Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 09

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Clear skies with a 50% chance of flying espers

This has been an especially stressful week for me. It’s still not so great. I’m only halfway through getting these monkeys off my back. I don’t know what kinds of things you turn to when you’re feeling down, but I’m always pacified by watching extreme violence. This week’s ZKC brings all the hustle and bustle of last week with some bonus explosions.

The face-off between Andy and Hyoubu is actually very understated. Hyoubu has to leave and protect his ship before he can brutally murder his ex-comrade, leaving Andy feeling like scum. You can see him regretting his decision every second – from pulling a gun on Hyoubu to getting chewed out by a flying squirrel. The military also blatantly ignores his orders to invade peacefully and go around roughly grabbing children, and shooting espers on sight. He’s completely torn.

So what will happen to Andy now? He betrayed PANDRA and everyone will know it once Momotaro explains it to them, so they won’t exactly give him a warm reunion with balloons and chocolate cake. He also betrayed USEI when he tried to rescue Yugiri, and they consider him dead and gone. All that’s left is BABEL, but right now he’s busy diving after Hyoubu. Does he expect to be forgiven by a guy who has held a grudge for all these years? His face when Andy pulled the gun on him mirrored the flashback episodes where Hyoubu got shot. The addition of Hyoubu’s response to the trigger word “monster” was also a great addition. The pacing and ordering for these episodes are perfect for having events flow together and establish characters. Even the Yugiri amusement park episode was the perfect set-up for future events with Andy and USEI capturing her.

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Well this could be a misleading combination of pictures if you haven’t seen the episode.

I’ll admit that Andy’s necklace saving his life was exceedingly dumb (it’s scarcely bigger than the actual bullet!) but at least it lets him live a bit longer to try and decide where he stands. Like Hyoubu, he must be a bit of an emotional wreck right now. Although to be fair, I think Hyoubu is the one suffering the most.

This episode is fantastic. Not just for the balls-to-the-walls action, but for witnessing Hyoubu’s emotional and physical breakdown. After being calm and cool for the entire series he suddenly loses it. The one thing he cares about – the ship and his companions on it – are being threatened. He enters full-on flight or flight to protect it. However, you won’t see him sporting a mocking grin this time because he’s got a mix of stomach-gnawing panic and rage consuming him. For once, he’s desperate. And it shows.

He not only gets so riled up that he forgets his brilliant strategies and lets soldiers board his ship, but he wears down very quickly. His heart (or bullet wound?) starts acting up, and it really messes things up for him. I love how up until this episode they made a point of showing Hyoubu as a stoic guy, because it makes his outburst that much more meaningful. This is also placed right after his flashback episode, so we can fully understand why he’s so exceptionally angry. He comments that the mastermind behind this is someone he knows, but who could it be if he’s already killed the guy who shot him 3 times? Or perhaps he’s just projecting so hard onto this attack that everything that happens reminds him of his past.

Magi thankfully shakes him from his stupor at one point in another powerful moment, but it only lasts so long. Hyoubu really is getting dangerously close to sipping tea with the angels (or devils?). I wouldn’t be surprised if he dies at the end of the series now.

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So where do we go from here? Yugiri has been kidnapped, PANDRA is separated from Hyoubu, Andy is likely stranded somewhere with aforementioned dying esper, and BABEL has 3 kids who just can’t resist sticking their noses into things. The preview showcases Kaoru and the girls, so we may very well start with their view on things. Let’s not forget about Fujiko, who may have her own side of the story. To be honest, I’m the least interested in BABEL and the 3 girls and I’d prefer to see what’s up with Andy and Hyoubu. They have the best relationship in the series! I want to see what happens there and not with the psychic babysitting squad!

I’m also eager to see Hyoubu’s reaction when he wakes up. I’m hoping he has yet another breakdown. He has officially lost his ship, Yugiri, his cloaking device, and his throne for the Queen. He only has a dirty traitor with him right now. That’s like waking up beside your enemy and being told you’ve lost everything you ever loved. That’s terrible. I think the members of PANDRA rank number 1 for Hyoubu, but he’s still lost 2, 3, 4 and 5 on the list. Being a sadist, I just can’t help but want to see Hyoubu get depressed…or get angry. It’s possible he could just shake it off and go back to smirking, but I really don’t want to see that happen.

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I was reminded a bit of my favourite villain, Clair Leonelli from Heat Guy J. The two aren’t comparable in normal circumstances since Clair’s emotions are volatile and Hyoubu has the control over his emotions that a great leader needs. However, deep down, Hyoubu has been violently traumatized, and has just spent his entire life covering it up by using that rage for something productive. The pain has never gone away – you can see it on his face when he’s called a monster. As suave and well-adjusted as he appears, I think Hyoubu is actually…to put it simply…messed up.

What I’m getting at with comparing him to Clair is that he reacts to any trigger from his past with his father by lashing out with anger. When he starts to lose things important to him, he goes from being an emotional rollercoaster…to completely catatonic. It probably won’t happen at all, but I’d get a real kick out of seeing Hyoubu lying there all slack-jawed and glassy-eyed while Andy tries to snap him out of it. One of the strongest espers in the world is weak to only one thing – his own past.

Bonus Screenshots:Show ▼

Preview: Hyoubu wants to kill the normals, but Kaoru wants normals and espers to get along. Maybe she can cheer Hyoubu up and convince him to see things her way? Yeahhhh we’ll see about that.

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A mad scientist with a third degree black belt in karate. She uses her Neuroscience degree to run experiments on humans and you just might be next. :3
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15 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 09”

  1. Daniel says:

    Haha the 50% chance of flying espers comment made my day. Just imagined someone going out and being hit by a falling bishounen for some reason! XD

    I have to say though, that this series shaped up to be much better than i expected when i first started watching it.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m glad! I wouldn’t mind a light sprinkling of bishounen every now and then~

      Same here. I didn’t even know this show existed until Kyokai told me about it. ZKC has been the most pleasant surprise of the year for me!

  2. Irenesharda says:

    This has got to be downright, my absolute favorite episode of the series this far. I have watched it multiple times and each time it still takes my breath away as much as the first time. The epic scope of the scenes, the emotions of each character as they are trying to survive this calamity is just awesome.

    I feel sorry for a lot of characters from Hyoubu to Andy to Yugiri, and each for different reasons. Hyoubu is a great leader and shows it very well in this episode. He drops his fight automatically with Andy because not only does he know that Andy is really just a naive pawn in this game (much like he used to be years ago, as Kyousuke alluded to in ep6), but also that there are bigger priorities here and that he won’t waste his time on Andy. He also shows that even when enraged he doesn’t forget about what’s important. He loves and cares for each of those PANDRA children and will put his life on the line to protect them. Even when Magi, who it is safe to say is his “eldest” child, gets shot, he reacts because Magi is as much like a son to him as he is his second-in-command. And lastly, he can put a cap on his emotions when necessary and goes all out even if it will cause his death, as he held off the US armed forces long enough for Magi and the others to get everyone evacuated off the ship. He stayed and held the barricade until his power/energy literally ran out. Hyoubu had no reason to think he would survive, but still will gladly, and without a second thought, give his life for those he’s trying to protect. Also, his people know this and it instills loyalty within them. However, even the most loyal need him to lead. I loved the look in Magi’s eyes when he told Hyoubu to pull himself together. He sees Hyoubu as his leader and surrogate parent, and Magi depends on him to keep his cool and be strong so that he can draw on that strength and be strong for everyone as well.I think if Hyoubu indeed completely fell apart and abandoned them, similar to Lelouch in season 1 of CG, I think all of PANDRA would fall apart with him. I think that’s probably why I like Hyoubu a little more than I did Lelouch; his complete unwavering loyalty to his men and those under his protection.

    As for Yugiri, poor girl. What the heck is wrong with Alan Walsh and the USEI! The thing is, if you think about it, they set out purposefully to destroy a ship full of children, civilians, and even little babies! They had planned that from the beginning. Andy told them what type of people were on board, they had no way of knowing there was a portal off the boat, they had totally meant to destroy the Catastrophe and everyone one it. They even tried to simply gun down little children who looked no older than 6! I’m appalled at the US in this, and am really saddened at the state of the homeland if this is how the USEI treats espers. However we do come to the question as to why Yugiri is so important? What has she gone through that she has a barcode tattooed on her neck? Maybe it has to do with the reason that they have never revealed her last name? I fear for the cute little girl and I hope that they will rescue her soon.

    And lastly there’s Andy. I actually feel sorry for Andy. However, even after everything that’s happened, I don’t think that Hinomiya’s days with PANDRA are at an end. Whatever happens, they’re going to need Andy to get the I-go and Yugiri back. He’s the only one who knows the ins and outs of the USEI even if he didn’t know their true nature. Also, since erasing the records of a “dead man” is probably not a priority for our insidious Director Walsh, I think Andy will still be able to get into their systems. Andy still has his uses for now.

    Also, it might be easy to be angry at him now, since it was his actions that caused PANDRA’s downfall, however we have to remember that while it was a hefty mistake, it is one that can be corrected. There were no casualties, and a ship can be replaced. They are going to get Yugiri back. Andy made an error in judgement, but he thought what he was doing was right in the beginning.

    Remember in Episode 6, when Hyoubu told him that he knew Andy’s identity simply from the look of his eyes. That he had had eyes like that before he “died”? Hyoubu was in the same situation as Andy. He was persuaded by a man who seemed like he cared, trained as a soldier for the Axis Powers, and fought beside his countrymen, all the while thinking that what he was doing was the right thing. It was only when he was betrayed that he realized that to them he wasn’t a person, but a tool and a weapon. Andy was done the same way but in modern times. He was treated, used, and disposed of as a weapon to disarm PANDRA long enough to take them out.

    I mean, we all say what we would have done in his place, but do we really know? Andy has been in the military in one way or other since high school, he’s been trained to follow orders and it is definitely easier to go with the flow then to simply do a 180 and challenge all the things that you believed. Andy has said from Episode 1 that he hates espers, however, through his connections within PANDRA he has learned that they are human too. I think this whole show has been a definite growing process for him, and making mistakes, even huge ones, are important for him to learn a harsh lesson of trust and maturity.

    I know its easy to hate Andy, but the USEI, Alan Walsh, and the guy in the shadows are the real enemies. They’re the ones who decided to send a military armada with enough artillery to destroy Rhode Island on a single cruise yacht that held only civilians, children, and infants aboard. And they were going to do that with or without Andy’s help. He was but a pawn to them, they are the true bad guys here.

    Also, I doubt that it will be hard for Hyoubu to forgive him. One thing that I saw out of the short fight between Andy and Hyoubu was that Hyoubu did not once say he would kill him. He said he would “beat” him and that he would “stop” kim, but never “kill”. Even earlier, he said he would “die” like he had died, and in a way, Andy did. His old identity was killed by his own boss, in the same way that Kyousuke was shot by his captain. Also, think about it, if Hyoubu really wanted to kill Andy, he could have killed him at any time. One well place impaling object could have taken him down, and Hyoubu is a master at psychokinetic battle.
    Unlike with the Captain, Hyoubu knew all the time who Andy was and why he was sent. So he would be expecting a betrayal if it ever happened. He never placed that blind trust of a child in him, he treated him more like and exasperated parent would treat a renegade child. I think he was more interested in the fact that Andy didn’t shot him, then the fact that the guy pulled a gun on him. As of this point, Hyoubu is kind of used to having guns pulled on him. I know that Minamoto alone has pulled a gun on him multiple times. So I don’t think that surprises him anymore, in fact he said once that he doesn’t care if [Minamoto] shoots him, it would simply prove him point.
    I think that Hyoubu sees Andy as that misled pawn who is under the influence of the normals within the government organization. And, while I think he will tell him off, or even hit him, I think that Hyoubu will forgive Andy and then concentrate on the priority at hand of saving Yugiri and retrieving the I-go. And I think if Hyoubu vouches for him, I think that PANDRA will eventually accept him again.

    Ah, the Queen of Catastrophe, seeing the destruction of that ship was heartrending. We have been on that ship all this time, seen how PANDRA regards it as their home, and to see all of those places destroyed…and that music score was incredible and I absolutely loved every minute of it.

    I did ask manga fans if this means for sure that “The Unlimited” is an AU? Some said that it is, while others are guessing that it might be a part in the timeline that just hasn’t happened yet. Since the Catastrophe has been destroyed here and not in the manga, and I sincerely don’t think that that ship can ever be put back together, or even replaced (what are the chances of getting the exact same model ship and stocking it with the same exact stuff that is now at the bottom of the ocean?) to look the same, I’d have to go with the idea that all of this is happening in an alternate universe, or that these are future events not yet in the manga.

    I loved this episode, a 20/10 in my opinion and I anticipate next weeks. Even though we see a lot of BABEL in it, Manglobe has been shrewd and wonderful enough to never show the best parts of the episode in the previews. So I am still quite excited for it.

    I want to see what’s going on with Hyoubu and Andy, the rest of PANDRA, and Yugiri. PANDRA existed before they had the Catastrophe, so I know they are smart and resourceful enough to regroup and find a safe place to stay before they meet up with their other comrade and search for the Major. I worry more about Hyoubu and Andy who are out in open sea, and Yugiri who is in very evil hands.

    Speaking of evil, Who is that guy in the shadows, the mastermind behind all this? Well…

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    • Overcooled says:

      Irene, your love for ZKC continues to awe me. :3c Really though…the recent episodes have been showstoppers. What on earth will the finale be like when it’s already been so intense?!

      It’s a bad ending for pretty much everyone by the end of the episode, isn’t it? Everyone loses something. Hyoubu is a tormented person, but he’s still quite strong and almost noble in a way. To go from completely panicked to composed in one moment to try and give moral support to his comrades probably took all of his effort. I appreciate that although he holds grudges, he doesn’t let everyone he loves die to get revenge. He’s a good man and an excellent leader. He’s just horribly misguided. I never liked Lelouch…but I never liked any of Code Geass so that’s a given.

      It’s no big surprise to see USEI mow down espers. They just wanted to get Yugiri, the cloaking device, and get out before it sinks. Anyone else on board? Doesn’t matter. Considering Yugiri was also an important target (and used to be in jail, no less) I’m sure there’s something special planned for her. I like how Hyoubu, Andy and Yugiri are all treated as being equally important characters to the story. Although the show is named after Hyoubu, it’s really about his interactions with these two.

      I don’t hate Andy and I really don’t blame him for his decision. Like you said, military training tends to make you more obedient. If you’re given a mission by a super powerful organization, then you know there will be trouble if you don’t carry it out. Andy’s doing the best he can to do what’s right, and the very second he realizes he’s made a mistake, he tries to fix it. I think he’s been learning a lot and growing immensely as a character.

      He means well, but I don’t know about Hyoubu forgiving him so easily. I think in time he will come around, but I don’t expect Hyoubu to be happy with Andy for basically ruining everything. Anyways, he won’t kill Andy at the very least. I totally agree that Hyoubu could have easily crushed his skull in if he was being serious. Neither of them had killing intent at the time.

      I was wondering about how canon this series is…Interesting to know! If the manga-ka hasn’t made an official statement, then the best guess is probably that it’s an AU. Hyoubu busts out Unlimited all the time in this series, so why wouldn’t he in the manga if he always had it? It’s possible the manga is set before Unlimited, but I think this being an AU is more likely.

      One thing I forgot to mention in the post is that I love how The Unlimited is so big on “show don’t tell.” I love Psycho-Pass, but lately it’s just been talking heads for a few weeks. The Unlimited gets so much across without relying on heavy-handed dialogues and excessive literary quoting. I wouldn’t give it 20/10 but this week was certainly fantastic haha.

      …Seriously? He’s alive? He’s the only culprit I think of but…geez…really?

      • Irenesharda says:

        Really, really…*sigh*

        And in this case, Hyoubu’s indignant fury is completely understandable.

  3. Irenesharda says:

    Also, I forgot another thing. I think that it might just be Andy, and not Hyoubu who has the breakdown next week.

    Remember that we have different parties who don’t know the fates of other parties. Magi, Momiji, Yoh, and the others don’t know that Yugiri has been captured or what happened to Hyoubu. Hyoubu doesn’t know that Yugiri has been captured either and probably thinks she escaped with the others.

    Andy however was unconscious for most of it and didn’t know that Magi, Momiji, and Yoh had returned. So he has no way of knowing that everyone was able to get off the boat. Now when he got up and subsequently saved Hyoubu, he seemed to me like he was in a dazed shock. It probably won’t hit until he has time to calm down, that everyone on the ship is now “dead” and its all his fault. I think any person with the heart that Andy has will breakdown over something like that. That it was his fault that all those children died would hit him very hard.

    And I think Hyoubu, even if he at this time has regain consciousness, won’t say anything to correct him and simply watch him to see if his heart is in the right place. In fact, knowing Hyoubu, he won’t say anything until the actual children are revealed to be okay. Then he’ll probably say something like Andy’s own guilt was his punishment.

    Well, whatever, that’s just some thoughts toward the plot. :P

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Wow, so much despair is being felt in this episode and it’s the best one yet. The action scenes were fluid and well animated. This is opinion but even the quality seems to have gotten better. Everything seems to be going straight to hell for the espers but I’m hoping they’ll pull through.

    While Kyousuke was ready to tear Andy apart for his betrayal, he knows where his priorities lie. It’s better to safeguard those who you are responsible and care for rather than waste precious time on one traitor. He’s getting closer to death’s door the more he exerts himself. I’m glad Andy saw who his boss really was and he should have seen this coming. Once it’s an existence of a different nature, humans will always react with hostility like animals. I got pissed when he took Yugiri and called her a monster.

    I’ll admit that Andy’s necklace saving his life was exceedingly dumb (it’s scarcely bigger than the actual bullet!) but at least it lets him live a bit longer to try and decide where he stands.

    The reveal to him still being alive was corny but the script called for it so we have to live with it. Andy has experienced something called sheer dumb luck.

  5. Clarste says:

    Uh… I’m not sure if you caught this, but the “cloaking device” you keep mentioning is actually the preserved brain of one of those dolphins from the flashback. The same one that made the prophecy that got Hyoubu shot. That’s also one of the reasons Hyoubu said the boat was being protected by “the dead”.

    I’m pretty sure the dolphin isn’t alive anymore, but they’re using his brain as a psychic computer or something to amplify their other powers. That hasn’t been very clearly explained.

    Anyway, I just felt like you might have missed that plot point since you keep referring to it as “the cloaking device”.

  6. Cybersteel says:

    No point in showing BABEL there is already the original series. This show is about Hyobu Kyousuke.

    • BlackBriar says:

      I haven’t seen the original series. Do you happen to know any links where I can download the episodes?

      • HannoX says:

        It’s been licensed for North American sale as Psychic Squad in a subtitled version, so any online sites now carrying it are probably pirate sites.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Well, that’s a troublesome situation. Hopefully I’ll come across the box set for the series one of these days.

          • HannoX says:

            Right now it’s in 4 volumes, 13 episodes per volume. No telling if it’ll ever be released with all 52 in a box set.

            • BlackBriar says:

              It could happen if the studio in charge of the english dub turns out to be Funimation.

            • HannoX says:

              Sentai released it as a sub. I don’t see its sales being enough for it to ever be released as a dub. But that could happen if sales for The Unlimited (which I think will be released as a dub) are strong enough. Then Sentai or someone will figure people will want more Hyoubu and he was in ZKC A LOT.

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