ReviewsZambot 3

Zambot 3 Ep. 16: Terror of the Human Bombs

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Summary

People wait to board an evacuation train. The train arrives at the station. As the clock strikes 12:00, several people explode, killing many and triggering a large explosion. Another person explodes at a dam, blowing it up. Meanwhile, a pilot of a plane blows up in similar fashion, causing the plane to explode as it approaches the landing strip. Killer the Butcher watches from the Bandock, saying he’s going to make even more human bombs and kill many more people. He plays a pinball game, spilling them all over the floor and causing him to slip across the floor. On the 1st Beal ship, Heizaemon says it is unusual that all these explosions happened at exactly 12:00. He tells Kappei to head to Sendai to investigate. Uchuta’s parents contact them asking where Kazuyuki and Kiiro are. Uchuta’s father says they said they were going to fight and protect the Earth. He also says their miniature submarine is missing. Keiko’s mother and father also contact them and say that her sister Kimiko is missing and left a similar message about going to protect the Earth and to not look for them. At that moment, the three of them travel through the sea in a submarine, looking for a Gaizock base. Suddenly some sharks approach and smash into the submarine. Kazuyuki fires missiles at them, revealing that the sharks are actually robots. A Gaizock craft hidden in some wreckage watches nearby. A subordinate tells the captain about the attack and he says to sink them. Kazuyuki says they are down to 1 torpedo. A larger, yellow shark craft approaches and swallows them in its mouth, damaging the sub. The kids swim to the surface, but the yellow shark does the same and nearly draws them in with a whirlpool. They soon see a ship before them, but it is actually the one possessed by the Gaizock. The captain thinks says they can turn the children into human bombs and to capture them. He puts on some makeup. Later, the kids thank the captain and the others for rescuing them, saying they were looking for the Gaizock’s base. He says they are a transport ship and can’t attack. Their planes were all destroyed by the Gaizock he claims. The kids think they are useless and as part of the Jin family they must fight on. The captain contacts Butcher, telling him he captured 3 kids from the Jin family. Butcher says they can use them as hostages to obtain the Zambot 3. The kids and captain watch as a ship approaches them. Some people claiming to be doctors leave the aircraft carrier and board the ship, but explode as soon as they arrive on the ship, blowing it up. The kids realize they sent a time bomb on the ship, but the captain says it was actually human bombs. He said they brought them on board so as to make them human bombs as well. They are purposely blowing them up as they reach other humans and that this ship is where they are manufacturing them. A transmission from Butcher is sent to the 1st Beal ship. He shows them their captured siblings, saying to bring them the Zambot at Oshima island at 4:00 or they won’t see them again. Kappei shouts out about how dirty the Gaizock are. The kids are tied up to a pole on the ship and Kazuyuki says they shouldn’t cry. He soon breaks down himself though. The captain laughs at them from below, saying their life will end when the Zambot arrives. The kid’s parents ask Heizaemon if they can save them. Uchuta and Keiko tell their parents that they must forget them; they can’t hand over the Zambot 3 which is Earth’s only hope. Kappei disagrees asking how they can save the Earth if they can’t even save three kids. Kappei’s family is happy at what he has said and his grandmother gives him a lucky charm. His mother also gives him some food. Kappei heads onto the Zambird and takes off. Heizaemon says they will also head there to help rescue the kids. The ship ascends and takes off out of the water.

The Zambo Ace heads out but Kappei has a hard time seeing in the fog. Kappei eventually finds the aircraft carrier. The captain tells him to come down or he’ll feed the kids to the sharks. Kappei lands on the aircraft carrier. The kids are happy to see Kappei and he says he’ll rescue them. The captain asks where the other three crafts are and Kappei says this is good enough as they won’t be able to use the Zambot 3 without the Zambo Ace. He pulls out his food and says to untie the kids while he eats. The captain says the Jin family has raised the white flag though and Kappei sees the 1st Beal ship descending with a white flag raised. On the ship, Heizaemon secretly has Uchuta and Keiko head out on another craft to rescue the kids. They pass several mechanical sharks, but are able to use interference so as to not be noticed. They notice that the aircraft carrier is no ordinary ship, and may even be a Mecha Boost. They get to the surface and Uchuta climbs up on a rope. Kappei argues with the captain but notices Uchuta and Kappei climbing onboard and changes his tune. Kappei throws his food at the captain and Uchuta and Keiko are revealed above. Kappei grabs a gun and shoots all the troops. The captain flees. Uchuta tells Kappei the ship is secretly a Mecha Boost. Keiko gets the kids aboard the craft and says they should escape quickly. The ship starts shaking. Uchuta gets on the craft and departs while Kappei gets into the Zambo Ace. Tentacles rise in the air, revealing the ship to in fact be a Mecha Boost, the BuuBon. The giant yellow shark craft tries to consume the craft being used to flee, but Kappei grabs it with the Zambo Ace and throws it at the BuuBon. Ichitaro sends out the Zambo Magnum. The kids arrive back on the 1st Beal ship and Heizaemon tells them to never do such a thing again. The Zambo Ace fires at the BuuBon, which ascends towards it. The BuuBon knocks the Zambo Ace aside and Kappei tries to attack from below. The BuuBon descends back into the water and the Zambo Ace flees. Kappei wonders where its weakness is. Uchuta and Keiko thank Kappei for helping rescue their siblings. The crafts combine into the Zambot 3. The BuuBon’s tentacles grab onto the Zambot, which tries to counterattack by shooting out its missiles. The BuuBon fires its laser as well. Kappei shouts out that he won’t give up and fires at the bridge. The BuuBon chases after the Zambot, which forms the Zambot Cutter and slices at the BuuBon. Its deck is too hard to go through though. Kappei changes his approach and stabs at the BuuBon’s bridge. Many tentacles grab onto the Zambot, making it hard to control. The BuuBon prepares a great missile. The captain wants to push the button firing it. Heizaemon tells Ichitaro to help the Zambot and fire missiles. This causes the captain to accidentally hit the button that triggers all the human bomb explosions. Many humans aboard the ship start exploding. Kappei launches a moon attack, destroying the BuuBon. The captain is able to take off in an escape capsule. The kids celebrate but feel sorry for the people who died from being human bombs. Heizaemon and the others learn about the human bombs and that many humans died on the Mecha Boost as a result of their attack.

Commentary

The Gaizock have really brought their attack on humanity to the next level here, capturing people and implanting bombs in them, set to go off so as to cause as many casualties as possible. It’s an interesting but rather morbid concept, and this appears to be only the start of the Gaizock’s plans to do things in this way. This teamed with some of the young children of the Jin family heading out on their own at the absolute worst team almost means the end for the Jin family. Uchuta and Keiko were willing to even sacrifice their young siblings, but Kappei spoke out on it and they were ultimately able to rescue them all. It would have been even more heinous had the Gaizock implanted human bombs in them as well, and I wonder why they didn’t. With all the human bombs exploding at the end of the episode it looks like they aren’t saving it as an attack for later. Overall this is the strongest episode in a while, with the human bombs concept and taking things in a less formulaic direction than we have seen in recent episodes.

Overall Rating
4/5
Zambot 3 Info


Director:
Yoshiyuki Tomino

Writer(s):
Fuyunori Gobu
Hiroyuki Hoshiyama
Soji Yoshikawa
Yoshihisa Araki
Katsuhiko Taguchi

Mechanical Designer(s):
Kunio Okawara
Ryoji Fujiwara

Character Designer:
Yoshikazu Yasuhiko

Musical Composer(s):
Takeo Watanabe
Yushi Matsuyama

Airdates:
Japan 10.08.1977 – 03.25.1978

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