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How did I see this coming A very average ending for Zetman.
NOTE: The series review will be at the end, after the episode review.
After last week's episode, the one fear I did have regarding the final episode got realised: it was very unsatisfying. The episode's unsatisfying end, resembled the one for Brave10 almost action for action, with a terrible conclusion for the fight between Haitani and Jin (which was almost exactly like what happened in Brave10) accompanied by subpar plot conclusions regarding involving Kouga and the rest of the cast present.
Quite a few things did not make sense with how events unfolded, all of which started off with Hanako's death. Now Hanako's death itself wasn't nonsensical, seeing as it was a necessary action to show how much Kouga has fallen into the darkness, but after that it all goes to shit starting with Haitani's death; a death that was just plain aggravating for the main antagonist of the series to experience. Even with the Haitani's love for ZET and his desire to make him complete, he always made Jin work for it instead of handing him a victory on a silver platter so to see him willingly die left a few questions unresolved about him.
Much like Haitani's death, Jin's momentary transformation into "Devil" ZET was also somewhat pointless, with it being so short-lived that it makes me wonder what was the point Again, I understand that it was a great chance to show Jin's character at the end of the series remaining unchanged - his decision not to get angry and kill Kouga - contrasted by Kouga's descent into darkness but it felt like such a major development being wasted at the end, leaving behind even more questions unanswered. That aside, the cutaway into the future (3 years) where we're first shown Kouga didn't really fool me when thinking about the possibility that Jin would allow himself to be killed.
The contrast between the two main characters was definitely something that made me enjoy the episode more, but that was mostly because I haven't liked Kouga as a character throughout the series and I did like Jin, so to see Kouga break down because he's weak - because he became this way, not because he was always like this - and to see Jin as the bigger man was a guilty pleasure of mine.
And then there was the ending, an attempt at an homage to the Batman film The Dark Knight that didn't really do a lot for me although it did make laugh a little. The ending did go back to the origins of the story (the one in the manga, not anime) of the dual-protagonist setting which I did like and it did leave a little window of hope for the fans regarding sequel and compared to the rest of the episode, was probably my favourite part of the episode.
Even though it wasn't the best anime, I'm disappointed to see Zetman go out like this.
Honestly, Zetman is a contender for the most disappointing anime of the year and is definitely the most disappointing one of the spring season, for me at least. Obviously disappointing refers to my own feelings regarding the series not living up to my expectations and potential, but the overall quality isn't something to hold in high esteem. With the majority of the problems stemming from ridiculous pacing, the story ended up suffering quite a bit and was not salvageable by the decent soundtrack and animation, proving that you can't expect to compress such a long running manga series into a 13 episode anime series with ease, nor can you get away with it if you do a half-assed job.
I definitely understand why fans of the manga would not be pleased with this adaptation, and had I followed the manga prior to watching the anime I wouldn't be able to guarantee that I would have sat through the anime in its entirety, especially since I'm pretty sure that the anime has skipped/glossed over quite a few important plot points and opportunities for character development which were in the manga and maybe gave the series an ending which would make absolutely no sense in the manga.
Putting aside all the shortcomings of the series, I did enjoy Zetman and at times I would be happy that I had been following the series which only goes further to remind me that the series had a lot more potential than was realised through its execution. In particular, if you were to go back and watch the first 2 or 3 episodes and then watch episodes 8 and 9, when the pacing was considerably slowed down, you can really appreciate the good of Zetman. Other than Zetman's good episodes, the animation of the fight scenes was definitely good and made up a considerable portion of my enjoyment for the series, at least fulfilling that expectation which I held for the series.
At the end of the day the series isn't bad, well at least not to warrant a score of lower than 6/10 on My Anime List, and it definitely had its moments but I don't see myself rushing into a sequel anytime soon, if ever - provided the hints at the end of the last episodes aren't just the studio's way of keeping an option open IF Zetman sells well.