“Development” really isn’t the word for what happens in this series, because there’s so much new information every week that the entire series is pretty much composed of development. Again I’m finding that it still works as entertainment, though, and isn’t nearly as confusing as it rightfully should be. This is really well-written and nicely directed, because in lesser hands this could have been a clusterfrick of galactic proportions. As is, it’s most likely going to please most viewers unless they’re hardcore manga purists.
There were quite a few new revelations to ponder this week. Mitsugai and his crew seem to have no real handle on just what Jin in – every time something happens they apparently have little clue as to why, and what will happen next. We saw Jin turn red, but apparently that’s not his final ZET form, as he bursts into flame, and then turns white again – which I thought was his incomplete form (and won’t look good on the posters, with the other superhero also being white). Finally his white coating flakes off and Jin turns human again – yet his ZET completion percentage stays off the charts, at 202%. What’s up with that? Don’t ask Team Amagi – they sure as hell don’t know. Considering they created ZET in the first place it’s remarkable how useless they are.
I’m also interested in developments on the Jirou front. It’s 100% confirmed that he and Haitani are working as a team, presumably with the goal of causing ZET to turn into the tool (Charisma?) they can use to take their rightful place as humanity’s overlords (though somehow I think it’s more personal for Jirou). The strange little creature in the passenger seat of Jirou’s car is apparently a boy, as we find out his name is Ichirou-kun. We don’t know his connection to Jirou yet, but if Katsura-sensei is as much a student of the dark superhero genre over the last half-century as I think he is, Ichirou is most likely either a weapon created for revenge or an artificial recreation of Jirou’s dead son. He seems to know Kouga – even says “I like him” – and Haitani and Jirou intend to use him to continue their exploitation of Kouga, which would fit with either possibility. Meanwhile the bartender at LOVE seems quite displeased with the arrival of Red Zet, and appears set to act as a sort of opposing force to the Haitani-Jirou axis.
Speaking of Kouga, he’s at the heart of the episode in many ways. First, it’s significant that Mitsugai now knows that his grandson is the one inside the Alphas suit – and I can’t think he’ll approve. We also saw Kouga prove he can actually be quite useful this week, as he’s able to deal with the shrimplets pretty effectively and proves himself a valuable ally for Jin. The true meeting of ZET and Alphas on the battlefield has been what the serious has been building towards, pretty much, and I don’t think it disappointed. Kouga clearly sill idolizes Jin, and Jin seems almost to have accepted Kouga – though both of acutely aware of how different they are despite their shared interests. This is still a game for Kouga – he can ditch the suit anytime he wants and go back to his privileged life, whereas Jin is trapped in his existence for (presumably) as long as he lives. Given that and the inevitable rancor over Konoha, I still see this relationship eventually becoming a rivalry, but with a core of affection at the heart of it that might be enough to redeem it in the end.
Poor Hanako doesn’t have much to do this week except a nude scene (no nipples), as that’s how Jin and Kouga find her when they return to his hideout. I assume Kouga was correct that the shrimplings disappeared when their parent body was destroyed – hopefully that happened before anything irreversible was done to Hanako. She wasn’t naked the last time we saw her, which has disturbing implications. It’s yet more proof that getting close to Jin is a really bad idea, if you happen to be a human.