Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 12 [END]

The Unlimited

Moving towards a higher future

I got an extension on my essay, so I have time to write about anime! Yay! Here’s the last episodic post from me for a while until the new season starts. Well…kinda. I do have one more up my sleeve. But for now, let us focus on our last romp with crazy, rainbow-spewing espers.

Let me start by saying I was wrong about Hyoubu. I completely and utterly misread him. I never thought he would ever be able to forgive Saotome, or at least get by without wringing his neck like a wet towel. I had assumed that a spin-off series wouldn’t want to take too much liberty with an already existing character of the franchise in case fans whined at inconsistencies. Furthermore, Hyoubu is cast as this badass character who does what he wants to achieve his goals, regardless of how destructive it could be. He hardly budges for anything. I could not see him as the type to forgive anyone for even the slightest evil done against him. In the end, he actually forgave Andy and surprised me. Then he surprised me even more by forgiving Saotome, which is a completely different story.

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It’s amazing that he moves on from having a grudge strong enough to raise himself from the dead. I’m impressed that he actually developed as a character by the end of the series. I was expecting a more “Hyoubu is so cool! He kills people and does whatever he wants! He won’t change for ANYONE!” kind of message. Instead, Hyoubu does change. He re-evaluates himself, his morals, and what he thinks of the world. He does a 180 in the last few episodes, yet it’s believable. Kaoru, Andy and Yugiri have been teaching him about trust for the entire series. It only sinks in when push finally comes to shove and Hyoubu is about to die.

He was once haunted by the past, but as he thinks he’s about to die, all he can talk about is the future. He’s finally started to believe in crafting a happy future instead of just avenging his past. His choice to not kill Saotome also shows this quite nicely. He doesn’t forgive him for the horrific things he’s done, but he acts like the bigger person by walking away. …Okay, so he gives him permanent amnesia and ruins his entire life afterwards, but that’s still pretty kind considering what he could have done. This is still Hyoubu here. You can’t expect him not to play the douche card at least a little bit.

I’m really pleased with the direction the series took at the end in order to develop Hyoubu. Even Andy gets some time to shine as he staggers forward to save Hyoubu, rainbow strobe lights going off like they’re in a frenzied night club rave. It’s overdramatic to the point where I wanted to laugh. The changed OP colour sequence wasn’t just a psychedelic experiment, but a nod to how Hyoubu looks when he loses control of his powers. “Rainbow” isn’t exactly the most fearsome combination of colours, you see. I laughed, but at the same time I loved watching Andy and Yugiri try to save him when he lost control.

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“Ooooo pretty colours…” “SNAP OUT OF IT, MAN!”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t a big fan of Yugiri’s position in the story. It sounds really dumb that they’d need an esper of such a high ability just to change the future when the act is the same. So they really couldn’t pay some sketchy esper a huge sum of money to assassinate the mayor and just reap the rewards later on? It’s the same event, just caused by different people. Furthermore, Yugiri’s backstory turned out to be incredibly bland. They held off for so long, and now it turns out she didn’t really do much before she met Hyoubu. She just bummed around a bit and then was willingly kidnapped. The mystery of Yugiri was better when it was just a mystery!

Everything else I’d want to be resolved is also resolved. There aren’t many threads left hanging aside from the events in the far future where Kaoru leads an esper rebellion. That…and Hyoubu’s health. Andy may have suppressed his powers, but that’s not gonna fix a heart problem. That’s like putting a bandaid on someone’s leg because they have leg cancer – it ain’t gonna work. Other than that, I’m satisfied with things ending here. Andy will travel the world and figure out his strengths and maybe one day come back to join PANDRA again. As things stand, I’m quite content with the ending.

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…and then Hyoubu continued on his journey to capture all 7 magical lolis and beat the final boss

Again, I have to thank Kyokai for suggesting this show to me. The Winter season was so utterly empty that I had no idea what else to blog once I realized Cuticle Detective Inaba was tanking. I didn’t want to just blog Psycho-Pass and nothing else, so I jumped ship to The Unlimited and hoped for the best. I underestimated this show quite heavily. I thought it was a big, dumb action show focusing on a villain who spits one-liners all the time. I got something that was much more than that. Sure, it has a cheesy moment every episode and everyone aside from the core trio are kind of dull, but it’s a well-made show. The fight scenes are GORGEOUS, the character development is great, the music is good, and the pacing was spot-on. Nothing ever felt rushed or dragged out. I feel like pacing is one of the biggest turn-offs for anime sometimes, be it too fast or too slow. A badly paced show can ruin it entirely, even if everything else is wonderful.

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…I thought they were going to kiss for a moment because I’m a big, dumb fujoshi.

I may not have watched the original ZKC (nor do I want to), but I’m glad I could still follow the spin-off. It was clever to make sure new fans could jump in to expand the fanbase. I don’t know what ZKC was like in terms of yaoi-baiting either, but wow…The Unlimited was great at subtly throwing bait! It’s the kind of bait normal viewers won’t even pick up on, but girls like me will pounce on instantly thanks to yaoi-tinted goggles. It’s a win-win for everyone. I get to fantasize and you get to roll your eyes at someone interpreting a friendly hand pat as homoeroticism. Ending on that note, thanks for dealing with me all this time and reading my thoughts on the show. It’s been fun! 😀


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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19 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 12 [END]”

  1. HannoX says:

    It was a good ending for this show. Hyoubu finally realized that all these years later he was still letting Saotome rule his life and if he killed him Saotome would still have some control over him. Wiping Saotome’s mind allowed Hyoubu to put him in the past and break free to focus on the future instead, something he’d always claimed to do with the coming war. But instead his past was still ruling him as much or more than the future he was trying to bring about.

    I’d say there still needs to be a second season of The Unlimited or another of ZKC. And the ending was left open for either. What about Hyoubu’s health? Does he die soon or is he cured? Is the war between espers and normals still going to come about? Will the relationship between PANDRA and BABEL change? And Andy walking off to “find himself” just screams sequel.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s really the ideal solution. Hyoubu keeps his hands clean and simultaneously stops Saotome from ever pulling something like that again (although I doubt he would). He can finally move on!

      There’s a lot they could do if they focus on preventing that future esper vs normal war. However, that feels like another story entirely so I don’t mind if things end here either way.

  2. Irenesharda says:

    It was a fun ride and I am up for another one if/when they decide to do a second season. I didn’t think they would be able to tie together all of the plot threads, or would make the unforgivable sin of rushing the finale. However, they ended this whole outing excellently.

    I am glad you noticed the ending with the character change of Hyoubu. This series is his story just as much as it is Andy’s, and I like the character development of them both in just these 12 episodes. Andy, once an embittered young man, who didn’t know where he belonged, learned some hard lessons about family, trust, wisdom, and being true to yourself. Hyoubu however, has gone through the most changes in a more subtle way.

    In the beginning, he is like he is in the manga/original anime: an embittered young man with both physical and emotional scars that smiles and laughs to hide the pain, while doing his best to protect those under his care. He hates normals and traitors, not even bothering to forgive, never truly trusting anyone, but living by his own rules. He states in Episode 2 “Death to traitors, that is esper law.” and then later he states that he will not rest until all normals are gone. However, by the time we reach the end of the series, Hyoubu has once again faced betrayal and learned by his own admission that “without forgiveness one can never learn to trust another”. This statement isn’t fully realized until this episode where the full change to his character, even compared to how he is in the manga, is actually shown.

    This is why I loved the idea of Saotome as being the final villain. He’s the one person that is at the center of Hyoubu’s entire psyche as a person. He is the reason behind everything Hyoubu is, all the choices that he’s made, and who put him on the road that he now travels. Hyoubu killed all the men who were responsible for ordering his and his unit’s deaths, and if this was still the Hyoubu of the manga, he would have killed Saotome in the cruelest way he could possible think of.

    Yet, in this series, he has learned through his interactions with Andy, Yugiri, and Kaoru, that he must forgive for his own sake, so that he can eventually look to the future. He chooses to show mercy to the one man who betrayed both him and his unit and that he hates above all others. That was phenomenal for him, and isn’t something he could have managed in his original manga (one of the reasons I think that this story takes place in an alternate timeline). I can understand why he took the guy’s memories though, Saotome could just as easily go after him and PANDRA again, or even Kaoru on his search to prevent the esper future. He made sure the man would never be a threat again, and got in some well deserved punishment at the same time.

    The rest of the episode was really good, I actually liked the look of Hyoubu’s rainbow psychedelic powers. Andy showed his mettle and belief in Hyoubu by using every bit of his power to save his life. He lost his secondary ability to stop ESP by touch, and Hyoubu lost his unlimited abilities at least for a time. Since Andy has stated that his secondary ability only lasts for a certain amount of time, I wonder if eventually Hyoubu will gain the full extent of his powers back again, and that Andy will regain the use of his full powers as well?

    Speaking of Andy, why the heck did the guy leave? His whole arc has been about finding the place where he belongs. Well, he did that. He flip-flopped between the two sides for most of the series, and then by Ep. 11 states that “This is where I belong now.” and then later in Ep. 12 states that he wants to see the world Hyoubu will create. He found a family that cares about him and is willing to forgive and accept him no matter what. What more does he want?! He says that he still wants to find where he fits in the world between espers and normals……Andy, hun, you have an ESP ability. You’re an esper. Get over it.

    I know the real reason they got rid of him for now is because he’s an anime-only character, but I really do care. I wish this show could have been like the first FMA and said “who cares about the manga! Let’s make our own plot and characters.”, and for a while they seemed to be doing that, but I guess Andy was just too big a plot point to let stay around. I hope he joins PANDRA for real in the second season that will get made. I mean, Yugiri (another anime-only character) stayed, why couldn’t Andy?

    Speaking of Yugiri, the little girl was back to her adorable self this episode and I liked to see into her background. The girl must have at least Level 7 hypnosis to be able to cast an illusion that big, and that’s probably why they wanted her. She would have enough power to get everyone into a riot single-handedly and by the time she let go of her powers, it would have been too late. Saotome’s plan was actually both interesting and stupid at the same time.

    He wanted to use Yugiri to assassinate the pro-esper mayor that would cause an escalation of the already turbulent esper/non-esper relations into riots and outcries against espers the world over. This would cause a chain-reaction, helped by the anti-esper infrastructure that Saotome had built up over the years within the US’s many law and government agencies, to make more stringent laws against espers and take away what freedoms they do have. Eventually all espers would have to live in a world where they would have to be registered and controlled by normals like slaves. This would of course derail the esper rebellion that is supposed to occur quite a bit later when Kaoru is grown. This is Saotome’s goal.

    This is actually a plot borrowed from X-Men where in an alternate time, a famous senator is assassinated by a mutant that causes a chain reaction where mutants will end up losing their rights, and are eventually required to be registered with the government, collared, controlled, and eventually imprisoned. The famous Sentinels have a big part in this future and are used to keep mutants in line, or to hunt, capture and/or kill them.

    However, as with Saotome’s previous plan of trying to kill Hyoubu when he was a teenager spectacularly backfired, I think this plan would as well. I don’t think that the espers would go along nicely with being treated like cattle, and PANDRA’s ranks would swell astronomically. Instead of halting the rebellion, I think all Saotome would do, would be to actually speed it up instead.

    BTW, its interesting that a bunch of zealots within the US government and law agencies who are perfectly okay with killing innocent esper children and civilians, would just all of a sudden turn themselves in? I think that PANDRA and BABEL might have done some coercion of their own to get those confessions… -_-‘

    Well, once again, I loved this show and this final episode. Will see the second season when it comes out. I already have fanfiction I am planning out as well. LOL

    This was a strong 10/10 show for me. Even with some of the hick ups, I loved every minute of it and will definitely be getting this on DVD.

    PS. I am a semi-fujoshi myself, and while I can only ship bishies I feel go together (thought the boys from “No. 6” were better as platonic comrades then as lovers), I thought Andy and Hyoubu a cute couple as well. ^_^

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t know if I’d call the changes Hyoubu goes through as subtle since it was so shocking for me. He may act similarly, but his morals and ideals seem so different now that he’s moved on. Andy goes through quite a lot of changes as well, and I feel like that’s the main point of the whole show: how everyone learns to forgive, trust, and move on.

      Saotome surviving made me roll my eyes, but he really was a good final villain in terms of helping Hyoubu come to terms with things. I agree the old Hyoubu would have killed him without even thinking. Erasing his memories is a much more lenient punishment in comparison.

      I think Andy still feels like he needs to be stronger so he can support Hyoubu and PANDRA. Even when you’ve got a good group of friends, sometimes it still feels weird when you can only half-relate to them. Andy doesn’t consider himself a normal or an esper. Maybe he’ll learn more fighting techniques, figure out what he is and then come back. To be honest, I don’t know why he thinks he wouldn’t be an esper when having a psychic ability makes you an esper lol. I think he needs to realize that…

      Saotome’s plan is kind of like the Psycho-Pass Hyper Oats scenario. The chain-reaction is entirely plausible…but predicting broad future events from a small, singular assassination is hard to do. Who’s to say the assassination will 100% lead to the future he’s thinking of? It’s only a possibility, not a guarantee.

      Haha, you seem very insistent on a season 2. I wouldn’t mind more at all! We’ll see if they announce anything. I didn’t love it to the 10/10 level, but I still enjoyed it a lot. This was more of a 7.5 or 8 out of 10 for me.

      AndyxHyoubu fanfics? kekekeke~

      • Irenesharda says:

        I don’t know about AndyxHyoubu fanfics, I’m not especially good at writing that, but I will definitely read any I find. ^_~

        I’m in the midst of thinking out a direct sequel that concentrates more towards the esper revolution.

        And yes I want a second season! If a show like Hakkenden can get second seasons, I see no reason why this can’t.

  3. Foshizzel says:

    DAT ENDING! I will cross my fingers for an OVA or a second season?! When they said “where to boss?” I was like you should totally travel to Academy City! I would love a Railgun x Unlimited cross over for the ultimate ESP show down…

    This series was a lot of fun every week! I will miss it and yes I agree with OC Andy x Hyoubu works xD

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m not a Railgun fan, but I wouldn’t mind seeing espers beat each other up to a bloody pulp :3c

  4. Irenesharda says:

    I forgot: Does anyone know what happened to Ihachigo? You know that totally important device that they hid in the shadows for half the series? Did PANDRA get it back?

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t think they mentioned it. …For all we know, it got sent to a museum or something :B

      • Irenesharda says:

        I watched the episode and noticed two things from a few scenes that I hadn’t notice before. 1) In the scene where Fujiko is with the “Liberty Bell” agency we see Colonel Grisham standing next to her, but we also see Ken and Mary standing on the side. They were cool cameos from the manga/parent anime.

        2) PANDRA did recover Ihachigo, we can see it for a split second in the hotel room where the gang is gathered and Andy is saying good-bye. It’s on the far right-hand side.

        • Kyokai says:

          I haven’t really followed all your comments on Hyoubu, but man, I have to salute your dedication to it! Thanks for sharing your comments here. ^^

          • Irenesharda says:

            My pleasure, I discovered this site while looking for a blogger who was doing this show and was happy to find two new anime blogging sites. I think you Metanorn bloggers are awesome and I will be sticking around through the seasons. ^_^

  5. BlackBriar says:

    We really are going into another season. All the good shows (mainly the ones left over from Fall 2012) are ending. It’s always a bittersweet feeling.

    A good ending in my opinion. With the finale come to pass, I can say without regret that I enjoyed watching Zettai Karen Children all the way through. By comparison, it easily outperformed other esper themed animes like Code: Breaker which was a letdown. The story was as compelling as the characters were well developed, even the mascot cutie loli Yugiri. Any continuation of this would be welcomed with open arms.

    Kyousuke’s change of mind was surprising though it shouldn’t be. We’re just too used to characters who’d stop at nothing to reach their vengeful goal. Yeah, he was consumed by revenge but not so much that it would greatly impair his judgment. He has clear thinking and probably realized revenge had dominated his life and he was tired of it. The real feat was him erasing Saotome’s memory instead of not tearing him to shreds like last time. If he did, he’d rise to his last taunt and Saotome’s presence would hang over him for the rest of his life so destroying who he was is a suitable consolation.

    The unanswered questions are: What does Andy plan to do with himself, where does PANDRA go from here and how the hell did Saotome survive after being torn apart Elfen Lied style?

    Side note: If “fujoshi” is what they call girls who are into yaoi then what do they call guys that are into yuri? My yuri goggles get so overused in animes that they require very frequent repairs.

    • Highway says:

      They call them ‘guys’.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Hmm… That’s too plain and “yuri fans” barely cut it. There must be something more out there!!!

        • Overcooled says:

          I know they have a word for guys who like yaoi, but apparently there’s no term for yuri fans. You’ll have to just live with not having a cool name to call it.

    • Irenesharda says:

      I think the only answer we are going to get of why Saotome lived, is the same one we get with Hyoubu: they were fueled by grudge.

      It looks like Hyoubu tore up Saotome’s entire left side, taking of his arm, maybe his leg, probably messed up his torso, and destroyed half the guy’s head. The man looks to be half cyborg now. I guess since they had enough technology to create animal espers during WW2, they had enough medical tech to save a guy with that much damage and make him a cyborg.

  6. Kyokai says:

    I finally caught up to this and man what an overall good series and I’m glad you blogged it too! :3

    Hyoubu forgiving Andy was not surprising for me because since the beginning it seemed he was fond of him; maybe more so after seeing his protectiveness towards Yugiri? But yeah, that Saotome scene had me gaping as well. Though, that was what he deserved for sure, becoming a living vegetable for all the shit he did.

    They can do a lot with ZKC, showcasing the part when they grow up? I really don’t bother with the girls but hey, Minamoto <3 I'd definitely sign up for a sequel after a time-skip if they ever decide to make it.

  7. Akise says:

    I also felt the yaoiness in ZKC: The Unlimited *q*
    loved the anime *w*
    that geezer who was Hyobu’s former captain back when he was a kid gave me the creeps, he sounded like a pervy old man xD
    and btw, when Andy tryes to give Kyosuke his necklace back and he refuses, you can clearly see a heart shaped pendant behind the Limiter!
    ok I might be overthinking yaoi stuff but ehh xD

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