Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 06

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Slide and swipe your finger across the screen to drag the enemy through layers of concrete.

Enjoying the Valentine’s Day fun at Metanorn? Your chocolates may be gone, and your roses and wilted, but the festivities seem to just keep going here. It’s like getting two gifts! However, the rabu-rabu celebrations end where the new ZKC begins. There isn’t a shred of romance here (unless you don ultra-sensitive yaoi goggles). There is just brutality.

Andy has been given pressure from 3 sides: USEI, PANDRA and BABEL. Seeing him squirm uncomfortably whenever he’s forced to choose one has been one of the best parts of the show thus far, and episode 6 really runs with that. To be honest, I would have liked if they dragged out Andy’s inability to decide for one more episode or so. He was pushed to make a decision rather soon, and I think they could have amped up the tension more before forcing him to reveal his hand. That’s not to say I don’t think Andy’s decision right now is final and he won’t change  something else later, but his stint as an undercover agent is certainly over. Things will have to come to a conclusion soon – at least regarding where Andy’s loyalties lie.

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It’s not surprising that Andy’s initial choice is to go with what USEI wants and get around to some thief-work. It’s the default option, and it’s easier to stick with the original plan than suddenly improvise and do something else. Andy isn’t particularly fond of USEI since he joined on a whim because espers wouldn’t accept him. His connection is really only skin deep, whereas the espers on the Catastrophe accept him as their own. This is the first time Andy has ever been accepted by other esper from what we’ve seen, which is why it has such a big impact on him. Originally impartial to normals or espers, it’s like he’s re-connected with his roots and is stuck trying to decide where he actually belongs. He chooses USEI in the end – at least for now.

Now, choosing USEI is only an easier choice because it requires less thinking to just maintain momentum than to stop and go in another direction though. Actually going through with this is hard for him. We see Andy struggling a lot with the morality of betraying his comrades all throughout the episode. Not only is he now close enough to the adult members for them to joke around and play pool with him, but he arguably Yugiri’s second favourite person next to Hyoubu. She’s the one that causes Andy to hesitate the most…which makes that one amusement park episode seem very well placed since Yugiri is fresh in our mind as this adorable little package of cuteness. How could you betray a little girl with a flying squirrel?!

Seeing Andy struggle with things was great. It’s a tough situation, and even I don’t know who I’d pick to side with. I was right there along with Hyoubu until he said he wanted to kill all Normals, like some kind of esper Hitler. That’s far too extreme to agree with. It’s a shame because Andy has gotten so close to Hyoubu’s crew, and even Hyoubu himself. Although Hyoubu knew Andy was a traitor from the beginning, he still took him in. Why? I think he might actually be fond of Andy. Episode 7 seems to show Hyoubu’s past, so they might actually know each other from a long time ago. Even if they don’t, I get the feeling that Hyoubu’s kindness towards Andy is only partially fake.

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Being on the verge of death isn’t enough to stop Hyoubu from kicking ass

These bonds Andy has with Yugiri and Hyoubu will probably make him change his mind later on. He may not exactly support Hyoubu’s plan, but he will probably try to save him. Hyoubu can’t hide his sickness forever, no matter how good of an actor he is. It seems a lot worse than I had originally thought considering that he spent a good chunk of the episode gripping his chest and cursing his mortality. Even when knocking on death’s door, he’s desperate to have Kaoru as the queen of espers. The last plans he seems to be forming as he scurries around revolve around setting that up so it comes to fruition even after he dies. It’s such a weird plan that I can’t really get behind him on it. At this point, Hyoubu really seems a lot more like an actual villain. He has good intentions, but man are they ever twisted…

I’m still not sure what to make of Hyoubu’s ghost-powered ship quite yet either. Once I know who the hell this guy he suddenly summoned from a bloody notebook is, I’ll be able to say something aside from “wow, that’s creepy but also very practical!” I guess ANYONE would like a device that can make boats fly and turn them invisible. No wonder USEI sent Andy in specifically to steal it. I was expecting something more like a secret weapon, but I suppose this still counts. I guess after seeing all these psychic powers, seeing ghosts really isn’t that much of a shock any more.

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I’m really looking forward to see the continuation of the cliffhanger and Hyoubu’s past. There is so much that’s left unexplained about him. The next few episodes are really ramping things up, and I can’t wait to see how they finish things off. We’re only on episode 6 and it feels like the finale is already within reach. I suppose Andy might be swapped out for more scenes with BABEL and The Children for a while since he’s done his undercover role. Only time will tell.

Preview: Hyoubu’s past!!!!!! What’s more to say?

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You’re not a true shota unless you have short shorts.


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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27 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 06”

  1. HannoX says:

    I don’t have much to say about this episode that wasn’t covered in the review. Regardless of how much he wants to protect espers, Hyoubu’s desire to kill all normals puts him firmly in the villain camp. How many billions would that be? It would massively outdo Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined. And with his death seemingly near, how desperate will he become to make Kaoru queen? What will that drive him to do?

    I can’t see Andy going along with slaughtering all the normals, so I think he’s going to try and square the circle of stopping Hyoubu’s plan while still remaining friends with the people in PANDRA and maybe with BABEL as well. A very difficult if not impossible balancing act.

    I just finished watching Ep.7 and there’ll be at least one more flashback episode. Those will be important for people who never watched ZKC, but they also go into more detail about the past than ZKC did, so even those who watched the earlier series will probably learn something new.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Kyousuke’s actions show the mind of someone who has completely lost faith in humanity and there’s no hope for acceptence for him and his. For him, peace between both sides was never an option. I think he’d kill every last human if it means finding a place for espers to live in peace.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I think he would kill every last human if he knew if would protect esper-kind, however, I also know that as maniacal as he is, he’s not insane. He knows the costs of war, and he knows that his people are the minority. He does realize that to a degree, normals are needed.
        If he truly wanted to kill all humans just because, he could. He could have killed Minamoto and majority of BABEL if he wanted. He could have killed that Monarch princess, her assassin, or those anti-esper militants if he wanted too, but he didn’t. If he was truly on a genocidal binge, he would have killed them all, especially those who actually did attack him.
        I don’t deny he has genocidal thoughts, but I don’t think he’d follow through with it unless it would truly achieve his goals. And fortunately, he’s to realistic for that.

        • Overcooled says:

          There’s quite a difference in villains who kill just because they feel like it and Hyoubu who is doing this for his own reasons. He thinks he is being reasonable, but almost everyone else really can’t agree with him. He’s not insane though. His mind is sharper than anyone’s!

          I don’t know why I posted this when episode 7 came out immediately after…sigh. Oh well, better than 2 posts in one, I guess. 2 flashback episodes in one could be interesting if they don’t drag things out too much though.

  2. Irenesharda says:

    Awesome review as always. As we all thought, Hyoubu knew Andy’s identity sense he met him. It actually puts a whole new meaning to the scene when he told him that he had “interesting eyes”, which means that it was at that point that Hyoubu had pegged him. Yet, despite this knowledge, Hyoubu has been protecting Andy since the start, covering up his mistakes, telling the other crew members to back off, and of course, literally saving his life a few times. He’s had multiple times to kill him, abandon him, or simply let him die at the hands of another…yet, he doesn’t. Why?
    He must have some liking to Andy to have taken him under his wing. And from what I’ve seen, it hasn’t been the first time that the Major has taken in someone who had first been trying to kill him. And usually, it’s those people, who end up being the most loyal. However, despite this, Andy’s exploits in espionage has never truly endangered PANDRA, but in trying to taking the ship’s central brain, he is putting everyone at risk, and that is something the Hyoubu cannot allow. You can not fault the guy for being a good leader, he is more than willing to incapacitate or even kill Andy if it means protecting the many people (both militant, civilian, and children alike) who are relying on him for protection. He will do whatever he must to save the Catastrophe, and all of those aboard, even if he himself must die in the process. I find this admirable of him, and I must find that Andy is the one at fault here. Does he truly think that he can trust the US military to not come in guns blazing? How many times have we seen the good soldier who reports to the group that he trusts that there are only civilians on the premises and no need for military force. The Home group agrees in words only, and instead betray the good soldier and kill all the civilians, even if its only to cover their tracks? It’s a plot device as old as time, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it here.

    For the rest of the episode, it was interesting seeing that the recent motive for BABEL to arrest PANDRA was to save their lives from the precog prediction that the Catastrophe was going to be destroyed. I am 90% sure that the USEI will betray Andy, and be the ones to destroy (or at least try to destroy) the ship. However, it is how Andy will handle this betrayal that I’m interested in.

    I thought the fight with Kaoru and Hyoubu was good, especially in showing the fact that though she has grown up, she is still a child. Both Kyousuke and Minamoto told her to stay out of it, because she would be of no use, and in the end, it turns out to be true. Hyoubu has to waste some of his energy in order to put her in her place. He asks her vital questions, to which she has no answer for because she still thinks with a child’s mind. She simply wants to take him in and thinks that all will then be better, however, he asks what then will happen to all the people on the Catastrophe and all the people who have put their lives and their trust in his hands? She can only mumble with doubt that BABEL will do something, not knowing that BABEL has no idea about the USEI’s ultimate goal, and are stuck playing the distractions.

    Lastly, as for Hyoubu’s genocidal declarations, I have never doubted that he thought that way, however, as actions speak louder than words, I don’t really think he’s going to enforce any of those declarations.
    Hyoubu has the power and ability to wipe out normals if he so has the desire. However, we’ve seen times that he hasn’t killed normals, even if they are a threat to him. And in the time he has left, he’s not truly thinking about global genocide, but in simply keeping his people safe. This is where I think Magneto and Hyoubu differ. Magneto would actually sacrifice members of the Brotherhood if it would get him to his ultimate goal, and he wouldn’t hesitate to kill any human that opposed him. However, Hyoubu hasn’t done that. (I don’t know if in the manga he’s different, but since this is supposed to be a stand-alone, I’m going to only judge it on its own merits.)

    I loved this episode, and I’m going to now go and watch the next one! Yay!

    • Overcooled says:

      Hyoubu knew he was a danger to the entire crew from the start, so now we just need to know why he still kept Andy around. I’m guessing that yeah, he just plain likes Andy and wants him to join PANDRA.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if the military ignore Andy’s “play nice” suggestion and come in filling everyone with lead =_= It’s true – the US military is always shown in anime to just rush in and solve all their problems with violence. The fact that it’s America makes it even more likely too :B I don’t think Andy will like that, and I’m curious to see what he’s going to do as well. I think USEI will reveal their true stripes and that will push Andy to stop obeying their orders.

      So given his limited time, he’s not going to go on a crazy killing spree? But if he wasn’t dying, he would try to make this happen one day, right? It’s just that now he has an entire boatload of people to protect and that comes before world domination, right?

      • Irenesharda says:

        I highly doubt Hyoubu thought of Andy as a real danger. Hyoubu was the one holding the cards the entire time as not only did he know all about Andy, but I can bet he’s had experience dealing with undercover agents (especially one as green as Andy…). If anything came up, he knew that he could deal with Andy, that was, until he found out that his health was in danger. It was at that point that he began to watch Andy more closely However, that seems not to have affected his amiable nature towards him. He obviously covered for him, even when his ghost friend had found Andy out, Hyoubu simply covered for him, saying that it was just rats. There has to be some feeling of camaraderie there, as Hyoubu is constantly protecting him as if he were a wayward friend, brother, or even son.

        Also, I really think that statement about killing all normals was simply a show of frustration. Hyoubu has no time in the past, shown some major genocidal plan. He is over 80 years old, and for more than 60 or so of those years he’s had the ability to wipe out whole parts of humanity. Yet, in all that time he hasn’t. As I’ve said, it’s all a matter of actions speaking louder than words. We’ve all said stuff we don’t mean, and it’s not until we act on them that any judgement can be made, so I’ll look to that.

        Also, would all those people in PANDRA be following him if he seriously wanted to kill all normals? Some of them are married to normals, and definitely a majority have parents who are normals. While it maybe true that they all hate normals for one reason or another (and be quite justified), I doubt that all of them are on board with full genocide.

        I am not dismissing what he said, but judging by his actions, he never has, and I doubt he ever will try any type of genocide.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Kyousuke must be kicking himself inside for giving Andy a chance even though he knew about him and the possible outcome. Even though he doesn’t want to admit it, his motives are mostly revenge based. He let one betrayal overwrite his entire view of the world and so it’s not surprising he’d want to kill every normal human. He was probably hoping Andy wouldn’t do what his former friend did and probably thinks killing humans is justice and his way of protecting his kind. Which is why I’m quoting what Makishima said in Psycho-Pass before fighting Kogami: “Justice is subject to dispute; might is easily recognized and is not disputed. So we cannot give might to justice”.

    In my opinion, Andy should have sided with P.A.N.D.R.A because they were more family like to him than any place he’s been in his life. I, personally, don’t see anything worth betraying the people who would welcome you with open arms.

    On a side note: Yugiri is so cute. I love it when she shows up on screen with usual expressions. She’s definitely P.A.N.D.R.A’s mascot.

    • Overcooled says:

      Fortunately, Hyoubu still seems to have things mostly under control (Aside from his health). He has time to stop Andy and hopefully protect his ship…or at least teleport his friends to safety.

      Deciding to kill everyone is a bit of an extreme reaction…Andy is just doing what he thinks is right. I don’t even think I’d side with PANDRA if their plan was to kill all the normals. That’s like your best friend telling you they want to kill people. If you can’t talk them out of it, then it is time to just peaceeee outttt. So what if they’re you’re best friend – YOU GET THE HELL AWAY FROM THEM!

  4. 5oClockTea says:

    The thing with Hyoubu genocide is, in all his years, with all his barking, powers, resources, he never really did mount any offensive strikes that we can see, from original anime, and from the manga chapters I’ve managed to catch up to. He trolled around a lot, and that was it.

    The whole reason Magi gave him the overlord for dummies book is because he never got serious. Most of his more aggressive actions are retaliatory. You don’t poke him and his fellow espers, he doesn’t come looking for you.

    And in the manga, we have him trying to make it up to a normal girl caught in the crossfires of him selling bombs to terrorists on a whim, and anime him protecting the pro-esper princess. He does make distinctions. I think more than genocide, is that he sees the prediction from #8 of a worldwide war, his own death before seeing said war carried to the end, and wants a strong leader for his own side. Reprehensible for him to rope a young woman into this, but for Kaoru, it was either this side, or the other. She has too much power for other people to allow her to sit it out.

    If the manga ever does get to the war or anything close to it, I bet it will be the other evil organization, not PANDRA, who will kick it off.

    • Hiss13 says:

      You actually hit the nail directly on the head with that comment. Everything from I-8-gou’s prediction of the future, Hyoubu dying before said war, and Black Phantom being the group that instigates said war. Going into more specifics would be a mess of spoilers so I am not going to do that.

      Just wondering, though. How far into the manga are you?

      • 5oClockTea says:

        I got to the part where someone just got her cute little bird form. Yeah, lots to catch up still.

        • HannoX says:

          I just got to the part where the manga apparently covers the flashback we’re now seeing in The Unlimited. So it seems I’m ahead of you. And yeah, it is a cute little bird form. As a casual birder I’m wondering if that’s an actual species of bird found in Asia or if it’s entirely made-up.

          • Hiss13 says:

            You’re up to the part where things start to get darker in the manga. At that point, each arc gives us more and more revelations. You’ll be finding out about Feather’s identity as well as the cause of the war very soon.

    • BlackBriar says:

      The thing with Hyoubu genocide is, in all his years, with all his barking, powers, resources, he never really did mount any offensive strikes that we can see, from original anime, and from the manga chapters I’ve managed to catch up to. He trolled around a lot, and that was it.

      Which means somewhere along the line, Kyousuke still has a little hope but he’s already consumed by hate because of the betrayal he experienced. Whoever it was gained a huge amount of trust and Kyousuke paid for that misplaced trust with a bullet to the head.

      • 5oClockTea says:

        I’ve always felt Hyoubu is a huge idealist. He used to love and trust. He was literally made into a child soldier with the consent of a family friend, but still he believed and loved his country and fellow men. How old was he when he was shot? Twelve? Early teens?

        Now he took all of that love and poured it into fellow espers, and left very little of it for other humans. Not completely beyond hope and reason, but he was a dead man walking since he took the bullet to the head, and couldn’t move past it.

        • Hiss13 says:

          Hyoubu isn’t really an idealist at all. The issue with PANDRA is that it acts more as a foster family for ESPers who lost their homes while trying to protect ESPers. This as a result of, as you said, him pouring all of his love to only ESPers.

          The thing is, in the manga, Hyoubu never makes the first move and never acts in his genocidal intentions. As spiteful as he is, he never attacks anyone unless they completely pissed him off. This only ever happened twice. One was the terrorist bombing that was cited in an earlier comment. The second time he took action, he was put out of commission for a long time and is still out of commission even now. This was mainly because he was absolutely livid and even against Feather’s better judgement to retreat, he refused. In that sense, he is a petulant child completely driven only by his emotions.

          • Irenesharda says:

            Actually, he’s just a man. And a Japanese man at that. I hate to bring culture into this, but not backing down because of either pride, honor, or justice, even against better judgement, does sound like something a stereotypical anime man would do, especially if they’re livid beyond all reason. And most of the time in my experience, I’ve found a lot of the male sex are like that (my mom usually says its either ego, pride, or a combination of both 😉 ), while females typically think about other options in order to get the best outcome.

  5. Irenesharda says:

    You know, I just thought about something from the episode, in that at the end, Hyoubu tells Andy that he “will die here” just as he died years ago. Even though many have interpeted that as a threat, and it may very well be one, Kyousuke didn’t say “I will kill you, like I was killed”, he specifically says “die”. And we have been talking about the fact that Hyoubu of course, didn’t actually die physically, but it was a part of his soul that died that day he was shot.
    So, when Kyousuke speaks about Andy “dying”, is he talking about physically, or is he talking about his spirit? He mentions that Andy has eyes like the ones he used to have before he lost his innocence and his hope in humanity. Is he therefore alluding to Andy’s innocence that will die that night, and not his body?

    • Overcooled says:

      Ohh, interesting interpretation. I haven’t seen episode 7 yet, but if he means it in the way you say then he might just tell Andy about his past. Learning of the cruelties he’s faces will make him understand how cruel normals are, and won’t physically kill him, but it should harden his heart a little at the very least. That would explain why episode 7 is a flashback episode, as Hyoubu is explaining everything to the currently ignorant and innocent Andy.

      …It’s also a bit too early for Andy to kick the bucket, and he’d never escape without Hyoubu letting him.

    • 5oClockTea says:

      That, or Hyoubu got the prediction from I-8-gou’s brain that Andy’s boss will shoot him.

      • Irenesharda says:

        I suspect that Hyoubu is telling Andy the story of his past and that’s why they showed the episodes here. In fact, the very beginning of Ep. 7 has him start off by narrating. However, I think that’s just to give Andy his side of the story. Hinomiya has wanted to know the truth behind the Major and now he’s getting it.

  6. Highway says:

    Just from you guys talking about it, it seems like Hyoubu is a lot like Magneto in a different superhero universe.

    Not that I know a whole lot about X-Men, either.

    • BlackBriar says:

      It doesn’t matter whether you know a lot about X-Men or not but the more you watch this, the more you see Kyousuke’s views on humanity coincide almost the exact same way as Magneto. To him, because humans never accept those who are different from them like the espers, they’ll never be any peaceful co-existence between the two sides. And the truth is, he’s absolutely right.

      • Highway says:

        And we see the continuation of this in Shin Sekai Yori…

        • BlackBriar says:

          This line of behavior is to be expected in any show that showcases species other than regular human beings. And in shows like that, I’m more likely to side against the humans because the other species are being discriminated and you can’t but be sympathetic.

    • Irenesharda says:

      Well, he’s very close to Magneto, and yet not. (Magneto’s been interpreted in so many different ways that it’s sometimes hard to get a solid grasp of his character) To make it simpler to understand, I’ll just use the Magneto from the movies.

      While both Eric and Hyoubu were both mentally destroyed by past events and thus losing their innocence and their faith in humanity, and they both put together teams of espers/mutants that are militant and try to gain their goals by force, there is a difference to them.
      Magneto is so world-hardened that he firmly believes that the ends justify the means. He has several times tried to actively destroy normal humans and/or change their genetic make-up against their will. Also, while PANDRA is a criminal organization, they strive to save and protect other mistreated espers and give them a home. They will shelter them, send them to school, and give them a choice if they want to fight or keep to their peaceful lives. The Brotherhood does nothing of the sort, and are more or less a simple terrorist organization. Another difference is that Magneto will abandon or sacrifice any member of the Brotherhood if it will push forth his goal.
      Hyoubu, despite his hatred of humans has never made a move to actually kill on a genocidal scale, nor would he ever abandon or sacrifice a member of PANDRA. He takes his job of leader extremely seriously as seen in this series. If you are caught, he will put himself in danger to get you out. Even if he himself is dying, he will use the last of his strength to save your life. As long as you’re under his covering, he will do what he can to protect you. That’s probably why so many abandoned esper children can trust him, and why he harbors such loyalty.

      So yeah, while there are some similarities, there are also quite a few differences between the two. (Those similarities and differences will widen and/or narrow ceaselessly if you also want to throw in the years of comic and cartoon history of Magneto, but that will just make thing even more confusing… :P)

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