Zetman - Reviews

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casandra29's avatar
Nov 24, 2015

Honestly I am surprised so many people dislike this one. I really liked it and although I was not too big on the way Zetman looked when he was all white. I did like his character both as Zetman and in his human form.

I guess the thing that made me not rate this higher is because the story could have kept going. Honestly, it seemed to only scratch the surface. When I went to look into the manga to see if I could read more of the story, I found out that it really ended in basically the same place. My only major complaint is the lack of closure and how many unanswered questions there were. Otherwise I really enjoyed the story and the animation.

I had a hard time giving this one it's character score because there were a few characters I really loved and yet there were some that I really disliked a lot. That being said. I liked Jin, the main character, the older policeman who helped him throughout his life, and Seiji HAITANI (the guy who was the antagonist) the most. The girls in this anime really bothered me quite a bit but the worst guy character that got on my nerves the most was Kouga. He was extremely annoying and pushed my character score down considerably.

Anyway, for what it was, I would say it was well worth my time to watch. If you enjoy action anime this is a good one to consider watching. 

7.5/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
8/10 overall
duchessliz's avatar
Jan 22, 2014

Story

Players are monstrous abominations created by the Amagi Corporation that were originally used for amusement while humans watched them fight each other til death ... that is ... until one night when the Players went on a rampage and killed all their human spectators before making their escape. One of the scientist, Kanzaki Gorou, who was a key in the Players creation escaped with Z.E.T ... believed to be the most powerful of the Players and thus dubbed as the 'Hunter' by Amagi Mitsugai who was head of the Amagi Corporation. Mitsugai spent years trying to track down Z.E.T before stumbling upon Kanzaki Jin.

Fate is sometimes a strange thing as Jin was childhood friends with Amagi Kouga and Amagi Konoha ... Mitsugai's grandchildren. Kouga had dreams of one day becoming a hero who protected people and it was this dream that led to his first meeting with Jin. As the years pass and Kouga struggles with trying to make his dream a reality Jin struggles with the promises he makes to the Amagi Corporation so that he can protect the few people that he has come to care about. Eventually Kouga and Jin's lives collide once more when two men. . .Haitani Seiji and Nakata Jirou set out to test the resolve of both young men.

Overall

I don't know about anybody else ... but for me it was like X-men meets Batman ... on crack lol. The anime had a great set up but, it wasn't executed very well and at times was just down right corny as hell. Zetman had a good start but then it kinda tailspinned and eventually came crashing down in flames. A damn shame really ... it could have been great, instead it was mediocre and forgetable. The animation was pretty good, but that was about it. The soundtrack sucked, the VA's did a mediocre job, the plotline went down hill fast and got way too cliche, and there was little to no character development.

Disappointed really...

4/10 story
7/10 animation
3/10 sound
4/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
MordredMS's avatar
Jun 1, 2013

Well, I’ll be damned if I ever expected to see a manga inspired by Western superhero comics made by Katsura Masakazu, the guy who’s best known for drawing swimsuits and panties in questionable love comedies. While on paper it may seem a good idea to bathe the superhero mythos style in Japanese shōnen storytelling, it’s an operation that combines two things that are full of overused clichés, so it needs to be done well to work. And if a very long manga is to be adapted into a very short anime series, the balance gets even more unstable.

STORY: 4.5/10
Ten years after the genetically-engineered beings called “Players” revolted and escaped, strange murders occur in town. Kanzaki Jin is a young boy of extraordinary strength who lives in a slum with a man he considers his grandfather; he makes a living by performing good deeds for money, together with his justice-minded friend Kōga and his sister Konoha, heirs of the Amagi family, head to Japan’s richest and most powerful company. When his grandfather is killed, Jin will soon learn of the superhuman powers inside him, of their purpose… and the threat he may pose to mankind.

After the premise got me really intrigued with its promise of a dark tone (it reminded me of Nagai Gō’s manga Devilman, somehow), and the beginning for the first time in my life made me consider dropping the show at the first episode, in the end I found myself enjoying Zetman. But while certainly darker than your average shōnen, it’s also full of many of the clichés that, combining with the clichés of the superhero genre, make it mostly predictable; it may take a while for it to draw the audience in, and the seen-before-ness (yeah, I just made that word up) makes it easy to lose them. Many of the developments are also very rushed and forced, but that’s probably because the anime is adapting more than 16 volumes in 13 episodes, so it’s pretty unavoidable and you can’t fault the story itself for that, but it does make it a bit confusing at times. I’ll say, though, that if Katsura’s intention was to write something reminiscent of classic Marvel and DC stuff, he succeeded: I only watched some movies and cartoons of that tradition (oh, and I read Duck Avenger. Shut up, he’s awesome), yet even I could clearly breathe the “superhero” atmosphere, especially of the Batman flavour. Of course, though, it IS Katsura we’re talking about, so a fair share of his trademark fetishes (panties, swimsuits, nude shots and I swear a gosh-damn pissing scene) will be there…
Anyway, through ups and downs, through few involving moments, through a lot of underwhelming battles, the series leads to an actually really good ending: the plot twist is prepared and pulled off nicely, managing to be pretty moving, and the finale itself is also quite satisfying. Of course, since as far as I know the manga is still ongoing at the moment of writing, how much it reflects Katsura’s plan is anyone’s guess.

CHARACTERS: 4.5/10
This department is probably the one where Zetman suffers the most: most characters are flat and uninteresting cardboard cut-outs, with only one defining characteristic, if at all. To be fair, it’s probably due to how the whole manga was compressed into a mere 13 episodes unavoidably losing a lot of character exploration, I don’t know. The female characters are the worst offenders, as for the most part they aren’t but damsels in distress: Konoha is the heroes’ “that whom must be protected” kind of doll, Tanaka is given a bit more room and a very good plot twist but personality-wise she just has one big “’tis the love interest” above her head (not to mention how forced and dull her relationship with the hero feels), Akemi’s personality is a bit different but her role is very marginal. Most of the secondary characters are only walking plot devices without any real personality if not a very basic stock type; I could count as partial exceptions only the Amagi chairman, who has his moments but left most of his potential to expire in the fridge, Kanzaki, and inspector Sayama. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of them (Akemi and Tanaka in particular) actually manage to be likeable, but they’re simply… bland. Jirō and Haitani, on the other hand, are at least effective at being the manipulative bastard kind of villain, but again I feel like a lot of potential was wasted in favour of simple, bi-dimensional characters with poorly explained motives (Jirō does have something, actually, but it feels like a Batman villain backsto… wait, maybe that was the intention? OK, maybe, but it’s still stupid).
The heroes Jin and Amagi Kōga hold much more interest. Jin is still kind of flat, and his innocence as a kid felt very exaggerated to me, but his personality (dark and cold, but full of the sincerest ideals of justice) makes him quite different from the typical shōnen hero. Even more interesting is Kōga: it is constantly questioned whether his dream to become a “superhero” comes from sincere ideals of justice or a childish desire to be praised as he imitates his childhood cartoon hero, and his way is frequently put to test, leading to a sort of “breakdown” near the end. It’s a shame that both the conflict and its resolution are treated so superficially, because it’s a theme that could have filled a whole anime by itself.

ANIMATION: 8.5/10
Despite all my joking around, I actually think Masakazu Katsura draws some of the best faces and female bodies I’ve ever seen in manga, and in the end I can’t but praise his talent. His distinctive character design transpires nicely here, especially with the female faces, and despite Konoha being basically the female lead from I’’s, I’d say it’s pretty strong. Unfortunately, the anime has some close-ups with really lazy shading and weird-protuding lips that seriously mess it up. Apart from this, though, the art is just great: the animation is fluid, the landscapes are stunning, the design of Zet, Alphas and the Players is surprisingly intense… but, and this is another letdown, the battles are too often poorly choreographed and resolved with one-hit-kills, which isn’t a small defect in this genre.


SOUNDTRACK: 5/10
As far as the soundtrack goes, we’ve got a collection of decently effective orchestral tracks cured by, fact I’d take pride in pointing out, Gabriele Roberto, an Italian soundtrack composer who made it big in Japan because my fucking country doesn’t seem to be able to recognise talent when she's got one in her womb. They punctuate well every moment, but never stand out. The ED song is the ObligatorySappyBallad™ du jour, while the OP… OK, maybe I shouldn’t be talking given my distaste for rap, but Zetman holds the record for being the first anime that made me skip the opening EVERY damn time because it felt like someone was sucking my brains out through my earholes with a drill. Am I the only one who, despite its very nicely edited sequence, thinks this track is completely out of place?

CAST: 7.5/10
Well, the protagonists are two big stars known for their wide range of roles, Namikawa Daisuke as Jin (Italia in Hetaria, Anakin Skywalker in the Japanese dub of the Star Wars prequels surely doing a better job than Christensen, among God knows how many more) and Miyano Mamoru as Kōga (mainly known as Tamaki from Ōran and Light from Death Note… hey, again playing a character with a strong but flawed sense of justice, aren’t we?), and they both do an awesome job, especially Miyano. The rest of the acting is OK, but never stands out much due to the bland characters; I’d only give special mention to Yusa Koji as the manipulative Haitani, the awesome Romi Park (Temari in Naruto, Ichijōji Ken in Digimon Adventure 02) as kid Jin managing to leave an impression even in a one-episode performance, and Kanazawa Hana (Nadeko in Bakemonogatari, Mato in Black rock shooter) as Konoha, who while awesome can’t save the character from blandness.

OVERALL: 5.6/10
In the end, I’d consider Zetman just another generic shōnen, only a bit darker and with some Western superhero comic book influence. If it wanted to attract attention to the manga it succeeded with me, because I’m seriously considering reading it, but as an anime by itself, it manages to involve only here and there and feels kind of cliché (Nagai Gō’s Devilman comes to mind as a comparison). It probably could have used an extra season, to avoid being so rushed and to show some proper battles, but Jin’s character, Kōga’s conflict, the good finale and the Batman-like atmosphere do give it some interest. In my opinion, it’s quite forgettable, but not that bad, and worth a try if you enjoy this kind of story.

4/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
5/10 characters
5.6/10 overall
ThatAnimeSnob's avatar
May 30, 2012

Animated by Studio TMS, which never produced an above average work (its best attempts were Hundred Stories, Kenichi, and D.Gray-Man). Directed by Nabeshima Osamu who has directed all sorts of shows over the years, from children’s, to mahou shoujo, to fighting shounen. None of them managed to be above average either (the most famous amongst them are Saint Tail, Hamtaro, D.Gray-Man, and Lost Canvas). Can’t say there is much to expect from all that.

Zetman seemed very promising at first to me. It was dark, it had rather realistically drawn characters, it was very violent, and had people turned to monsters and using lots of gruesome superpowers. It would be a nice change from the average superpower shounen with its comical goofy kids and never-dying cast. And yet the anime managed to make me lose interest just from the pilot episode by being nothing but a parody of Power Rangers. By parody, I don’t mean it is funny but rather that it makes fun of the genre than being the mature seinen show I thought it would be. It is just than it is obviously poking at the stereotypes and saying “We will have more violence and sex than Naruto but it will otherwise still be like Naruto.” So yeah, it is still just dumb and it is not going to require any brain cells to figure out what is going on; the storyline is just what it appears to be. Idealistic good-hearted kids taking on evil organizations run by adults. They are just more selfish and violent than usual; something that hardly offers more depth to those who got bored of the easy going violence of normal fighting shounen and want more gore.

So, what is the story all about? There are these people who can mutate to monsters and are used by the rich and powerful in death matches for amusement. Some manage to escape and believing they are better than the rest, they start causing several deaths and mass destructions. The hero is a poor orphan who lives in some slum and after his friends and family are attacked by said monsters he decides to protect them by turning to a slum gang leader who transforms to this macho monster and kicks ass of bad monsters who mess with his buddies. Plus, there is this rich kid who thinks it’s a paragon of justice and forms a team of school kids who protect the town from the monsters. There you have it, the protection complex strikes again and that is all you get. Oh, and there are token cute girls in there just for the sake of having some piss poor platonic romance. They are as important to the story as sand is to Bedouins. YAWN!

The cast is not any more complicating or realistic than your typical Power Ranger characters; they are still easily divided into good guys (always dumb teenagers) and bad guys (always ambitious old dudes) and it is just the depressing and violent backgrounds that make them appear to be a bit unusual. The illusion breaks very easily when you figure that they are not doing much with all that other than having them as dressing. Heck, just listening the more than corny dialogues is enough; they all talk like their IQ is around 80 and repeat the same 50 words over and over again (protect, power, superiority, stronger, love, etc).

Also, although I never read the manga (and after seeing the premise in the anime I probably never will) everybody who did, claim that it messed up the character depth of the manga source (whatever depth you could get in such a story that is) by rushing through several events instead of investing time to flesh them out. So the pacing of the plot is extremely fast, to the point lots of important events happen without the proper duration. That tends to make you not care if people die and stuff blow up in a few seconds. I mean, seriously, the first episode alone felt like a summary of six episodes instead of one normal one.

The artwork is definitely the best part about it… and still bad compared to the manga. It looks detailed and mature until you start looking at the fine details. The facial grimaces for example will feel way too off for such a setting to the point it feels like comedy. They react in very woody ways like it is all a bad theatrical play. And the action scenes are flashy on a very superficial level but otherwise lack any great fighting choreography. They are just disjoined simplistic attacks and the hero is unbeatable, so they lack excitement entirely. You may enjoy it for the gore but even that is censored and doesn’t last too much; so again YAWN!

The soundtrack is also nothing memorable. Despite sounding like an old fashion ballad at times, it is still far from ear catchy. It feels colourless and having to endure all the corny dialogues of the characters your impression won’t improve much.

So in all the only thing I liked is the rather detailed and realistic artwork. Nothing else seems to be above your dumb Power Ranger level, despite the show boasting to be a dark and violent seinen. Its ideology is still shallow and there have already been several other similar titles over the years that did far better; some of which are the following: Devilman, Guyver, Parasyte, Tekkaman Blade, and Soul Taker. I liked those far more in their early stages than Zetman and it’s not because I grew older or I don’t like buckets of blood anymore. The presentation simply sucks in this one; it is lifeless and shallow. Nobody with above minimum demands should give it a try or expect anything other than a forgettable time waster.

4/10 story
6/10 animation
5/10 sound
6/10 characters
4/10 overall
Vague's avatar
Nov 7, 2012

I remember being shocked and awed by this particular anime…or maybe the feeling was more like awed and then caught off guard… It’s sort of hard to explain the feeling of “This is pretty cool” turned “You’ve got to be kidding me.” But here I go anyways!

Story 5/10

The story is just okay. I guess I could say it’s somewhat original but I’d be lying a little. It follows Jin Kanzaki, a young man who is cursed/blessed with the power called ZET. He’s the sort of creepy looking spikey guy that was created by the Amagi Corporation to eliminate monsters called Players (also Amagi’s fault). It’s kind of confusing at first cause they don’t really do a great job of differentiating some of the characters. Seriously, I thought Jin’s grandfather and Gorou were the same guy…oh wait, they are the same guy…maybe. Anyways, the Amagi Corporation is run by this douche bag named Seizou Amagi who may or may not know anything about the ZET Project and really isn’t that great of a guy all around. His son, Kouga, used to be besties with Jin when they were children and has this ridiculous need to be Justice in the Flesh while his sister Konoha watches from the Cares for the Homeless sidelines too depressed about loving Jin to do anything useful. The Amagi’s basically control the world so Kouga uses a super suit of armor to fight Players alongside Jin as ZET. There’s also a group of Super Players called EVOL who have for the most part gotten over their need to kill people at random like other Players, and live nice relaxing lives like normal people. Kind of. Their leader, Haitani, decides he doesn’t want to play nice anymore and attacks the Amagi Corporation while at the same time giving Jin the power to control his ZET transformation and kidnapping his girlfriend. Confused? I sure was. I don’t know if I just wasn’t that into it and so I didn’t pay enough attention or what but about halfway through the series I had lost interest in the story and simply watched for the fight scenes.

Animation 7/10

Like I mentioned before, I eventually only watched this series for the fight scenes so the animation was interesting to say the least. It wasn’t the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen, and honestly I don’t remember any particular things that I thought were just outstanding but it was good enough.

Sound 2/10

Opening theme= Most annoying song ever.

Characters 4/10

They were all just okay. No wait, a lot of them sucked. I had a hard time really liking any of them for more than a few episodes. Jin could have been cool but he was pretty boring and sad all the time when he wasn’t ZET. Kouga, Konoha and the other Amagi’s sucked. Not only were they boring but they were annoying. Never a good combination. Jin’s prostitute aunt was kind of funny, his “grandfather” was grandfatherly and his cop friend was a cop…OH! I almost forgot about his braces girlfriend with the headaches that just showed up out of nowhere and stayed way too long. Seriously? Worst character ever. I’m really having a hard time remembering anything positive about these characters…The Sweeper was cool I guess.

Overall 4.5/10

I guess it couldn’t have been too bad since I finished it and all but writing this review made me remember all of the things I didn’t like about it. The characters were too bland while being too overtop about feelings and junk that the animation was kind of left behind and the decent storyline didn’t really make sense anymore. *sigh* Glad I got all of the nonsense that I had forgotten about off my chest.

Another time, another review.

5/10 story
7/10 animation
2/10 sound
4/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
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