and tells a guy in a biohazard-esque suit to get rid of the chameleon’s body. He was the one who provoked the Player in the first place, but that doesn’t seem to bother him. Other than that, they leave the humans alone. When Jin wakes up, he’s in a hospital with only minor injuries. Don’t get mad just yet, because Akemi is still alive!

Hidden Powers:

NOOOO!!!! NOT THE ORANGES!!!!!!!! ANYTHING BUT THAT!!!!!

“This creepy girl keeps following me around! Make her go away!” “But…I’m your sister TT_TT”

The Tramp and the…Tramp.

Boy takes money and follows woman home to their house. Isn’t this..abduction??

End Thoughts:

While I enjoyed the first episode of Zetman overall, I’m still very cautious about this show. For everything it does right, there’s almost always something bad to counteract it. What I like about Zetman is that it’s entertaining in the same way a Hollywood movie is. The fight scenes are flashy and hyperviolent, even resorting to rougher ink lines to show intense action (a bit like Noein, which used this technique to create some fantastic face-offs). I can predict that I’m going to love the action in this show, seeing how much effort they put into making them look cool. There might not be a lot of clever, tactical fighting but boy will it ever be fun to sit through.

This is a plus, but it is also a minus from another perspective. Zetman exists solely to be cool. It throws in as many dramatic, violent and depressing moments as it can with the delicacy of a bull in a china shop. I wouldn’t go as far as to say the story is bad, but it sure as hell lacks subtlety. I don’t like it when anime try too hard to get you to feel upset, because that usually has the opposite effect for me. I can tell when an anime is trying to toy with my emotions and I don’t like it! I mean, come on, look at all the added drama in that episode. The rich kids have an ostensibly abusive and controlling father, the old man dies almost immediately, and even the stripper has her moment of drama! It’s all laid on pretty thick, which has me a bit worried about Zetman being able to tell a story without ramming melodrama and cliches down our throats each and every episode.

While I don’t expect this show to exhibit the most elegant of story-telling, I do expect it to continue to channel this badass vibe. The dark, grittiness really does give it some bite, which could make up for the story if done well. I still have some hope that there might be some good character development though. I’m already really liking Akemi and how fiercely protective she is of a kid she just met off the streets. Jin seems like an alright protagonist as well, even if he doesn’t know what hope or death is. Did anyone else find that weird? I think they were trying to say “hey, look at how much he depends on this old man to live! He doesn’t know anything not explicitly taught to him!” and show that Jin was deprived of most things that normal children know about…but really…out of all the things NOT to teach your super-powered little brat, you’d think things like death and what to do in the case of getting a MORTAL WOUND wouldn’t be on the list. Well, he should be older in the next episode, so maybe he’s learned that spit isn’t a miracle cure. We’ll find out next week! Let’s see if this violent series is really to my tastes…

What the hell was that!? Something amazing I think! Right off we get thrown into a monster on monster battle with a giant lobster man…wait a minute that was the same boss character in Kore  wa zombie season one! And then that werewolf teamed up with that lobster monster and killed a bunch of people. Seriously I did not make that part up, but I did notice some of the character designs looked great while a few of them looked a bit derp and what was with Jin’s neck? I thought something was going to burst out from his body for a minute there.

So how old is Jin when he was a child like twelve? And he had no idea about death either? I suppose I can believe that if that old guy raised him I mean why would he need to teach Jin about things like that? I felt bad for Jin after he lost his “grandpa” but damn can that kid kick ass! I really enjoyed the fighting scenes even though this episode had only two big fights. And that first mini boss aka freaky lizard dude for a second there I was waiting for Spiderman to show up and save Jin, however that kid had no issues beating that rejected lizard character.

There were a few random moments like Jin taking a bath with that random woman, but I will strike that up to the old guy way of raising Jin versus telling him oh yeah by the way Jin don’t bathe with random women off the streets! One day that will scar Jin for life. I am excited for next week! Jin gets older and so does his rich ass childhood friend Kouga? And would you believe Hanazawa Kana is in this kind of series? She voices Hanako I noticed her voice so easily, but I am surprised to see her voicing someone that isn’t twelve or fifteen. Overall this series has decent production values and some interesting characters so far, but I will give it two more episodes to get me addicted.

Adaptation success!~ Honestly, even though there were plenty of changes from manga to anime, this opening might actually be even better than the original. Although it lacked the more extensive character development present in the first volume of the manga, it made up for it with outstanding fight scenes, a great seiyuu cast, and of course, the drama! For an introduction episode, it wasn’t bad at all. With only thirteen episodes and TONS of content there are obviously going to be shortened dialogues/scenes and a rushed feeling to it, but thankfully it set up the story quite nicely and captured the dark, morbid tone of the manga very well without leaving out any of the more important aspects of the series. Basically, it covered the slightly less important parts of the story as best it could, probably so there’s more time for the later (and imo better) volumes!

This week’s episode focused on Jin’s youth and also gave us some minor appearances of a lot of the major characters, like Jin’s childhood partner in justice Kouga. (In the manga we don’t meet Kouga until later on, in fact, Jin and Kouga aren’t even friends!) I get the feeling that new scene might do some good in developing their relationship and I look forward to seeing how it plays out. Jin’s grandfather also got a LOT less development and dialogue then he did in the manga, which was probably the only real disappointment for me. A lot of Jin’s own morals and principles aren’t really explained as well and as a result I feel as though we missed out on a side of him we might not get to see fully.

Soon enough the anime will be much further ahead then where I am in the manga, so I’m greatly anticipating all the stuff I haven’t seen, especially if the action keeps up! (Also, that would mean more Kana Hanazawa! <3) One last thing, I noticed in the beginning they mentioned “13 players” … 13 episodes … yeah, I really hope it doesn’t take the monster-of-the-week direction because, unless my memory is foggy, I don’t remember them mentioning that in the manga … Ahh, I need to stop reading manga of upcoming anime, all I end up doing is comparing them! DX Either way you look at it (whether you’ve read or not) fans of dark action series will probably enjoy this, I know I did!
Preview: Good, I’m tired of watching kids who are friends. GROW UP, GET HOT, AND RIP EACH OTHERS THROATS OUT!

No, wait, that’s not what I meant by get hot! You guys are really bad at puns. ):

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We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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16 Responses to “First Impressions – Zetman”

  1. Kyokai says:

    First episode was better than my expectations by a long shot. I like the gritty feel of this and somehow even when I don’t like such character design in general, it fits with the Zetman setting pretty well (like the darker feel fit well with the Supernatural anime). Anyway, the voice cast is amazing and just hearing Yusa Kouji and Rikiya Koyama made me HNNGGG. I will be watching this.

    Oh I instantly like the Dot OP, which reminds me of how much I loved Level E’s Cold Finger Girl.

    • Overcooled says:

      It pretty much met my expectations. I pinned it as being fun and violent, but not so tight on the plot. I’m not big fans of those seiyuu, but the acting is definitely spot-on.

      I’m kinda digging that OP too. Not as much sass as Cold Finger Girl, but still good!

  2. Bob from Accounting says:

    Even if he only exists in this form for this one episode, I have to say that Jin was shockingly likeable for an anime ‘kid hero’. He wasn’t annoying at all, and was good mix of cute and cool. Exactly what he needed to be. Shame we have to say goodbye. Let’s hold out our hopes for bishie Jin!

    • Overcooled says:

      I like Jin’s personality as a kid. If they hadn’t made him oblivious to things like CRYING, he’d be perfect. I wonder if his older self will be just as likeable. Go go bishie Jin!

  3. Samantha Zan says:

    ZETMAN!!! This is a really good first episode for me! Since not having read the manga, I was just interested due to the genres they had listed, and man do thy fit well into those genres XD.

    I think the whole player idea wasn’t too much in my interest right now, but I really like the character relationships going on here. Especially between Jin and Akemi, I would have been so crushed if she had died *_*

    I am really digging this series, just love the whole edginess feel in this first episode :)

    • Overcooled says:

      I haven’t read the manga either, but it looked fun. The Players didn’t really take a prevalent role in the first episode, it’s mostly about getting to know Jin. Which is good, because I hate having terminology thrown in my face right off the bat. Seeing Jin, the old man, and Akemi was a better move. I thought she was going to die too, I’m so glad she lived. That would have been a bit TOO much.

  4. Rakuen says:

    This is another one of those shows that started off outside of my must watch list. I have to say, the visceral action simply exudes style, and it’s gotten me interested.

    However, it’s going quite fast. I mean, we just took an “innocent” kid and showed him the incorrigible injustice of the world in the span of 20 minutes. Someone needs to slam on the brakes.

    • Overcooled says:

      No one can deny that it has the looks down. I low how visceral and raw the action feels too.

      I would have preferred getting to know Jin so I could feel a bit of sympathy for him when all this madness happened, but the fast pacing didn’t bother me too much. I think they just really wanted to show the older version of Jin.

  5. Joojoobees says:

    This really isn’t my style of show, so I’m hesitant to even come to a conclusion about what I watched. At the least I need to see what the show is like next week after the time skip.

    I was annoyed by the “what is death?” “what is this water coming out of my eyeballs?” kind of stuff, though. Is there any child that has never cried? Don’t kids who grow up on the street pick up on these things?

    • Overcooled says:

      This is my kind of thing, and I’m still hesitant to say I really like it. Mostly because of weird annoyances such as Jin’s ignorance to many common things. I thought street kids were supposed to be LESS naive than the pampered rich kids. :/

  6. tatsuya says:

    man…at first ,i thought the manga was better than the anime , but this one got my eyes of it~~i like the part when jin bathing with ~~~ ヽ`、ヽ`ヽ(* ̄o ̄*)>ヽ`、ヽ`シャワー♪ and the part when jin save the girl from getting raped ~~

    • Overcooled says:

      The animation looks really nice! I think it’s doing the manga justice in terms of art, although I have yet to actually read enough of it to judge anything else really.

  7. anaaga says:

    It was better than I thought it would be, even though I do notice that everything is happening so fast here

    GRANDPA IN A TROLLEY

    • Overcooled says:

      Zetman doesn’t care about carefully laying down plot structures, it just wants to show kids beating up fully grown adults and old men being wheeled about like rag dolls!

  8. Snowley says:

    So far so good, but I’m not sure if this show will end up satisfactionary. Let’s see the next episode dropped if there’ll be no sweet bromance derp But srsly, I’ll watch it even if the plot turns bullshit – it’s like Jean-Claude van Dame films, I just simlpy like them although they tend to be reatarded. Violence FTW

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m still really cautious too. I liked this episode, but I smell a plot trainwreck like Guilty Crown just waiting to happen. Maybe I’m just cynical. At the very least it will be nice and violent! I haven’t seen any of those films (unless I have without knowing – I don’t pay attention to these kinds of things) but I’ve definitely seen high-octane, action movies where the plot couldn’t even BE less important or sensible.

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