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.
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.
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.
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.