Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 10

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It’s like a scene from the Little Mermaid…except the savior gets strangled afterwards

For the past 3 weeks, The Unlimited has been consistently exciting. It’s like a never-ending climax. There are no lags in drama, action or tension as the show barrels forward with the tenacity of what you’d expect in the finale. Well, every week has felt like a finale. It’s only now that we’re officially entering that territory as the series closes in on that last episode, and Hyoubu gets one step closer to exacting his revenge.

I’m always tricked by previews. I had assumed episode 10 would focus a lot more on BABEL, but they were mostly accessory items to Hyoubu and Andy. Since I’ve spent more time getting to know Hyoubu and Andy, I care about them a lot more than a trio of (extremely powerful) kiddy espers. I’d probably feel differently if I had watched the original series, but since I haven’t, the girls really don’t matter to me. Thankfully, they act more as plot devices than people they want you to care about. I’m grateful for this because there’s nothing that annoys me more than a director trying to make me sympathize with characters I couldn’t care less about. For a while, things could have focused on Kaoru trying to change Hyoubu, but that hit a dead end really quickly.

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Kaoru would be the only person (aside from maybe Yugiri) who could ever convince Hyoubu to give up his grudge. The fact that she failed to make him see the good in normals is a good sign that Hyoubu will never sway from this path until he dies. The only reason he sticks with Andy is because Andy is also trying to get revenge. He’d love for Hyoubu to just chill out and accept normals, but he’s not going to try and change his mind. He has no right anymore after flip-flopping so much with USEI, PANDRA, and even a bit with BABEL. Who is he to decide what’s right when he’s so unsure himself? All he knows is that what USEI did wasn’t right, and he needs to rescue Yugiri with Hyoubu. The two of them haven’t exactly forgiven each other, but their unified goal has them united enough to at least function properly in each other’s company without going nuts.

Hyoubu is just too focused on killing Saotome Eiji at the moment to deal with Andy, Kaoru, BABEL or…well, anything. I don’t think he even listens to anyone who doesn’t talk about potential revenge plots. Which brings me to my next point: Saotome Eiji. Somehow, this guy survived being turned into a puree of blood and mangled flesh, and is still alive. I had enough issues believing Hyoubu’s revival after taking 3 bullets, and now I’m expected to believe this guy was mopped off the floor and somehow put back together? I really hope they explain how the hell this guy is still alive.

It’s a bit of a dumb twist to bring him back, but maybe once I see Hyoubu actually kill him again I’ll feel a bit better about it. Hyoubu’s biggest issue is that his past is constantly hounding him, and now he has to face it again. The only problem with this is that I don’t see how he’ll get any more closure. Killing him again isn’t going to be much help to get him over his traumatic past. The finale may very well end in tragedy for Hyoubu. At this point, he shows no signs of changing from his normal-hating self into a more accepting person. Andy has changed a lot more than he has, and I expect him to make a lot more important decisions in the finale.

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u ok?

Although this series is about Hyoubu, it really needs Andy there to tell it properly. I like that he mediates between all the groups, but what I like the most about him is that he changes a lot. He’s thrown into so many new situations that his reaction to each one subtly changes who he is. PANDRA and BABEL are so used to this that they are pretty much stable characters throughout the show – albeit with emotional ups and downs. Since BABEL and PANDRA and pre-established characters, there’s also not too much room for branching out, because there’s the risk of turning them into something unrecognizable. I think this is largely why Hyoubu remains as he is, while Andy is the one who goes through all of these life-changing events.

All in all, another great episode, even without mind-blowing fight sequences. Everything is a little chaotic right now, and I like it. Everyone’s depressed or angry or both! It’s the perfect situation to have right before a series ends, because then things will either get all better…or worse. I can see a mix of both happening, although I don’t have very high hopes for Hyoubu. We shall see!

Preview: Everyone hates Andy.

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Next time, remember to at least bring him some nuts


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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8 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 10”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    What makes this show so good is that it takes time to develop the characters as much as the story which is a good balance not all animes seem to have. It’s hard to believe that backstabbing four-eyed bastard could still be alive after being torn up. Every part of his body was severed and crushed beyond recognition. How can someone survive that? I hope he dies slow this time because I never liked him.

    Fujiko looks hot for someone who’s lived more than 50 years. I wonder who taught her and Kyousuke to manipulate telomeres to maintain their youthful appearance. I understand what Fujiko and Kaoru are trying to achieve but their ideals make them far too naïve. If given the chance, the normals wouldn’t hesitate for a second to wipe them all out. That’s Kyousuke’s view of the world and he’s mostly right. Kaoru should have understood already. If he wasn’t going to change then, he’s not going to now.

    Andy is like a limiter for Kyousuke, keeping under a certain amount of control. He is probobly helping Kyousuke not only to save Yugiri but ease his guilt for helping the USEI get so far. It was frustrating seeing him work with them when he knew he was being used, microchip implanted in his skull and all. He has street smarts but he disregarded them there. Kyousuke would surely have killed him for his betrayal but he’s smart enough not to be blinded by his anger because he knows he’s in no shape to take on the USEI alone.

    • Hiss13 says:

      About Fujiko, her method of keeping herself young is completely different from Kyousuke’s and in essence is far more prone to failure. In the manga, it seems more like she is the one closer to dying than Kyousuke, actually, due to the fact that her method is extremely imperfect.

      The thing with Kaoru’s and Fujiko’s naïveté and idealism is that it is what drives their actions mainly. Both of them just want to reach out to Kyousuke and show him that normals aren’t so bad. Of course, with every path there are obstacles.

      • Cybersteel says:

        Both of them are girls.

        • Irenesharda says:

          As much as I don’t want to think about that as an excuse, in anime it always seems like it’s the girls who are all ultra-optimistic and naive. Kaoru more than Fujiko, but both women don’t seem to be thinking about the situation realistically. It takes more than just hope and love, girls! I know you dream of an idealistic future, but so does Hyoubu, and he at least knows that there are some very big obstacles here, and that you’re going to need to get your hands a little dirty.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I think Andy trusted the USEI a little more than you think. He obviously trusted them enough to keep their word concerning the “non-aggressive” attack on the Catastrophe, and it’s not surprising that he did trust them as Walsh and Saotome were hitting almost every esper’s weak spot, which is acceptance.
      They made a point of showing that Saotome gave Andy the same spiel that he gave Hyoubu, and like Hyoubu, he believed him. Both mean wanted to be accepted for who they were and when a group came along and claimed to do this, you can’t fault them for giving them their trust.

      And I think the microchip is standard issue to a USEI undercover operative. It’s pretty much a glorified smartphone, a literal “eyephone” if you will. And it would make sense as a communication device under the skin is harder to find than an actual phone.

  2. Irenesharda says:

    Alrighty then, time for my long comment of the week.

    First off, I had to see this episode twice for it to really sink in. When I first saw it, it was immediately my least favorite episode of the series as it felt too bogged down with BABEL. I have seen the original series and I just don’t like them much. They’re okay, but they just seem like your generic goofy good guys to me and lack a lot of complexity. I was also angry at them for trying to make the audience feel guilty that Hyoubu is going after the USEI. I will get into that later, but I will just say that I am 100% behind the Major here.

    Anyway, after seeing the episode a second time, it wasn’t as bad as the first, and I really like a lot of the subtle explanations we get. Andy gets to see BABEL’s side of things, but I’m not sure if he sides with them either. You can tell that he is feeling the guilt here at his betrayal of PANDRA, and it was made even worse by the fact that he finds out that the same person who got him into the USEI, is the same person that Hyoubu once also trusted and was later betrayed by. It is later explained about the BABEL members that Hyoubu killed and it seems that when Fujiko was trying to use this fact to convince Andy to help them in ep. 5, she neglected to mention that the people that he killed were responsible for not only his own attempted-murder, but the murders of all the ESP Unit. I’m sorry Fujiko, but if you were going to let these guys literally get away with murder, just to further your own self-righteous cause, I think we can give Hyoubu a little leeway here in serving well-deserved justice. I can see what she was trying to accomplish, but compromise can be a two-edged sword. If she has to compromise here, how far will you go before you end up in your enemies hands? To what end will you go? How many relationships will you sacrifice, as you’ve sacrificed the one you once had with Kyousuke?

    As of this point, I think it’s safe to say that Andy understands the depths of his betrayal and how much he’s been duped. At this point, even BABEL is thinking bad of him and he’s beginning to think back on his actions. I actually don’t think that Hyoubu truly hates him at this point. Some were asking why Hyoubu did’t chew Andy out. But he’s never really been a “chewing out” type. If you make a mistake, he doesn’t yell and scream at you. He gives you a hardened look and then begins to treat you sternly until what he feels is an adequate amount of time. Simply the way he just gave him that callous stare and stayed silent to Andy as if the man was no longer worth his time, was harsh in comparison to the the way he used to joke and smile with the man. I’m sure Andy’s noticed, and in a way the silent approach can be a better punishment than all the yelling and screaming in the world.

    Hyoubu gave Andy another chance because the guy was simply a taken-in pawn, who was fed the same BS by the same man as Hyoubu himself was. Hyoubu is wise enough to recognize that, and has given Andy another opportunity to make good. However, he will still probably keep his distance at least for the time being. Also, I think he did slightly test him. Notice that despite the fact that Hyoubu probably knew Andy’s location in the forest the whole time, he never asked him to come with, he never appealed to him. He made him make his own choice of what side he was going to be on. However, Hyoubu was expecting him to make the choice that he did and had carried Andy’s limiter with him, but he wanted to see if the man would make the choice on his own.

    I really do hope that Andy stays with PANDRA in the end. I think he would work as a good balancer for Hyoubu as he understands Hyoubu’s background and plight better than anyone based on their now similar backstories. As Andy has stated, he doesn’t want to leave Kyousuke alone, and I think the two work well together as Andy seems to smooth out Hyoubu’s rough edges and can keep him on course in a way that Kaoru can’t because she’s a child that has never really experienced life as Hyoubu has.

    Now back to Kaoru and my issue with her. I understand Kaoru is 13 and a child, but she’s going into stereotypical anime female territory here of never wanting her loved ones to fight, being overly optimistic, naive, and idealistic, and even to a point, selfish.

    Firstly, I understand that Kaoru is still a kid, and it shows greatly here, just as it did in episode 6. To start off, just like in episode 6, Kaoru continually keeps asking Hyoubu to go with them and stay with them, and to trust BABEL. However, she is too young and naive to understand that things are never that easy. Hyoubu has a responsibility and a duty to all of those under his care, as leader of PANDRA, his place is with his people. He cannot simply stay in the mansion or with BABEL. In fact, if he had gone with her in episode 6 and placed his “trust in BABEL” then, there would have been nobody to protect the ship and everyone on there would have died. BABEL’s hands were tied by the US at the time, there was nothing they could have done.

    I also disagree that revenge is Hyoubu’s only motive, as Kaoru makes it seem. In terms of “revenge”, it was entirely Saotome who made the first move. He consciously had Hyoubu’s home and family attacked and tried to kill that which he most held dear. He kidnapped one of his charges and plans to use her for unspeakable reasons. It is Saotome who drew first blood. Hyoubu has more right than anyone to go after this guy, not just for revenge, but to protect his current family as well.

    Simply hoping that everything will be alright one day and wanting to work together is not always the right path. PANDRA does better when it is not tied down to one spot/country like BABEL is. It can help espers all around the world and 9 times out of 10, force will be needed. Another thing to keep in mind is that Hyoubu and his men are wanted criminals, and this whole time BABEL has only wanted to help them by arresting them. If Hyoubu had stayed they would have eventually have had to put him in jail, as well as his comrades. That wouldn’t have gone well for either party, so I think it better that PANDRA and BABEL stay separate. They do well in their own areas of expertise and niches. Some espers, like most of those in PANDRA are just too damaged to work and trust normals again. PANDRA offers a place for those kind of people where they can just be themselves and do something productive with their powers if they want.

    Kaoru is a young version of what Hyoubu used to be, she looks towards the future but she is still too young, naive, and optimistic. She wants humans and espers to work together, but there’s more to it than simply hoping for it to be true. You have to deal with evil politics, terrorists, and warmongers, not to mention the overall discrimination that seems to plague the world over. The war between espers and humans is imminent and nothing Kaoru OR Hyoubu does will change that. The status quo needs to be changed, and a revolution needs to happen. This is going to take more than pretty speeches, you need a plan and a way of implementing it. Kaoru will need to know that for the future if is ever going to be any kind of leader to the espers.

    Lastly, I will get to Saotome. No, I have no idea how the guy is still alive. However, let me say this:

    If you think about it, Saotome is the perfect villain to end this out.

    This series was supposed to look into Hyoubu as a character and his inner workings. We see what made him the way he is, we see what his dreams and aspirations are. We see his good points and his bad points and we see what he holds dear.

    For Hyoubu to be able to finally face Saotome after all this time would be him being able to face his past. He’s now able to physically face this specter that has been haunting his life since he was 15 years old. The very man that set him on his current path.

    Saotome is a different kind of villain. Sure he’s scheming and evil, but that’s not really what’s important; we have Alan Walsh to be the “mustache-twirling” villain in this. Saotome represents the conflict and hatred that has consumed Hyoubu’s life. If he can face down Saotome, and consciously defeat him on his own terms and not on the captain’s, then he will actually gain his freedom from the past.

    Saotome was right when he says he owns Hyoubu, in a way. All of Hyoubu’s actions have been put on that path because of this man who utterly destroyed him both physically and mentally. If Hyoubu is able to face him, he will be a man only unto himself and will be able to carve his own path. And it remains to be seen whether Hyoubu will learn anything from it in the end. Maybe in an effort to NOT be like the Captain, he may reform his genocidal thoughts and have a new outlook on normals and life? Who knows, maybe in the end he will take up Princess Grace’s offer on working together?

    I am highly anticipating the next two episodes and I hope that we get a second season to this in the future. From the previews, it looks like Andy truly hurt his PANDRA comrades, especially Yoh, who took the longest to warm up to the guy. I hope that by the end they all can start again fresh without secrets between them this time.

    Anyway, can’t wait till Monday!

    • 5oClockTea says:

      Completely agree on the merits of PANDRA as listed by you. BABLE is too official to truly help espers outside of Japan, heck, even some inside Japan. They are not criminals, they have weight in government, but by that same weight their hands are tied.

      Kaoru is young. Show ▼

    • BlackBriar says:

      Alrighty then, time for my long comment of the week.

      Wow, you weren’t kidding. I couldn’t win against this. I take off my hat in respect.

      Kaoru is young and an idealist like Kyousuke was. The only difference is that she hasn’t come across betrayal from someone she trusted or lost a number of people close to her to understand his pain and that’s why she can’t relate to him. For now, she’s got everything she’d ever want or need.

      To make an example, I’ll reference what Pain from Naruto Shippuden said: “Unless you know the same pain, you cannot truly know another”. Fujiko is different because she has experienced that pain and still finds the strength to follow her ideals.

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