ReviewsZambot 3

Zambot 3 Ep. 23: Burning Space

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Summary

The body of the Bandock is in front of the Zambot and remains of the King Beal. Ichitaro says it is still releasing a large amount of energy. A purple light emanates from the Bandock and a light shoots from where its head used to be. Kappei wonders if it is going to self-destruct. Parts of the Bandock blow off of it, revealing the brain like Lord Gaizock. Kappei asks Ichitaro if this is the true form of the Gaizock. Ichitaro says he doesn’t know, but now they may be able to find out the truth about the Gaizock. The King Beal fires missiles at the Gaizock as does the Zambot. The eye of the Gaizock fires a blast at the Zambot. Keiko says to hold tight until they can fire the moon attack. The Zambot makes its way towards the eye but the Gaizock suddenly disappears. The Zambot readies for an attack, but nothing appears on the radar. A spectral being that appears like a Mecha Boost appears in front of the Zambot and fires at both it and the King Beal. Kappei wakes up, finding the Zambot in a strange environment. Kappei wonders if they are still in space. The King Beal is also there. Weird beings appear before them and the radar doesn’t work. The Zambot attacks one of the beasts but it counterattacks, blasting a hole in Uchuta’s cockpit and harming him. The Zambot fires the buster missile. Uchuta realizes that they are being tricked by the visions and are actually attacking the 1st Beal ship. Uchuta says if he wasn’t hurt he wouldn’t have been able to notice. Uchuta spots the Bandock to the upper right and tells Kappei to fire there. Kappei does so and manages to get a direct hit. The visions fade for everyone. Kappei tells Uchuta and Keiko that they should charge in and they agree. The Bandock sends one of its legs towards the Zambot, which dodges it. Kappei attacks with the Zambot’s sword, breaking through the top of the Bandock. Ichitaro, Keiko and Uchuta’s father worry for their loved ones. The Zambot blasts its way through the other side of the Bandock but has its leg damaged. The Zambot turns around and blasts its way through the Bandock again, but upon doing so the Bandock blasts off both its hands. Uchuta tells Keiko to pull out the Zambase due to the heavy damage made to the Zambot. Uchuta and Keiko tell Kappei they can still charge their way at the Bandock. Kappei is worried about them and asks Ichitaro to send him the Zambo Magnum. Uchuta apologizes to Keiko for having to help him. She tells him to charge the Ion engine at impact. Keiko says farewell to her family and blows the Zambase into the Bandock. The resulting explosion kills both her and Uchuta. Kappei says he won’t let them die alone and charges his way into the Bandock.

The Zambo Ace makes its way through the Bandock but is electrocuted and heavily damaged. The foot of the Zambo Ace is blasted away, killing Chiyonshiki. The Zambo Ace burst its way through a wall and Kappei finds himself in a strange environment where a giant brain pulsates before him. The brain calls him an intruder from Earth. Kappei wonders if this is the true identity of the Gaizock. The brain recognizes him as Kappei Jin and says it is defeated. It claims to be a computer, number 8, created by the planet Gaizock. It claims to be designed to react against evil minds and destroyed Beal because it was filled with evil minds. It was in hibernation for 200 years but another planet with evil minds, Earth woke it from its peace. Kappei asks if Earth is truly filled with all evil minds. The brain says it is filled with hate, lies, and selfish thoughts and Earthlings even kill their own kind and hence can never be considered good. It was created by the Gaizock to cleanse those who disturb the peace in space. Kappei shouts out that this isn’t true and that Earth has good people. The brain says its system is damaged and wants to know one thing from Kappei, why he fought against it. Kappei says to protect Earth. The brain asks if the people of Earth asked him to. He said it’s their Earth and they need to protect it. He didn’t protect Earth for himself. The brain asks if it had to protect it, even with his friends and family dying as a result. It asked if the evil people of Earth ever thanked him and if Earth would ever show him any kindness. The brain continues to fall apart and tells Kappei he has won, but there aren’t any good people on Earth who will welcome him. It asks if there would be even one single life form who would appreciate what he did. The brain blows up, knocking back the Zambo Ace. The Bandock crashes, heading towards Earth. Keiko’s father hears him causing the others to realize he is still alive. Ichitaro asks him to answer, but Kappei can only scream. Keiko and Uchuta’s father and Ichitaro are worried about him and tell him to jump out of there. The Zambo Ace collapses. Kappei says he fought for Earth and their people. Ichitaro tells him to get out. They enter the atmosphere and start burning up. Uchuta’s father says they should use the ship to slow down its descent and Keiko’s father agrees. The 1st Beal ship moves below the Bandock, trying to prop it up as it enters the atmosphere. Ichitaro tells Kappei he must survive. The ship blows up, killing him, Keiko’s father and Uchuta’s father. The Zambo Ace is flung away from the blast as the Bandock blows up. The Zambo Ace crashes towards Earth. Kappei thinks of those who died and ask if they did it, if they fought well. The Zambo Ace crashes into the water. Kappei cries, hoping that what they did wasn’t a waste. The sun rises. Kappei on the ground, cries, telling his father he is scared and cold. Michi grabs a hold of him. Kouzuki is there as well and says the others are heading there and will be there soon. Michi could sense that Kappei would show up here. Kouzuki thinks she likes him and says he likes him now too. Several cars approach carrying Kappei’s mother, the remaining family members and other people. People head towards Kappei, happy he is okay. Kappei opens his eyes.

Commentary

Zambot 3 ends on quite the high note, providing an ending that at its time must have been quite revolutionary. Rather than see them defeat the enemy unscathed, the finale sees many of our heroes die including Keiko, Uchuta, Ichitaro and others. Even the dog Chiyonshiki dies! Combined with the deaths we see in the previous two episodes, much of the Jin family has perished in the final battle. As a result of all the deaths that took place at the end of the show, Tomino earned the nickname “Kill ‘Em All Tomino” and would continue to slaughter much of his cast in his later works in the 1980s and 1990s. The episode also features the interesting revelation that the Lord Gaizock was a giant computer, acting to wipe out those that it considered evil and that is why Earth was attacked. The Gaizock makes a good point to Kappei about how his family was mistreated despite fighting to save the people of Earth, and how appreciation was never given to them. Showing humanity to be evil was quite the revolutionary concept at the time, and carried themes similar to that seen in the ending of Tomino’s earlier series Triton of the Sea. This concept possibly was an inspiration for the Anti-Spiral in Gurren-Lagann. Despite this, we do get a somewhat happy final scene as Kappei is able to make it to Earth alive, reunite with his surviving friends and family members, and is greeted in positive fashion by a large crowd. Overall, Zambot 3 turned out to be quite a good show for its time. It acts as one of the earliest if not the earliest deconstruction of the giant robot genre, and clearly telegraphs concepts that Tomino will later use in Gundam and other shows such as Ideon. While at times fights could be drawn out and the usage of stock footage of the Zambot combining was used repeatedly, I do recognize the time the show was made and that such things were common at the time. Certain characters in particular Uchuta could have been developed better, although the show did a good job at developing other characters like Kouzuki. While many will probably be turned off by the dated animation, it’s a show I would highly recommend.

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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