Our hero struggles to clear his name while avoiding a drunkard in episode sixteen of Kaiketsu Zubat: Falsely Accused, Ken Falls into Sorrow.
Usually, when Hayakawa Ken walks into town, he is dealt with a situation that allows him to come out on top. Often times, this involves a local gang scheming against the town’s residents to gain power and money. But this is put to rest almost immediately as soon as Ken walks onto the screen. But, what happens when things do not necessarily go his way? How does he deal with a town that thinks of him as a murderer? It all starts with the brutal attack of a man named of Matsushima Yuusaku by the Nazi Federation. Yes, the Nazi Federation. An organization that is lead by Nazi Jaguar. And you can tell that he’s a Nazi member by the swastika beard he’s rocking. I’m guessing that once you have characters like Jet Jaguar and Scissors Jaguar in existence, the only logical direction to go is Nazi Jaguar. Yuusaku is a detective who was on the heels of the Nazi Federation, so they decided to be a bit more aggressive with their approach and capture him. This is where Ken strolls in to save the day. The one aspect of the show that I still do not quite understand is specialties of the assassins that work under the Dakker crime syndicate. In the beginning, we had enemies that possessed skills that could actually harm or kill Ken. This time, however, Ken is up against a man named Bartender Sakyoji, who is said to be a skilled drinker of alcohol. Basically this translates to being really good at bar tricks involving five or more dice and being able to throw forks and dinner knives with pinpoint accuracy. On the one hand, the ridiculousness of these assassins makes it entertaining to watch at times. Yet, you always wonder in the back of your mind where this organization found these “killers” or how they even got on the map in the first place. It’s a strange thing that you just have to go with in order to watch the show, but at times, like in this episode, they seem like a means to an end. Hayakawa Ken proves that he’s better at bar tricks when sober than when Sakyoji is drunk, so he takes Yuusaku to a safe place. He is put in the care of the mayor of the town, Ootsuki Haruhiko, and his sister Shiori, who happens to be engaged to Yuusaku. Things seem to be under control until someone sneaks into the house to kill Yuusaku and throws the gun to Ken, making him seem like the culprit when the police arrive. An easy prediction would be that Haruhiko was the one that actually pulled the trigger, seeing as only Shiori was seen with Yuusaku before the shooting occurred. Yet he was in the room and seemingly beaten by the murder when the lights turn on. The fact that Haruhiko was unaware of the relationship between Yuusaku and Shiori could also be a motivation for the crime. But, there is a shot of Shiori right before it happens where you think for a second that she is up to no good. So, the blame could go either way. But for now, Ken is seen as the one who killed Yuusaku. Ken is taken to the police station and is interrogated by Tojo until he decides that he’s had enough and punches his way out. He visits the grave of Yuusaku where Haruhiko and Shiori are mourning, but they are attacked by an unknown assailant, possibly the same person who killed Yuusaku. Ken tries to pursue but is ganged up on by supporters of the Mayor. After escaping that mess, he is confronted with… himself. This part is meant to confuse both the audience and Ken and it does a pretty good job at it. After Ken transforms into Zubat, he fights both himself and Bartender Sakyoji. It is not clear if they are the same person, but Sakyoji finally gets the upper hand and forces Ken off of a cliff. This is where you see Ken at his lowest state, both figuratively and literally. The final shot of the episode is of Ken cowering behind his white guitar in a cave as the Nazi Federation closes in on his location. As far as I can tell, this is the first two-parter story line that we have gotten in this show. And in a time where two-parters stories are all too common in current tokusatsu, its rather surprising to see show receive its first elongated plot line midway through its run. This may also be my favorite episode to date as far as Kaiketsu Zubat is concerned. We’ve seen Ken lose a fight before, but this is one of the first times that we see him lose confidence. For someone as sure of himself as Hayakawa Ken, it must be a serious situation to have him react in this manner. This type of story dimension is something that this show has desperately needed for some time now. My only wish is that we saw glimpses of this around ten or so episodes back. It would have made the show a lot more entertaining to watch. Every Wednesday The Tokusatsu Network staff members review every episode of a tokusatsu series. To see previous episode reviews, visit our Reviews page.