Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 05

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Icing covered in Hyoubu? But I’d much rather Hyoubu covered in icing~

So far, things continue to be rather fun. There are a lot of surprises for newcomers to the series such as myself, and this episode isn’t just another throwaway. The reasons for BABEL’s sudden attack last week become more apparent as we discover some interesting things about Hyoubu’s past…and his future.

Unlike Hyoubu, I don’t have a predilection for small children. They’re cute, but I don’t often find myself falling prey to their charms and doting on them. Therefore I must concede defeat when I say Yugiri is darn cute. A real cutie! I wasn’t sure I would enjoy an episode about her going to an amusement park, but I actually came out of it liking her even more. It’s sad that they still discriminate against espers even when they’re as young and well-meaning as Yugiri, and the shift from a fun day on rollercoasters to pure cruelty hammered that point home really well.

I tend to forget that normal people dislike espers so much since all of the main characters are espers. Among their own kind they can be at ease, but as soon as they’re in a crowd they get dirty looks all around. The older ones can take it, but Yugiri doesn’t understand why they hate her so much. She knows it’s because she’s an esper, but she doesn’t fully get why that warrants the treatment she gets. She still has hope for a happy co-existence, but her kindness towards the normals goes unanswered. No wonder Hyoubu gave up trying to compromise.

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Yugiri’s breakdown when she reaches the end of her tether was a nice contrast to her opening up to Andy. Her wide-scale hypnosis turned the theme park into a nightmarish corner of hell, which is likely how she subconsciously feels about the world when the normals discriminate against her. I wonder if she can still use her powers consciously to form an image that she wants like Hyoubu has done to make “clones” of himself or that Princess. If she can do it on the same large scale she did it here then that could be a very impressive power to use in the future. It’s not a frontline combat ability, but it would be an incredible support to Hyoubu. Perhaps one of the big reasons he has her in PANDRA is to help her tame this rampant ability so she can become a fine esper one day. Well, that and because he really likes little girls apparently.

He seemed genuinely touched by her present at his party too. As much as the lolicon jokes fly around, I refuse to believe they’re anything but jokes. Andy or Hyoubu don’t harbour anything but paternal love for Yugiri in my eyes. Andy is a lot more stoic, but he’s already warming up to Yugiri. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have bothered to take her to an amusement park for more than 5 minutes. He’s already oddly used to Hyoubu, and now he’s gotten himself attached to Yugiri. He really sucks as a spy, doesn’t he? Not only that, but he already feels guilty about not being able to attend Hyoubu’s birthday next year since he’ll have betrayed them by then. He’s really starting to get stuck now.

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Andy’s getting real tired of your bullshit, Minamoto

Things get even more complicated when BABEL contact him. Andy really is the perfect character for the show since he gets information from both organizations (as well as his own). That way, we get bits and pieces from both sides of the story. In the end he’ll probably have to sum up everything he’s heard and make his own decision. BABEL says that Hyoubu is a revenge-hungry murderer while PANDRA all idolize him as an advocate of esper rights. No one side is right since Hyoubu is both of these things, which makes it even harder for Andy to chew down since he has to balance the two things instead of just rule one out. He’s certainly gotten curious, so I imagine he’s going to do more info-digging than following through on his actual mission for now.

While Andy’s organization seems purely against PANDRA, I’m not so sure if BABEL is actually antagonizing them in the same manner. Minamoto mentions yet again that he’s capturing them for Hyoubu’s own good, which may mean he’s aware of Hyoubu’s ailing health. I’m not sure why this ostensibly immortal esper is suddenly dying when he looks fine, but he is. Maybe he can’t regenerate his telomeres forever, or using his Unlimited state too often has been eating away at his health. Either way – this was quite the shock for me. As of now, we haven’t seen anything more than a shred of weakness from this man. He’s been nothing short of invincible. Yet here he is, secretly withering away without wanting to tell anyone. I really don’t want him to die! But what could BABEL do to stop this process when Hyoubu doesn’t even think he’ll live another year? I hope they explain how simply capturing him will save him from dying.

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As much as Minamoto seems to care for Hyoubu’s health, it’s pretty clear that BABEL and PANDRA are still butting heads in their own way. The way Hyoubu isn’t afraid to break the law is probably what pushes the line. It’s their duty as the “good guys” to stop a crazy murderer and his rag-tag team of espers from doing anything else crazy, after all. However, after Andy learns about the darker side of Hyoubu, he also learns about the meaning behind why PANDRA is a family of sorts. When he’s not being a rebel, Hyoubu saves espers from death and adds them to his organization. Being nearly immortal, he was able to raise all the current members from when they were only knee high, so he’s really like a father figure to most of them. It’s very convenient that almost all the core members were in the same place at once, but hey, I’ll buy it. The one thing I took away from this is that Hyoubu still has a nice side. He is not good nor evil, but a mix of both. He’s not a perfect mix either, and he usually tips a bit more towards being evil..or at the very least, chaotic.

I would have started to get really uneasy if the episodic trend had continued to this point. The plot is now chugging along at a decent pace, with Hyoubu at the centre and 3 organizations circling around him. At the end of the day, it all ties back to the titular star of the show. Hyoubu! I want to see how Andy will fare getting tangled up in all this, because what he decides may ultimately decide Hyoubu’s fate.

Bonus Screenshots: Show ▼

Preview: There’s a lot of talking next week, from what I can tell. Hyoubu doesn’t look happy either, so he’s either the bearer of bad news or he’s not hearing something he’s particularly chuffed about. Oh, and Kaoru has an esper battle. Gotta have some action to mix things up!

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The “you’d better give me more screentime” glare.


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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22 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 05”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    Okay, revealing that Kyousuke has known his from the time they were children was kind of creepy but being a father figure to esper orphans has made me respect him even more. I hope the story gets to the part where the bullet wound on his forehead is explained.

    The more Andy gets attached to PANDRA, the harder his decision will be. After seeing how close they are with each other, there’s no way he wouldn’t feel sympathetic. I’m already expecting him to betray his agency and his deal with BABEL. He felt sorry for not bringing a present because they act like family so I’m wondering what happened to his.

    More Yugiri!! She’s definitely going to have a spot in my book for best loli at the end of this year.

    Yugiri was so cute and kindhearted when she helped that boy and even he was grateful even though he didn’t fully understand the situation. It really pisses me off seeing cruel normal people can be to espers just because they’re different. That kind of treatment starts conflict and in the end, they want to know why espers lash out at them. That’s I wouldn’t side with normal people in these kinds of shows even though if it would make me look like a traitor if I was part of that world.

    • Cybersteel says:

      Kinda reminds me of my char http://puu.sh/1Zl1f

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeah, I can totally see the resemblance between that character and Yugiri. They’re nearly identical. Is it coincidence or did you model her after watching the anime?

    • Overcooled says:

      It must be weird to know a guy from your childhood and have him look exactly the same. Still…that’s pretty cool he can do that. Andy seemed pretty impressed as well – one of the many reasons he’s getting attached to PANDRA. It’s cute he wanted to get Hyoubu a present even though he’s supposed to be a double agent XD

      Yugiri for loli of the year…I’ll try to remember that! I totally agree since she’s so adorable~ I’m pretty disgusted at the normals being so cruel. I’d be siding with the espers too, kinda like that Princess did.

      • BlackBriar says:

        But you also got to think about what it has to be like being able to look the same and noticing everyone around you is aging. People that you would remember what they looked like as if it was yesterday. He’s supposed to be a double agent yet he’s beoming complacent and blurring the lines. The question is, which side will he choose and what will be the consequences after he’s made the choice? He’s being squeezed on three sides. As if two weren’t bad enough.

        Yugiri for best loli. You should write somewhere because the year is still at the beginning and there are more candidates to come. In these kind of shows, I’d mostly side against the humans at any time. I want a story where the humans actually don’t win for change and there were a few shows that came close to that.

        • Overcooled says:

          I like how they brought in BABEL to further pressure Andy because having three instead of two organizations on your tail makes things even more difficult! Who do you think he’ll side with? I doubt he’ll pick his own organization…and he might pull a wild card and make his own decision!

          Yugiri is on the list for sure! Mirai from Senran Kagura might be on there as well.

  2. HannoX says:

    As for Hyoubu’s medical condition, it seems to be centered in his brain. Perhaps using his unlimited power is causing his brain to deteriate somehow? I can see one way how BABEL can save him and that’s Dr. Sakaki using his esper powers to cure him. In ZKC he saved others who were dying. But Hyoubu probably doesn’t want to turn to Sakaki because he doesn’t want to be in debt to BABEL and because he knows BABLE would take that opportunity to imprison him.

    @BlackBriar: The bullet wound on Hyoubu’s head has been hinted at here in The Unlimited and detailed more in ZKC. For those who might think this is a spoiler, skip the rest of my comments.

    Hyoubu, Fujiko and other espers were members of the Japanese army’s special espers unit in WWII. When Japan surrendered, someone in the Japanese army decided to eliminate all their espers. Hyoubu’s supervisor, a normal, whom he trusted completely shot him in the forehead. As we know, it didn’t take. Hyoubu and Fujiko are apparently the only espers to escape. This is why Hyoubu doesn’t trust normals and hates them and is convinced that someday there will be a war between espers and normals.

    Hyoubu went on to kill any normal who was connected with the Japanese army’s special espers unit, some of whom may have had nothing to do with the kill order. Fujiko on the other hand still loved her country and the Japanese people and realizes it was only a small group of people who turned against espers. So she founded BABEL to train epsers in their powers, fight against espers who would use their powers to commit crimes and to help normals when disaster strikes. She hopes by this to show that normals and espers can coexist peacefully.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Thanks for the explanation. Now I understand Kyousuke a bit more. He really does seem like Magneto now while Fujiko naïvely and optimistically acts like Xavier. And lessons learned here are: Trust is hard to build but easy to destroy and the worst enemy you could face is the best friend you’ve double crossed. What Fujiko doesn’t realize is that humans won’t feel safe with anything unless they have total control over everything in their path. Without that insatiable sense of security, they’ll always be conflict and I’m sure that’s the view Kyousuke sees.

    • Overcooled says:

      Having all of you wonderful ZKC fans hanging around is extremely helpful because it fills in a lot of the gaps. Thanks again you guys~

      I figured it was brain-related too, but I didn’t see anything odd on the brain scan. I know how to spot a few common diseases and tumours since my major is in Neuroscience, but I doubt Hyoubu has a real life disease since this is a show about espers :B. Ah, I forgot Sakaki was a doctor since I haven’t seen his abilities firsthand. Are there really no other doctors as talented as Sakaki? Couldn’t Hyoubu get captured, healed, then just teleport away?

      • HannoX says:

        ZKC has shown no other doctors with Sakaki’s esper ablilities and skill at healing. He’s a Level 6 and is obviously a talented doctor even without his esp. Sure, there could be someone else out there, but if s/he shows up they would be someone new introduced in The Unlimited.

        BABEL does have methods of suppressing esper abilities should they get their hands on Hyoubu, which may or may not work on him in his unlimited mode. That would depend upon what the head writer thinks is necessary for the show. My guess is that it wouldn’t work for obvious reasons. Unless it was decided to have the other PANDRA members attack BABEL in order to free him.

        In terms within the show itself, I figure Hyoubu does not want to be indebted to BABEL so he refuses to go to Sakaki.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I find it so interesting that a good majority of fans of sci-fi, fantasy, and anime are either striving for or have a career in science, since other than math, science is a field that deals with the most logic.
        I’m a biochemist myself and am working on getting my advanced degree in microbiology, specializing in virology. 🙂

        • Overcooled says:

          @HannoX: So he’d be Hyoubu’s only hope, essentially. I wonder if he could even fix it though…Although even if he could, Hyoubu is the type to ignore help for the sake of his pride. If he’s too proud to even tell people about it, then being too proud to ask for help isn’t that far off.

          Hyoubu doesn’t seem containable since he even broke through the prison’s anti-ESP shield. Although perhaps I just haven’t seen what BABEL is capable of. It’s hard to see Hyoubu ever being captured against his will since he’s so..so strong!

          @Irenesharda: sci-fi is a lot cooler when you have a bit of an idea what they’re talking about, which is why us science geeks get into it so easily. At least, that’s my guess.

          Wow, that is REALLY COOL! I took an intro biochem course and it was pretty hard so I must tip off my nonexistent hat to you. Good luck getting that degree. :3

  3. Irenesharda says:

    I enjoyed this episode more than I thought I would, as I thought it looked like filler. However, it ended up being anything but.
    First of all, Yugiri has to be the most adorable loli ever! She is not one of those who cry all the time for no reason, nor is she one who likes to act tough and more adult than her counterparts. She is really just a little kid who has what seems to be a lot power (so far, she has shown that she’s a telepath, precog, and has the power of hypnosis, though rather that’s just part of her telepathy is possible…) and just wants what other little kids have. I wanted to hug and protect her myself after what happened to her in that park. How dare they treat that sweet girl that way?

    Also, the fact that we can clearly see the “No Espers” signs, and esper-detector as well as the treatment of Yugiri and the other members of PANDRA show that though Japan is supposed to be a better place for espers than others, it is still treats its espers extremely poorly. It makes me actually wonder how other countries treat espers and thinking of the US in the series makes me sick. I love my country, but we do have a history of discrimination and bigotry towards those who are different. And I don’t doubt that when Andy says that where he comes from, “nobody will employ an esper”, I believe him. That means that espers only have two choices available to them to support themselves and their families: become a weapon for the military, or become a criminal. When faced with such odds, how does one hope for espers to be seen in a positive light if they aren’t even given a chance?
    And what is BABEL doing to fix the discrimination problem? As seen by the fact that Sakaki and Fujiko could enter the park, the espers of BABEL can do things that other espers can’t. So what are they doing to fight discrimination for the espers in their own country? I think if one made the living conditions better for the espers so that they didn’t have to resort to crime, I think that their probably would be less esper criminals that they must put away to make the other espers look good in the eye of the public. Right now, they seem to be stuck in some status quo where the public is like, “I guess the espers are fine and all, that is as long as they don’t hang out at my restaurants, and play in my parks, and hang out and go to school with my children.” Sure they think espers are good and everything, but it doesn’t mean they want anything to do with them. BABEL is going to have to try much harder if they are going to try to avoid a conflict. Because one day, espers all over the world are going to be sick and tired of being sick and tired and this whole thing is going to go over the boiling point.

    On to other things, Andy is getting further and further ingrained into PANDRA and he has begun to form bonds with the other members, especially Yugiri. He is beginning to think about them as family and that will only serve to make his choices over his loyalties that much harder. He wants to find out if Hyoubu is either a mass murderer or esper savior, however as a soldier, he should know better than to ask such simple black and white questions. Kyousuke is both, he is in a grey area as so many of us are…even if he happens to be a darker grey than others.
    I have always said that there are two sides to every story. Since this is his show, I expect we will hear Hyoubu’s side of why he killed the BABEL agents and also of why he turned against normals in the first place. Then Andy will have to decide after he has all the facts whether he will go along with BABEL’s request.
    I don’t think Andy needs to worry about having his cover blown, as Hyoubu most definitely knows that he’s a spy. However, I’m wondering how BABEL thinks its going to be able to arrest all of PANDRA if 1) they are not all in the same place, as some members are going to school right now, while others are in other countries, 2) Most of those PANDRA agents are high-level espers who will not take kindly to being locked up. and 3) Hyoubu has ALREADY proven that even the strongest esper jail won’t hold him. So how do they propose to hold these espers who have nothing to lose and everything to gain?
    Minamoto acts as if he wants to arrest Hyoubu for his own good, and maybe because he fears the man’s actions will lead to his death. However, I think trying to keep the man captive will do worse and break his spirit. I’ve no doubt that Kyousuke would rather be out in the world and spend his last year with his freedom and fighting for his people, then stay alive for the next few years but in a prison built by normals. I honestly think that would kill him faster.

    All in all, I think that this was an excellent episode. I think it shows the disparity between the normals and espers very well. It showed us background on Hyoubu and how he raises and protects orphaned/abandoned espers. It revealed that Hyoubu’s life relies on more than just the manipulation of telomeres, as his medical issue looks as if its related to the nervous system. It also showed us that somehow America has created a fighting style that is sooo unique that its only recognized as being used by USEI agents and nooobody else (Yes, my voice is dripping sarcasm here at the absurdity of that little forced plot point).

    5/5 episode for me. Can’t wait till Monday!

    PS. This show got a sudden flood of press and exposure when at the 15:20 min mark, someone at the studio took the time to create cameos of American internet celebrities The Nostalgia Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd and added them to the background. Both personalities have a large amount of fans worldwide and for the studio to actually animate them and even give one of them a voice was unheard of and utterly amazing and caused many who had either never heard of the Unlimited, or had just never considered it, to check it out. I’d say that’s a win-win situation on both sides! Good job Studio Manglobe!

    • BlackBriar says:

      Whoa!! Awesome massive comment. It reminds me of one I left on one of the MetaVerse posts. Why did I suddenly remember that?

    • BlackBriar says:

      A good episode, indeed. In all honesty, I easily get pissed off at the human side in these kinds of shows because they don’t know what it’s like for those on the other side. They’re inconsiderate and the espers never asked to be what they are. And if anything bad happens to the humans, it would be seen as a form of well deserved karma. Do to others what you would want done to you. Like that second in command in the prison of the first episode getting killed by Kyousuke because of the way he treated him and locking Yugiri up like an animal.

      • Irenesharda says:

        Yeah, I had a lot to say this episode. I really enjoy “revolution” animes, especially when I see that the one party has been crushed by the other for so long and that there’s one guy who is willing to stand up and bring people together against an unjust cause. That’s probably why I liked Code Geass and Gundam Seed to an extent.

        I was finally able to see the lyrics for the OP: Last Resolution (I’m actually can’t understand Engrish to well without them. :p ) and I found that it’s really Kyousuke’s plea to others to join him in his fight, and that he will change the world no matter what it takes. Once I was able to really understand it, I really loved it and knew it had been written specifically for this show.

        • Overcooled says:

          I’m glad you’re enjoying ZKC so much! It’s always great to see commenters taking the time to leave long, thoughtful comments. There’s a lot to talk about for this show…especially this episode.

          Yugiri is great because she acts like a regular little girl, not some bratty anime bastardization of what they think kids will be like. Yugiri is just all natural. A bit of shyness, a bit of childish wonderment at simple things, and a bit of pouty fits when she doesn’t see things her way. SO CUTE! I really don’t like the normals very much in this show either.

          Esper discrimination is basically racism…towards espers. It’s pretty gross. I never thought about what other countries are like, but if Japan is at the top in terms of esper rights then things must really stink elsewhere. I wouldn’t be surprised if they just kill them all in certain countries.

          I like how they show both the good and bad sides of Hyoubu so we can decide what we think of him. I like characters that are more in the morally grey area because their motives become so much more believable that way. It’s all really a question of whether Hyoubu’s means justify his end. I wonder what conclusion Andy will come to. I for one don’t think Hyoubu is such a bad guy, even if he does have a penchant for killing.

          I’m not sure what BABEL has planned to catch these guys either. They failed last time, so they have to have some sort of crazyass trump card to win. It’s gonna be a bit of a stretch. Oh, and Minamoto recognizing Andy’s fighting style after less than 10 seconds of fighting was ridiculous. I just went with the flow, but there’s no way his style would so distinct that Minamoto could pinpoint it so quickly and easily.

          WHOA, neat fact about the cameos. I missed those for sure since I have no clue who those people are. Guess the show is getting more and more popular!

          • HannoX says:

            Yes, it’s unrealistic that Minamoto would recognize Andy’s fighting style so quickly. However, again going back to ZKC, both Minamoto and Sakaki spent several years studying at an American university. In fact, that’s where they met. And if not for Minamoto’s friendship, Sakaki could have ended up becoming a prime candidate for recruitment by PANDRA.

            While there Minamoto got involved with an esp research project (in fact, he fell in love with the subject, but that’s too involved to get into here), one which no doubt recieved government funding. The project was also a very shady one. Maybe funded by Andy’s agency? While it was not shown in ZKC Minamoto may have had sufficient contact with said agency to become familiar with their unique fighting style.

            While The Unlimited can be watched by itself, the writers seem to take it for granted that viewers will have some familiarity with the backstory from ZKC.

            • Overcooled says:

              Even I take a while to recognize someone using the same fighting style as me when I sparr with strangers…Well, at least Minamoto has had some exposure to the fighting style so it’s not TOO far-fetched that he’d catch on quickly. Again, this is new info for me lol

              Having extra info from ZKC is helpful, but not necessary to understand the main story elements. It does leave a few holes that make more sense if you’ve seen the original though :B Ah well, it’s still not enough to deter me.

            • Irenesharda says:

              To me, it wasn’t how fast he recognized it, it was the fact that he could somehow come to some sort of conclusion using only the fighting style. Soldiers, and the US especially, are known for adapting fighting styles from other cultures and incorporating them into their own. Any given soldier could use a mix of anything from jujitsu to tai kwan do, and that would neither indicate his country of origin nor what particular branch of government he works for, if any. He might even use a brand of street fighting that he learned as a kid, and mix that in as well.
              Also, even if there was somehow a fighting style that only the USEI agents used, whose to say they never taught others who weren’t in the military? Or that person simply learned by watching and mimicking others? Or if that person was no longer in the military, either from going AWOL, being discharged, or defecting?
              You see what I mean? There is simply too many questions to definitively prove that a particular fighting style is used by an active agent of a particular branch of government.

      • HannoX says:

        Unfortunately, humanity has a long history, no doubt going back into prehistory, of terrible treatment of someone from a different tribe, country or race. Learning tolerance seems to be one of the hardest things for us to do as a species, although many individuals are exceptions to that. When the “Other” is also unfamiliar to us and may be very powerful in ways we are not, fear trumps reason, tolerance and acceptance. So the treatment of espers in the ZKC world is unfortunately all too realistic.

        • BlackBriar says:

          And it’s in that all too well brought out realism of the world that brings out such feelings of disgust when you think on it. Centuries have gone by and still humanity hasn’t learned that one important thing. If you watched the ending episodes of Jormungand, you’ll see that Koko Hekmatyar summed up all of humanity’s fatal flaws to the point that she says knowing that she’s of the same species is depressing.

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