ReviewsZambot 3

Zambot 3 Ep. 4: Unite! King Beal!

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Summary

One of the Beal ships flies over the city. The civilians down below wonder what is going on. Kappei, who is watching, is impressed, as the 2 other Beal ships approach his. All of the family has been reunited except for Kappei’s father Gengoroh. Suddenly a rumbling is heard from the sky and people retreat inside of the ship. Kappei gets into a chair which brings him to the Zambird. Chiyonshiki gets in with him and it takes off. The Zambull and Zambase take off shortly afterwards. The Mecha Boost Doyozurar attacks the city, causing a lot of destruction. Keiko says they should try and lure it out to the ocean. The Zambull and Zambird fire upon the Doyozurar, dealing some damage to it. Kappei calls for them to combine, and the three crafts combine into the Zambot 3. The Zambot 3 punches the Doyozurar. Uchuta tells Kappei he is relying too heavily on the Zambot’s power. The Zambot knocks aside the attacks of the Doyozurar but is knocked aside by its elongated neck. Kappei shoots at the Doyozurar, which backs up and starts rotating inside the middle of the city, destroying a lot of buildings including Kappei’s home. Kappei attacks him with the Zambot blow attack, combining his two sais. The Doyozurar, which continues to rotate starts dragging the Zambot into the water with it. Uchuta and Keiko tell Kappei to pull out their attack, with Kappei eventually does, enabling the Doyozurar to get away. Ichitaro tells them to return and the Zambot separates. Kappei decides to go into the city rather than return with the others. Meanwhile on the Bandock, Killer the Butcher is getting a spa treatment. He talks to Barrater, who doesn’t think the Doyozurar performed powerfully enough. Butcher asks about a snack they obtained from Earth which is revealed to be an octopus. The octopus jumps onto Butcher’s head and he orders it to be immediately killed. Butcher gets the idea to use suction cups like the Octopus had on the Doyozurar. Kappei notices his friends Aki and Michi abandoning their homes and they tell him that the Jin family is being blamed for this. He says they are doing what they can but is still chased away by a mob that throws rocks at him. Kappei returns to the Zambo Ace and sobs over it. He thinks Kouzuki spread rumors about him and is to blame for this. He flies towards Kouzuki’s home, a lighthouse near the ocean but finds it largely destroyed. He finds Kouzuki’s sister Kaoru in the wreckage, whom he saves. She tells him that her parents and brother left and she doesn’t know where they are. She tells him he was going to reveal secrets he knew about Kappei and head to the ship. Kappei leaves Chiyonshiki to protect her. At that moment, Kouzuki arrives on the 1st Beal ship in a raft, with his motorcycle. Heizaemon leads a meeting among many members of the family inside. Suddenly an alarm goes off, alerting them of Kouzuki’s presence. Kouzuki tells them Kappei has been injured and to let him in. When Ichitaro opens the door he drives in on his motorcycle with a shotgun. He holds a gun on Heizaemon and the others and asks them if they are planning to take over Earth. Uchuta attacks him but fails. Meanwhile Kappei returns on the Zambo Ace. He heads inside the ship and finds Kouzuki and the others. Kouzuki says he came here being willing to die if absolutely necessary. Kappei jumps him and is able to knock his gun away. Heizaemon tries to explain to Kouzuki that they are not monsters and that they were all born on Earth, even if their ancestors were from outer space. Kappei is surprised to hear about this, having not remembered what he was told earlier. Heizaemon explains that their ancestors formerly lived on the planet Beal, an advanced but peaceful society. However the Gaizock arrived and destroyed the planet, forcing them to flee. A handful settled on Earth approximately 150 years ago.

Kouzuki says that the Gaizock are chasing after those from Beal and that if they leave then the attacks will stop. Heizaemon says this is wrong and that the Gaizock will still destroy the Earth anyway. Suddenly an alarm goes off, alerting them to the Doyozurar reappearing. Kappei heads out on the Zambot and worries about Kaoru and Chiyonshiki at the lighthouse. Kappei tells Kouzuki about his sister and he heads out on a raft to get her. Meanwhile the lighthouse crumbles more as the Doyozurar attacks it. Kaoru and Chiyonshiki fall into the water but are saved by the Zambot, which lets them off on the land. The Doyozurar rises from the water nearby. It now has suction cups on its limbs which is uses in its attack. On the Beal ships they start preparing for a docking. Heizaemon explains to some of his relatives on the 2nd Beal ship about how they must fight and that some of their ancestors died because they didn’t do so. Heizaemon also talks to the 3rd ship, which is getting ready. The three ships move forward into battle position. Kappei’s mother and grandmother have some trouble and ask for directions from Ichitaro. The Doyozurar emits another attack on the Zambot, but the Zambot is able to slice through multiple limbs. Suddenly it is drawn into the suction cups on one of the Doyozurar’ s tentacles. Kappei tries to slice away at them so as to get away but more tentacles grab at the Zambot and start pulling at its limbs. Butcher watches and is pleased with the success they are having, as he eats the octopus killed earlier. Heizaemon receives signals form the other ships that they are ready. Various members of the family help ready the ships for docking. The 1st and 3rd Beal ships dock with each other. The 2nd Beal ship separates into 2 parts to enable the docking to continue, with some of the children getting separated from their mother as a result. Kappei’s family continue to work in the bridge, completing the docking of the three ships. Meanwhile the Zambot continues to struggle and Kappei fires Buster Missiles at it without success. Kappei is told that the scramble arm will be lowered to them from the King Beal, the combined version of the three Beal ships. The scramble arm, a long cord like device is lowered from the King Beal and Kappei is able to grab onto it with the Zambot. The King Beal ascends which lifts up the Zambot and Doyozurar. The Doyozurar grabs onto a rock below it. Kappei thinks it must be scared of the King Beal‘s power. Kappei says they can cut the arm and Ichitaro does so. This enables the Zambot to smash its legs into the Doyozurar. The Doyozurar launches itself at the Zambot, which uses its Moon Attack to blast through the center of the Doyozurar. The Doyozurar blows up. The family members aboard the King Beal cheer for the success they had. Later, Kouzuki and Kaoru get into a truck that takes them away from their destroyed house. Kouzuki still seems angry with Kappei. Grandfather tells Kappei they have a right to fight and get back the friends they have lost.

Commentary

This episode is a big improvement, and easily the best episode of the series thus far. What I found most interesting about it is that rather than be lauded as heroes, as you would typically expect, Kappei and his family are being blamed for all the destruction that is being caused by the Gaizock. Kappei sees his home and his friends’ homes destroyed, gets chased away by a mob, and even has Kouzuki board his family’s ship with a weapon, prepared to kill them. I’ve heard Zambot described as a deconstruction of the mecha/giant robot genre, and that really is the case here. You would hardly expect the heroes to receive this type of reaction in a regular mecha show, let alone one from the 1970s. Kappei is also far less annoying in this episode than he was in the first three. The episode is also structured somewhat differently than the earlier episodes, with two shorter battles wrapped around much of the plot that takes place in the middle. We get our first introduction here to the King Beal, the combination of the three Beal ships. Kappei’s grandfather also provides some more backstory for the Jin family and the planet of Beal that their ancestors came from.

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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