Zetman – 02

After the timeskip: super-powered patissiers

Tired of watching pint-sized kids run around and hog all the screentime? Your prayers have been answered, because everyone has entered that awkward, teenage phase of life. Rushing emotions, hair in all sorts of places, and mutant superpowers. You know, the sorts of things we can all relate to! Let’s see what’s going down after the timeskip.

A fire-spewing Player has been going around town, setting buildings ablaze out of a mix of boredom and hatred for the humans. Haitani Seiji is at the scene to set a fire of his own, of the less literal sense. Right, back to the lives of normal people. Konoha and her mom are giving out food to the poor and homeless, when a small scuffle between two hobos gets excessively violent. Konoha tries to stop them by falling on her ass and squealing, allowing Jin to swoop in and do something effectual to actually stop the fight. The two of them recognize each other, but only acknowledge each other briefly despite having not met in YEARS. Afterwards, Konoha and her mom are ushered to go to an event. Don’t worry, they won’t reveal your terrible habit of being charitable to poor, homeless people. No one shall know your dark secret!

Jin’s everyday life is being a bodyguard and then coming home to a rundown house he shares with Akemi. Better than he had as a homeless kid, but not by much. Kouga and Konoha on the other hand live very hoity-toity lives as one would expect. Kouga is a star soccer player who makes all the girls swoon just by breathing. During an interview with him and his team, he announces his life long dream of catching the arsonist himself and becoming an ally of justice. Everyone laughs, but he’s totally serious. The only ominous thing to interrupt the meeting is their grandfather appearing and scaring the hell out of Konoha with his presence alone. You can imagine that someone who spends his spare time creating monsters in the lab isn’t a very warm and gregarious type of guy.

Wasting no time to catch the arsonist, Kouga brings Konoha into his sketchy van filled with a bunch of enthusiastic nerds loyal to his cause. Equipped with spray cans, lotion and a snow white outfit, he heads right into a flaming building to try and catch the culprit. Saving civilians? Who does that?! Jin, of course, sneaks out of his home to investigate the same building and try to catch the Player in charge. It comes straight to him, as it can sense another of its kind. As Kouga searches, Jin has a tussle with the Player. He wastes no time going right into his more demon-like form and destroying everything in his path with both brute strength and fire.

“Yep, that building sure is….on fire…Okay, I’m done with my inspection now, just an innocent, shirtless inspector passing through…”

Jin winds up right at Kouga’s feet, with the Player seemingly lost for now. The two of them have a very unemotional reunion, and continue going through the building to locate the arsonist again. Instead, they find a room full of terrified survivors. Everyone is conscious and safe except for the mother, so Kouga makes the call to save just those who are able-bodied. Jin scoffs at his idea and tosses them all in a bed and kicks them down a hole in the floor. Well, that solves that problem…one way or another. JIN OUT!

Jin, did you just tableflip and entire family through a burning building?

Kouga is kind of pissed that Jin would do that, so he just escapes while he can using Konoha’s expertly positioned zipline. The building, unfortunately, is so weak that is crumbles away and causes Kouga to fall. He survives somehow and tells the firefighters about the kids in the bed that Jin roughly shoved over a ledge. It turns out they’re perfectly fine! Kouga doesn’t want the credit, but he gets it anyways. So as Kouga walks away without doing anything, Jin fights off a fiery beast who has the advantage of being in his element. Ah, life isn’t fair, is it?

The fight continue, with the Player slogging off humans for forcing them to keep their heads low and wear a human disguise. Kind of..necessary since they destroy everything and by all rights SHOULD be segregated for looking like monsters. Jin ignores that the beast tries to say they’re the same species, and just gets to fighting. However, he’s overpowered and just ends up with a hand through his chest and all of his clothes torn to pieces. The hotness is short-lived, because he immediately turns into his superhero form and rips the hand right out of his chest as if it were a piece of lint on his shirt. For all his power, he has to use one of Kouga’s aerosol cans to stop the Player’s regeneration ability. This stops the flames from giving him power and thus provides him time to kill him off in one punch.

Febreeze: covers up odors and leaves the soothing scent of lavender behind after murdering someone

At a bit of a steep cost, Jin saved the day. He collapses outside of the building after turning back and having his necklace snap off. Konoha is there to see him fall, so she makes sure he’s taken to a hospital. Their grandfather is less than sympathetic about the situation, and just tells Kouga to accept the glory for Jin’s action, and to stop playing at being a hero…unless he finds power. Ominous. He only starts caring about Jin when he overhears Konoha sobbing about his angel ring. Time for experimentation! So now Jin is helpless in a hospital and Akemi is about to get shot by a mysterious assassin…Not good. :/

*sees grandfather’s face* *sobs quietly while typing*

Burn, baby, burn!:

Guys, we need something trippy. Bob, go do some acid then give us your best idea and we’ll animate it!

Trying to create the ultimate housepet through experimentation was going a lot less…fluffily…than expected.

“Don’t worry sis, they’re all getting paid in dates with you, so I owe them NOTHING for all this!”

Ah, yes, the “I gotta pee” gun stance looks like an excellent way to stay steady against recoil and aim PERFECTLY.

End Thoughts:

I never really noticed the fast pacing last week, but this week really felt strained. I’m fine with abrupt timeskips without any explanation of the previous years, as I can generally imagine what happened from the current state of things, and sometimes leaving things to the viewer’s imagination is good. That’s fine. What I didn’t like was how the relationship web between the characters suffered and the lack of explanation about what’s going on outside of Jin and Kouga. I have a very weak grip on how all the characters feel about each other, and even what kind of people they are now. I tend to be a very character-driven person, and it’s one of the aspects I pay the most attention to in anime. This is very hard when I can’t tell if Kouga reveres Jin, is jealous of him, or completely disagrees with his morals. On one hand he was happy to see Jin, but on the other hand he completely disagreed with his method of saving people…but then afterwards he approved, when it worked out. It’s really hard to know what Kouga is thinking when they hardly show any of his thoughts…and the few they do show are contradictory. I hope they can properly flesh out all the relationships in the remaining episodes. It’d be a shame to skimp out on what seems to be a fascinating relationship (Jin and Kouga, that is) in the manga in favour of more action. I love my action, but I want to care about the characters so I can cheer them on!

Okay, so the story and pacing is still wonky…same issues as episode 1. However, the action took yet another step up. It was already impressive from the start, but seeing a longer action sequence really convinced me that this show at least knows how to do a decent fight scene. Jin was in his Zetman mode for a longer period of time, which meant more opportunities for badass moments. I laughed when he bested the mighty Player with an aerosol can though. That’s not exactly the most glorious of kills to brag about. Other than that, the whole flaming building scene was pretty great. I thought Kouga would suspect Jin to be the arsonist, but he didn’t. Thanks. Goodness. Rivalry and hatred through misunderstanding is one of my least favourite plot points for anything…ever. The extent of them arguing was over how to save people trapped inside. I find their versions of what is morally right to be interesting. They both seem to be decisive and pragmatic, but in different variations. Kouga wanted to save as many people as he could, quickly, in a certain amount of time..so naturally he’d leave the mother behind, since she’s basically doomed. Jin wanted to save them all, but there was a slight chance that he’d just murder the whole family. Jin seemed a bit less concerned about making the hard call though. Does he treat human life more casually in general? This is something I want to see more of!

I’m also kind of interested where all this Player stuff is going. We know very little about them other than the fact they’re man-made experiments that went berserk and escaped. Who is Seiji Haitani and why is he so hellbent on stirring up storms within the Players and getting them to go back to their original, monster forms? Why is the Amagi grandfather trying to recreate ZET? HOW? Does Jin even realize he might be a Player or something similar? He was fiercely denying it through the fight, and refused to identify with his opponent. At the moment, these things are all presented only in small flashes that I can barely even be bothered to mention in the summary. It’s just so brief! Couldn’t they give us more to chew on? Zetman needs to caaallllmmm down and get its stuff together if it wants to be a successful anime, because everything is pretty patchy at the moment. Can they find a good rhythm AND end the series nicely in 13 episodes? We’ll see.

Preview: Siblings hugging…because of crazy-ass drama!

Whoa, do everyone’s biceps bulge like that when they hug people? Is it really so…strenuous?

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A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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12 Responses to “Zetman – 02”

  1. Samantha Zan says:

    AGGHHHH AKEMI-SAN!!!! NOOOOOO!! I reall liked her relationship with Jin D:. Though it’s probably the only one I can understand right now XP. I have to agree with you that, it’s really frustrating not knowing what the relationships with each character is, cause then things just seem kind of off for me.

    The action was pretty cool in this episode, and even though we now have our delicious seiyus (*w*), I still feel as dumbfounded as last episode about the Players thing. Nothing really new was totally said about them that we didn’t already figure out. Sure Jin looks super cool in his Zetman mode, but still gotta wonder what the whole situation with what it is really >.>

    • Overcooled says:

      Me too! At least it’s straight-forward…Everything else isn’t even shown, so how can we even tell? The same goes with the Players. They haven’t told us anything, so even the tiny scenes they throw at us mean nothing since they’re essentially without context.

  2. Rakuen says:

    I think the character relationships are so borked right now because, from my understanding, they never met as children in the manga. Maybe they just don’t know what to do with it?

    I don’t think Jin treats human life more casually, if anything he’s had the most incentive not to. I think his view of human suffering has skewed. Rather than force a person to live in his own personal hell, he’d rather they die. At least then, they can rest. I certainly can’t make a moral call in favor of view over the other, and if they can legitimately handle the issue, I would keep watching for that alone.

    As far as the kill goes, it wasn’t the most glorious, but it showed Jin can think as well as he can fight. Sometimes you don’t need power to punch your way out of a bag. You just have to realize all you need is to open it up. ;)

    • Overcooled says:

      I read that too. This is supposed to be their first meeting. I guess they figured since they met before in the anime that they’d interact less? I understand that they’re cutting a lot out, otherwise things would make more sense.

      I don’t think Jin would outright kill people for no reason, but he seemed pretty fine with the weight of a dead family on his conscience if they died. Kouga was fretting over leaving just one mother behind. I don’t know how to describe it, but I guess you could say Jin has more confidence in what he feels is right and has no regrets for his actions. As for who is right, yeah, that’s purely subjective. I like that too!

      Death by aerosol…A simple trick. We’ll see just how clever Jin is if he can find a way out of the mess he’s in right now. I like my protagonists with a good head on their shoulders too.

  3. tatsuya says:

    damn U rich boy !! why do you have a kawai little sister T_T
    by the way ..if i were that rich ..i will buy a new bugatti veyron …but why in the hell that the rich kid wanna be a superhero ~~

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t know, he just does. You jealous?

      lol I’m sure most of us would revel in being rich instead of becoming a superhero, but Kouga is..er…special.

  4. Bob from Accounting says:

    I think the reason Kouga seems so inconsistent is that he basically has no idea what he’s doing. He’s a naive and sheltered rich boy who probably wouldn’t know how to handle himself in the real world, let alone in an emergency. He wanted to focus to ‘justice’ and leave the rescuing to the firemen, but once he actually came across some civilians he found that he couldn’t just do that. He tried to make a pragmatic decision but couldn’t really follow it through when Jin’s approach worked out so well. His view on the mother and children is another thing that reflects his background, I think. Making a ‘pragmatic’ decision to sacrifice one (of course, the one being sacrificed would never be himself) for the ‘good’ of others is a perfect example of the ‘sensible’ morals of the ruling classes who don’t truly understand the sufferings of life. Simply, he hasn’t been able to make his personal morals and what he’s seeing in reality overlap yet, which is why his actions and feelings may seem inconsistent.

    Jin, on the other hand, is able to act consistently and without doubt because he has one solid goal: to protect evetyone in sight. His goal is straightforward and his far better understanding of life made it easy for him to see that it was worth taking a small risk to achieve the best outcome. I’m sure those non-orphaned children would be inclined to agree.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m sure he had a rush of different thoughts racing through his head all throughout becoming a hero, finding Jin, and then finding out he was pretty ineffectual at saving people. But…we hardly got to see any of it. We only see the look on his face and the odd line of dialogue to tell what he’s thinking, despite all of these conflicting events happening. Most of what he’s doing or thinking is left to us to decide, and I don’t have enough to work on to know whether he’s even being inconsistent or not! I know Jin’s the main character, but Kouga needs some good development too.

      Anyways, yeah, I think overall Jin is more stable in his actions though overall. He knows exactly what he’s doing, why, and the consequences for every action. Kouga has never really been the hero type, so it makes sense for him to waver when finally faced with hard decisions. Jin’s been at this for years.

  5. Renn says:

    Just watched this, since I was told I should. Glad I did, but “patchy” is apt. Gotta agree that it’s pacing that cripples this show. There was a lot of interesting things going on here that could have been great if it had more time.

    I’m not sure what Jin was doing there. o.0 I’m sure it made sense in the original, but like you, I don’t have a great grasp of these characters.

    I do like that Kouga and Kunoha seem to be relatively normal siblings. They get along pretty well, but considering anime and its love for incest, their relationship is kind of refreshing.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s got a lot of ups…and a lot of downs. Zetman is kind of weird in that sense. I wish it would slow down too. For now, I just have to assume Jin really likes being a vigilante for now. I think he just ran towards the first flaming building he saw. o_o

      Incest makes me want to cry. I thank God for every platonic sibling relationship I come across.

  6. Joojoobees says:

    This second episode at least makes things clearer as to how the show will really look.

    I’m confused as well. For example, does Kouga even know about the Players? I don’t think he could possibly have survived a real encounter with that thing, but he somehow thought he was going to capture the criminal?

    To step back, it has been quite a number of years since the Players escaped. Does society at large know about their existence?

    Finally, Why does Jin need 3 names?

    • Overcooled says:

      Kouga must have thought it was just some dude setting fire to things. I don’t think normal people know about the Players, so he was expecting to just find some derranged kid with an empty can of gasoline and a book of matches. That’s my guess. Some people know about them, but they still disguise themselves as humans in order not to be caught.

      Why, because it’s 3X more mysterious! Which one is his REAL name? *feigns shock and interest*

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