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Cover art of the first volume of Zetman
|Genre||Adventure, science fiction, superhero|
|Written by||Masakazu Katsura|
|Magazine||Weekly Young Jump|
|Original run||October 31, 2002 – July 24, 2014|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Osamu Nabeshima|
|Written by||Atsuhiro Tomioka|
|Music by||Gabriele Roberto|
|Original network||Yomiuri TV, Tokyo MX, BS11|
|Original run||April 2, 2012 – June 25, 2012|
Zetman (Japanese: ゼットマン Hepburn: Zettoman) is a manga series by Masakazu Katsura. The series started as a 49-page one-shot in the 1994 Autumn Special of Weekly Shōnen Jump. A more mature and full-fledged series started in Weekly Young Jump in 2002. Zetman has been adapted into an anime series that premiered on April 2, 2012.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Characters
- 2.1 Jin's friends and family
- 2.2 Amagi family
- 2.3 Supporting characters
- 2.4 Players
- 2.5 EVOL
- 3 Media
- 4 Reception
- 5 Further reading
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The story starts off with a face-off between two rival superheroes, ZET and Alphas, and then traces their origins – Jin Kanzaki, a young man with the ability to transform into a superhuman being known as ZET, and Kouga Amagi, a young man with a strong sense of justice who uses technology to fight as Alphas.
The fates of these two men and those around them intertwine as they fight to protect mankind and destroy monstrous abominations known as Players, who ironically are the creations of the Amagi Corporation, the company founded by Kouga's grandfather, Mitsugai Amagi.
Jin's friends and family
Jin Kanzaki (神崎 人 Kanzaki Jin). The main protagonist. A mysterious young man bearing a circular lump on the back of his left hand, Jin was a result of the N.E.T. Project by the Amagi Corporation to create the perfect being to fight and destroy the escaped Players. He was however released by Gorō Kanzaki, who wanted nothing more for Jin than to grow up as a normal human. After the death of his 'grandfather', Kanzaki, Jin stayed with Akemi Kawakami until he witnessed her 'death' under the hands of the Amagi Corp., in an effort to retrieve their creation. He has been living in a slum alone ever since, monitored closely by his creators, especially Mitsugai. One day, he meets Hanako in the slums. After inviting her to live with him and saving her life on two occasions, he begins to have feelings for her; evident when he swears to protect her with all his might, followed by making love to her afterwards. He even starts calling Hanako his girlfriend. After the Amagi mansion is destroyed, he goes into hiding along with Kōga and Konoha, Mei, Shimura, Hanae and the two black suits until Kōga has Seizō clear him of all charges. While on a date with Hanako, he is attacked by the Sweeper, transforms in front of Hanako and blacks out, leading him to believe either he or the Sweeper killed her. Believing that, he thinks his life is now meaningless, and as soon as he gets the enhanced gum, he goes off on a suicide mission against EVOL.
Jin is able to transform a creature known as "ZET", a mutant possessing superhuman abilities, but often mistaken for another Player. The transformation is slow, though it may be accelerated due to extreme rage and conditions. He had lost this ability briefly, but regained it with the use of a special gum (Chapter 67). He later has a ceramic stake put in his heart by Seiji, thus allowing him to transform without the gum into "White" ZET (Chapter 102). It is later revealed by Hanae that the pendant his grandfather gave him has the ability to transform Jin into the "True ZET." The source of his strength appears to be the mysterious lump on his hand. After a Jin clone injected him with a formula that reacts badly with his gum, he has been having blackouts, not remembering what happened after a period of time. After his latest encounter with the Sweeper, he asks Hanae to create a stronger version of the gum, which transforms him into "White" ZET. He then learns of Seiji's plan to attack Amagi Corp., so he and the two black suits go to stop him. While there, they manage to kill the second Chameleon Player and a swarm of Corpse Riders (the latter with the help of Oyama), but he is overpowered by the Knight Player. Jin attempted to get the Knight Player to betray Haitani after the effects of the gum wore off, but failed and became unconscious as Kōga/Alphas came to the rescue. He gained consciousness in time to stop Kouga from inserting the "Crimson Stake" into Jin's chest (which would turn Jin into the "True ZET"), saying that it was exactly what Haitani wants to happen. Soon afterwards, he blacks out again and finds himself surrounded by destruction, supposedly by his hand.
The design of ZET was based on an anime character created by Amagi Corp.
Voiced by: Mitsuo Senda (Japanese); Adam Nevel (English)
Kanzaki Gorō (神崎 悟郎). A pioneer in both the N.E.T. and Z.E.T. Projects in the Amagi Corporation, Kanzaki escaped with an infant Jin in defiance to turning his 'child' into a killing machine. Later disguised himself as a homeless old man and posed as the grandfather of the growing Jin. Was killed in a bid to protect Jin from an awakened Player.
Kanzaki's head was however retrieved by the Amagi Corp. and hooked up to a computer so as to obtain unknown information about ZET/Jin. Their efforts were in vain however when a crying Jin, unable to bear seeing his grandfather in such a state, pulled off the life support plug, with Kanzaki asking Jin if he had been taking his meals regularly as a final greeting. However, it was revealed that Mitsuagi had the life support plug put back in. His head was then stolen two years later by the second Chameleon Player, with the intentions of cracking the secrets within his head.
He managed to make Jin lose his powers of ZET by tricking Mitsugai, but it was brief when the Amagi Corp. came up with a gum which allowed Jin access to his original abilities.
Kawakami Akemi (川上 明美). The foster parent to Jin after Kanzaki. Always addressed as 'Oba-chan/old lady/auntie' by Jin, Akemi was an ex-hostess who had a son she lost custody of to her ex-husband. Her face was slashed by a crazed client, who in turn suffered near fatal injuries by a young Jin, having recalled how his grandfather was killed. She has been selling crepes at a roadside stall ever since.
She was seemingly killed right in front of Jin's eyes in a bid to let Jin return to the Amagi Corp., but was later revealed by Mitsugai to be alive, and was given back custody of her son with the help of Amagi Corp. She received a box of money saved by Jin as a parting gift. Two years later, she came at Jin's request to give him back his grandfather's pendant, while reassuring him that he is still family no matter what.
Amagi Kōga (天城 高雅, or コウガ Kōga). Konoha's older brother, and grandson of Mitsugai Amagi. Both academically and sports-inclined, especially soccer. However, although he is popular with girls, he doesn't really know how to act around them, and Jin says he is "so honest, it hurts." Due to his attraction to an anime 'Ginga Chōjin Alphas', Kōga has developed a strong sense of justice since young. Urged by his encounter with Jin during a fire accident (caused by a Player) to become a hero of justice. He had been depending on a trio of researchers since middle school for gadgets which could assist him in his escapades. He lost his right forearm during his captivity by Jirō Nakata, together with his sense of justice. After he managed to save Mayu, he is fitted with a smart prosthetic arm (eventually revealed by Hayami to have a tracking system in it), and is required to undergo several months of rehabilitation.
During this time, Kōga regains his composure and is dating Mayu. After learning about the Players and his grandfather's involvement in the project, he initiates the Alphas Project with the Trio, who created a high-performance combat body suit resembling Kōga's childhood hero, complete with high-tech weaponry and gadgets, to combat his grandfather's creations. However, his Alphas suit isn't strong enough to help him take on Sōya, as he learned the hard way. He is very protective of his family, especially his sister, Konoha. In his first battle as Alphas, he teams up with Jin/ZET to defeat the Shrimp EVOL, and discovers Jin's identity as ZET. He then tells Jin that he is currently the best hope the world has of defeating the players, and that he will strive to catch up to him. After Hayami attempted to capture Jin, he goes into hiding along with Konoha, Jin, Mei, Shimura, Hanae, and the two black suits until Kōga manages to convince his father to clear Jin of all charges, though Seizō warns Kōga not to trust Jin. During the assault on Amagi Corp., he is captured and detained by Hayami. Hayami then proceeds to inject Kōga with a bug created by the clone of Ichirō, which would bring his body to perform superhuman abilities. However, as soon as the bug wears out, his body will be left in a crippled state, something Hayami is fine with. As soon as he regains consciousness, he enters his Alphasz suit and uses both his newly acquired powers and his weapons to defeat the Knight Player. During his conversation with Haitani afterwards, he reveals that if Jin becomes the monster he swore to destroy, he would kill him himself. In response, Haitani gives him the "Crimson Stake" to place into Jin's chest, in order to become the true ZET and to see if Jin can remain himself. However, before he can place the stake into Jin's chest, Jin stopped him, telling him this is exactly what Haitani wants to happen. It is currently unknown what happened to Kōga after Jin experienced another blackout.
Amagi Konoha (天城 小葉). Sister to Kōga and granddaughter of Mitsugai. She bears a distinct dislike to her grandfather due to childhood trauma. Konoha first met Jin during her secret volunteer work with her mother when they were still small, and has been harboring feelings for him ever since. Addressed Jin as 'Tenshi-kun/Mr. Angel' after seeing him fall from the sky to her aid when she was bullied by a group of hooligans, and only learns Jin's name after. When she saw Jin emerge from the building destroyed by the Fire Player and see him faint, she picks up his grandfather's pendant, which she continued to hold onto until the Jin clones stole it from her during the assault on Amagi manor.
She is unaware of Jin being ZET, nor of her family's involvement with the Players. She was recently involved in a life-threatening attack by the Ebizō/Shrimp EVOL, an incident that she retains the memories of due to Kōga's refusing of mind-wiping her. After Hayami attempted to capture Jin, she and Kōga went into hiding along with Jin, Shimura, Mei, Hanae, and the two black suits, until Kōga has Jin cleared of all charges. Soon afterwards, she and her mother are kidnapped by Suzuki and used as hostages during Seiji's attack on Amagi Corp.
Amagi Mitsugai (天城 光鎧). Founder and ex-CEO of the Amagi Corporation, who believed in a distinct divide between the rich and the poor.
In the pursuit of his dream to create the perfect artificial humans, he initiated the N.E.T. Project, but it eventually led to the escape of his creations, named 'Players'. Having a heavy sense of responsibility for the incident, Mitsugai then commenced Project Z.E.T. to set things right, though once again his plans were foiled by the betrayal of Kanzaki. He then became hell-bent on retrieving ZET back after countless failures to create a new one.
Mitsugai's methods were often hard-handed, but after the destruction of his laboratory a second time by Players, he seems to have softened up, now giving Jin a choice of either becoming ZET or living as a normal human, though it is unknown if this is just a facade or not. He has also agreed to help Kōga in any way he can. After he finds Shibaki, he once again attempts to convince Jin to become the "true" ZET. However, during the clone Jin's assault on Mitsuagi's third secret laboratory and the Amagi mansion, he is left injured and is forced to recuperate at Amagi Corp.
Amagi Seizō (天城 清造). Son of Mitsugai, husband of Yōko and father to Kōga and Konoha. Current CEO of the Amagi Corporation. An arrogant, sober and cold-hearted man and with elitist attitude because of his family's name. Was named one of the masterminds of the NET Project by Jirō, but he feigns ignorance to all the various secret Projects under Amagi Corp. After Yōko went to see Kōga who was being treated for his wounds, Seizō told her off, saying he was humiliated by her ineptitude as a mother. After that, she asked him to be alone with her so he could hear her plea: to get a divorce, but Seizo denied her with rage.
After the Amagi mansion is destroyed, he orders Hayami to arrest Jin, forcing him and his friends into hiding. However, after Hayami failed to capture Jin, he revealed to Hayami that he had been investigated since the "Jirō Incident" and the appearance of "Katō", which brought him to the conclusion that Hayami was covering his operations. He then forces Hayami to use the Scanner Brain Machine, a.k.a. "The Chair" so he could get everything Hayami knew. When Hayami resists, Seizō show's him Kabe's handgun, causing Hayami to realize that he was being forced to sit on "The Chair" with the purpose of committing suicide just as Kabe did before, under the false belief that "the Chair" would help to erase his memories related to Jirō Nakata, in case the police interrogated him. Seizō alleged that he did so because Kabe's actions were a threat to Kōga and The Corporation, and he tells Hayami that he knows he is 'Kato', the person Kabe was feeding information to the whole time. Hayami denies he was Katō, and after a brief fight he was subdued and put on "The Chair", turning him into a vegetative state.
When Kōga explained the situation with Jin to him, he had Jin cleared of all charges. However, he warns Kōga not to trust Jin, as he may join EVOL. Later, it was revealed by Seiji that Seizō is funding EVOL, and during the attack on Amagi Corp, this fact was confirmed by a raging Susuki after he was taken hostage by Hayami, and yelled at him in front of everyone about his funding in human experiments, which took the lives of his wife and his son Katō.
In Chapter 189, once again, Seiji discussed with The Sweeper the deals that Seizō and the EVOL's Leader had been making, as a result of their negligence by Jin's awakening as Karisma. Finally, in chapter 217, the shocking truth of Seizō's alliance with EVOL is revealed before Mitsugai and Black Suit A's eyes, with the former remarking that Seiji wasn't lying to Jin when he asked him join him in his war against EVOL, after all.
Amagi Yōko (天城 葉子). Seizō's wife, and mother to Kōga and Konoha. Was chastised by Mitsugai for doing volunteer work in secret, resulting in Konoha's childhood trauma. She then ran away from home while continuing her volunteer work, and never returned. However, she and Seizō are not officially divorced yet. It is eventually revealed that she has been staying at the home of her lover, Suzuki. She and Konoha are soon kidnapped by Seiji and Suzuki, the latter revealing that Seizō funded human experiments on his wife and his son, Katō. Soon afterwards, Amagi Tower starts to be destroyed, and in the chaos, she is seen falling into an inferno, but she was saved by Suzuki.
A trio of scientists allied with Kōga, they are responsible for making the gadgets he uses in battle. No matter what happens, they fully support Kōga. So far, only one of their names have been given, Shimura. Two years after the incident with Jirō, they create a body suit similar to "Ginga Chōjin Alphas" at Kōga's request, so he could truly become a super hero. After Hayami tries to capture Jin, Shimura goes into hiding with Kōga, Konoha, Jin, Mei, the two black suits, and Hanae until Kōga clears Jin of all charges. During the attack on Amagi Corp., one of the trio is shot by Hayami, but survives.
Hayami (早見). An executive in Amagi Corp. and assistant to Seizō, he supports Kōga's actions as Alphas, though it is revealed that he only does so to prevent Kōga from taking over Amagi Corp. Kōga's way of thinking as Alphas tends to give him a headache when they mess up his plans.
After the incident with Jirō, he told Seizō that they should allow Mayu to live, as she was the only person Kōga was able to save, serving as a "trophy" of his success. However, he agreed to have her memories of the incident erased. When the Amagi mansion was blown up, he was ordered by Seizō to arrest Jin, to which he agrees.
However, he and the strike force he brought with him were quickly, but non-fatally, dispatched by a semi-transformed Jin. Soon afterwards, it was believed by Seizō that under the alias of "Katō," Hayami plotted the Amagi clan's downfall, leading to the incident with Jirō. Seizō then used a machine to search Hayami's memories to prove this, leaving Hayami in a vegetative state. However, he was brought back by an unknown individual, revealing to Kōga that though he isn't "Katō," he was in league with him in a plan to bring down the Amagi clan, which would allow Hayami to take position as the new C.E.O. of Amagi Corp.
Soon after his revelation to Kōga, he injects him with one of the insects made by a clone of Ichirō, in order for Kōga's body to reach superhuman levels and help him achieve his agenda. Afterwards, he, Seiji and Suzuki ("Katō") launch a terrorist attack on a New Year's Eve party that Seizō is hosting, in an attempt to make Seizō confess to all the injustices that he committed on film. One of the hostages tries to grab a machine gun from one of the underlings, and in the chaos, Hayami is shot in the chest and seemingly killed.
During the explosions in the Amagi Tower, Kōga discovers that Seizō is still alive, though trapped by the debris fallen down by the previous explosions, as well as Hayami himself, who warned Kōga to not help his father, telling him that it was an "appropriate end" for him. In that moment, he asked Kōga to look into his memories by connecting his Alphas helmet with Hayami's mind in order to reveal to him the truth behind Amagi's crimes and atrocities. Hayami began to explain to Kōga how he had climbed the corporate ladder, telling him that he had been transferred to the "Special Industry Division" that Kōga seemed to know. However, he told Kōga, that very division was a mere facade, since its real name was the "Military Division" and its main role was to manufacture weapons and train cover operatives (like Kōga had seen while they were protecting Jin from being captured), with this influenced by the president and supervised by the president's right-hand man, Mamoru Kabe. All of this was held as top secret.
Under Kabe as his immediate chief, he had become director of that very department, where from that time, he had aspired to climb higher. However, the following day, he had received a phone call from the man who used "Katō" as an alias, who requested him to talk about his deceased sister, who until two years ago had been working at an Amagi medical research facility. Because "Katō" hadn't contacted him directly, Hayami immediately suspected him, and tracked down the call's source by his voice until he found the location, another Amagi Division and the one responsible, "Satōshi Suzuki", Yōko's lover and Jin's supposed friend.
Hayami arranged a meeting with him after the phone call. Once they had met each other, Suzuki told Hayami that his dead sister was "Yoshiko Katō", and she was actually his fiancée, so he pretended to pose as her brother with the belief that Amagi would take his requests about her more seriously. Hayami still couldn't understand why he was chosen to hear that, and Suzuki just replied that he was "from the outside". Then, Suzuki explained to him that his fiancée's death had occurred under mysterious circumstances.
Firstly, because the corporation has told him that "the reason" for her death was from an "accident" which had happened during an experiment. Secondly, Suzuki had already lost contact with her two months before the tragedy. However Susuki, had taken advantage of his position as Amagi's Information Manager, to gain access to Amagi's most confidential files, even risking his career for this because of violating the Corporate's confidentiality, until he had managed to dig up dirt on The Corporation. Suzuki found deleted and strongly encrypted data that exposed how the Special Industry Division's money disappeared mysteriously.
As a consequence of that discovery, Hayami began to get depraved and lustful for power. The first thing he did afterwards was to dig up Amagi's operations starting with the real Kato's death, and later he managed to dig up dirt on Amagi as Suzuki had done earlier. What Hayami had figured out was what had happened during the Amagi Chairman's time (the era that Mitsugai was still running the corporation).
Hayami then mentioned to Kōga about the Nakatas' 16 years' imprisonment under the "First Research Facility", and their eventual rescue, which proved true what Jirō Nakata had told Kōga during the "Jirō Incident"'s events. With these discoveries, Hayami got twisted even more by his obsession: to overthrow the Amagi Clan.
The first thing he needed to do was to manipulate Suzuki and Jirō's desire for revenge. Then he built the mansion that he would use as a scene for his heinous deeds using Kōga as a scapegoat, so he could never become the Amagi President after that. Hayami also explained to Kōga that he had gotten rid of all of the personnel involved in the Mansion's construction in order to eliminate any evidence that could compromise him, alleging that he "just handled all of them as his father would have". Next, by the established telepathic link between him and Kōga, Hayami told him, that he would witness his father's wickedness, and he would force him to watch everything about Seizō Amagi, whether he liked or not, confirming with this once again that what Jirō had told Kōga about Seizō was true.
Afterwards, in chapter 186, Hayami is still seen alive and laid over the debris just after "The Sweeper" identifies him as one of the "three groups" of remaining survivors from Seiji's assault so he can dispose of them.
Hayami is left for later by The Sweeper, when suddenly he takes out a syringe from his terrorist goat's pocket, and injects himself in the neck, turning into a kind of "Player".
(Nakata Jirō). The father of Ichirō, he is a former scientist of Amagi Corp. and an expert in researching the creation of the Players. He admits that the only people he ever cared for were his wife and son, and was devastated when he witnessed his son's murder. When he discovered that the Players were to be used as a means of entertainment, he spoke out against the idea to Kabe, and was sealed inside his underground laboratory soon after, along with the corpse of his son. He soon revived Ichirō by turning him into a Player, and the two survived in the laboratory for sixteen years on nothing but water and medications. When they were set free, he began to plot his revenge against Amagi Corp. along with Ichirō and Katō, a greedy Amagi employee. He then set his sights on vengeance through Kōga, under the pretense of helping him become a better hero through tests meant to make Kōga abandon his emotions and make decisions based on cold, hard logic. However, because Kōga refused to abandon his ideals, he managed to "fail" every single test, ending with innocent people getting killed. When he brought Kōga and many of his fangirls to his base, he proceeded to kill the fans when Kōga failed his tests, until only Mayu remained. After trying to coerce Kōga to join his side by telling him about Mitsuagi's involvement with the Player's creation, a man working for "Katō" arrived and proceeded to shoot him and attempt to use footage obtained throughout the building to ruin the Amagi family's name. When Ichirō set the building to self-destruct, he killed "Katō's" assassin and attempted to kill Mayu and Kōga, but was stopped by Ichirō's powers. Ichirō then used his powers to make his father, to his dismay, shoot him in the head. As Jirō laid dying next to his son, he believes he will go to Hell, but due to images he saw before his death (ex. what would happen if Ichirō wasn't run over) it is believed he went to Heaven with his son, thus dies happy. However, since he was a hypocritical monster, he burned in hell for all eternity.
(Hashimoto Mayu). A teenage girl who is a fan of Kōga's. She had a history of prostitution. She and many other women were invited to a "party hosted by Kōga," but created by Jirō Nakata as a way of bringing Kōga to his side. During the party, all the other girls were killed, but before she could be killed by the Kōga clones, she was rescued by Ichirō, who couldn't stand by and let his father kill any more innocent people. While trying to escape with Kōga, she was shot by Jirō, though survived due to a makeshift bulletproof vest created by Kōga. After they escaped, her memory of the incident was erased by Amagi Corp.. Two years after the event, she and Kōga are dating, though she considers herself unworthy of him, due to her past of prostitution. When she was on a Christmas Eve date with Kōga, she tried to have sex with him. However, Kōga's memories of the incident with Jirō prevented him from doing so, devastating Mayu.
Black Suits A and B
(Kuro no soroi A to B). Two of Mitsuagi's bodyguards, they know everything about the Players, EVOL, and ZET. When they first appeared, they escorted Jin to Mitsuagi's second secret laboratory, in an attempt for Mitsuagi to convince Jin to become ZET. Two years later, when Jin decided to become ZET, they escorted him and Mitsuagi back to the lab only to find it completely wrecked by the second Chameleon Player and Saitō/Rhino Player. While in the lab, A had his arm injured, and B lost his right eye protecting Prof. Kishimoto from the second Chameleon Player. They returned in Mitsuagi's third secret laboratory, where they received their nicknames from Jin. After the laboratory and Amagi mansion were attacked and destroyed by clones of Jin, they managed to escape with Mitsuagi. When confronted by Hayami about Jin, they stood up for him, showing they see Jin as a friend. After Hayami's attempt to arrest Jin, they went into hiding along with Jin, Kōga, Konoha, Mei, Shimura, and Hanae, until Kōga managed to clear Jin's name.
Soon afterwards, Jin tells the black suits of Seiji's plan against Amagi Corp., so they join him to stop Seiji and protect a still recovering Mitsuagi. While there, they run into the second Chameleon Player, and after Jin manages to expose the Player's heart, black suit B takes vengeance against the Player's murder of Kishimoto by shooting him in the heart, with Hanae listening over the phone. The two black suits, accompanied by Oyama, then fight their way through a swarm of Seiji' "Corpse Riders", leaving Jin to deal with the Knight Player. They then proceed to rescue the hostages as Haitani starts to destroy Amagi Tower, and start to find a way to escape the building.
(Kishimoto Kyokan). A scientist working with Mitsuagi to transform Jin into ZET. When the second Chameleon Player and Saitō/Rhino Player assaulted the second laboratory, the second Chameleon Player attempted to make him open the container of Kanzaki's head, but due to the interference of black suit B and Kishimoto resisting, he ended up getting killed by him. It is later revealed by Hanae that he was engaged to her. During the attack on Amagi Corp., his murder was avenged by black suit B.
(Oyama). The chief of police, he does his best to protect Jin. When Jin was taken in for questioning about his defending of Akemi, he told Jin to keep his head up and move forward, something that has stuck with Jin for years to come. During the assault on Amagi Corp. (where he happened to be at the time), he joined up with Jin and the two black suits and fought through a swarm of Seiji's Corpse Riders. Afterwards, he discovered Jin's identity as ZET when he defended the three from the Knight Player, but he firmly believes that Jin is a true human, something the two black suits respect.
(Tanaka Hanako). A tomboyish teenage girl. She has had constant headaches since she was born, leading her to go to the nurse's office quite often as a result. Because of this, students thought she was just slacking off, and was bullied by them, leaving her traumatized and unwilling to go to high school. After this, her parents started becoming apathetic to her, forcing her to run away. She met Jin as he was living in the slum she ran away to. When Jin saved her from the homicidal Crab Player, she was offered to live with him and become a family with him. She then quickly developed romantic feelings for him. She was later nearly raped by the Cockroach Player, but was saved by the combination of a call from the Shrimp Player and a group of Sweepers. When she was asked by Jin if she wanted to live away from him, she broke down crying, but was comforted by Jin telling her that he will protect her if she decides to stay, which she does. Soon after, Jin seems to reciprocate her feelings for him when she has sex with him. However, Jin convinces her to go home the next day, at least until he can get them their own home. Before she leaves, she texts her full name to Jin, and he goes on to call her Hanako, even though she hates being called that. While on a Christmas Eve date with Jin, the Sweeper attacked Jin, causing him to transform in front of her, leaving her terrified. Because he blacked out, Jin believes that either the Sweeper killed her, or he did it himself. It is revealed that after the attack on Jin, she was kidnapped by Seiji and kept as a hostage in the attack on Amagi Corp.. During a conversation with Seiji, she reveals that she still loves Jin, even if he is ZET. In chapter 189, after the full transformation of ZET, we see her kneeling near a G3 waiting to be killed by him. In chapter 207, she was revealed to be a player in the form of the sand monster that turns people into piles of sand, but was later killed by Jin in chapter 214.
(Shibaki). One of the scientists working on the Z.E.T. project along with Kanzaki. He was eventually captured by the second Chameleon Player during the raid on Mitsuagi's second laboratory. He was soon put to work as a slave at EVOL's headquarters, along with his daughter, Mei, until he learned of EVOL's true intentions. When he arrived at Mitsuagi's third secret laboratory, he tried to tell Jin all he could about his past and about ZET, but was taken over by a small Player insect and forced to commit suicide. After his death, Hanae used a machine to read his brain for information on transforming Jin into the "True" ZET, also finding a final message he had for Jin, a message he has yet to listen to.
(Mei). A unique Player and the daughter of Shibaki. Usually quiet, reserved, and with a childlike personality, she has a strange bodily composition which requires her to take medications every three hours, or else she will dissolve. After her father was forced into committing suicide, Jin decided to protect her, a kindness she repays by saving Jin from an incomplete clone of him. After Hayami tried to capture Jin, she went into hiding with him, along with Kōga, Konoha, Hanae, the two black suits, and Shimura.
(Sanada Hanae). A female scientist and former fiancé to the late Professor Kishimoto. Although they never got the chance to marry, she insists that others address her as Kishimoto. She first appeared in Mitsuagi's third secret laboratory, where she was helping to try to transform Jin into ZET. When Shibaki was forced into suicide, she used a device to read his brain to find out info on EVOL and how to transform Jin into the "True ZET." After the assault on the Amagi mansion, she went to go into hiding along with Jin, Kōga, Konoha, Mei, Shimura, and the two black suits until Kōga has Jin cleared of all charges. She then creates a stronger version of Jin's gum at his own request, which she says will transform him as far as "White" ZET. After Jin/ZET grievously injures the second Chameleon Player, black suit B calls her and lets her listen as he kills the Player, thus avenging Kishimoto.
(Suzuki). A friend of Jin's and Yōko's lover. After Yōko ran away, she went to live with him, where they continued to help the homeless. After Jin was nearly captured, he offers him and those with him sanctuary. Soon afterwards, it is revealed that he is working with Seiji, and the two of them kidnap Konoha and Yōko. During Seiji's planned attack on Amagi Corp., he reveals to Seizō, Yōko and Konoha that Seizō's funding of human experiments cost him the lives of his wife and his son, Katō. Thus, he reveals that he was "Katō," the mastermind behind the incident with Jirō.
Professor Reiji Kirishima
(Kirishima Reiji). Until recently, there was too little information about him, only the fact that he has been mentioned and regarded by Jirō Nakata as the scientist who incepted the idea of creating new human beings by artificial means, which would be known later as the "NET Project". He supervised the team of scientists responsible for carrying out the research and development of the whole NET Project, having as his project leader, Jirō himself.
During the "Jirō Incident", Jirō himself explained to a disabled and captured Kōga, about the brilliant mind that Dr. Kirishima had. During his confinement in the "First Research Lab", Jirō started to become fascinated by Kirishima's ideas. However, soon after he was delving into his research, he ended up disappointed by the NET Project's scopes, owing to the Artificial Human Being's short life expectancy and not being able to solve that problem. Then, Jirō miraculously managed to cope with that problem by creating the "Reverse Efect" - however, Kirishima disapproved of his solution. That disapproval, and many others before it, caused Jirō to hold a hatred of him.
His relationship with Gorō Kanzaki was utterly different, since he approved his alternative methods to the point of persuading Kirishima about his solution's usefulness, which would result in the Players' origin, though Jirō stated that even Kanzaki began to disapprove his later solutions too. Jirō appreciated him too much for his kindness, humility and noble heart, to the point of always wandering what happened to him and his whereabouts after the 13 Original Players' Insurrection, forgetting that he was already killed by one of them (Chameleon Player #1, during Episode 0 - Prologue).
Jirō explained to Kōga that the whole project itself was divided into sections. The First was supervised by Mitsuagi as The Chairman, and led by Dr.Kanzaki (in what would later be known as the ZET Project), and the other section (which was still the NET Project but unbeknownst to Jirō this would become the future Players' mass production), was led by Jirō but supervised by the President, Seizō Amagi, the latter of which devastated Kōga to such a degree that he vowed to stay away from the Chairmanship forever.
Later during Episode III, Mitsuagi too regarded Kirishima as the "most brilliant scientist ever" and "founder of the NET Project" while he was talking to Jin during their visit to the "Second Research Facility". Both Jirō and Mitsuagi stated that Kirishima disappeared after "The Accident" and his whereabouts and existence are still unknown.
Creatures that were created as an intent to create perfect artificial humans. The project became more than just to create the perfect artificial human, it became more of a hobby for the rich men to bet on them, gambling as they were pitted against other monsters to fight. It went on until the players finally gained awareness and killed off everyone in sight. Because of this, many players feel that humans mistreated them and that they are far superior and deserve better. It is revealed that Seiji has a formula to produce Corpse Riders, Player-like beings created from the corpses of recently deceased humans. Corpse Riders aren't as strong as Players, but they possess strength in numbers.
Chameleon Player #1
Voiced by: Mitsuhiro Sakamaki (Japanese); Richard Epcar (English)
The first Player introduced in the series, he is modeled after a chameleon. While he was still human, he tried to commit suicide after killing everyone in the shantytown Jin and Gorō were living in, but was rescued by Jin. Afterwards, he reverted and tried to kill him, but died fighting Kanzaki's and slicing off his arm.
The second Player to appear. Originally a building manager, he became known in the media as an arsonist. As a Player, he can generate, control, and heal wounds from fire. When he fought Jin, he impaled him through the gut, allowing him to begin his first transformation into a preliminary ZET, and was killed by him.
The third Player to appear. Originally a human child, Ichiro was the son of Jiro Nakata. He and his mother were the only ones that Jiro has ever cared for. He was murdered in a hit and run, and his corpse was placed in the sealed laboratory with his father for sixteen years. While trapped, Jiro revived him by being turning him into a player. When they were freed, the sudden exposure to sunlight mutated his body into an insect/humanoid form. His father eventually decides to take revenge against Amagi Corp. through Kōga, but after realizing his father is evil, he rebels by using his power to rescue Mayu from the Kōga doubles and setting their laboratory to self-destruct. As the laboratory was falling apart, he used his powers to take control of his father and commit assisted suicide, not wanting his powers to be used to kill any more innocent people. It is implied that he and his father both went to heaven when they died. During the assault on Amagi Corp., Hayami reveals that he created an exact clone of Ichirō, intending to use his power to enhance Kōga's body.
As a player, he is capable of using a special kind of bug to take control of people, and make them say what he wants. This power also allows him to "read" the hearts of those he controls.
The fourth Player to appear. He is modeled after a rhinoceros, and like his animal counterpart, he has immense strength. He and the Chameleon Player broke into Mitsuagi's secret facility to steal Kanzaki's still-functioning head to unlock its secrets. During his fight with Jin, his horn was impaled into Jin's chest, allowing him to transform into a semi-complete Zet and kill him.
Chameleon Player #2
The fifth Player to appear. He is also modeled after a chameleon. Like a chameleon, he can blend into the background by turning invisible, and can also use his tongue as a deadly weapon. He and Saitō/Rhino Player broke into Mitsuagi's secret facility to steal Kanzaki's still functioning head to unlock its secrets. He managed to succeed and escape with his life. He appears again during the attack on Amagi Corp., with the intent to kill Jin/ZET and the two black suits. However, Jin/ZET is able to grievously wound the Player, leaving his heart exposed. Black suit B uses this opportunity to kill the Player, thus avenging Kishimoto's murder.
Kai Isono/Crab Player
Voiced by: Mitsuhiro Sakamaki (Japanese); Spike Spencer (English)
The sixth Player to appear, he is modeled after a crab. He views humanity as a filth that needs to be washed away. When he tried to kill Tanaka, Jin jumped in and fought him, using his ZET powers to destroy his main body. He was killed for good by the Sweeper. As a Player, he can emit a foam that can dissolve anyone, and can detach himself from his body.
Shuu Isono/Sea Louse Player
Voiced by: Masanori Takeda (Japanese); Matthew Mercer (English)
The seventh Player to appear, he is modeled after a sea louse. The twin brother of Ebizō Isono/Shrimp Player, he tends to act without thinking. Under Seiji's orders, he and his brother tried to kill Jin. However, while on the job, he attempts to rape Tanaka, but is prevented by a call for help from his brother. On his way to help, he is attacked and killed by Jin/ZET. As a Player, he can create and switch to a new body if his previous one is killed, as well as create cockroach-like spawn.
Ebizō Isono/Shrimp Player
The eighth Player to appear, he is modeled after a shrimp. Although he is the twin brother of Shuu Isono/Sea Louse Player, unlike his brother, he keeps a cool head and thinks things through. He and his brother tried to kill Jin under Seiji's orders. He kidnapped Konoha and her friend in an attempt to kill Jin, but was delayed by the help of Jin's neighbors and Kōga/Alphasz. He ended up getting killed by the combined efforts of Jin and Kōga. As a Player, he, like his brother, has the ability to create and switch to a new body if his previous one is killed, as well as create shrimp-like spawn.
The ninth Player to appear, he is modeled after a bat. He and Sōya first appeared to kidnap the creator of the "Ginga Chōjin Alphasz" anime series. While trying to capture him, his left wing was sliced of by Kōga/Alphasz, who had just gained a flight system in his armor. However, he managed to escape with his life when Sōya quickly beat Kōga/Alphasz into unconsciousness.
The tenth Player to appear, he is presumably modeled after a cobra. He appeared while Jin and Kōga were each on a date with Hanako and Mayu, respectively. When Seiji made his declaration of war, he and many other Players went on a murderous rampage, which lasted until Seiji blew up the area, killing all the humans and Players there (except Kōga/Alphasz).
The eleventh Player to appear, he is modeled after a knight, complete with a sword. He also tends to speak like a knight, using words like "tomfoolery" and "poppycock" in his speech. As a Player, he is able to move at superhuman speed. He serves Seiji, and follows him to his attack on Amagi Corp. During the attack, he challenges Jin/ZET head on, but proves to be stronger than Jin in his "White" ZET form. During the fight, he admits that he wanted an excuse to kill Jin as ZET so Seiji would acknowledge him. However, though he loyally serves Seiji, he states that he won't hesitate to kill him should he turn on the EVOL, even if it kills him. As he is about to finish Jin off, Kōga/Alphasz appears to save Jin, fueled by the power Ichirō's clone gave him. During their sword fight, however, Kōga/Alphasz pulls out his gun and executes the Knight Player, stating his pride and recklessness led to his downfall.
The twelve Player to appear, he's modeled after a clown, jungling high-explosives balls. He appeared in front of Jin while Jin's trying to help people inside an elevator to escape.
Similar to players but a higher ranked class (G3), they are based in the arena the Players used to fight to the death in. They follow rules and avoid needless killing, and do not meltdown so easily like other players. They would also be known as non-defective players. Most EVOL take pride in their rank and are offended if they are ever called or mistaken as players. EVOL is also the name of a club in the storyline, built specifically for players who disguise themselves as humans within society. EVOL could also mean the player organization. Their control is able to reach as far as the Prime Minister of Japan. It is eventually revealed by Shibaki that EVOL intends to conquer the world and eventually wipe out humanity.
The mysterious leader of EVOL, he intends to conquer the world and wipe out humanity. It is unknown what the extent of his power is, though he has the power to keep players from reverting, and his player form was modeled after a wolf (while he was fully organic). He was one of the original 13 Players that rebelled, and the creator of the G2 and G3 Players. He believes that now they are able to create ZET clones, there is no reason to keep Jin alive. After Seiji's declaration of war, the leader reveals himself to be the owner of the EVOL club. When Seiji threatens to destroy EVOL, Seed beheads and attaches the leader's head to itself, and they proceed to presumably kill Seiji, though he is aware that Seiji survived and orders the Sweeper to keep an eye on him. He soon learns of Seiji launching an attack on Amagi Corp., and orders the Sweeper to kill Seiji.
(Shido). An automatonic, sentient suit of black armor. Not much is known about it, except that it is able to move blindingly fast and can emit deadly laser beams. It also seems to have a "son." After Seiji threatens to destroy EVOL, Seed beheads the leader, then proceeds to attach his head to itself, then seemingly kills Seiji. From then on, he alternates control between itself and the leader.
(Haitani Seiji). The brains of EVOL, Haitani is considered the first major antagonist of the series. He seems to have an interest in Jin, as he implanted a ceramic spike into Jin's heart in order to allow him to freely become ZET. He is shown to be merciless when it comes to getting what he wants, going as far as to fake the decapitating of Akemi's son in an attempt to get Jin to give him Kanzaki's pendant. While Jin and Kōga are on their respective dates, Haitani delivers a declaration of war to the human race. Afterwards, as he threatens to destroy EVOL if Jin is killed, Seed beheads and attaches the leader's head to itself, and they proceed to presumably kill Haitani. He survives, and soon meets up with Suzuki, the person Yōko is staying with. He then delivers a message to Jin, telling him to join forces with him to defeat EVOL, also revealing to him that the Amagi Corp. was funding EVOL and that the black suits were in on it, though that part was a lie. He then launches an attack on Amagi Corp. along with Hayami, the Knight Player, the Joker Player, and Suzuki ("Katō"). During the attack, it is revealed that Haitani is holding Hanako hostage, as a means of making Jin do what he wants. After the death of the Knight Player, he starts activating explosives across Amagi Tower, and he confronts Kōga/Alphasz with the opportunity to help Jin achieve his "True ZET" form, in order to see if he can remain his true self or become an ally of EVOL. When Jin shows that he is able to remain himself, Haitani transforms into Anvil in order to prevent Inzen/Degel from killing Jin.
As Anvil, Haitani appears as an angelic being with demonic wings, the complete opposite of Inzen's Degel form. He has even stated that his powers are the opposite of Degel's, so they are pretty much neutralized by each other. The eye in the middle of his chest, if gazed into by Inzen/Degel, is able to keep him frozen in place. He desires to become one with Degel, though is unable to because of their opposing natures.
(Suipā). Little is known about him except for his appearances to kill off defective players, and that there are dozens of him. He also shows some interest in ZET and wishes to fight with him (chapter 70). Jin/ZET is now known as "the Black Sweeper "(Chapter 88). It is later revealed that the Sweeper serves EVOL.
(Inzen Sōya). Another high ranking EVOL, he and Seiji are two of the three main EVOLs, along with their mysterious leader. He is shown to disapprove of the tactics Seiji uses to get what he wants, and is weary of him doing whatever he wants. He is also a firm believer of the ends justifying the means. Inzen is shown to be strong enough to defeat Kōga/Alphasz in an instant. When he first appeared, he and Kosuri/Bat Player kidnapped the creator of the "Ginga Chōjin Alphasz" anime series for unknown reasons. He later appears during Haitani's attack on Amagi Corp., intent on ending the rogue Player for his betrayal as well as kill Jin, believing him to be too dangerous to allow to live.
As Degel, he appears in a towering demonic form with angelic wings, the complete opposite of Haitani's Anvil form. He is also able to shoot demonic-appearing rods out of his hands, which have the ability to transform into soldiers that follow his commands.
The manga was first a one-shot from a set of four published between 1989 and 1994 in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. Other one-shots compiled were "Shin-no-Shin", "Woman in the Man" and "Shadow Lady". Zetman started serialization as a full-fledged series in the seinen magazine Weekly Young Jump in 2002. The series temporarily ceased its publication, as the last chapter of its "Act 1" was published on July 24, 2014. As of October 2014, the serial chapters were collected into twenty tankōbon, the first one released on November 19, 2003, and the 20th one on October 17, 2014. Outside Japan, the series is licensed by Editorial Ivrea in Argentina, by Grupo Editorial Vid in Mexico, by Star Comics in Italy, by Glénat in Spain, and in France by Tonkam.
Zetman was adapted into an anime television series that premiered on April 2, 2012. It is directed by Osamu Nabeshima, screenplay by Atsuhiro Tomioka, and character design by Hirotoshi Takaya. Gabriele Roberto supervised the music. The anime itself is only partially accurate to the manga as the animators removed and/or altered various portions of the original story. The anime is available to watch streaming on Hulu and Viz Media's streaming service.
"Mijukuna Kanjō" (未熟な感情)
|April 2, 2012|
|Jin Kanzaki is poor, but he lives a happy life with his grandfather. Together with his friends Kouga and Konoha, he helps out people for a fee. Meanwhile, the police are searching for a vicious serial killer.|
|2||"In the Fire"|
"Guren no Naka de" (紅蓮の中で)
|April 9, 2012|
|A few years have passed since Jin went missing. Kouga, still dreaming of becoming a real hero, is intent on catching a serial arsonist prowling the streets.|
|April 16, 2012|
|When Jin wakes up, he sees a monster holding the lifeless body of his foster mother, Akemi. An old man named Mitsugai is attempting to awaken ZET within Jin by using her. Mitsugai succeeds and ZET awakens…but he’s still incomplete.|
|April 23, 2012|
|Two years have passed. Players are wreaking havoc in society, but humans are still unaware of their existence. People live in fear, and Mitsugai is unable to produce another ZET.|
|April 30, 2012|
|Kouga tries to become a superhero by creating a real-life Alphas. A mysterious man approaches him with a test to see if he’s qualified to become one.|
|May 7, 2012|
|Konoha is taken hostage and Jin is unable to do anything. Unlike before, he cannot become ZET by hurting himself and doesn’t have his Activation Gum.|
|7||"The Ring Of Exposure"|
"Abaki no Wa" (暴きの輪)
|May 14, 2012|
|ZET finally turns red and displays powers unlike anything seen before. With overwhelming strength, ZET dominates the fight against a Player. Meanwhile, Kouga is having a tough time fending off a Player in his first battle as Alphas.|
|8||"A Normal Family"|
"Futsū no Kazoku" (普通の家族)
|May 21, 2012|
|Kouga learns that Jin has been fighting by himself as ZET. Thrilled over meeting a true hero, Kouga calls him “ZETMAN” and declares he will fight alongside him. Jin and Kouga head for the lab to find out why Red ZET turned white.|
|9||"Whereabouts of the Pendant"|
"Katami no Yukue" (形見の行方)
|May 28, 2012|
|The key to completing ZET is the pendant that Konoha has in her possession. Haitani and his men easily infiltrate the Amagi residence. Konoha wakes up and finds Jin standing in front of her. She hands him the pendant, not knowing he’s actually a clone.|
|June 4, 2012|
|Konoha goes missing. Kouga receives a phone call from the man who gave him the first test where he had to choose between the lives of his sister or three high school girls he didn’t know. Kouga chose Konoha and the girls were killed.|
"Ayatsuri Ningyō" (操り人形)
|June 11, 2012|
|Haitani hijacks a broadcast signal in Middletown to declare war against humanity. Under his leadership, regressed Players start wreaking havoc, but Jin appears as ZET to protect people and fights as a one-man army.|
|12||"The Red Stake"|
"Akai Kui" (赤い杭)
|June 18, 2012|
|Inside Amagi Tower, ZET is severely wounded by Haitani and can no longer retain his form. Does he have to become complete in order to defeat Haitani? Why does Haitani want ZET to be complete so desperately?|
|June 25, 2012|
|Jin walks down a bloody path in solitude as ZET… Alphas has fulfilled his dream of becoming a hero and fights according to his idea of justice… After so much bloodshed and tears, what is it that they wished to attain at the end?|
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2010)
In Japan, it has sold 3.5 million copies as of the 15th volume.
The Animeland reviewer noted that the author's previous tales were about "teens' trifles", in contrast to Zetman's "brutal adventures with a profound darkness", and that they preferred Zetman to the author's other works. Animeland noted that Zetman was serialised over a period of many years, which Animeland says gave "the advantage of time to refine the script". Mickaël Géreaume from Planet BD felt that the first volume was inspired by the author's great love of Batman, finding it surprising considering the author's other works were romantic comedies.
- "Dossier Zetman", Animeland issue #125, October 2006, ISSN 1148-0807, p 32-34 (issue teaser) (in French)
- "The Official Website for Zetman". Viz Media. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
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- Géreaume, Mickaël. "Zetman - Recueil" (in French). Planete BD. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "桂正和描くSFドラマ「ZETMAN」第1幕完結" (in Japanese). Comic Natalie. July 24, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2015.
- "ZETMAN 1" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "ZETMAN 20" (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved November 10, 2014.
- "Editorial Ivrea" (in Spanish). Editorial Ivrea. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Zetman # 1" (in Spanish). Grupo Editorial Vid. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Zetman - 13" (in Italian). Star Comics. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Zetman" (in Spanish). Glénat. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Zetman" (in French). Tonkam. Retrieved June 22, 2010.
- "Zetman Manga to Get TV Anime Next April". Anime News Network. 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
- "Zetman TV Anime's Staff at TMS Entertainment Confirmed". Anime News Network. October 18, 2011. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- "Accel World, Natsuiro Kiseki, Zetman, Dusk maiden of Amnesia Premieres Listed". Anime News Network. February 29, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on August 25, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012.