Jin is a strange kid with an angel mark on his hand. He lives a poor but peaceful life with his grandfather, along with the other destitute and abandoned vagabonds near the river. One day, his peaceful life changes when a strange monster named "player" appears, chopping off heads and killing everyone who appears in front of it.
Zetman was published in Spanish by Glénat España from October 2006 to June 2012 before declaring bankruptcy; it was republished and finished by Ivrea España from June 2013 to March 2016. The manga has also been published in Brazilian Portuguese by Jbc since June 2015.
Zetman is a Devilman derivative (or in the case of the original one-shot, an obvious pastiche) that fills the niche of those looking for a darker, sexier superhero comic while retaining some of the camp of the genre, along with character duality reminiscent of a reversed Batman/Superman dynamic. Fans of the slow-burn will enjoy the steady build of the plot, while others may be frustrated at points where it seems to move *too* slow.
Its strongest point lies in its artwork, which will likely keep people reading despite bumps in story construction. The artwork is beautiful and polished, with immaculate attention to detail and anatomy put
into the character designs and settings, which is impressive during extensive fight scenes with highly detailed characters. Those who appreciate the hyper-detail that goes into works like Berserk will likewise also appreciate the effort put into Zetman's art and design.
Storywise, Zetman is a familiar sci-fi take on a classic subject and becomes fairly meta as genre-specific anime origins become integrated into its plot. While slowly paced, the story is full of timeskips and flashbacks, at times becoming incoherent or suffering from superfluous dialogue when the priority should be "show, not tell." The attention to detail is extensive, but the storytelling would benefit with streamlined editing. While the overall soul of the story is meant to be in the internal conflicts of the main characters with a "nature vs. nurture" subtext, it remains weak by being largely driven by plot points, with the main character remaining fairly static. While a hit-and-miss for some, Kouga's character arc remains the most dynamic thus far.
This lack of dynamism extends to the female characters to a great degree - most lack dimension and serve as plot devices to create conflict for the male characters. It's worth mentioning that this manga could be called "Fridged Women: Zetman Edition." Those with a low tolerance for this trope will quickly become frustrated by the constant sexualized peril and exploitation of the female characters, which appears so fetishistic it can border on guro. While tolerable the first few times, the constant recurrence can quickly become redundant and exhausting. Those discerning of well-developed romance will probably crinkle their nose when the first major one comes out of left field, feeling jarringly hasty and uncharacteristic. The motive for the shoddily constructed romance is blindingly obvious, which will leave some with a sour taste.
For all its flaws, Zetman has its poignant moments and is worthwhile for those looking for a niche seinen with retro superhero vibes. This story could also satisfy anyone simply looking to read something with beautiful art. It is committed to retaining suspense and tension, which makes it an exciting read when all the elements flow smoothly. With the action only now seeming to truly kick off, it could still have time to iron out its flaws.
Zetman is the tragic tale of a destructive man , featuring an underlying theme of justice. You have two main characters Kanzaki Jin , a kind man who is cursed with being a hellish monster , and Kouga Amagi , a literal white knight.
The story is amazing , and if there was any flaws to point out , it was that it's quite complex and a lot of things are happening at once - sometimes multiple flashback sequences occur and you're just like whaaa? Nonetheless , by the end it all made a lot more sense.
The art is extremely detailed , which I very much
think adds to the 'grotesque' and somewhat real feel of the manga. The art is extremely good , and there's no complaints there.
The main characters in this manga are thrilling , such distinct opposites collide to make such an intense story. Although he has the form of a demon , Kanzaki Jin is an extremely likeable main protagonist , and often I found myself feeling extremely sorry for his terrible luck. The creator honestly did an amazing job in focusing on the torment that Kanzaki is going through , and pulls no punches doing so. By contrast , the side characters are bland to an extent , and the love interests are also very uninteresting.
I found the manga to be very enjoyable , so much so I binged it in a whole day , it's extremely satisfying watching the massive conflicts and wondering what's going to go wrong next. It's very rich with action and drama.
Just a note - but in the first half of the manga , there was an odd emphasis on rape. It kind of ruined it for me , as in the middle of intense psychological action sequence there was literally a massive orgy. wtf lol. It seemed extremely out of place.
Overall , I would give the manga an 8 , it was very enjoyable , and I recommend it quite a bit , but expect gore , sex and overall adult themes.
tl;dr: A manga with interesting themes, characters, and plot threads that just throws them all away at the end.
Zetman is to some degree a manga about super hero origins, but it's more so a manga that explores some of the issues relating to the ethics of super heroes, and hence goes deeper and gets quite a bit darker than most super hero related works. This dark setting works pretty well, and the issues relating to justice and such mostly come through pretty well. The various character relationships were done pretty well too, with Jin and Kagou serving as good foils to one another, and the romantic aspects also being pretty well done for the most part. The
plot was interesting too, in that there did seem to be a lot going on and a lot of players with various motivations and plans. However, all of this is severely hampered by how the ending is a complete nonending that doesn't do anything that an ending is supposed to do. While the ethics and such behind being a hero and justice were explored a good amount throughout the series, in the end it never felt like they actually made any sort of point. The various character relationships too end on a note where they're all completely broken, which is simply sad, not bittersweet, just kind of bitter. The plot never actually comes together. There are a lot of plans and conspiracies and twists where it turns out that the plans, goals, and motivations behind various characters are very different from what they appeared to be, but in the end it never became clear what the actual goals were, and what was actually going on, and ultimately the extremely long finale simply felt like chaos. There isn't a proper ending, rather the ending is essentially a set up for a time skip, being more preoccupied with setting up new plot threads then resolving them. But even in terms of that, it felt quite strange, in that it doesn't stop at the time skip, but has one chapter that shows things after the time skip that doesn't actually resolve anything either but rather just feels kind of awkward in terms of there eventually being a proper continuation. Though considering the time frame, it seems unlikely a continuation ever will be made at this point. I really liked the art style, art, and character designs, though I was fond of the general style more towards the beginning toward the end because it seemed it got a lot more reserved.
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 about until much later on.
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.
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 dreamed 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.
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 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. As you read on you’ll begin to tell that the mangaka really makes an 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.