So most of us have heard by now that the second season of legend of Korra is preparing for it release. I am one of those people who isn’t particularly excited by the news, more like waiting tentatively to see whether this second season strikes a cord with me. Not that i particularly hated the first season. It was decent as far as anime/cartoons go if i was to weigh it as an individual series. However as a sequel, i can’t help but feel underwhelmed, especially in comparing Korra’s first season and Aang’s first season.
To put it in blunt terms,where Korra could be described as a bullet, the original season of avatar was an explosion, and it only got bigger from that point on. Maybe it’s because avatar was new back then; it was a unique adventure and each new episode was a new opportunity to better understand the world of avatar.
With Korra one could say that there is no mystery. There was something exciting about seeing Toph metal bend for the first time, and the mention of bending lightening was nothing short of mind blowing. IN Korra where such occurrences are common place, it feels like something is missing. There is a lack of mystery and discovery. Basically there is a newness missing.
Which is why i have hope for this upcoming season. It seems like the writers are going into new territory, returning to avatar the adventurous spirit it lost. I for one wish we had just continued the air bender storyline, with the characters we loved instead of entering a new adventure.
Anyway, last air bender was nothing short of quality, the best animated series to come out of America ever, and what i am listing below are most amazing and mind blowing moments and events that the series had to offer during its three season run. I will not rank them because that would take time, though i will briefly state which stands above the other.
So, without further adieu, this is my list of the best moments in Avatar: The last air bender:
1. Sozen’s comet--- If anyone actually requires me to spell out exactly what about these two hour extravaganza makes it the best thing in last air bender, they need to go back and watch the series. I have watched quite a lot of anime since last air bender wrapped up a few years back, but i can honestly say that i can count on one hand the number of anime series that have had a finale as epic and satisfying as Sozen’s comet. We re talking about a set of four episodes that managed to wrap up most major plots in last air bender while delivering a barrage of out of this world action scenes.
Whatever one thinks of last air bender, there is no denying that this finale stands miles ahead of so many other series that should be its better because of this epic finale. So many moments come to mind that i am tempted to refer to the whole two hours as simply too epic to comprehend, but three moments/events stand out among the four episodes, which are pretty much the three best moments in last air bender. Let me just add that i love how the flames were animated in this finale.
1.A--- The final battle- there are no words to describe just how epic this fight was, how many moments had me mentally and sometimes physically skipping about in excitement, that moment when Aang and Oozai were earth bending entire columns of rock at each other in such an intricate fashion, when Aang had to roll himself in rock armorfrom a face cliff to deflect a fire lord attack, when Aang was forced into a corner and had to roll into a ball of rock to defend against epic fire attacks from the fire lord…this battle was epic moment after epic moment.
I have seen many an epic final battle, especially in an anime, but i do not think i can remember any that have satisfied me as much as this one did, at least not right now. Many pointed to the fact that Aang would obviously activate his avatar state in time to defeat the fire lord. It was classic anime story telling. But by the time i watched this finale, i hadn't wanted that much anime, and i didn’t think that Aang would re acquire his avatar state. Which means i was that much more blown away when Aang’s hand shot out of the rubble and grabbed Oozai's goatee. If you haven’t watched avatar, you should start right now if only to watch this final battle. Unlike many fans, Aang not killing the fire lord didn’t affect me in any way. In fact his alternative was much more unpredictable to me.
This was a great end to a great series.
1. B--- Zuko and Katara Vs. Azula- i have come across several forums disparaging this particular battle. I on the other hand loved it. Sure, it was more about quantity than quality, but that doesn’t make it any less spectacular, not to mention the haunting track that played during the battle, beautiful animation, especially with regards to the fire, the means with which Katara finally brought Azula done with masterful water bending. It was simply awesome. Plus i wanted to see Zuko finally put Azula in her place and in a way he did.
1.C--- Iroh and the fire bending masters take back Ba Sing se- These men might old but they are powerful as heck.
While most of them displayed an incredible level of power, especially that old fire bender, whose name i forget, that was sending walls of fire rolling down city streets, it is Iroh who took the cake with that massive fire bending attack. Even the build up to that attack was epic. Wikipedia has referred to that attack as the single most powerful fire bending attack ever displayed in the avatar universe, and i am inclined to agree. It was like a blast from a canon. It is worth mentioning that Iroh himself made the series better as a superb character, one of my favorite in fact; i always imagined that if Aang ever made it to his old age, he would be just like Iroh. I am one of those people who didn’t believe him when he said he couldn’t be the fire lord.
2---Zuko joins team Aang- Again many an anime fan will attest to having seen this coming. I didn’t. It was one of those events i had dreamt of ever since Zuko betrayed Katara in the mines (another epic finale by the way). I always thought that with its current roster, team Aang was a fairly complete and self sustaining group entertainment wise, but is was surprised by how much of an evolution occurred once Zuko joined the gang. His character seemed to signal incongruence for the team, and i have expected every episode after to devolve into a festival of brooding. Surprisingly though, Zuko breathed a fire into the team, especially with the individual missions he embarked on with each of the members (Katara’s was the best). And the jokes were funny, especially when Aang and Zuko would reminisce about his previous attempts to capture him.
3---Zuko and Aang master fire bending- besides the appearance of the dragons and a further exploration of the world of avatar and fire bending, i simply enjoyed watching Zuko and Aang’s diversely distinct personalities bond as they came to a mutual understanding.
4---Azula- Azula was just one large epic moment as a character.Every single scene she was in was filled with intense fire bending action scenes punctuated by her fiery dialogue, mostly threats. But though her many encounters with Zuko proved be jet fueled scenes of action, the most memorable was her first appearance in the avatar world, when she was on board her vessel, training as she made the first display of lightening bending. It was a unique moment that heightened the intensity of the threat she created. Plus it introduced the other variations of bending.
5---Katara/blood bending- this was one of those episodes were the simulation of water bending peaked in displaying just how powerful and deadly the art can be. And while the blood bending was awesome, the entire episode and its story proved to be superior in intrigue to me, along with the awesomely animated scenes of Katara and her opponent ripping the water out of trees and in turn reducing them to husks. I only marginally respected water bending until this moment, well this and the swamp scene where Katara displayed deadly accuracy against a pair of swamp benders.
6---Aang defeats the fire nation invasion- This was the moment in the season one finale where Aang wrapped himself in waves of water molded into the shape of a monster. It was carnage on an epic scale, the kind of display we had yet to see in the avatar world. Besides this moment was Katara’s first fight against her water bending master. It was also in this episode or the next that she finally beat Zuko all on her own.
7---Toph- Toph is another character who is just an epic moment in motion, constantly lighting up each scene she graces with her witty comments and snappy jokes. That along with her earth bending style, which just begs you to keep looking at it, make Toph my favorite character in the avatar universe (with Iroh a close second). My highlight with regards to epic moments doesn't, in this case, have anything to do with Toph but with her appearance, specifically the earth bending bending tournament and its wide array of cookie characters displaying a wide range of impressive earth bending skills.
8---Toph/mental bending- This was the moment that Toph first displayed mental bending. This you just have to see, as well as being a fan of the show, to understand its epicenes. I just realized it; water has blood bending, fire has lightening, earth has metal bending; what does air have? I just have to say again how awesome Toph is. I am reminded of that moment in the last episodes, on the fire nation ship where she sort of rolled herself into theship, merged with steel armor and unleashed a beating upon those poor fire nation soldiers.
9---Aang’s wrath- This was that moment in the dessert where a bunch of fools had the gall to steal Appa and Aang went crazy, reached the avatar state and nearly obliterated them before Katara calmed him down. I am not sure what about this moment sticks to mind, but i know it was awesome. Maybe it’s because it was one of the first time we saw the avatar state in most of its glory. There was also that moment when Aang nearly destroyed an earth city fighting the king who was determined to test his limits.
10---Bumi- I am guessing that that is his name, that crazy earth king that was also Aang’s child hood friend. I remember this being one crazy episode of constant fun. The action was different, this time placing the team on the defense against what they rarely face, a stronger opponent than them. The battle with Aang was awesome, but what proved to be more impressive was the moment when King Bumi, captured and defeated by the fire nation, broke out of his cage (was that telekinesis?) and single handedly took his city back. If Iroh is king among fire benders then Bumi is king among earth benders standing above even Toph in his awes striking power. You have to wonder what the fire bending masters were thinking not ending the fire nation’s campaign instead of waiting on the avatar. Between the five of them, the fire lord didn’t stand a chance.
11---The blue spirit- this was the moment when Zuko first began to grow in me, to show that he was more than just a scarred villain, when he donned
twin blades and saved the avatar. That is one of those twists that struck me like lightening. I didn’t see it coming and it first showed the possibility of a friendship between these two, as well as showcasing Zuko’s fearsome sword skills. Nearly as good as this was that moment in the earth nation when Zuko, separated from Iroh and attempting to make friends with a poor family, finally revealed himself as the prince of the fire nation and annihilated an earth bending bandit.
12---The first invasion- this was the invasion that took place during the eclipse, when all the allies came together to stop the fire nation. It also off set Zuko’s departure from the fire nation at a time when he had finally earned the respect of his father, and thus allowed him to develop further as a character. We also saw his gentler side when he had an opportunity to kill his father and chose not to.
13---Sparky sparky boom boom man- I do not think there is anyone out their that can call themselves an avatar fan who didn’t wish that this fellow had survived until the end. I would have loved to see what this guy could do with the comet on his side; he would have probably burnt down the earth kingdom on his own. Sparky was an anomaly in the avatar world, with his ability to shoot fire from his fore head. You could say that he had taken the whole fire bending thing to a whole new level, morphing him into the sort of destructive force Aang and gang rarely face.
No best avatar moments list can end without mentioning Sokka at least once. i can’t remember anyone specific moment that allowed Sokka to shine besides the episode when he mastered his sword skills and acquired his black meteor sword. Sokka was simply a joy to watch, and a character that is yet to be replaced in legend of Korra, at least for me.
It is rare for me to watch these sorts of drama anime series, mostly because it always feels like a waste of animation to tell a story that can be easily told in live action. None the less while it wasn’t as good as Usagi drop, Natsuyuki Rendezvous was an interesting love story, at least interesting enough for me to watch it to the end.
A young man, Hazuki, encounters Rokka outside of her flower shop and is smitten by her beauty despite her older age. Feigning knowledge on the subject of flowers, he applies for a job as her assistant, learning soon after of the passing of Rokka’s frail husband from an illness a while back and the fact that she still grieves for him. Undaunted though, Hazuki is determined to pursue Rokka, that is until Shimao, her husband remerges.
It turns out that ever since his death, Shimao’s spirit has been hanging around his wife, unable to interact but continuing to watch her live her life. Hazuki finds himself faced with an immovable obstacle in the form of an ex husband who, though having had his wife promise to sell all his things and move on the moment he died, will stop at nothing to bar Hazuki’s progress with Rokka. proving to be more childish dead, Shimao regularly engages Hazuki in conflict, not only intent on blocking his way to his wife but also determined to convince Hazuki into letting him use his body to physically interact with Rokka.
Rokka continues to live her life, unaware of the conflict between her new much younger suitor and her dead husband’s unseen ghost.
As i mentioned above, i usually do not get dramas in anime. The way i usually see it is if you must waste hundreds of thousands of dollars to animate a story, why bother with plots that solely consist of endless talking and weeping. After all such stories can easily be told in live action.With anime i am looking for the stories that cannot be told via live action, plots that involve explosions that wouldn't work as well with live action viewing.
This series is one of the few that have managed to catch my eye, mostly because i found the episodes to be both entertaining and amusing. When we encounter Shimao in the past, he is calm, logical and some what wise. He is also frail and sickly, unable to do with Rokka all the things she would want to do with him. As a ghost Shimao is less accommodating, almost as if the lack of physical weakness has unleashed his darker side. He is mostly childish, selfish and unwilling to compromise or accept his fate. That makes him very annoying to watch or deal with, especially for Hazuki who is the only one that can see him.
There is really no logical way to deal with him other than confronting him with certain truths he is unwilling to deal with. Hazuki is surprising in that he chooses to stay the course no matter how many times he is goaded into giving up. Shimao is the petty sort of spirit that proves capable of driving him up against the wall and only progress with Rokka, actions by her that show Shimao that she is taking steps to move forward and put his memory aside innervate the ghost’s intentions. None the less for someone in his early twenties, he has to, on several occasions, wonder if the struggle is worth it.
It is an intriguing and dramatic story, also quite controlled and slow in its telling of the story. The kind where very few scenes occur that can be termed as exciting and action packed in anyway. None the less it entertained me so i can’t complain. It is different which is good for my tastes.
RATING:>4/5, anyone can enjoy is anime if they give it enough of a chance.
Natsuyuki Rendezvous translates as A summer snow Rendezvous and began as a four volume manga authored and drawn by Haruka Kawachi in July 2009, published inFeel young magazine and finally ending on January 2012. The anime series began on July 6, 2012, consisted of 11 episodes and was animated by Dogakobo which has also done Blood+, Ergo Proxy, Jyu Oh Sei.
Aaaaaaah, Hiro went ahead to do exactly what i was praying he would do his best to avoid.Suddenly this arc looks like it is going to take a more comedic cutesy turn.
Last week the hunters bested fairy tail. This week find out that, following Natsu’s disbelief that mere humans without magic could defeat magical opponents, the hunters are not as average as assumed and are actually champions of the hunter guilds’ version of the Daimatou Enbu, making them fairy tail’s equal at least as far as accolades are concerned. Gray still manages to steal the moon drip which they go on to pass around among themselves as they avoid the hunters until it gets to Happy’s turn.
The exceed drops the bottle, causing panic. But as predicted it only melts a small portion of the ice on the ground and from beneath Natsu hears a voice using his enhanced senses which he says is familiar. He runs off to find it as everyone else follows, eventually colliding with the mage that was with Minerva on her first appearance in this arc. Before Natsu can react, the mage reverts him to his younger self, making him less of a threat.
Elsewhere Erza grapples with her tiny size and searches for a solution.
First the good bits: i am starting to like Sylph Labyrinth. They are proving to be very capable mages. I actually didn’t realize it last time that the hunters were human. I assumed they were somehow manipulating magic through their gadgets. The fact that they managed to hold fairy tail off so easily without magic makes them that much more impressive. I liked the bit about the hunters’ tournament, proving that they are just as capable as fairy tail, who are magic champions.
It took everyone way too long to figure out the fact that the moon drip was too little to prove useful. But i liked the comedic elements it injected into the scenes, especially when happy dropped the bottle and he asked Natsu to spank him. Erza’s scenes were funny enough, especially when she was imagining how different her life would be if she couldn’t revert to her normal age.
What i didn’t like was the age reversing bit. I am starting to fear that this is going to turn into a chibi arc. And i am not saying that it automatically means Hiro will mess up. Just that i have never seen a chibi related arc or saga execute well on screen. I will commend Hiro though. I still can’t predict where this story is going and that is good. If there is one place fairy tail goes wrong, it is when it becomes too predictable to be enjoyable.
I am starting to think that the enemy mage shrank Natsu and Erza because he heard from Minerva just how dangerous fairy tail was. That makes him seem weak though.
RATING:>3/5; overall a decent chapter, even though i didn’t like where it seemed to be going.
Highlight: Happy’s dropping of the bottle, the reactions of everyone.
So i am doing Beelzebub reviews now. Why, you might ask? Well it’s because i have been catching up with the manga for the last two weeks and in those 60 or so chapters, i have come to realize just how EPIC this manga is. I have been holding onto hope for so long that the anime would return; like bleach fans i will have accept the truth and move on. That aside, this new arc that began around13 or 14 chapters ago is simply blowing my mind. Having only watched the anime, i am only now realizing just how serious the story can get outside of the anime’s more goofy side.
Anyway, chapter 214:
In the last chapter we had learnt a little bit more about Takamiya and his relationship with Lucifer. She had come in a box as a present from his father(strange!), awoken by Tamiya’s touch and gone on to massacre everyone. Takamiya, in an attempt to protect everyone from the lord of demons, had chosen to lock himself up for a considerable length of time (maybe years). Zenjuro, Oga’s master saved him from that loneliness, teaching him to become a spell master to contain Lucifer’s demonic rage.
In this chapter, Oga’s less than impressed with what he sees as nothing more than Takamiya’s self pity and search for sympathy. He denounces Takamiya as a dumb sulking brat who he doesn’t have time to accommodate seeing that he already has a child (baby Beel)of his own to coddle. Takamiya immediately senses a change in the previously defeated Oga, noting a rise in his already peaked demonic power. Running on all cylinders as he terms it, where Takamiya believed him to have been running on fumes for a while now, Oga unleashes a zebul crest so large it covers the entire sky.
The power released from the crest blinds most combatants and leaves Lucifer on the floor jerking. Zenjuro is quick point out that despite its appearance, the unleashed power is neither a crest skill or a black technique, both taught to him by Zenjuro, but an entirely new skill, one of Oga’s own creation, called annihilation energy. The battle commences, with Oga initially seeming to unleash a severe beating against Takamiya, that is until the crest disappears and Oga’s power recedes.
It is here that Himekawa appears, having somehow taken Baby Beel from Oga. He confirms his theory that taking baby Beel from Oga breaks the link between the two, leaving the delinquent without any demonic aura. Himekawa simply states that he cannot afford to let Takamiya, who is still awe struck by the surge in Oga’s demonic power, lose.
So if you haven’t watched or read Beelzebub, here is the basic idea.You have a school, Ishiyama high, overrun by delinquents. Out of them all is Oga, a delinquent of delinquents, widely known for his brutal strength and violent nature when pressed, which is surprising for a freshman. One day as he is walking home with best friend Furuichi (the super pervert) he notices a baby floating down the river. He picks the baby and quickly learns that he has just unknowingly formed a demonic contract with the child.
As it turns out the child is Beelzebub, son of the emperor of demons (a cookie incompetent character to say the least) and Oga has been chosen to take care of the child as his father in the human world, raising him up not only to be strong ruler but to prepare him to take over the world for his father someday.
Oga as the strongest most vile human in the area had drawn baby Beel and his keeper to him. Along with the naked child, who always sits on his back (and hence earning him the name child rearing badass), comes Hilda, his very violent umbrella wielding demonic nanny (and Aoi’s rival, at least on Aoi’s part) and Andadelion (i spelt that wrong) a strange large man in boxers and a vest whose torso can open up to reveal a portal.
With a colorful collection of characters, many of them delinquents intent on ruling Ishiyama high (my favorite being the MK5 (mood killers five), hilarious fellows), Oga mainly has to contend with the crazy adventures that follow his life as a delinquent, first obsessed with finding an opponent stronger and more fearsome than him so that he can pass baby Beel onto them, having to contend with baby Beel’s electrocuting tantrums (he can’t be more than a few feet away from Beel or he dies) and then eventually having to deal with the demonic elements following the child such as beel’s older but more childish brother.
Back to this chapter, this arc has been a joy to read, not merely because it has been action packed but because it has been so consistent without sacrificing the comedy the series is so good at executing. We are talking about 17 or so chapters so far of absolute action packed and highly comedic quality.
We didn’t get to see much of the other battles. Last time we saw them, Aoi and Kanzaki, now Oga’s Ishiyama saint generals (i love this new twist), were contending with two of Takamiya’s court and they were losing, probably because the demonic energy flowing from Oga was waning.
Toujo had revealed his number 4 crest, a surprise for him and everyone else, creating a big mystery. If Toujo is number four, who the hell could number three be? That is the question yet to be answered as, with regards to what we have seen so far, no one that we know of has professed loyalty (knowingly or unknowingly) to Oga.
The battle with Takamiya, which has been quite dynamic and unpredictable so far, took a surprising turn. Oga was not at all sympathetic to Takamiya’s tale of solitude, and chances are he wasn’t listening considering that ‘vague’ comment he made. IN this chapter the battle took a heated twist as Oga achieved a mind blowing power up. This is a shonen manga and so one could say that this sort of stuff is expected from time to time, whenever the hero faces a greater enemy.
But in truth this i did not see this coming, not with what we had seen Takamiya do so far. One has to consider the fact that even as Oga was starting to push him back, Takamiya was yet to unleashany of his spells, at a point where Oga was going all out with his crest skills, and then black techniques. And i must say i loved that massive crest that had my jaw dropping as much as it did those in the story.
The explanation was simple. We have seen Oga use his crest techniques to the max, especially his zebul blasts. This Zenjuro referred to as white energy which he helped Oga perfect. Later on Zen introduced him to the black techniques, basically fusion energy as he called it, which he had made incredible use of in his many building obliterating fights; the most recent had been the battle with jabberwock at the new demon school where he had first introduced his ‘daddy switch’, displaying the fusion in fusion energy as his and baby Beel’s minds and powers seemed to interchange, allowing Oga access to Beel’s full demonic powers, unfiltered by things like contracts.
Here it is seems like Oga smashed both fusion and white energy together to create his annihilation energy, an entirely new technique. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of it as Himekawa decided to somehow separate Beel and Oga.
I have to say that i am still torn about Himekawa. In the beginning i was with most fans saying that he was simply playing Takamiya and was actually planning several steps ahead to bring about the downfall of an enemy (i think the delinquents called themselves the something ghosts, i don’t remember) that Ishiyama couldn’t beat. But really, Himekawa didn’t know about demons or the fact that someone was lending out crests to delinquents before he joined Takamiya. He couldn’t have seen the demonic threat involved and that normal humans like Aoi would be fighting demonically charged opponents.
I also disagree with those that are alleging that Himekawa is actually the one with the number three king’s crest. He couldn’t have joined Takamiya’s crew without displaying Takiyama’s own king’s crest. I doubt it is possible that he has two crests at once. No, i do not think Himekawa is playing games like most people. He said it himself a while back, he has never really been a member of the gang like Kanzaki and the rest. I believe he is after power and he has found it in Takamiya. I will not rule out the fact that he is trying to locate the Solomon company, the group kidnapping demons and disseminating king’s crests to juveniles. But this is Himekawa we are talking about; chances are he has betrayed his friends. Though i am curious as to how the painting of baby Beel’s mother falls into the plan.
From what i can see, Oga is in big trouble. Maybe Takamiya won’t kill him. He expressed gladness a few chapters back at the joy of finally getting the opportunity to go all out against an opponent. Beating Oga to a pulp wouldn’t satisfy him when Oga can’t fight back. But then again Lucifer might not care, and i doubt he has full control over her. But Oga will not give up even without baby Beel by his side. Furuichi is still dead and it can’t be more than a few hours to dawn. I doubt Oga will give up on a fight that might save his friend so easily.
It would be awesome if Furuichi revived in time to help Oga stop Takamiya. True the majority of Behemoth was single handedly defeated by Takamiya, but Furuichi hadn’t yet summoned their top two players, Jabberwock or even Behemoth himself. I have hope for Furuichi; despite being a silly comedic element in the cogs of Beelzebub, he has grown on me in the past few chapters, first with the tissue arc and that EPIC chapter 207; i also enjoyed the fairly touching chapter that finally showed to us why someone fairly normal and law abiding would be best friends with a thug like Oga.
MY RATING:> 5/5; This chapter was epic and kept up the fast pace of every other chapter in this arc so far. At 17 pages it was fairly short, yet so much happened. I wonder is Zenjuro will interfere in his pupils’ battle. True it is just a brawl between a bunch of high school delinquents but as Zen told Oga before he went to save Furuichi, Lucifer was the demon lord of demon lords, an entity that was once at war with the emperor in her attempt to remove him from power. Baby Beel, Oga’s contractee is that emperor’s child, which means that in fighting Takamiya, Lucifer’s contractee, Oga is placing himself in a war that had waged millennia ago and would rage once more with Lucifer’s appearance.
I expect this arc to only get better with time. Sure it was stated that Takamiya was at the top of the new hierarchy of delinquents in the school, but as we saw ten chapters ago, there are still three or four other individuals that can still pose a threat to Oga. He might have beaten Nasu and could even beat Takamiya, but that doesn’t mean his war is over. Sure he has no interest in what he sees as their little squabble to determine who will rule Ishiyama high school. But before the school was destroyed the first time, he was at the top, and as Furuichi said, they all believe that whoever puts him and the old guard down (who already lost by the way) will automatically become king in a battle that he isn't even involved.
I love this new dynamic that has been created, pitting Oga against foes he has never faced before. I expect the Solomon company to use the other gang leaders as well, during which we can only expect Oga’s retinue of saints to grow. This is going to be Beelzebub's most epic arc, even more epic than the business with Behemoth and Baby Beel’s brother.
If you haven’t read this manga, you should start. On the surface this story is basically a comedy and it continues along this path for sometime in the beginning, before the action and serious plots sneak in. I can’t believe something this good was cancelled.
Zetman was one of the very first manga i ever read and the first one to keep me awake at night because of the addictive nature of its plots. I remember before this i had read Evangellion and Veritas, and after those i came across a variety of less than impressive manga before finally settling on Zetman which impressed me not only with its story but its great art. Before this is remember being blown away by Veritas’ rather clean artistic style, until i came across Zetman and it blew Veritas’ own impressive art out of the water.
Back then i didn’t have access to internet, so i read Evangellion and then Veritas in my school’s computer lab. SO one could say it was the first manga i took home with me and up to this day i can still remember why i thought so highly of it as a truly quality manga series, not merely in terms of the art but an amazingly touching story.
The story kicks off at the end. Two great heroes, ZET and Alphaz are facing off in battle. From this point we are taken back through time to their beginnings, and the story that placed both allies of justice at opposing ends.
Jin Kanzaki is a genetic creation of the Amagi cooperation, an organization responsible for unleashing a plague of monsters known as players. The players can take the form of man and have done so since their creation is keeping with a strict set of rules designed to ensure that they and their kind continue to exist in the shadows. Until now that is.Once unleashed they take the shape of monsters with a thirst for human flesh.
Jin was created with the express purpose of destroying the players, a being as close to humanity as possible but who could transform into a near indestructible entity known as ZET, a force that would be hailed as the hero that would save humanity.
Kouga Amagi is everyone’s dream child, smart, wise, handsome, hardworking, dedicated, all the things that allow him to stand out among all others even those older than him as a true heir to his father and grandfather’s legacy at the head of the Amagi corporation. But Kouga has no interest in this particular destiny that has been chosen for him, to continue down the corporate path; Kouga has always idolized the famous TV hero Alphaz and ever since his child hood, he has wished for one and only one thing, to become Alphas, to become a hero that would rise to the call of humanity’s need and save the innocent.
The fates of these two men intertwine as they each seek to protect mankind, with each facing his separate set of obstacles along the way; Jin a child barely capable of understanding the harsh world he and his ‘grandfather’ must endure on the streets, confused about his true nature, the circular symbol burnt into his right arm and the insidious past his only family is clearly attempting to hide from him; Kouga, healthy, wealthy, in possession of everything that anyone might ever want, except for the support of those around him, who will constantly disparage his attempts to find his calling as a hero.
By the time this story comes to a close both individuals will have to question the meaning of heroism and justice and determine what it means to fight for good. Where Jin will struggle to fight through the clouds of hate and vengeance growing within him against those than have caused him so much grief in their attempts to acquire his power, Kouga will have to come to terms with the true face of his family, their role not as heroes but villains in the big picture, as the fates of both slowly draw towards each other.
This is one of those manga series i might not have read if it wasn’t for boredom. I remember reading Evagellion, enjoying its promising progress and grimacing painfully at the rather dour end that resulted. I was intent of locating another manga that would wash the bitter taste of the mecha series away. Veritas did just that, until its end also left a less than satisfactory and sour taste once more.
In searching for something that could make me forget that irritating finale, i came across zetman in various forums. Most spoke highly of it but i couldn’t bring myself to bother. Nothing about it sounded particularly enticing. Even the title, zetman, sounded like a cheap villain from super sentai, and the poster displayed a very cliché design for the superhero ZET. Basically i was not too keen on it and instead jumped to fairy tail.
When i decided to give this manga a true chance a few months after, i was amazed at how deep, unique and none cliché the story was. Even the cheesy look of ZET was explained. The Amagi cooperation in zetman also makes anime, and in engineering ZET, they designed him to look like one of their successful anime super heroes, which was an interesting twist; reminds me kick ass for some reason.
Let me just say that i am yet to get over my anger over the fiasco last April. TMS entertainment had the audacity to release an anime adaptation of this great manga; and while they did a good job of getting me excited, what they did to the manga was nothing short of evil. I only watched the first episode before deciding i couldn’t sit back and watch these people butcher one of my favorite manga stories ever.
Those that did watch it, my brother included, justified my fears over what an atrocious piece of work this 12 episode anime was. And normally that wouldn’t be enough to sway me, at the very least i do not drop anime after one episode because someone else said it was bad unless i have given it a good attempt at 4 or 5 episodes. But with zetman, that wasn’t necessary, not after what i saw in the first episode.
Here is the thing. Zetman isn’t merely a great story, it has the best starting i have ever read in a manga. While the rest of zetman was great, those first 20 or so chapters were nothing short of genius; beautiful, sad and tragic, the sort of back story you rarely get, perfectly paced and concise. These were 20 chapters of Jin’s childhood, showcasing his hard life as a kidof 10-12 years, stronger than most humans, violent when he had to be, and very protective of his grandfather during their lives on the street.. This was the backbone of Jin, it showed us who he was as a character and created a base for what he would become later on. When you see Jin do what he does later on, you can trace his behaviors all the way to the start.
What did the anime do with that? you might ask; well they fitted all 20 chapters of absolutely crucial story telling in a 2 minute flash back in the beginning, A TWO MINUTE FLASH BACK. We are talking about a story absolutely necessary to zetman, and…TWO MINUTES… if i was a cussing man i would have a few choice words for that studio. Good thing i am not.
After those first 20 chapters, we get another 20 or so chapters of Jin in his early teens, not too old, not too young but none the less a child finding his way in a hard world, and those too proved crucial in building the character of Jin. And what did they do? I do not think we even hit a minute this time, more like few seconds flashes here and there. When i first saw those first 15 minutes of the anime, i thought i would explode. WHAT THET HELL WERE THEY THINKING? To discard Godorou’s (his grandfather) story like that and…never mind Godorou, WHAT THEY DID TO AKEMI? Those are characters whose impact on Jin’s life would echo on through all 180 chapters, and for them to be treated to a few seconds of screen time when Katsura thought it necessary to show their back story in such detail and to give us several chapters of Jin’s life with these characters…unforgivable.
Most zetman anime fans who have not read the manga do not understand why i rage against the anime so heatedly. To them zetman was an okay anime they would watch if it progressed to a second season (hopefully not). They obviously do not understand that they have not experienced the true zetman story. The true zetman story is nothing short of brilliance in its action packed, yet dramatic and ultimately tragic telling. And that is what irritates me. These people will not bother with the manga because they think they already know the story, and they do not.
Enough raging against the anime WHICH SHOULD BE SCRUBBED OUT OF EXISTANCE. If Fate Stay/Night is getting another animation this year or next year, why shouldn’t zetman? I for one would love to see a true telling of Jin and Kouga’s story.
Okay, now i am calm. If you didn’t infer it from my rant above, the story of zetman is brilliant. It is about superheroes, two of them in fact. One was born to be a hero, one is determined to make himself a hero. One is haunted by the consequences and sacrifices of saving innocents, another, in trying to achieve his dream as a hero cannot forget that one day he met the other, and in turn met a true hero, one who, no matter how hard he tries, cannot forget him and will find himself measuring each and every one of his actions against what he believes the other, the truer more righteous hero in his eyes, would do.
There is an evil corporation that brought about evil and now wants to fix things. They will stop at nothing to get at ZET, there creation even as those among their own ranks seek to protect him and whose only dream for him isn’t to see his rise as a super powered mutation, but to enjoy and live life as a normal human. Jin and Kouga live larger than life existences that more often than not will affect the peace of those around them.
Even though he has it all, Kouga cannot help but admire Jin. Jin might have nothing but to Kouga, he has everything that the wealthy fellow wants. Jin holds a hate towards himself where Kouga sees nothing but light. Both are at odds as to what the true nature of justice is. Even as kouga struggles to prove that his own sense of justice is the truth, he can’t help but recognize that in doing so, he isn’t actually disparaging Jin’s sense of justice, but merely unwilling to admit it to himself that he doesn't have it within him, power, will, mental strength, to carry out Jin’s form of justice, the true righteous justice, instead choosing to forge for himself a path that his weaker will can accommodate. It is this weakness that haunts him and which others take advantage of.
This manga is mature and does not hold back in terms of visuals when it tries to get a cold hard lesson across. I am reminded of Kouga… AHHH I CAN’T STOP RANTING AGAINST THE ANIME. What they did to Kouga’s character in the anime was just as irritating, nothing short of injustice…that mini arc with Kouga and his murderous would be mentor Jirou was as crazy and brutal as it was intriguing story telling that kept me at the edge of my seat AND THEY JUST…AHHHH…
There is no way the anime can expect to bring about the same depth in character development as the manga when it is so intent on skipping many of the events that created the relationships between some of these characters.
This manga is unpredictable and the story will run towards any direction at any point in time. Fortunately it is only as brutal as it needs to be. Sure when there needs to be blood there will be, but there is no Spartacus level gore when there doesn’t have to be. The art is amazing; most times it felt like i was reading art pieces in a museum with words attached to them. If there is one manga that does not need color, it is zetman. It is perfect as it is. The characters are deep, dynamic and continuously evolving. Jin might be the main character but he isn’t the primary focus.
There are a ton of characters each of which gets maximum exposition, each playing a key role in the plot and rarely ever present as filler. The action is also great, especially when displayed with Katsura’s brilliant art.
Basically Zetman is a must read. It has as much action as you need to follow a manga, but more importantly, it has a deep, complex and dramatic story that will draw in anyone that gives this manga a decent attempt.
RATING: 7/5, exceeded my expectations. The manga has been stuck at chapter 188 for a long while now, i wonder what is happening.
HIGHLIGHTS: I do not remember as much about zetman as i would want to, it has been a while since i read it, but the Akemi and Godorou arcs were my favorites. Though the Kouga and Jirou arc is a close contender, finally bringing Kouga’s struggle to become a hero to the fro. Jirou was the sort of madman you rarely see in manga; he shined as a villain trying to be the hero but doing better as the villain; he was cold and determined in his vengeance.
The first time Jin transforms into true ZET was epic, though the action scenes when he would transform into white ZET were more unpredictable. The introduction of the different levels of players and the EVol organization, a company of powerful players that do not fall to the hunger than other players succumb to created a nice change in the pace of the story. I liked the fact that Katsura kept Kouga at the front as a character, just as important as Jin. His struggles with his family’s failures, that as a hero he would have to fight against their own works and their determination to keep him out of it was intriguing to watch.
Zetman, created by Masakazu Katsura, premiered as a one shot in shonen jump between 1989 and 1994. It made its formal appearance as a mature series in 2002 in the weekly young jump.
Katsura surprised many with the mature action packed Zetman seeing that all his earlier works were romantic comedies, usually shojo’s revolving around the trivial problems of teens. Katsura is good friends with Akira Toriyama and he is the person to thank for coming up with the idea of fusion for Akira’s dragon ball z series, an idea he floated during discussions for one of their collaborations on another series. He played an important role as designer for Tiger and Bunny.