Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 08

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Strike Psych Witches

Here we are for part 2 of the flashback! Hyoubu is wrapping up his story by now as Andy is probably about to pass out from boredom. That’s not to say that I found this episode boring. In fact, this is my favourite episode of the series aside from the amusement park one hands down!

If episode 7 was the slow, plodding set-up then episode 8 is the intense climax. The action just keeps going. Even after the one on one fight is over, a submarine comes out of nowhere and shakes things up. Heck, even when that’s over there’s hardly enough time to blink between Hyoubu celebrating with his friends and then getting shot 3 times in the timeskip. The relentless pacing and way things constantly escalate made me get more and more excited until finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for happened. The payoff was really worth it.

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The dogfight was not only very fluid and exciting to watch, but it allowed Hyoubu to break free of some mental shackles imposed by his father. Having spent his childhood with a grief-stricken, anti-ESP father made him extremely wary of his abilities. His comrades help him realize that his abilities are nothing to be ashamed of, and that they can be used for good when they are controlled properly. Once free, his abilities improve quite a bit. I like how he went from not even wanting to change the chain of his pocketwatch to letting it sail into the depths of the ocean without even noticing it. Sure, throwing away mementos is kinda cliche in anime, but it worked well because it wasn’t overly emphasized. It just fell off him and he either let it slip or was so focused that he didn’t notice. Either way, I doubt he wrote any more letters from then until the timeskip.

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The transition from dogfight to submarine battle was great too. It somehow made things more intense as the fighter plane made a re-appearance and actually helped Hyoubu out. I pegged the guy as a total jerk, so his co-operation was a pleasant surprise. The only weird thing about this scene is…these are dolphins. I know they’re really important dolphins but does anyone else find it really silly that the one creature with amazing precognition skill is the dorkiest animal in the sea? Does the phrase “psychic dolphin” not make you want to giggle or at least roll your eyes? They may be highly intelligent, but I still can’t get over how everyone is tripping over themselves to save Flipper and Skippy.

But hey, you know what? I’ll buy it. I’ll try to take these dolphins seriously as they use their telepathy and precognitive skills to predict the future. I’ll just pretend that Hyoubu didn’t essentially get killed because of a goddamned dolphin of all things. Right after his fight, there’s a timeskip where Hyoubu is killed because searching through that dead dolphin’s brain showed a prediction of the future where Hyoubu would lead an army of espers. Hyoubu goes from hugging the Captain and finally finding where he belongs to staring down the barrel of a gun.

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I warned you, bro! I warned you about the megane glint!

Hyoubu’s heart shatters at that moment. He thought he was working hard to prove his father wrong about esper abilities and do something good for the country. He was finally happy. Then he’s suddenly told that he’s going to a be a heinous villain and is taken out by his mentor. His shocked reaction is priceless! Hyoubu is always so stoic and cocky while leading PANDRA. It’s nice to see him in a totally vulnerable and tormented state.

As traumatizing as it is for him, I probably would have shot him too. If this dolphin is right, then it’d be the best choice. However, I wouldn’t do it in cold blood like the Captain. He has no reservations pulling the trigger and even adding insult to injury by calling Hyoubu a monster. That’s just going too far. Perhaps if he’d been a little kinder before pulling the trigger, Hyoubu wouldn’t have suddenly come back to life and gone on his killing spree. It wouldn’t erase the betrayal, but it would soften the blow since his actions could be rationalized to someone acting for the greater good. For example, if he was crying while muttering “sorry” over and over, then you’d know he was actually fond of Hyoubu.

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Why did Hyoubu come back to life, anyways? Was he just so horrified and outraged that he willed himself back to life? Did he use PK to push the bullets out and just used pure adrenaline to cope with his blood loss? I know Hyoubu is exceptionally strong, but he is too surprised to block any of the bullets, so they all make an impact. That has to have done some severe damage, even with his telomere-fixing abilities (which he probably hasn’t used yet since he’s still aging). The only answer so far is “because he is Hyoubu goddamned Kyousuke, now shut up.”

Hyoubu going through a self-fulfilled prophecy by throwing a massive tantrum is his choice in the end, and I don’t know if anyone can ever change that. To me, it’s far too extreme a reaction and he should just suck it up and do something constructive like helping esper orphans without the whole murder thing being a part of it. I know being betrayed and shot like a dog must be absolutely dreadful (and that’s an understatement), but it’s not like that excuses him from engaging in a “kill all normals” plan without being punished. At the very least, now I can understand better why he’s become who he is today. I’m curious if Andy will react to this, or if the scene will continue next week without Hyoubu having told him anything.

Preview: USEI busts into the Catastrophe and they don’t seem to be following Andy’s orders to behave nicely to the innocent passengers. Hyoubu and Kyousuke continue their faceoff while Momo…actually fights???

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This week, on “Cute Psychic Animals”…


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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9 Responses to “Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke – 08”

  1. Irenesharda says:

    I LOVED this episode! It was really exciting and hugely insightful.

    Yes, we found out Capt. Eiji was a major dick. Not only does he not realize that even if a precog has a vision, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will come true(for example, Yugiri’s vision of Princess Grace dying), but he also kills Kyousuke not simply because of the vision, but also because he saw him and the ESP Unit as his own personal weapons, saying several times that Kyousuke’s power belongs to him, and will not let him or any of the others fall into enemy hands. The thing is, he had Kyousuke’s loyalty and love, if he hadn’t betrayed him and merely guided him and supported him instead, I doubt that Kyousuke would ever have started hating humans nor formed PANDRA.

    It was obvious that the other members were killed by their own government when the Captain purposefully lies to Hyoubu saying they’re “injured”, only to later say once he’s “dead” that he will now “join his comrades in death”. That means that Hyoubu believed them to be injured and the captain continued that lie until he took care of the last remaining member (he probably didn’t know Fujiko had escaped). He was so nonchalant about it too, cruelly saying that he has already given Hyoubu a two-rank special promotion and will cover up his death by saying he died honorably.

    Poor Kyousuke, he lost his father who was trying to prevent him from being his true self. And then lost the family that had accepted him and his powers as well as betrayed by the man he looked to as a surrogate father in his life. This was the man who told him that it was okay to use his powers and that he would always have a home there, only to later call him a monster and a weapon. That scene in the end was epic and heartbreaking.

    One other fan has pointed out that both Kyousuke and Kaoru’s stories are parallel to each other. Both were raised as military weapons at a young age. Both had found acceptance in their new life away from their biological family members who shun their abilities. Both have found a new father (elder brother) figure, who is guiding them and helping them with their awesome powers. Both of those figures happen to be normals, and both have seen visions of their proteges leading espers and going into a war that may lead to global destruction. You can probably see why Kyousuke is watching Minamoto so closely and constantly testing him. Minamoto is parallel in his situation to that of Capt. Eiji, and if the visions don’t change, he will end up doing the same thing to Kaoru that Eiji did to Kyousuke (if not as callously…). Hyoubu wants to prevent this and he is convinced that Minamoto will betray Kaoru just as Eiji did with him. However, he knows how much the girls care for Minamoto, and so far, he has only shown love and guidance to the girls, so Hyoubu leaves him alone. But I don’t doubt that if ever Minamoto even threatened the girls, the PANDRA leader would take him out.

    As to your question about how Hyoubu survived the gunshots, it has been proven in real life that a person can survive a shot to the head. It is very rare and very unlikely, but it has been done. However, usually, its very hard to get the bullet (or bullet fragments) out. You can see from the episode that it wasn’t a through-and-through, so we can assume that the bullet is probably still in Hyoubu’s head to this day. It has been seen that Hyoubu has the power to heal wounds and in the original series the esper Sakaki could prevent a bullet wound to heart from killing him using his powers. Hyoubu is about ten-times more powerful that Sakaki, I think he can use his abilities to stop the blood flow and prevent any further damage made by the bullets before either getting medical attention or healing himself.
    Also, a military history buff fan on another site, pointed out that the type of gun the Captain used is not that powerful a gun, saying:

    “The gun used by the captain was either an 8mm Nanbu or .32 ACP, both of which are fairly weak cartridges known for lacking stopping power, and a poor quality round would be enough to fail to kill him that way.”

    Anyway, it is quite explainable as to how he could have survived.

    The next episode will be back to current day, and we will return to Andy, who happens to also find himself within a military group that he got into for acceptance. However, he might find his trust has been misplaced, just as Kyousuke’s had been. I also wonder if Yugiri is actually the granddaughter of one of member of the ESP Unit that Hyoubu is taking care of, which is why he’s so close to her? Maybe she’s Utsumi’s?

    Until the next episode!

    • Overcooled says:

      Oh man, it was amazing. It’s kind of unsettling they let such a possessive megalomaniac control a unit full of all-powerful espers. Then again, it’s really hard to tell since he treats them all nicely as long as they’re members of his unit who follow his every order. If Hyoubu had lived out his life in the military normally, then I think he would have turned out fine too. Battle-hardened, yes, but even that’s preferable to bitterly leading PANDRA.

      Usually childhood abuse makes me hate the parents, but Hyoubu’s dad actually wasn’t so bad in the spectrum. While the Captain killed in cold blood, Hyoubu’s dad hit him only because he wanted to protect him. He wasn’t that bad of a guy, he just developed a complex after his wife died. I’d prefer him to the Captain anyday.

      I don’t know as much about Kaoru, so it’s interesting to learn how similar their lives were. Her powers aside, maybe that’s why he sees her as the hope for espers – she can be what he can’t. It’s good that he wants her to be Queen, but isn’t so obsessive that he wants to steal her away from Minamoto. Well, as long as he plays nice. I can totally see him killing Minamoto if he ever did anything funny too.

      It’s so unlikely to survive 3 vital area shots that I’m more likely to believe the ESP side of the story. However he seems so shocked that he didn’t appear to even try to defend himself, or else he could have potentially deflected the bullets or disarmed the Captain. Although I guess if the gun is weak enough (military buffs never cease to amaze me when they use their powers for anime) then he has more time to gather himself, even after he’s been shot.

      • HannoX says:

        I think Irenesharda left a somewhat mistaken impression of Kaoru’s early life. Her father has never been mentioned, only her mother and older sister. When she was quite young she accidently injured her mother with her powers. Although her mother and sister both assured her it wasn’t her fault she felt guilty about it. Neither of them tried to get her to suppress her power, unlike Hyoubu’s father. It was because they didn’t know how to deal with Kaoru’s power that she was sent to BABEL. (It was the same with Aoi and Shiho.) Of course, that did leave her feeling abandoned. But unlike Hyoubu, Kaoru was never betrayed by someone she trusted, especially not with deadly intent. In ZKC she returned home and some of their familial issues were resolved. And BABEL is more like a police organization and disaster first responders than a military organization, although the line is sometimes blurred.

        Any similarities between Hyoubu and Kaoru’s backgrounds are strictly superficial. Hyoubu calls Kaoru “Queen” and sees her as the future leader of espers because of her power which will only grow more and more and that power gives her the ability to protect espers. Plus, she has as much desire to protect espers as he does, but without his deadly intent.

        • Irenesharda says:

          I didn’t mean to say that their lives were exactly alike. I simply said that they are parallel at points. In fact, I would have to say more than superficially.

          Even if Kaoru’s parents weren’t as bad as Hyoubu’s father, you can’t not admit that she does feel more comfortable with Minamoto, Shiho, and Aoi, then she does with her own family; she feels like she can be more of herself with them. Just as Hyoubu probably felt more comfortable with the ESP Unit than he did when he was with his father and even with Baron Tsubomi. Both of them joined a military/government organization and as I don’t condone ever using children to fight in the government, police, or whatever you want to call it, I still consider her being used as a “weapon”.

          I did say that Kaoru hasn’t been betrayed as Kyousuke was, which is what makes the two stories different. However, you have to admit that the two stories are VERY similar. Minamoto and Capt. Eiji both support their very powerful charges as they grow from child to adulthood, both eventually receive precognitive information regarding said charge from esper dolphins (one living, one dead) that prophesize that said charge will become a leader of espers and go into a war that may come to a disastrous end.

          What makes Minamoto better than the captain, is that he truly thinks of Kaoru as a person that he loves dearly, while Hyoubu was cared for as long as he behaved a loyal, good little weapon. Because of this, Minamoto reacts much better to this information than Eiji, and instead of simply trying to kill his supposedly “damned” charge, he actually simply goes on with life and continues to guide and love Kaoru as best that he can, despite his own emotional turmoil. If Hyoubu had had a man more like Minamoto in his life, he more than likely would not have turned out as he did. But now, Hyoubu is so embittered by what happened to him and his esper family, that he can now only think of vengeance. It doesn’t help that every time he looks in the mirror, he’s reminded of the very real evidence of that betrayal, and so he can never forget it.
          So really the only thing that makes the stories different and causes Kaoru and Kyousuke’s fates to diverge, is that in Kaoru’s case, her guardian decided to take a different path. And that revelation actually makes me like Minamoto more.
          Show ▼

      • Irenesharda says:

        Yeah, you’ve gotta love those anime-lovin’ military enthusiasts. He even informed me that since Kyosuke is a Major now because of a special two-rank promotion, he would have had to have been a Lieutenant when he was “killed”.

        Which also makes what the Capt. did even worse, because he put the official paperwork for the special posthumous promotion through, before he even killed Hyoubu (as he definitely couldn’t have done it after). This means that this was all planned in advance, along with the entire ESP Unit being killed through foul play (I did check on that through the manga) and betrayal.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I felt a lot emotion from this. The setup was like raising Kyousuke high up to be slapped down by a betrayal from someone he put all his faith into. It asks a moral question: who can you trust if even your most trusted ally turns on you? That Captain got what was coming to him and in a glorious gory fashion. Did anybody think of Elfen Lied when he was being torn apart and splattered all over the floor?

    Things got freaky when Kyousuke’s suddenly started turning neon green. It must be a product of showing how strong he’s become over time. It’s good that he let go of his father’s views so he could be himself. He’s got one life to live and should do it on his terms.

    As for him waking up after being shot, I have a few ideas. First is that his adreanaline was high because of the shock of the betrayal and he didn’t feel much of anything. Second is that the bullet didn’t burrow deep enough into his brain to kill the nerves and reacted as if he got a jump start from electrical signals. I don’t remember where I heard it but I head the brain survives for a few minutes after death. It could have enough to keep his motor functions going.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s really hard to open up once you’ve been burned badly – especially when you’re young. I love how brutal the Captain’s death was too. He barely had time to beg. It was like Hyoubu threw him into a giant, invisible blender. I associate Elfen Lief less with blood and more with limbs flying around, but I can see the connection.

      Adrenaline – yeah I can buy that for killing the pain while he’s still alive. But for the bullet? I dunno…I don’t think a bullet to the brain would help neurons fire at all – if anything it’d make it worse. It’s not like the bullet has any electricity in it. Plus, I believe death is defined as not when the heart stops but when the brain stops functioning. But you know those cases in hospitals where people flatline, then sometimes get revived? I have no idea if the brain activity is shut down at that point too.

    • Lionheart says:

      Why don’t you go write your own blog post?

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