Jun 132012

Zetman’s ending is shaping out to be my sort of thing. Everyone’s kinda fucked regardless of what moral choices they make. That makes me all kinds of happy.

But yeah, one certain moment in the second to last episode was perfect.

It’s one of those classic, overplayed scenarios. The hero is about to shoot someone. He wants to do it. The audience probably wants to see it happen. Regardless, deep down inside the hero and the audience knows that the hero is better than that. He’s acting out of rage and there’s a far more rational solution that will resolve things with far less baggage and repercussions. That rage blinds the hero just long enough for him to fire, but his hesitance gives someone else the initiative to step in the way and take the brunt of the attack. In the end, the hero has innocent blood on his hands and whomever was the target of his rage has gone unscathed.

ALPHAS is prepared to murder his father. His father may be an amoral, treacherous madman, but putting a bullet between his eyes won’t solve anything. Alphas knows better, but he lets his anger rule his actions and he fires after a few moments of hesitation. This gives ALPHAS’ mother just enough time to step in the way of the bullet and protect her husband.

In almost every other similar scenario, this would lead to the hero realizing the error of his ways. Letting an innocent die (or at least get grievously wounded) due to his anger usually calms the hero so that he can defeat the villain without becoming just as bad as the villain.

Nope. ALPHAS doesn’t even think twice. He doesn’t cry out for his fallen mother. As soon as the first shot has met its unintended target, he fires again and puts that bullet between his father’s eyes.

This ties into everything else that I’ve been digging about this series. It isn’t playing with easy to define morals. None of the heroes are straight-laced white knight types. No one’s world view is idealized. Even the anti-heroes and villains play by sets of rules that are far more nuanced than usual. ALPHAS may want to be that idealized sentai hero from TV, but he’s all too eager to pull the trigger and allow a few innocents to fall if the greater good is served. After all of his angst over this very issue, ALPHAS is the one willing to let the mother die if the rest of the family may live.

The same goes for the Players who are on the rampage. To us humans they seem to be mindless destroyers who don’t give a damn about laws and the like, but to them they see us as the proverbial Satan. Humans created the Players and forced them into this monstrous lot only to enslave them and try to eradicate them when they were an inconvenience. To the Players, we humans are like the malevolent, uncaring gods of myth. In our myths we treasure the sort of heroes that go against the gods and carve a place in the cosmos for humanity, and these Players see themselves in that sort of light. They’re the downtrodden overthrowing the obsolete, evil gods– the very sort of thing we love when said downtrodden share out genetics.

The closest we have to a genuine, “pure” hero is Zetman himself, and given what went down in this episode he’s going to be forced into a moral quandary that has no right answer. He’ll have to make a choice, and either answer is fucked up.

Yeah man, I love this shit.

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