Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Zetman - 04

[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_03.56_[2012.04.24_12.33.51] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_12.28_[2012.04.24_12.43.00] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_21.07_[2012.04.24_12.51.39]

No, it’s not Independence Day or Guy Fawkes Day – that noise you hear is the popping blood vessels of Zetman manga readers everywhere.

Welcome to another time skip, which as far as I can tell encompasses about 35 chapters in addition to two years on-screen.  Again, I’m glad not to be a manga reader here (though I suspect I will read it once the anime is done) so that I can at least try to appreciate the anime without apoplexy.  And while I would rank this as the least compelling of the four episodes so far, I still do appreciate it – I think Zetman remains a very solid superhero anime that really understands the genre that it’s paying tribute to.

In addition to the nuance of character that’s lost with this insane pacing, there’s some context lost too.  For example, I have no idea who The Sweeper (Koyama Rikiya) is really, if I’m supposed to or not.  His role – self-appointed or not – seems to be to act as a sort of vigilante/beat cop to make sure the Players don’t get too far out of line (and, I suspect, draw too much attention).  He’s obviously quite powerful as he takes down the Player who’d given Jin his share of trouble with no problem – and Jin appears to be his next target.  Nor do I have any idea why Mitsugai appears to be so obsessed with Jin’s zet form turning red, or why Hayami is so obsessed with egging Kouga on in his playing at superheroes. 

In spite of that, the superstructure of the story is still pretty apparent, and I guess this is just about the only way to try and adapt a huge manga into 12 episodes and give it a real ending.  Jin appears to have a love interest at last (which was inevitable) in Tanaka Hanako (Ise Mariya), who stumbles on the latest act of murder by a Player gone wild, this time the one Inspector Sayama is calling “The Sand Monster”.  Hanako looks more than a bit like a young Akemi to my eye (though that could just be Katsura’s character designs) and seems like a genki type, and smart enough to sense that Jin is her best chance at protection in this mess she’s gotten herself into.  And indeed, it’s in his saving her from the Sand Monster that he draws the attention of The Sweeper onto himself, with unknown consequences.

I’m just wondering how many different distinct interest groups are fighting it out here.  Mitsugai seemed quite happy when The Sweeper showed up, but that could just be due to the fact that if the Sand Monster hadn’t been killed, Jin would apparently have overloaded or something – perhaps this is the result of chewing the foul-tasting “Zet activating gum” he’d been given, as he was unable to turn human again until the Player was dead.  From Jin’s perspective the challenge seems to be keeping himself isolated and avoiding putting a target on the back of those close to him – he keeps bumping into old friends like Konoha and Sayama and making new ones like Hanako.  Jin, despite his rugged exterior, clearly isn’t especially keen on being alone all the time.  I know this would be much more poignant if we were given all the time the manga has to develop the relationships in his life, but a sense of that is still getting through – and that’s providing the main emotional connection of the series.  As long as I focus on what the show has and not what it doesn’t, Zetman remains an enjoyable ride for me.

[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_06.36_[2012.04.24_12.36.31] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_07.17_[2012.04.24_12.37.13] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_07.19_[2012.04.24_12.37.15]
[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_08.46_[2012.04.24_12.39.05] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_09.39_[2012.04.24_12.39.58] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_10.12_[2012.04.24_12.40.44]
[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_10.58_[2012.04.24_12.41.30] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_14.26_[2012.04.24_12.44.58] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_15.42_[2012.04.24_12.46.14]
[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_16.36_[2012.04.24_12.47.08] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_17.07_[2012.04.24_12.47.39] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_17.22_[2012.04.24_12.47.55]
[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_18.34_[2012.04.24_12.49.06] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_19.41_[2012.04.24_12.50.14] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_20.22_[2012.04.24_12.50.54]
[Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_20.55_[2012.04.24_12.51.27] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_21.13_[2012.04.24_12.51.45] [Hadena] Zetman - 04 [10bit][720p][661AE6E1].mkv_snapshot_21.24_[2012.04.24_12.51.56]


11 comments:

  1. 4 episodes, 4 time skips. Though I "think" we're in roughly the current Time line. Though Kouga gets to fully become Alphas next episode, I guess.

    I still don't get how this series didn't at least get a 2 cours run. And I like what they're up to, really. This is a Batman/Superman tale in the Alan Moore era. There's a lot to like there. They just needed some time...

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  2. As a manga reader, this really did give me an apoplectic fit. The primary material they skipped is what I consider to be an essential arc concerning Kouga's development as a hero. I was actually almost fine with their rushed pacing so far, but this timeskip is utterly egregious.
    This show really deserved 2+ cours.

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  3. Okay, so I just went and read the skipped chapters & rewatched the OP and next episode preview.

    We're getting the Jirou arc. I just think there'll be far less rape involved. Jirou & Maya are both in the OP, which means we'll see it. Though it's going to be VERY, VERY different. (Listen to the preview if you doubt that it's the Jirou arc next)

    Which is probably a good thing, because that arc could take up an entire 13 episode season on its own. It's that long and has that much room to work with. But there is going to be RAGE coming. There's no way that doesn't happen.

    Oh, and, if you're an anime-first person, DO NOT read the manga until after the series finishes. You might rage-kill your keyboard.

    I should note, however, they do REALLY good justice to the fight scenes. And I loved that brutal kill in ep 4.

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  4. Btw as mentioned in the last episode Jin regresses just like the players if he doesn't kill the nearby players, not overloading. Last ep he started to regress or 'melt' because he wouldn't kill the player disguised as his aunt. As a non-manga reader I'm totally enjoying this series but the 2 year time skip was still pretty shocking. Hopefully this gives them enough room for an awesome ending arc and epic final battle between Alpha & Zet along with a proper conclusion.

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  5. From my understanding, we are at chapter 70 at this point, which would probably explain why I've been seeing so many people foaming at the mouth recently.

    Boy, let me tell you, I feel scared from admitting I like this show even a little otherwise I would be lynched by the (understandably) angry manga fans ... you are truly a far braver man than I Enzo.

    I wonder if it would've been a wiser course to just make an anime original story ...

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    1. @Arabesque: I don´t think there´s much of a need to be afraid when you´re unaware of the original manga´s real nature. For someone who have read at least the first four volumes, I admit it was quite shocking and dismaying, but I don´t have enough attachment to the source material in order to flame around, at much recommend the manga once it´s over.
      For now I try to see it as a separate product, though it´s not easy to label it more as a "mere average show". :-/
      Plus, do anyone recall certain TYPE-MOON´s visual novel whose anime adaptation exists but at the same time it doesn´t? :P

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  6. They skipped Kouga´s arc? W-what??
    http://nooooooooooooooo.com/
    I wonder how, considerating Masakazu Katsura is a famous mangaka, can butcher his work like that. For now it stands as an okay anime, but the rushed pace is seriously affecting the storyline and character department, a real shame... °3°

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    1. I hear people saying the OP indicates they'll likely cover some of the skipped arc, but I'm not the best one to ask...

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    2. It's going to be hard to do so, as the series at this point no longer even has the context to sneak it in.

      As mentioned before, the Jirou arc was supposed to be a mirror to Jin's little time spent in the basement of the Amagi mansion, and indeed happens concurrently with that arc. It basically existed to tear apart all of Kouga's naive notions of heroism and justice, as well as his belief in father and the company whose wealth his little "hobby" draws support from.

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  7. Im disappointed to hear that this isnt a 20+ episode show since im really enjoying it. The main thing i kept thinking about in this episode was "have i ever seen an anime girl with braces on?" I cant say i have.

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    1. That's interesting, now that you mention it, I can't recall another instance of an anime girl with braces. How odd.

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