Zetman seems to really be hitting its stride, but damn – there sure is a lot going on.
Maybe I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones and Fate/Zero, but I find myself constantly wondering just who I’m supposed to root against with Zetman. Some characters seem obviously evil (Haitani comes to mind) but there are so many competing agendas that I wonder if it’s unwise to take any of the characters at their word. Everyone has something to hide in the Amagi family, that’s for sure, and I get the feeling that it’s a character we’ve barely seen – Seizou – that’s the one we really need to watch out for. He has a poor relationship with his both his son and father, and my current mindset is that Mitsugai is probably close enough to the truth in what he says he wants Jin to do that he’s less of a threat than Seizou (who knows what the hell he wants, apart from power) is.
Hayami is another of those under-the-radar, snake-in-the-grass types – always well-dressed, never gets angry, appears to be on Kouga’s side. But it seems obvious now that he’s Seizou’s dog, though it’s less obvious what his true purpose for Seizou is. It seems to me as if he’s intentionally trying to get Kouga into trouble, though again – why? Seizou is hardly a Father of the Year candidate (“Amagi first, Children second”) but why would he be intent on hurting his son? With everything in this family it’s corporate politics that seem at the heart of it, and perhaps Seizou was telling us something at the same time he was telling his wife his priorities – maybe he’s decided to put Amagi ahead of Kouga, and that means destroying him.
He certainly has some company, if that’s the case. Haitani (acting on his own, if “The Boss” is to be believed) destroys the Amagi mansion after sending a team of Jin clones in to steal the red pendant that’s the key to completing Jin’s ZET transformation. And Jirou is still out there messing with Kouga’s head, too – and it’s confirmed that Ichirou is in fact Jirou’s son. As usual Konoha is caught in the middle of all this – fooled by the Jin impersonator into giving up the pendant, then swept off to her mother’s secret hideout and – again, as usual – told nothing as to what’s really going on. It’s no wonder she sneaked off on her own (looking for answers, no doubt) but that appears to have placed her in the role of a weapon to be used against Kouga by Jirou, yet again.
Maybe the biggest enigma among the many in this series is “The Boss” – the bartender at E V O L and apparently the head of the whole organization. He’s supposedly in charge of Haitani, though that seems an uneasy relationship. It’s also confirmed this week that he’s pulling The Sweeper’s strings. The Boss purports to be a good guy, a “pacifist” looking for co-existence with humans, and frustrated by Haitani’s genocidal intentions but unable to thwart them. That’s the story he tells Jin when he meets up with him, anyway, and the evidence of his conversations in the bar circumstantially supports that idea – but I’m at the Fox Mulder stage with Zetman by now, so color me suspicious. He may be telling the truth, he and Haitani may be playing good cop, bad cop with Jin, or the truth may be something else entirely – but I’m willing to bet his agenda is a lot less noble than he says it is.
Meanwhile Jin seems to have actually fallen for Hanako, which is something I didn’t necessarily expect. She’s tried – and failed – to get along with her family because that’s what Jin said she should do, but she comes running back to him. And Jin gives in, allowing her to stay with him, kissing her and by implication doing a lot more. I suppose a case could be made that this actually shows he loves Konoha – because he’s not willing to risk being around her, but he is willing with Hanako – but in any case, Konoha seems to have been spat on by fate yet again. I’m about ready to see her be more proactive and not simply the designated punching bag of the series, but I don’t know if that’s in the cards for her character.