Based off the decade-long manga by Masakazu Katsura (Video Girl Ai, I”s), ZETMAN finally hits the mainstream television with an anime! A story about two very different ideas of justice- Jin (Zetman), who lives with the homeless, but will rescue you for 10,000 yen; and Kouga (Alphasz), born privileged and a huge fan of the anime superhero, Alphasz.
The rich continue the tradition of bloody matches with the use of “Players,” and everything is fine until the Players begin thinking for themselves and attack the guests. 13 Players and 2 humans escape. Several years later, a child by the name of Jin saves a woman from thugs for money, and is soundly told off by his “justice” friend Kouga (and his sister) for not waiting for him. Jin shows his friends his “Angel’s Ring,” a raised circle on his hand. Jin and Kouga are unaware of the powers the ring brings to its bearer, and this sets off a chain of events that leads to the death of Jin’s grandfather. Meanwhile, the Wind Monster serial killer is on the loose…and the Zetman arises to defeat him.
Gah, that summary doesn’t even cover all the bases I wanted to. OMGOMGOMG SO MUCH DRAMA, WHY IS ALL THIS STUFF HAPPENING ALL AT ONCE, ARGHHHHHH. I’m so glad I was done final projects when this came out, I can’t believe it’s hereeeeee!!!! OK, fangirling aside, I felt this was pretty strong start to an epic seinen manga adaptation. I picked up this manga last year, and basically read it all because it was that addictive. It’s not just the action, or the artwork, it’s the depth of the story. But anyways, I’ll get to comparing the manga to the anime after a few more episodes come out.
This was “Jii-chan” episode…and it’s supposed to make you cry. ;A; Jin was taken from the lab where the Players were created, so he grows up on the fringes of society with his “grandfather.” This means that he doesn’t understand a lot of things- how money works, who to judge as “wrong,” what death is. All these things come into play, and Jin is simply overwhelmed because he doesn’t “understand.” I suppose, this episode is the opening for the nature vs. nurture debate, because Jin grows up, and mostly understands right/wrong, in his own way. He understands the concept of only doing what is needed. If you really had to compare it, this is the “with great power comes great responsibility” scene in Spiderman. This never comes up because the story is…not really that original in concept. You’d expect the usually growth and struggles of your typical shonen, but retold in a totally fresh way, Zetman never, ever gets boring.
I was really surprised how they sped up the timeline in the anime, and even changed some key parts of the story. Because of the amount of story they tried to cram into one episode, the meaning behind the death of Jii-chan is almost all lost, and even when it was sad, it could have been a lot worse. That contrast between the “normal” family just shows the disconnect between Jin wanting what most people believe to be the most basic things, and not being bitter about it even if he doesn’t have them.
And…Kouga, Konoha and Jin are childhood friends!?! Hopefully this change in story isn’t the writer’s idea of trying to make ZETMAN more palatable to the shonen crowd. Despite it all, ZETMAN is a seinen- violence, gore and sexual content galore. I’m looking forward to how that comes into play later in the series, and how it leads to new tangents into insights about the story.
I was kind of expecting more out of the action. :T The action scenes weren’t that crisp, and there’s a whole lot of fighting in this show, so hopefully it gets better. Kouga and Jin are only kids after all, the shit doesn’t hit the fan until next episode anyway. Bishonen Jin and Kouga~
Animation quality: I was really surprised that they managed to capture the style so well. Unlike Arina Tanemura (Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Full Moon wo Sagashite) and people’s failed attempts at animating her work, they did an excellent job capturing the weirdness of Masakazu-sensei’s manga art style. There’s solid character design in there, and I love that the sense of the artwork, that you can sink your teeth into it, and how dark it can be, when it’s needed.
Not everything is doom-and-gloom, if this is what this seems like. Amid all this, there’s lighter moments, and holding onto the happier moments, and not getting sucked- that’s something that the characters and I have to struggle through. There’s so much violence and drama, it’s not hard to think that you can always picker lighter anime fare, but god, this story sucks you in. “OTZ
Been looping ~ dots and lines~ by Hitoto You and Mummy-D. The OP is really good, edgy, and it matches the show’s mood, not too cheery.
Overall- I’m going to enjoy this show very much. I hope it deviates from the manga (in a good way), and it really does seem like it’s going to be the ultimate niche anime to combat all that moe that people gobble up every episode. This show makes you think and question, and I think, that is the ultimate reason why there should be more shows like this out there.
Possiblity of Watching: Guaranteed (Was there ever a doubt?)
Possibility of Blogging: OH HAAALLLLLEEE YEAHHH
This show was much better than I expected, I was expecting the gore, violence and supernatural being, but I never expected this much emotion in a show of this genre. I was coming only for the blood and awesomeness, but I’ll most likely stay for the emotions and drama of the show.
I was not really certain of what I was getting into when I started the show, at first I was under the impression that it would be some kind of superheroes show that looks more like Tiger and Bunny than anything else. But this is nothing like that, at least it doesn’t look like it. I never shed a single tears during any of the 25 episodes of Tiger and Bunny, but I nearly did during the first episode of Zetman. We have our poor demon-child that just lost his only guidance in life and he has no idea about anything in life. The only thing he was ever taught was how to survive in the real world and how to be moral and have a true sense of justice, for everything else he is absolutely clueless.
The scene where little Jin is hugged in the bath a second time and can feel loved again is so touching. He cried for the first time, he never understood pain before, he never knew love, this is so sad. He looks like a little boy, but he is really a monster, just look at how much destructive force he unleashed unconsciously while defeating the lizard-man…and he just a little 10 years old boy too !
The characters for this show are already incredibly interesting, the story is well set and the drama as already begun. I just can’t wait to see just how awesome this show can get. I will be watching this for sure, there is no way I won’t be watching this awesomeness of an anime. But I will pass on blogging it, Kaitou seems like the best choice for this anime and she was looking forward to it so much. But that won’t stop me from enjoying Zetman to the fullest and I will fangirl like crazy each time a new episode is out. I want to see how Justice will be interpreted by Jin, I want to see how hard his life will be and I want to see if, in the end, he will be a man or a monster.
Possiblity of Watching: Absolute
Possibility of Blogging: Nope, Kaitou will have the honour
ZeroG signing off