Sunday, April 20, 2014

Zetman (Anime)


I'm continuing my journey through +Hulu and its anime selection. Next up on the list was Zetman. The anime feels a little rushed being twelve episodes but it does feel complete in and of itself. The wiki is over here for those who want a breakdown, but note that appears to be the manga Zetman wiki and I didn't see one for the anime proper.

I enjoy most of the character designs. One of the 'heroes', Alphas, looks like a cross between Iron Man and Moon Knight in a white and blue armored outfit. The main hero, Jin and his human outfit are 'street' but his 'hero' form is the one I actually dislike. The good thing is that there are a few varieties to it and its not in heavy rotation as he's actually human most of the series.

The villains really have some great images here though. For example, the Sweeper? Classic hooded style enigmatic entity. Not all of them are 'hits' though. Some of the lower end ones are just well, goofy looking.

The series follows Jin who is Zetman. In this series, most powers are explained through the genetically created 'Players' who have a host of different abilities and different levels of power. These players were created by the ultra rich who bet on gladiator battles. Sounds incredibly inefficient to me but I'll accept it as the premise.

Jin is created to destroy the Players but is taken by 'Gramps' who wants the boy to have a normal life and its not until he's older and already encountered two of the 'Players' that he learns what he is and that he isn't a fully realized creature but has some evolutions to go through.

Now I did say most abilities come from genetics right? The other player here, Koba, is a young man obsessed with fighting evil doers. He's often called a 'cosplayer' because he's in weird uniforms, including the eventual Alphas outfit. He has different methods and styles than Jin and the two handle justice and saving individuals in a different way.

The anime puts both Jin and Koga through the ringers to showcase what they are made of and their eventual differences and how they handle the Players around them.

The series does a nice job of showcasing how people can want similiar goals but approach them in completely different ways.

For those looking for super hero style action, Zetman has you covered.

In terms of themes?

Rivals: Jin and Koga aren't necessarily rivals in the sense that they're both trying to do exactly the same thing, but both often wind up in the same place at the same time and have different ideas of how things should be done. In addition, both continue to gain in experience and abilities as they mature in the series.

Ulterior Motives: There are many mentor style individuals in the series to both Jin and Koba and both have their own reasons for doing what they do. When providing mentors and allies to the players, make sure that you know what their own reasons are for doing what they do.

Secrets: While the 'Players' and their existence are relatively unknown to the public, many try to keep it that way and have developed technology to keep it that way. When players and those around them have their own secrets that they have to keep from each other, how do they do it. Do they have different explanations for why they do what they do?

Limited Origin: I mentioned with Tiger and Bunny that if you want Mutants like the X-Men but don't want to call them Mutants, just come up with a name. For example, Tiger and Bunny uses 'Next' while Zetman uses 'Players'. Both stretch a little past that though as both series have technology playing a prime role in making things equal to the 'Player's or even providing more abilities to those that have them.

On bluray, the series runs a little under $44 from Amazon and is not available on Amazon Prime but is available on Hulu. In terms of the manga, maybe a kinder soul than I can make sense of what Amazon's search shows as I find the Spanish and Japanese versions but didn't see the English one.

For those watching anime, are there any series out there that you'd recommend on Hulu? I've been impressed with the depth of the selection on Hulu and its modernity in contrast to Amazon or Netflix.