Misery….(queue the Beatles song since it’s appropriate for Kouga).
With everything going on, in the previous episodes I was waiting to see what this episode was going to turn out like and I’m a little surprised that I enjoyed it a lot more than the previous ones. Granted it was a little harder to get into than usual and it took me a few attempts to watch it but that was mostly my fault since the first few times I tried to watch it I was falling asleep, a habit I picked from watching this series since it didn’t really stand out as one that needed extra attention in order to fully grasp the situation of each individual episode.
Besides the beginning where Kouga had just defeated the Robot with a big grin on his face only to be followed up by a Resident Evil style execution of all of the girls he saved (well…. kind of saved), a scene which felt as empty as Zetman could feel with almost no sense of tragedy, the rest of the episode delivered some of that good dark side to the story that I have been yearning for since the 3rd or 4th episode. It finally felt like Kouga had experienced true loss when he saw all of those girls get killed, conveyed well during his conversation with Jirou and if you remember back in the third episode where Jin went berserk as ZET when he thought Akemi had been killed, this feeling was recaptured with Kouga’s mental “almost breakdown” because not only did it bring him upto Jin’s level but seeing as he has been harping on about justice and has aimed to save EVERYONE since a certain incident with Jin, it felt like he had finally become a hero and not just a weakling in the background. As an added bonus to his transformation, Hayami’s statement that Kouga should have just stayed as a puppet really rounded everything off in a nice manner, putting into words exactly how I felt Kouga had been portrayed as up until now; a tool used by others.
Kouga’s transformation was the highlight of the episode for me, though it did also bring about a slew of plot twists towards the end of the scene; Jirou was revealed to be human, Hayami’s betrayal had been confirmed and of course Amagi Seizou was exposed as the true villain in the Amagi corporation. I’m not going to say that these plot developments were a nice added touch with decent execution but they didn’t give me any feelings of shock or surprise, although that might have to do more with me being very accustomed with the clich s and plot devices used in superhero stories and as I mentioned in my review of Tiger & Bunny, it’s quite difficult to avoid any clich s when you’re doing a superhero story. Nevertheless, the timing of all of these plot points came at good time and did contribute a lot to the episode’s sense of urgency and drama.
The ending of the episode gave me a little bit of a sense of satisfaction, especially when Kouga had taken over with much more force hence signalling that it was finally his time to properly shine as the hero; a moment when I remember thinking “Finally!” Of course there it the issue of what Haitani is truly planning and based on the preview and his resolution to awaken ZET even if it kills him hints to a ZET v Alphas battle that goes back to the original story in the manga.
Best episode in a while from Zetman and my favourite Kouga centric one.