Zetman — First Impression

“People called these fiends… ‘Players.'”

With an opening line like that, I completely lost it. Great use of Engrish, guys.

Engrish aside, this show has the subtletly of a barreling steam locomotive, as we start off with a “lesson” on justice and violence from Homeless Gandalf.

When Homeless Gandalf dies… well, the kid’s idiocy surpasses belief:

How can this kid not realizes something is wrong when the entire camp is dead and Homeless Gandalf is covered in blood? But he just keeps chatting about what he did during the day.

And then there’s a doctor who shuts the door on a half-dead homeless man in a shopping cart with a little boy pushing him around because they don’t have money. Come on, there are selfish people in the world, but this guy passes the limits of disbelief. He has an extra circle of hell reserved just for him.

Unsurprisingly, I’m dropping this. If you like brainless action shows though, you might like it, so have fun.

14 thoughts on “Zetman — First Impression

  1. Technically speaking, can you drop something you never truly started anyway?

    Oh, and I have not seen the episode, but I am intrigued by the idea of homeless Gandalf.

    1. I’m surprised to hear the manga is good, it seems like a typical superhero show. How exactly did the anime butcher it?

  2. After reading your post and lured by the prospect to see Homeless Gandalf I decided to watch the first ep. against my earlier intentions.

    The villain with his ridiculous tongue reminded me of a certain character of Milky Homes. The fights, I agree, will be hard to bear.

    The MC is an idiot, true: He’s not a toddler and should have some idea of what it means when someone dies. Also, if I understood correctly he preferred to let Homeless Gandalf die instead of offering the doctor his 10,000 yen in the first place. The rest of the plot is hard to believe, as well.

    I’ll continue for at least one or two episodes for two reasons:

    – The characters look, how should I put it, a bit more grittier and pencil-drawn than most anime characters. This I find interesting and gives the show a darker vibe slightly reminding me of Monster (which of course is leagues away from this show!).

    – I liked that all femal characters wore some kind of turtleneck piece. Turtlenecks imo are sadly rare in anime. I was so happy that Ririchyo had one, as well.

    1. The show does have a nice, dark look, and the turtlenecks are nice. You really do have a one track mind, don’t you? 😛

      The other thing I liked is how they actually addressed (however poorly) poverty and homelessnes in this show. In most anime everyone is either solidly middle class or filthy rich.

      1. Tokyo Godfathers also deals with homeless people. But in general anime series indeed show mostly solid middle class people. Just take the fact that most student characters’ families live in sizeable villas where all children have their own rooms and spacious living rooms etc. I wonder why this is so b/c poverty can also be quite kawaii (at least in fiction). It’s an underlying current in one of my favourite manga, “A Lollipop or a Bullet”.

        I wouldn’t say I have a one track mind. It’s just that so many shows don’t have much plot which interests me so I just focus on the female characters. This is only natural if the show itself is only about girls (e.g. as Pirates turns out to be) but in shows like Zetman or Accel World this is admittedly a side aspect. Shows which have nice characters and a decent plot are quite rare in my opinion (Mirai Nikki, LE II, Un-Go or Penguindrum were some examples). But I actually also like shows with not cute girls at all, they just have to be really good. Hyouge Mono e.g. was one of my two favourites from 2011.

        1. Ok, I definitely have to check out that manga now. I think in general Japanese people like to keep up appearances and hide the fact that their poor. So many people in Japan don’t believe they have a problem with poverty. Check out this article from a couple years ago: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/22/world/asia/22poverty.html

          I’m not saying that focusing on the clothes is a bad thing, you definitely have a point. It’s not like there was much of any other reason to watch Inu X Boku SS, for example. Might as well find something to enjoy and enjoy it!

          1. The NY Times article is quite interesting, thanks! I think we do see in anime some of the things mentioned in the article – virtually all students have one or several baito’s and I guess many just have to stick with this kind of job for the rest of their lives. I think e.g. of the senior aged supermarket cashier in [C] if you’ve seen that show.

            I also thought about poor and homeless people in anime and manga a bit more.

            Binchou-tan, the heroine in one of my favourite anime, is wretched poor.

            And Shana from SnS was also poor as well as homeless in the first episodes of that show. She had no place to live, she owned only one set of clothes and she had to cleanse herself and her clothes with Alastor’s fire. I also remember how (cute) pleased she was when confronted with a proper bed in ep. 3. But admittedly Shana may be even farther away from a real homeless person than Homeless Gandalf!

            I’d be most happy to read your opinion on “A Lollipop or a Bullet”! Yi at Listless Ink has posted a review with some lovely pictures of it: http://listlessink.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/a-lollypop-or-a-bullet/ . I particularly love Nagisa, one of my favourite characters ever!

          2. I haven’t seen Binchou-tan, but I’ve added it to my list now.

            I wouldn’t really count Shana since it’s such a temporary thing.

            Lollipop or a Bullet has also been added to my reading list. 🙂

  3. One more thing about the NYTimes article: It’s funny that the girl wants to become a voice actress. I’m not sure if this career is a good way to escape poverty if this were her objective.

    I’m not sure if Binchou-tan would be your cup of tea. It’s basically about toothache-inducingly cute girls doing equally cute things. Binchou-tans destitution just greatly adds to her cuteness.

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