Posted by psgels on 26 June 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Zetman



Anime as a medium has a lot of great points, but its system also has plenty of disadvantages. One of those problems: producing a full fledged anime series is expensive. Now try finding someone who’ll fund the production of a full fledged series for the adaptation of your obscure manga. This problem has been huge, especially after anime started to become more popular and the amount of series produced each season increased. Six years ago the common length of a series was 26 episodes. Today it is half of that. Zetman is another one of these series with a huge manga that had to be stuffed into just 13 episodes. This seemed like a recipe for disaster, but holy crap it definitely tried to make the most of what it had.

Let me get one thing straight though: this series is rushed. Incredibly rushed. But here is the thing: among the incredibly rushed series of only 13 episodes long, it is one of the best. The reason for that is tha the plot, while flimsy at times, never really falls apart: the story has a clear beginning, middle and end and it has a fairly good progression. The ending also doesn’t feel tacked on at the last minute and actually closes off the series properly. Sure, a lot of things had to be cut and rearranged for this, but at lest this series feels complete and not a cop-out.

This series stands out with how much raw passion has been put into it. The character designs look gorgeous when they are put into action due to all of the details that the creators put into the facial expressions of the characters. There is a lot of great animation in this series that attempts to bring the characters to life, and even though it’s clear that this series has a small budget, the creators tried to use their budget as much as possible and make every frame have a strong visual presence. Especially the first episode has some animation that deserves to be checked out, and even though the episodes after that never manage to be as well animated, there still are plenty of interesting visuals throughout the series.

This is a series about Superheroes and it pushes the limits of what it means to be a superhero throughout the series, but this series also has a lot of themes about family. Whether you should watch this series if you’ve read the Zetman manga.. I have no idea. If this isn’t the case though and you’re in for an over the top and expressive series and don’t mind many graphic themes as rape, then call this a recommendation because despite being rushed, Zetman turned out to be a very engaging series.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Should have been 39 episodes, but surprisingly this show doesn’t fall apart, nor leaves with a bad inconclusive ending.
Characters: 8.5/10 – Very expressive characters and this series loves to challenge the beliefs of its cast.
Production-Values: 8.5/10 – Amazing detail on the facial expressions. That’s the point where Zetman really set itself apart in terms of graphics this season.
Setting: 8/10 – Takes the concept of superheroes and does very interesting things with them. It just could have been so much more interesting if it had more episodes.

Suggestions:
Hitsuji no Uta
Mononoke
Shinrei Taneti Yakumo

13 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    Madoka Magica is to magical girls as Zetman is to superheroes.
    I’ll have to read the manga in the future. I was enjoying all the deconstruction of what it means to be a hero.

    • Hunter-Wolf says:

      Same here, specially with what happened to Kouga, all the tests and moral dilemmas presented to him were really interesting, harsh and cruel, and actually would put most comic super heroes to a halt when they realize they really can’t save everyone no matter what ^_^

  2. Arno says:

    I hear you, it could have been a masterpiece without the Kouga character, which is a retard with 5 years of mental age, and should be in an institution.

    It just didn’t fit with the rest of the story and the intellectual level of all the other characters, monsters included, the time spent on him was a nuisance for the viewer.

    The Kouga character was bearable in the first episode when they were children, and in the two next episodes which concentrated mainly on new grown-up Jin. But as soon as Kouga came back into focus in episode 04 the show was dead imho.

    • Chu says:

      This is pretty much what turns me off every single time – an idiot.

      It could have been so much more epic without Kouga.

    • Hunter-Wolf says:

      You clearly never saw a nerd in your life, i’m not even sure what are you doing on an anime blog .. Kouga simply was a nerd that happened to also be on the side of naivety .. nothing more nothing less .. he is pretty intelligent and capable despite his naivety getting in his way many times.

      Actually the series would be pretty damn hollow if it wasn’t for Kouga, by presenting Jin and Kouga as different almost contrasting forms of super heroes, each with his own way of justice the series really explored the concept of superheroes and deconstructed it, asking along the way about what it truly means to be one and the REAL moral dilemma that accompanies that .. in Kouga’s own words “Things don’t always work out nicely, sometimes we are forced to make gut-wrenching choices” .. his character development from a nerdy naive rich boy who is using his family’s fortune and capabilities to make his dream of being a super hero into reality into an actual super-hero that had to do some real hard choices and go through some serious shit to become one is one of the most interesting things about the series.

      Seriously, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about nor understood the series.

  3. Armpit says:

    I stated that was going to happen with Kouga very early on. There was just no way they could make him as awesome as he is in the manga with only 13 episodes to work with.

    That said, the anime turned out much better than i expected as a fan of the manga. I can’t remember too many anime out there that adapted a manga that has enough material for at least 50 episodes, crammed it into 12-13 episodes, and still turn out pretty solid as this did

  4. ChocoBar says:

    These comments are hilarious

  5. Hunter-Wolf says:

    Well, well .. first i have to say i just marathoned Zetman in one sitting .. and heck .. it was one hell of ride, i don’t really understand why you Psgels insist it is incredibly rushed .. maybe if you compare it with the manga .. but i didn’t read the manga (let alone know it existed before reading about it in your posts) and it didn’t feel rushed to me one bit .. remember that if someone had no point of reference to compare the series to there is no reason for them to consider it rushed .. heck they would be annoyed to hear someone calling the series rushed (i am) !!!

    Ok, now back to the series, i have to agree that the animation and art style are very good, i really loved the extra care given to the characters faces and facial expressions, the faces really do have a lot of depth and character to them, and most of the character designs stand out.

    As for the story, while Jin didn’t get as much development as Kouga i have to say both where a joy to watch … but Koga gets the cake forbeing the one with the best devleopment .. he really changed a lot .. while seeing Kouga’s nerdy side take over whenever justice or Alphas was mentioned was hilarious and sad at the same time it is understandable .. i imagine a nerd getting his hands on a military-grade power suit that gives him powers like his fav super hero would act like a 10 years old kid out of excitement .. actually who the heck wouldn’t be this excited .. his naivety also was handled really well .. and it played a big part in his development which reached a high point when he took control of the situation in ep11 and killed those two “players” and Hayami who was behind those cruel mind games .. after that point his naivety was long gone .. and again .. anyone who goes through the shit he went through would either go nuts (he almost did) or mature a dozen of years .. and in this case it helped him a lot despite the losses he suffered and the mistakes he did, which makes him by far the most interesting character in the series

    As for Jin .. he too had to face some difficult choices especially near the end of the series .. and surprisingly his “i want to save everyone” justice was actually way more naive than Kouga’s “i want to eradicate evil” kind of justice even if Kouga was acting more naively most of the time, Jin’s concept of justice only worked very few times like when saving that family from the fire (a very risky move that could have really killed them all), but fact is Jin couldn’t really save everyone he cared about no matter what he did (his father, his love Tanaka and many others he failed to save .. even in the simulation sequence in ep3 Akemi died a horrible death) .. to be fair both concepts of justice the two main characters had are flawed and not perfect .. and the series did a good job showing us that there is no single “perfect” concept of justice … which i have to say is a very interstign aspect of the series (almost a deconstruction of the super hero idea .. specially with the bloody messy tests and cruel mind games Kouga had to go through to become the super hero he sought to be).

    What else to say, the animation, action choreography and music were all fantastic, the story was really straight forward but had some surprising twists and also handled the subject of superheroes in a fresh interesting way .. all in all .. it was a fantastic watch and the life-goes-on ending fit really well with the themes of the series … 9/10 for me ^_^

  6. Nightwatch says:

    Zetman was a pleasant surprise, and one of the most underrated shows to come out in a while (case in point — it’s ranked 2389 on MyAnimeList and 1492 on Anime-Planet).

    Even though Zetman was rushed, it did it consistently from the first episode, so it never felt jarring/unexpected, and interesting enough its resolution was less rushed than 9/10 anime (from movies to 50+ episode anime).

    Each character has clear motives and appropriate flaws. For example, Kouga’s strong sense of justice (Jin’s justice) is hindered by his own vanity and how to achieve that justice (naivety). The father/son human player combo are so consumed with revenge, they underestimate Kouga and can’t see that they are actually pushing Kouga to embrace/rationalize his own sense of justice. And so on…

    Zetman also does a great job at painting things grey — nothing is black and white — none of that simplistic good vs evil bullshit you see in most anime.

    And to anyone complaining about Kouga, you must absolutely despise Code Geass, because if not your words are contradictory — Suzaku is a million times worse than Kouga in every way…

    Anyway, Zetman is a solid 8/10.

  7. MochiRochi says:

    Hi,

    I hope you don’t mind that I quoted you for my review of Zetman. If this is a problem, I’ll delete your quote right away.

    Great site by the way ^^

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Ah, it’s no problem. In fact, I’m glad if people quote me, as long as they don’t rip my entire articles. ^^;

  9. Cras says:

    So Hanako is a player, although they made it seem like she didn’t know she was one.

    Anyways, Jin really gets the shaft here in the ending guys. He gets a girl he loves, she turns out to be a player, and then Kouga ends up killing her because he thinks all players are evil. Now, any remote fantasy he had for a normal life or a family is completely shattered, while on the other hand, Kouga gets fame as a superhero, gets a girlfriend, and runs the family business. Da fuq?

    Kouga’s character development was on point, but he ends up just completely going insane… Come on Jin just stab the poor dude, his children are going to become complete shit heads, especially with that girl “my sense of justice is you”.

    Anyways, everything seemed good until the ending, it left a lot to be desired and I just really dislike Kouga’s character at the end. I think the writers wanted him to become the laughing stock for the audience, like here’s Zetman and then Alphas…a name Kouga stole from a superhero TV show he watched as a child.

    It just annoys me that Jin starts off with almost nothing, gains a few precious things, and then loses almost everything. Life is hard, man. Kouga doesn’t even react to accidentally killing his own mother.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • CapRooney
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 06:33 PM)
    Also the wasted potential of Ginoza’s character, from a detached investigator who saw the Enforcers merely as tools for administering justice, to someone whose screen time was less than Akane’s Kogami hallucinations, when his downfall to Enforcer rank could have been a lot more interesting, and maybe become a character like Masaoka.
  • CapRooney
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 06:26 PM)
    I even went and rewatched her arc in the first season to see if there were some hints that could conduct her to turn out like this, and no, seems like this Mika was just created straight out of thin air.
  • CapRooney
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 06:24 PM)
    Oh man, did Ubukata even watch Psycho Pass 1? Because there’s no other explanation on how Mika’s character came out to be. Looks like they needed a haughty character to “oppose” Akane and decided that she was the right one for the job.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 03:02 PM)
    @Bam, but the dubstep is still out of place.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 12:52 PM)
    I haven’t read the manga so I judge it on its own, and it’s been good. The animation is good when it needs to be and the quality disparity is interwoven pretty seamlessly. The Yakuza office fight scene was particularly intriguing.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 12:48 PM)
    So far there hasn’t been any persistently annoying characters and aside from the whole alien parasite thing you don’t need great suspension of disbelief, as characters and events follow the story’s own internal logic pretty closely.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 12:45 PM)
    Caught up with Parasyte, and can say so far so good. Minor plot issues and sound engineering problems in general aside it has kept a good proper pace. Characters get their point across and conflicts are resolved without dragging on forever. Shinichi’s developments generally improved his character, plus people say that this fit and confident version is closer to the manga anyways.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 08:02 AM)
    Problems lie in pandering , the whole thing coming up largely paper thin and weak script and screenplay dragging it down to a poor pace and flat dialogue that render the film although only just over 90 minutes feel like 140 minutes. But this is by far the worst thing he’s ever worked on as far as I see it. There is some moments of comic relief but its not exactly all that amusing.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 08:02 AM)
    Well that’s me just finished Expelled from paradise. I will give credit where credit is due, though I do not care for the 3D CGI art and animation style when used in some anime in this film the full CG was much better done than usual even if it still looks noticeable, ugly to me.
    The action scenes when they happen are at least decently watchable enough, it’s a serviceable setup.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Dec 20. 2014 08:02 AM)
    I believe there is a three hour star driver compilation film and wasn’t there going to be a follow up film?

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Recommendation corner 02 – Light novels #1

Its very easy to disregard the light novel genre completely as it is responsible for the creation of quite a number of unoriginal, bad and shameless pandering anime in recent years. However there still are worthwhile stories within the genre. They are just a little less known.   Mushoku Tensei Description: A 34-year-old NEET otaku […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 10

Very nice start to the beginning of the episode with the Unlimited Bladeworks chant. Sure, it has been parodied to kingdom come but I still love it and all it’s broken engrish glory. But now I can say it with certainty. This series is not suitable for being watched weekly. In watching this episode I […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 10

Fights blew past fast this episode. We had four fights in one episode so my previous fears of this getting dragged look to be untrue.  Notables being the fight between a mystery girl and a holy knight whose head is so disproportionate from his body that you could swear someone took the head of a […]

Gugure! Kokkuri-San- 06-10

So I’ve been gone for a while partially because of work, school, and my political activities, but also because I wanted to try approaching how I review in a (hopefully) interesting way. I’d be interested in hearing your feedback on this, as I am trying to inject more of my own personality into the way […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 09

The pattern continues with another building up episode. Admittedly I find this somewhat disappointing. I feel that this show would be better marathoned than watched weekly as the wait for what is a essentially a build up to the next episode can hamper the experience a bit. As I said before, this show would work […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 09

The fight between explosives girl and the sins was ended quicker than I thought. When King entered the fight it was settled almost immediately.  King made short work of her as Elaine provided some supposedly badass exposition saying how King is originally known as the king of the fairies, harlequin. I say supposedly because it […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 08

Another episode has come and gone. This episode marking the first casualty of the holy grail war. Looks like Rider is out of the running. It is a bit sad to see her go so unceremoniously and even defeated off screen. Well, we shall see you again in the upcoming heavens feel movie, where you […]

Nanatsu no Taizai – 08

There was a few questionable things here this episode. The episode starts with the new villain quite literally killing herself to enter the kingdom of the dead. Which is a big risk considering it was based on one sentence from a child she was threatening. True being a shounen show there’s likely some magical biology […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 07

As expected, this week we have another action filled episode. Queue the pretty explosions and fast paced fighting. It felt too short despite the episode length being just the same as the others. I often find that with a good episode of anime it makes you lose the concept of time as you watch. Making […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]