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by Master_M2K on September 20th, 2009, 10:47am

Rating - 9 / 10.0

User rating of this review - 5 out of 5
Story/Plot - 4 out of 5
Characters - 4.5 out of 5
Drawing Style - 5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4.5 out of 5
Overall - 4.5 out of 5

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Zetman is a Seinen, Sci-fi, Action, Drama that traces the lives of two rival heroes; developing and enacting their own form of judgment in a DC Comics fashion. Still it is a major problem, since you’re mostly unaware of what Zetman is all about until much later on.

Plot / Story
Describing the story for Zetman is quite the arduous task, because not only is it hard to make any sense out of the 1st couple chapters but nothing is clearly explained until much later. The beginning basically sets the scene for this manga, which has something to do with monsters known as ‘players’ and it introduces a kid who’s somewhat involved in all this. Then we jump to another kid who’s grown up idolizing a cartoon superhero, which soon influences his future aspiration. None of the numerous plots floating about really makes sense at this point and it takes a long time before the real story surfaces. Till then all the reader can do is follow the lives of two boys (Jin Kanzaki & Kouga Amagi) who share a sense of justice but live completely different lives. It’s quite odd that this manga suddenly splits into two separate stories but then again it’s also captivating the way it shows the different hardships our characters face, which lead them into sharing a similar goal (eliminating the players).

Sure there are two main characters that share the same strong sense of justice but they’re both incredibly different. Jin Kanzaki is a “down to earth” kind of guy, who is both blessed and burdened of being a superhuman known as “Zet”; whereas Kouga Amagi is a sheltered rich boy, who’s always dreamt of being a hero of justice. There are other characters that bring a good change of pace to this really grim story; be it family, friends or love interests nonetheless quite a few of the characters have unappealing personalities.

Drawing Style
However what certainly isn’t unappealing is the artwork, as this manga does an amazing job in portraying the gritty reality of this unreal world. Even though everything from the backdrop to the characters look rather sketchy, there’s a great deal of detail put into all of it, including the towering skyscrapers and the technical devices. To sum it up, the art is near perfect, with everything having an interesting Western comic book style. I just had some minor qualms with the gruesome action scenes, not for the level of gore but because it can be difficult to tell what kind of blow was landed.

Overall / Enjoyment
Overall Zetman is a great piece for those heroic/action story lovers, with a particular question that seems to surface a lot “what is your idea of justice?” Sadly it doesn’t even give the reader a clear idea of what the story is entirely about early on but part of the experience is from finding out yourself and as you read on you’ll begin to tell that the mangaka really makes effort to construct a logical storyline. Sure the cover picture and the undeniable theme of justice may get you thinking of your classic Western comic book but that’s what makes this Japanese manga so special.
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Helpful review by brid on November 7th, 2009, 1:50pm Rating: 5

Good review; it gives me some incentive to look into reading the manga and stick with it even if I don't like the early chapters. Thanks for this.
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