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As time passes by Jin becomes more badass whilst Kouga grows up keeping true to his ideals.
Talk about another packed episode! Last week's episode managed to condense a whopping 12 chapters of the manga and this week the series has decided to not slow down and condense a further 11 chapters. Manga readers everywhere must be furious, but for all interested, I'd say it's pretty safe to assume that the anime will continue with this ridiculously fast pace,
So this episode started off with the appearance of a new enemy player, this time one that controls flames and then proceeded to re-introduce us to a slightly older Konoha, Jin and Kouga. It's a little unclear how much time has passed, especially since the level of maturity present in Jin is distinctly higher than that of Kouga (at this point it's worth adding that Daisuke Namikawa's performance here has been great, especially at giving Jin that aloof-yet-caring dark hero edge) and even though Kouga has remained what I like to call "the idiot with ideals," their reunion ended up being a scene which currently won't hold significance or catch any attention now but will comeback to us in future episodes.
I actually found Jin's know-it-all demeanour quite funny and couldn't relate to Kouga at all. Kouga's catch the criminal first, leave the rescue to the firefighters attitude ended up reminding me of Barnaby from Tiger and Bunny, well at least until he developed as a character.
This episode seemed like an important stepping stone for the character development of both Jin an Kouga, the latter who has realised his shortcomings - the big turning point for a character - and the former who of course is still discovering the truth about himself and his "other" self. There was of course action in this episode, since it wouldn't really be Zetman if there wasn't any but it was short-lived and that wasn't something to be upset about because this episode had more to do with the story and character development than the action itself and presumably there will be plenty more action in future episodes. I liked how the episode ended with Grandpa Agami finding out Jin's true identity and even more than that I liked that creepy smile he had on his face which was only reinforced by Konoha's memories of being beaten by his cane; he really does have the true making of a villain. The final ending seemed even stranger and a little void of emotion with Akemi being held by the defective Zet which made me want to read ahead in the manga itself but I figured I'd be patient and that reading ahead could be futile (since this isn't a faithful adaptation).
Since the second episode has aired a few more points should be made regarding this adaptation:
1. The adaptation has made Jin and Kouga into childhood friends, different from the manga where they don't know each other.
2. The content has been toned down significantly.
In respects to the first one, I think that move was kind of necessary for a series with just 13 episodes but to have Jin and Kouga be friends might lessen the moral ambiguity of series or it might even increase it depending on the direction. The second point isn't necessarily a bad thing since anyone who might have read a few chapters of the manga could attest to how graphic/violent/disturbing it can be; me, personally, I could do without a lot of the graphic violence scenes and sexually disturbing scenarios.
Not a bad second episode and the next seems to look like the one when Kouga will finally make his decision to be Alphas and Jin will continue where he left off from and fight the defective Zet with a spirit of vengeance.