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Genres: Sci-fi, Seinen
Author: Masakazu Katsura
Artist: Masakazu Katsura
Publication: Young Jump
Start Date: October 31, 2002
End Date: Ongoing
Number of chapters at review: 90 Scanned, 110 raw
Number of chapters read by reviewer: 90
General Overview: Zetman is a story that follows two protagonists on roughly a 60/40 timeshare. The first hero is named Jin and he is considerably superhuman, especially in his monster from Zet. The second guy is named Kouga and he is prodigious in whatever his goals may be. The story progresses through both of their lives from childhood to teenage years, and consists mainly of fighting and preparing against enigmatic monster enemies.
Without spoiling too much, there is more to meet the eye when it comes to the various evil monsters in this manga, and their intentions range from living peacefully to magneto-esque supremity.
Category Ratings: (1-10 scale)
If I had to compare the art in this series to anything else it would most definitely be Gantz. The backgrounds always look terrific and the character designs are both Retro and incredibly fresh looking at the same time. Katsura is no slouch when it comes to vividly detailing every panel, and the result is a manga that looks great during both action and still sequences.
What detracts from the current Zetman plot is it's relatively short run so far. A lot of interesting questions have been raised thus far and only in the current Arc our the readers finally starting to see the cogs of the manga turn. One great thing about this is that the story shifts between two main characters and focuses on them in depth for a long period of time, which creates a very unique flow to the story.
Zetman shines because both of it's major characters are depicted so well. Because Jin isn't inherently human, and Kouga wants to be something greater than human, an interesting dichotomy is reached. There aren't a lot of characters in this series which is a good thing because everyone introduced is given motives for their actions, and a good backstory to give insight to how the character will act.
The theme of Zetman is enjoyable because it isn't really common within the "I have a monster within me" archtype of manga. Jin is moreso "I have human in me" and Kouga flat out clearly wants to be a Superhero to escape his own humanity. What drives Kouga how Jin does the right thing in opposition to his ideal workings, and what motivates Jin is simply to find out more about himself.
The main theme I guess would be about knowing oneself, and then figuring out your place in the world. Of course there is a evil organization trying to muck all this up, but the point still subtly gets across.
Let's just say everything progesses in a very interesting way. It's science meets evoluton meets demons meets evil corperation all rolled up into one giant burrito of innovation. There are similar story setups to Zetman, but none have the inginuity that surrounds the series.
Along with Tenjou Tenge, this is my favorite manga of the new year. It has a very interesting story and some crazy crazy scenes. I wrote this review in hopes that more people will catch on to Zetman, and then its later chapters will get scanned up to pace.
I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good Seinen-Action manga along the lines of Gantz or even Hellsing. It's worth a read and at the very least it definitely deserves more readers than it currently has.
The first Chapter can be found here as a preview http://www.onemanga.com/Zetman/1/
Great places to DL Zetman are http://stoptazmo.com/manga-series/zetman/
Last edited by wrstljr; July 01, 2008 at 03:53 AM.
nice review, i almost agree with all said, probably my review would differ very very slightly.
The review is very condensed, but it covers the major issues. Nice.
Though, in some arc it does tend to be very slow while others it runs, but I guess that is how the general pace of the zetman narrating is.
Last edited by nat; March 08, 2009 at 02:47 PM.
nice review, started this sieries at random and ended up loveing it
When looked upon superficially, Zetman is a manga about supoer heroes fighting mutant freaks. Pretty standard.
When faced critically though, one can feel through Jin's story a bitter criticism about the super hero mass culture. This is the story about a homeless boy who finds himself with some amazing power but, imature as he is, and with no regard to human life due to the harsh circunstances of his own, don't care about responsiblity to anything, what about flying around saving people for no reason. Everything power does to him is to endanger his life and that of the ones he learns to love.
Kouga, Jin's friendly rival, seeks to become a true hero, champion of justice and all. He fights for a higher ideal that Jin doesn't seem to comprehend (neither the readers with the slightest hint of realistic reasoning) and doesn't care about anyway, because thinking like that is just too troublesome, and, let's face it, it comes from a rich and spoiled playboy who grew watching children Tokusatsu. Jin desn't think that way. HE IS A REALISTIC SUPER HERO LIKE YOU HARDLY FIND EVEN IN THE MOST MATURE AMERICAN COMICS.
To be a hero is to protect what's dear to you. Justice is an abstract made-up concept not worth fighting for. If you got power, it's your choice -not obligation, f*ck responsibility, Uncle Ben - wheter to use it or not, and if you do, you choose what you wanna do with it. To become a hero, or to be considered as such, is an incovenience to anyone who'd like to live a simple, peaceful life like Jin would. There's nothing wrong about using up your talent to do only what brings advantages to yourself, it's what humans do. Look at Jin; as he realizes only as a hero he can save his people, his human side lost importance and relevance. Zet is a overpowered monster freak, Alphasz is a caricaturized, stereotyped tv-character-personification freak. None is human. HEROES ARE NOT HUMAN.
I love Zetman because, as far as super hero stories go, it cleverly manages to have some meaning.
Last edited by D.Blue; September 15, 2009 at 09:40 AM.
i stumbled upon this review by chance, ended up catching up to the latest chapter in 2 days >___<
the characters are just too great in this manga, even the ones that are randomly introduced and linger for a while. when theres conflict in the story, you really feel for them. at least i did.
to think i only read this because of lack of one piece =P wish there were more chapters to read.. but anyway thanks for that great introduction into this awesome story
Thanks for the great review about Zetman. I have not enjoyed this manga but i think now i have also gonna taste the storyline of it.
thanks for the review and i did watch it to V11 but it had a lot of
taking which sometimes make me to skip it and does not effect the story.
A good story line but it is for fun but not worth waiting each week for it.
form 5 i would give it 3.3
Influence of Batman and other superhero comics are visible in Zetman, and deliberately so. But attention to detail and Katura his drawing skills is amazing what is familiar and refreshingly enjoyable. It handles both action scenes and beautiful drama very well, and thus, despite the fact that I normally do not like superhero movie, I love this series.