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Zambot 3 Ep. 17: When the Star Twinkles

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Summary

At a refugee camp, soldiers hurry some people onto a truck. One of Kouzuki’s friends, Kenta, hides underneath as it drives off with another truck. Meanwhile inside one of the buildings Kouzuki and his other friends talk about how Kouzuki made it out. Kouzuki expresses disgust at the camp being controlled by the Gaizock. Kenta drops off one of the trucks without being spotted. Meanwhile in the air, Keiko spots a Mecha Boost and blows it up with the Zambase. Kenta spots a torn up newspapers showing that the King Beal is nearby. He gets on a boat and heads across the water. Meanwhile Uchuta destroys another Mecha Boost and communicates with the King Beal as another approaches. He launches his attack on it, destroying it. Meanwhile on the King Beal, Heizaemon orders Uchuta to return to base. An intruder, Kenta is spotted. He collapses on the deck of the ship. Kappei runs out and asks him if he is alright. Kappei tells Ichitaro he knows him, and he’s from Kouzuki’s gang. They bring him inside where Uchuta’s father tends to him, saying he is suffering from exhaustion and malnutrition and they should let him rest. Meanwhile the trucks drop off some refugees, telling them their memory will eventually return. The people have a glassy eyed look as they get off the trucks. Another truck does the same inside the city. A Snai Sworder watches from above transmitting the information to Killer the Butcher. He talks to Barettar as the people, who were implanted with human bombs explode, killing many and destroying refugee camps and parts of the city. Butcher comments on how it is easier to kill humans with human bombs than Mecha Boosts. He tells Barettar to produce more human bombs. Heizaemon is informed of the explosions. Kappei is surprised as they haven’t seen any Mecha Boosts. Kappei wants to go, but Heizaemon says to hold off. Hanae tells him Kenta woke up and Kappei goes to see him. Kenta tells them of the Gaizock camp, saying they went to Nanakasho a few days ago thinking there would be no Mecha Boost attacks. Flashbacks show them arriving and heading inside. They are surprised at the level of security especially as they are locked inside a building. He says the Gaizock are gathering refugees like him. Heizaemon says to use the X-Ray on him. Uchuta’s father does so, finding no problems with him. Heizaemon tells Kappei he suspected a human bomb and that the Gaizock may be producing them in camps. Kappei is concerned about whether Kouzuki has been implanted with one. He takes off on the Zambird with his grandmother and they are told to contact Heizaemon once they reach the base. Kappei transforms the Zambird into the Zambo Ace. Kappei’s grandmother gets out with Kappei and Chiyonshiki. They head to the refugee camp and ask the guard if they can go inside. The guard says no dogs are allowed so Kappei tells Chiyonshiki to wait outside. They are brought inside and Kappei’s grandmother comments on there not being many people here. The guards tell them to shut up and one slaps Kappei when he talks back. Kappei’s grandmother notices Kouzuki and tells Kappei to do as they say. A guard strikes Kappei with the butt of his gun and they are thrown in a building. Kappei complains, saying instead of a refugee camp this is like a prison cell. Some of the trucks head out and Kappei’s grandmother contacts the King Beal with a hidden communication device in Kappei’s shoe. Later it starts raining out and the guards let some people outside. Kappei goes outside, finding Kouzuki and Hamamoto. Kappei asks if they did anything to them such as taking them somewhere. Kouzuki asks about where the guard took them last night and Hamamoto doesn’t know. Kappei notices that both of Kouzuki’s friends, Hayashi and Hamamoto have star marks on their backs. He asks Hamamoto if he had that bruise on his back before but they don’t know anything about it. Kappei wonders if this is the mark of a human bomb.

On the Bandock, Butcher is told that aircraft are approaching the camp, the Zambull and Zambase. He says to release the human bombs all over Japan so they won’t be a waste. He says those not converted yet should be brought onto their ship, and to also launch a Mecha Boost. Uchuta attacks the Snai Sworders. Keiko tells him a Mecha Boost is approaching them. The guards at the camp tell everyone they have to go. Kappei meanwhile is using a nail file his grandmother had hidden to unlock their door. The Zambase and Zambull approach the camp and fire at the fence, destroying it. Kappei and his grandmother head out. Kouzuki and his friends join Kappei in attacking the guards. Many people escape their homes but another guard arrives. Kappei’s grandmother throws her hat at him and gas comes out, knocking him out. A Mecha Boost comes out of the ocean while another, the Hirayangar comes from the sky and attacks the Zambull. Keiko attacks it but misses, and it is able to damage the Zambase with its claws. Chiyonshiki chases off and bites the remaining guard. Kappei tells Kouzuki to take care and that he’s heading to the Zambo Ace. On the King Beal, Ichitaro comments on how Kappei was able to successfully depart the camp. Heizaemon wants them to bring the refugees on board and tells Kappei to lure the Mecha Boosts away from the camp with the Zambo Ace. Kappei calls out to the others and they combine into the Zambot 3. The Hirayangar approaches. Keiko notices that the refugees are near the shore, where the other Mecha Boost sucks them up with its tentacles. The Zambot attacks the Hirayangar with its sai, which simply bites it off. It then slams the Zambot in the stomach, damaging its energy pipe. Kappei launches the Zambot Cutter attack then the arm punch attack. He throws another Zambot cutter and attempts a buster missile but is knocked away by its attack. Yamada, one of Kouzuki’s friends is sucked into the Mecha Boost along with many others. Hayashi is drawn up as well and his bomb explodes. The guards comment on how they don’t have to capture those with the star mark. Kouzuki and Hamamoto overhear. Kouzuki says they won’t get Yamada and fires at the Mecha Boost, being drawn in by its tentacle. The Zambot 3 meanwhile continues to attack the Hirayangar. Uchuta says they must find its weakness. The Zambot forces the Hirayangar’s mouth open with its sai then launches a moon attack, destroying it. Later, Hamamoto talks to Kappei and the others saying he doesn’t know when he will blow up. Kappei sadly says even the King Beal doesn’t have a way to remove the bomb from his body. Hamamoto says farewell and walks off, saying he’ll find someplace where there are no people. Those others with human bombs separate from the others. The Jin family sadly watches from the deck of the King Beal. Ichitaro asks Heizaemon and his father if there’s anything they can do. Hamamoto says his parents are already gone and he will join them soon. He then stops, saying he doesn’t want to die without seeing his mom and dad. He runs off crying. People hold him back as he cries for his mother and father about how scared he is. He explodes shortly afterwards. Kappei watches and starts crying, saying how sorry he is.

Commentary

Probably the strongest episode yet, we continue the storyline concerning the human bombs that started last time. The Gaizock have quickly started using the human bombs as a key part of their attack, enough so that Killer the Butcher says they are more effective than the Mecha Boosts. As such, the Mecha Boost battles seem to be taking more and more of a back seat. At the start of the episode several were dispatched with ease and we got a slightly longer battle at the end of the episode, but one that was clearly not the main focus of the action. Having several known characters (granted a couple of characters who haven’t had the most development) in Kouzuki’s friends become human bombs was a sad sight to see. In fact one could argue the last few minutes of this episode is one of the saddest moments in a Tomino anime as Hamamoto heads off, aware of his fate, then loses it and starts sobbing for his parents before exploding. Kouzuki was captured at the end of the episode, making me wonder if he’s the next to be turned into a human bomb.

Overall Rating
5/5
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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