ReviewsZambot 3

Zambot 3 Ep. 2: Burning Flower of Death

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Summary

Hanae and Heizaemon ride in the feet of the Zambo Ace. Hanae says she disagrees with Heizaemon’s decision. The Zambo Ace steps into the water, carrying some supplies and Heizaemon tells Kappei to be more careful, leading to some whining from him. Heizaemon complains about Kappei getting the supplies wet. A group of police ships come in from the port. The chief realizes that the entire family is responsible for what is going on, not just Kappei. The police are impressed with the size of the Beal ships. The Zambo Ace flies off, and Kappei tells Heizaemon he’ll talk to him remotely since he wants to go train. Hanae tells Ichitaro to come home with her, but having learned about their ancestors coming to this planet, he wants to stay and fight the Gaizock. She says the Gaizock wouldn’t have come if they didn’t have these devices and they should destroy them. Kappei’s Grandmother says the Gaizock will destroy everything anyway and Heizaemon says their home planet was destroyed as a result of them. Ichitaro says they are the only ones who have something like this and can escape the Earth if need be. Hanae decides to go home until her husband returns. Ichitaro tells Heizaemon that a lot of pages are missing from the manual they found, but Heizaemon isn’t too concerned, admitting they won’t be able to find out everything right away. He wishes they had known about the Gaizock sooner so as to have been better prepared. Meanwhile, a large robot is assembled on the Gaizock ship. Killer the Butcher reads about the latest Mecha Boost, Zidobirar. He gives some paperwork on it to Birattar, a subordinate of his. Butcher asks if Zidobirar will let the humans feel the presence of the Gaizock. The Zidobirar continues to be assembled and is soon finished. It is released from the Gaizock’s ship, the Bandock, and heads towards Earth. In a junk yard, Kappei practices shooting at things with the Zambo Ace while Aki and Michi watch, trying to avoid getting hurt. Aki gets upset at Kappei for nearly hitting them and the junkyard owner yells at him too. Kappei sees a meteorite fly by him and crash nearby. He finds out where it is located. Aki and MIchi hop into the foot of the Zambo Ace with Chiyonshiki and it transforms into the Zambird. Heizaemon asks Kappei if he is feeling more comfortable piloting and to be alert as the meteorite could be another Gaizock Mecha Boost. Heizaemon gets angry upon hearing that Aki and Michi are onboard. Meanwhile the police question Hanae about if the Jin family owns the various Beal ships. She says yes and that it is written in an ancient manuscript. The police get a call to return due to the recently crashed meteorite. The Zambird approaches where the meteorite crashed. Multiple fighter jets from the Japanese military surround the Zambird and ask Kappei what he’s doing. He tries to explain that he is not an enemy of them and a fellow Japanese, but they threaten to shoot him down if he doesn’t follow direction, then launch an attack on him. Suddenly multiple jets start getting hit and they blame Kappei for it. It is soon discovered however that the attacks are coming from the ground. The last jet is soon blown up. Heizaemon tells Kappei to descend to avoid being hit. Kappei wants to find out more about it, but Heizaemon tells him he has gone too far. Kappei’s grandmother wonders why the Gaizock landed near the bottom of Mt. Fuji. Ichitaro asks if they can take off but Heizaemon says they need to continue charging energy from the ozone. He asks about how things are going in Tokyo and is told that Kappei’s cousin Uchuta has taken off some time ago. He also asks about Shinshu and is told they are having problems with the radio. Heizaemon wonders how they should inform the general public about this spaceship. Aki and Michi point out a large hole in the ground nearby to Kappei. Kappei transforms the Zambird back into the Zambo Ace and lands nearby. He thinks that it must have been a Mecha Boost as there’s no trace of a meteorite. The Zambo Ace slides down into the crater and finds it hard to move around. Heizaemon tells him to get out of there as the Mecha Boost may be hiding underground. Shortly after fireballs start shooting out at the Zambo Ace from the ground. Heizaemon tells Kappei to ascend and avoid the fireballs.

Hanae continues to be questioned, asking the police why they aren’t investigating the meteorite instead of her. She is told that the robot is violating road transport regulations by traveling on the public road. She says it is silly to compare a robot to a car. More fireballs shoot out at the Zambo Ace. The Zambo Ace pulls out its gun and starts firing at them. Kappei asks Heizaemon if they can find out where it is attacking from. He is told that the Zambo Ace can’t search underground. Hanae returns to their home and is approached by Kouzuki who tells her that Kappei is near where the meteorite fell and that fighter jets were destroyed by there. She asks to come with him and gets on his motorcycle. Kouzuki and the others approach some wreckage as they try to head over there. They see explosions from Mt. Fuji nearby. There, the Zambo Ace jumps around. Kappei boasts about how the fireballs that destroyed the fighter jets haven’t harmed the Zambo Ace. A blade appears from the ground and heads towards the Zambo Ace which avoids the attack. The Zidobirar rises out of the ground. Kappei thinks this will be an easy fight and shoots at it, but it avoids the attack. The Zambo Ace is struck by more fireballs shooting out of the ground and has to back off from the attack. The Zambo Ace climbs back towards where the Zidobirar was and Kappei thinks that he has tricked it into thinking he has headed upward. The Zambo Ace jumps up to fire but finds the Zidobirar gone. The Zidobirar is instead behind him and fires at him. Aki and Michi argue with Kappei. Kappei thinks there are 2 Mecha Boosts due to the multiple attacks. Kappei waits in the air as the mountain starts shaking. Multiple fireballs come at the Zambo Ace and one strikes it, knocking it to the ground. The Zidobirar rises from the ground again, revealing its main body. Kappei wonders what its weak point is and gets hit again. Kappei finds that the Zambo Ace is partially damaged and is not working properly. He is able to back up as the Zidobirar approaches. He worries about the observation tower behind him but decides to go on with the attack, being pressed on by Aki and Michi. The Zidobirar attacks with its blade like arms and shoots a fireball at the Zambo Ace, which is suddenly struck by another approaching craft. It is Uchuta from Tokyo, approaching on another craft, the Zambull. Kappei complains, saying he didn’t ask for his help. The Zambo Ace is knocked down and Uchuta taunts him. He approaches with the Zambull and starts firing at the Zidobirar with its cannon. The Zidobirar shoots down its bullet. Ichitaro tells Kappei to not be too harsh with his cousin. Kappei’s grandmother says they can help Kappei and fires off a missile from the ship. Heizaemon thinks they are too close to fire, but she says the missile is firing off well. Uchuta plans to attack with the Zambull’s crusher drill. Uchuta complains after the missile strikes and upsets his plans. The Zambull attacks the Zidobirar with the crusher drill and Zambo Ace shoots at it as well. The Zambull is knocked off a ledge. The Zidobirar fires blades at the Zambo Ace, knocking it down. The Zidobirar approaches but the Zambo Ace jumps above it. It is knocked back again. Another craft approaches, the Zambase, dropping off spares for the Zambo Ace’s grenade launcher. The pilot, Kappei’s cousin Keiko, helps point out the weak point of the Zidobirar to Kappei. Kappei aims at a hole at the top of the Zidobirar, which is enough to destroy it, knocking it into Mt. Fuji. A large explosion emits from where it was. Butcher watches, thinking the Zidobirar has done a good job at showing the humans the power of the Gaizock. Kouzuki and the others watch from afar. Kouzuki asks Hanae what is going on. She says their ancestors came here 100 years ago on a spaceship. Heizaemon realizes the Gaizock have shown themselves with a display of force much like the writings said.

Commentary

This episode provides several more introductions, including Kappei’s fellow pilots and cousins Uchuta and Keiko. A mere two episodes into the show Kappei’s arrogance is quite excessive and annoying me, and it was good to see him brought down a peg and helped out here. Hopefully that will reduce his arrogance in future episodes. It is interesting to see that the authorities are after the Jin family just as much, if not more than the Gaizock. For a mecha show from this era one wouldn’t ever expect to see the police and military be against the heroes! It, along with the design of the Zambull are additional similarities to Tomino’s later work in Ideon.

Overall Rating
3/5
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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