ReviewsZambot 3

Zambot 3 Ep. 3: Zambot 3 Awakens!

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Summary

Kouzuki fights with some kids with bamboo swords, beating all of them. He talks about beating up Kappei during an upcoming match. On the 1st Beal ship, Heizaemon communicates with Kyusaku from the 2nd Beal ship, which is starting to take off. The 2nd Beal ship rises from the water and takes off successfully. Hanae thinks having more ships will be troublesome. Keiko comes in. Heizaemon asks where Uchuta and Kappei is and she says she’ll look for them. At that moment, Kappei and Uchuta argue on the deck. Kappei doesn’t want to team up with Uchuta and Keiko. Heizaemon and Ichitaro come up onto the deck to check out the crafts. Ichitaro thinks the three crafts should be able to pull off a good attack when combined. Kappei suddenly takes off in the Zambird. Kappei thinks Keiko and Uchuta can’t do the types of tricks that he is able to. He flies between some buildings pretty easily. A number of onlookers cheer. Suddenly the sky grows dark and the building Kappei passed are turned into glass and crumble. A group of people rush towards a boat to get away but are also struck from the sky and turn to glass. Killer the Butcher watches from the Bandock, chuckling over these latest events. Meanwhile an old fashioned ceremony is held with Kouzuki and his friends. The old men there talk about the low attendance and the recent disasters, thinking such a ceremony is fit for dangerous times such as these. Kappei flies by in the Zambird, which he transforms into the Zambo Ace. Kappei heads out of it to join the ceremony. The old men recognize Kappei as son of Gengoroh Jin, who they blame for the recent disasters. They consider cancelling the ceremony, but the priest says to continue. Meanwhile, Heizaemon wonders where Kappei is and tells Uchuta and Keiko to head out. The Zambull takes off and travels through the water, onto land. Keiko takes off on the Zambase, flying through the air and seeing some of the destruction below. She sends out a reconnaissance craft to look over things but tells Heizaemon she hasn’t been able to find anything out about the latest Mecha Boost. He tells her to check the storm clouds above. She heads upwards and suddenly starts screaming, her craft crashing towards the ground. Uchuta spots the Mecha Boost Gabidan nearby which fires upon him, striking a nearby dam. The Zambull launches a punch at the Gabidan with no luck. The Gabidan turns a nearby mountain to glass which topples on top of him. Kappei’s family wonders where he is at a time like this. At the ceremony, Kappei and Kouzuki ready to face each other. The sky grows dark. Kouzuki attacks Kappei and starts swinging at him with his stick. The two continue to fight each other. The Gabidan turns the shrine and more nearby landscapes to glass. Kappei wonders what is holding up Keiko and Uchuta. Kappei and Kouzuki continue their fight, shattering the gate and nearby trees that have been turned to glass as they approach them. Kappei says he can’t trust the other two and will have to continue this fight at a later time. He jumps into the Zambo Ace and takes off. Kouzuki yells at him to come back, saying he was about to finish him off. The Gabidan fires at the Zambo Ace, turning some nearby trees to glass. Kappei says the others are amateurs and should back off. He attacks the Gabidan from behind but it launches its elongated head at him. Kouzuki thinks the battle is being done for show, calling both sides aliens. Keiko fires off a laser at the Gabidan, causing Kappei to get mad at her interfering. He yells at her to send him the Zambo magnum. Meanwhile on the 1st Beal ship, Ichitaro discusses the potential of combining the three crafts.

Ichitaro talks to Heizaemon about the difficulties in being able to transform with a lack of energy. He says if the crafts can combine automatically, it will remove the energy problems. Ichitaro is pleased, saying the Zambot has the same energy as this ship. Heizaemon says to combine the three ships immediately and that Ichitaro will take charge of things. Kappei tells Uchuta that he will take it from here, even though Uchuta says his missiles are stronger. The Zambo Ace fires at the Gabidan and hits it, but the Mecha Boost takes no damage. The Zambo Ace switches to its grenade launcher which causes the Gabidan to bleed. Kappei says Uchuta can leave. The Gabidan ascends, escaping. Ichitaro is pleased but Heizaemon doesn’t think things are over yet. The Gabidan descends and explodes, however a bird-like form of the Mecha Boost bursts out of its remains and flies towards them, surprising everyone. Kappei adds components to his gun and fires. The Gabidan attacks the Zambase, which crashes to the ground, aflame. It also starts electrocuting the Zambull. Kappei realizes his bullets won’t reach the Gabidan. Ichitaro tells him to combine with the other two crafts, which will combine his power. Kappei complains, thinking the other two will slow him down. Ichitaro tells him the other crafts will explode if he doesn’t do it. The Gabidan flies towards the Zambo Ace and nearly hits it. It continues to attack the Zambase and Zambull. The Gabidan knocks the Zambo Ace to the ground. Ichitaro says he will stop the Zambo Ace by remote control if Kappei doesn’t cooperate, then does so. The Gabidan knocks down and fires at the Zambo Ace, which Kappei still can’t operate. Kappei finally agrees to combine, although Ichitaro says it may not be possible now. The Zambo Ace, despite being aflame gets up and heads towards the Gabidan. Kappei is told to use the barrier, which puts out the fire. Ichitaro starts the combination sequence, which requires Kappei to toss away its gun. The Zambo Ace transforms. Uchuta and Keiko use the combination pass phrase “combination in,” as does Kappei shortly afterwards. The three crafts combine into each other, forming the Zambot 3. Ichitaro tells Kappei to use the Zambo Grap. The Gabidan flies towards the Zambot Ace, which pulls out some sai weapons. Kouzuki watches from the woods below, wondering if they will end up destroying Japan. Kappei stabs the Gabidan in the neck with the sais, then slashes at it again. The Gabidan knocks the Zambot 3 to the ground and starts slamming at it with its claws. Kappei is able to slice at it, forcing it away, then combines his weapons into the Zambot Cutter, a sword, which he uses to slice apart the Gabidan. Ichitaro is pleased, and apologizes to Kappei for what he did earlier. Kappei says this fight was easier than battling Kouzuki. The Gabidan blows up. Killer the Butcher watches and chuckles, thinking things will be more entertaining with this robot on Earth. Later, Heizaemon asks the 3 kids about the combination sequence. Uchuta wasn’t too happy with it, but Kappei says he was and runs off. The 2nd and 3rd Beal ships arrive and Heizaemon says now they can form the King Beal.

Commentary

Things continue to move in rather slow fashion, with another battle filled episode with Kappei and the others taking on a mecha boost. That said, we do get to see the Zambot 3 in action for the first time. I believe the combining of multiple robots into a single super powerful one was already a common occurrence in mecha anime by this time, but it does remind one of combination sequences later seen in Mobile Suit Gundam and Ideon. Kappei’s attitude continues to rise to new extremes, in this episode forcing his brother to remotely shut down the Zambo Ace to get him to behave. He praising Kappei afterwards surely wasn’t a smart decision. By this point I’m wondering if making Kappei so annoying and unlikable was intentional. Three episodes in and he’s already probably my least favorite Tomino protagonist!

Overall Rating
2.5/5
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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