Zetman continues to be as fast paced but sorely lacking as ever as we start reaching to what’s most likely, the final showdown in this show.
Episode 8 deals with the aftermath of episode 7’s battle. We see more
ho yay romance great friendship between Kouga and Jin as they settle comfortably into their positions as so called “heroes” while their respective girlfriends recover. Kouga finds out about the Players and everything, basically, and Kouga realizes that his grandfather is in some way, cruelly kept alive to give more information about ZET, which he still hasn’t completely transformed into. Unfortunately, his grandfather dies, and one valuable piece of information- the fact that the red pendant is needed- is also lost when it’s taken from Konoha. Episode 9 then, deals with our heroes trying to figure out what’s going on, as Konoha herself is kidnapped and “Master” of EVOL asks for Jin’s cooperation in bringing Seiji down.
While it’s all very interesting, as someone who’s read the manga, I can’t help but be sorely disappointed in the way Zetman continues to be executed. I was expecting much more from the creators of Tiger and Bunny, and I understand unlike that show, this show is shortened to a mere 11 episodes, but nevertheless, when seeing shows like Sakamichi no Apollon and Nazo no Kanojo X do well despite that count, it’s a lazy excuse. What my main problem is, rather than pacing is how they’re treating the females. Hanako and Konoha were reduced to damsels in distress last time and they are still being kept in the dark with what’s done to them? No wonder Konoha is pretty irritated that no one is telling her anything. What is equally frustrating is that Jin tells Hanako to “wait home” like a good little girl because he wants someone to welcome him home? That’s not treating your partner as an equal. That’s conforming to patriarchal means and basically telling your woman to be domestic and not even tell her about the situation- when she knows far more about the situation than Konoha. Konoha is forced to wait in a bunker, completely blind to what Jin or Kouga is doing, and thus it’s no surprise that she does leave (and inevitably get kidnapped). I don’t have qualms with women who struggle and fight their way through being passive, or use passiveness as a tactic for a larger plan, but both Konoha and Hanako are nothing more than just flimsy caricatures of their manga selves. In the manga, they’re still abused, no doubt, but they possess a much stronger role in helping Jin and Kouga achieve their goals. They are much more…stubborn minded too, in playing a part of the idea of “justice” that these two try to serve.
Speaking of which, another problem I’m seeing is the lack of moral relativity that is otherwise Zetman‘s greatest triumph (in the manga). EVOL only states that it tries to cooperate with humankind, and Kouga seems to be still like a naive, blind child who is inspired by a cartoon hero figure. Jin is at least spot on, but that’s not very hard to get- there’s little character development for him in the first half of the story anyways. The only person who seems to have any shade of grey to him is Seiji, who is manipulative and crazy, but that’s…it. It’s like Zetman was covered up with the right sort of eye-popping wrapping but when you open the box, it’s empty inside. And that’s a disappointment, especially coming from the creators of T&B, who made such a great effort to bring depth and life to the different sorts of characters they had in the show (ladies included).
Whether Zetman has 11 or 12 episodes is yet to be seen, but personally, I’m ready for this cluttered mess to end. That’s not to say that it’s still not enjoyable, but it’s losing a lot of the spark and energy that I loved at the beginning of the show. Here’s to hoping that the rest of the show doesn’t follow this format!
Enjoyment Level: 5/10