First Impression – Hamatora The Animation

Welcome to a well balanced K Project to Un-Go

Is it me or this weekend was just truckload full of new shows? I still have to catch up to many Winter shows but let’s start one at a time and my next offering is an original anime, part of a mixed-media project, which would spin out into manga, game, drama CD and more. NAZ has already been part of Livetune’s previous works but this time they are involved as Hamatora’s main animation production studio and for a starter, they sure have presented a colourful offering. Let’s hit it with the opening by Livetune, featuring Yuuki Ozaki:

Expect an exclusive Livetune interview along with some more celebrities on Metanorn soon

Hamatora’s varied Cast

Hamatora1-00069Hamatora1-00033Hamatora1-00037

Get a load of these bishies, some share an old acquaintance

I’m a sucker for a good cast and if the seiyuu had me excited during our Winter preview, I was pleasantly surprised by this well-paced first episode. Usually, you don’t really expect a lot of good shows in Winter but this year, I haven’t hated anything I have watched the first episode of yet (Space Dandy, Nobunagun, Nobunaga the Fool, Gin no Saji, Noragami and Mahou Sensou), including Hamatora of course. We have a righteous yet unruly detective, Nice, who is completely broke and desperate for cases if only to feed a spaced out girl named Hajime (I am so relieved her introduction did not contain superlatives of HAJIMESSSSU), who is either his imouto or somewhat of a responsibility. In comparison, his partner, Murasaki, seems more of a level-headed guy to make correct decisions without getting hyper like Nice. However, this hot and cold vibes between them is what complements their investigative methods as discovered later.

We have some more interesting side-characters with Koneko as their Business Development Manager for case leads, another PI duo Birthday and Ratio as Mr. Pun and Smarty-mouth respectively, who make up the Hamatora agency. However, hi-fi their powers or visage is, they are a start-up agency and thus scrambling for whatever cases they can get. Good thing there is no school theme here and they actually have to work for a living, a big reality of life. There are two more characters who would be somewhat of a constant fixture to this agency: Master, owner of Cafe Nowhere, Hamatora’s supposed headquarters and Art, Nice and Murasaki’s old cop friend. It’s hard to introduce many character on first episode but everyone had enough time to leave a mark if not full-blown introducitons. Hamatora is far from being a well-oiled-machine but sharing notes an ease of camaraderie makes them easy on the eyes and relatable.

Case 01 – The Egg that left a Bad Smell

Hamatora1-00017Hamatora1-00039

Two intertwined cases

Detective stories have to be very tight with enough clues for viewers to keep guessing. As this was the first episode and audience was still getting used to how Hamatora worked, there were not many outliers left for anyone to solve this case early until the big family name was dropped. I liked how the two cases were actually one and came together nicely with enough action and guessing to boot from the Hamatora PIs. From clever to lame one-liners and the veiled difference between some of them, they are a tight group who work together to solve cases. This dynamic was very important to me personally even if with the first episode did not particularly glean on all details. Really, sometimes few details should be left to imagination rather than explaining every small little element.

So, a supposed safe robbery to few girls being kidnapped in a certain area basically led to a perverted oyaji who was sleeping around too much for his age. However, this wannabe Maester Pycelle seems to have played with too many nubile girls to hit the bucket for good. Maybe some kind of overdose… coughs. Anyways, Nice and Murasaki’s difference of opinion worked for the better as they gathered clues to solve this puzzle of a case quickly. In the process, we also discovered their Minimum super powers that can only be used after meeting a certain condition a la Darker than Black (Nice has to put on his headphones, Murasaki takes off his glasses, Birthday bites a tazer and Ratio takes off his eye-patch for amazing x-ray vision – meganebu would love him somewhat…). We also faced the fact on how some Minimum Holders use their powers for dominating the normal humans. Not cool at all, bro, and nice seeing your ass kicked really.

All’s well that ends well but some lame thugs harassing a girl for some money is really nothing. The looming danger is of a group/entity targeting and murdering Minimum Holders only. This can either branch to a small arc or a major theme for this series but with 12 more episodes, hopefully things stay on track with interesting cases.

Bonus Tracks

Hamatora1-00025

Who wants dibs on this cutie?

Hamatora1-00076

Bottomless-pit version of Akatsuki

Hamatora1-00056Hamatora1-00063

Been a while something reminded me of Grease Lightening

Hamatora1-00061

Shingeki no Minimum

Hamatora1-00070

This is going into Onizuka‘s special stash

I have a particular liking to super powers and detective stories (I wanted to like Shinrei Tantei Yakumo but couldn’t; though, Un-Go did come closer to good). So, when these two genres were put together and presented well, I had to pay full attention. Even if in the beginning I had to get used to the colour-palette and textures but it was nothing jarring, rather better than what GoHands did with K in terms of gradient effect in some scenery sequences. This was not the fluid animation we are used to from major studios but for me, it had a fresh feel like Tsuritama and I got used to camera angles and characters outlines pretty quickly.

I also liked the fact that except for a few narrative points during the first major fight scene, there was no major ‘explanation time’. All the popular seiyuu have done a brilliant job in going with the flow and acting out their scenes solidly. Like Nobunagun, I went in without expecting much and came out liking this story. Of course, things can go anywhere from here if the script is not tight, characters don’t develop with time and cases are lame but for now I am giving this a benefit of the doubt and will be checking it till the end. So, how was this for you and was it something you expected or this surprised you like me?

Preview: 

Hamatora1-00075

Drink a lemonade and tune in next time for another case

Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

50 Responses to “First Impression – Hamatora The Animation”

  1. skylion says:

    I rather liked it, but feels it could go up or down depending on the characters. The super powers are presented very well, in an interesting fashion. Rather than having insane stuff going on, these folk have to work the limits as well. Keeps it a bit grounded, which works for a detective story.

    And, that Old Master gets around!

    And I took dibs on Hajime…

    • Namika says:

      Definitely, the characters are rather…. risky. Like, the most cliche, generic group ever, but with exaggerated characteristics.

    • Kyokai says:

      I agree on the characters and I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt because this is the first episode and you just can’t cram everything important in the beginning. At least the setting is promising and we can see how things go.

      I’m sure Master will be used to depart different types of wisdom throughout the run of this anime. And well, as you are the first one, you might monopolize Hajime-chan on these posts but c’mon, Koneko is cute too. :3

      • skylion says:

        Koneko is adorable, but my heart always goes out to hungry taciturn LOLis.

        I was not clear in a comment, please excuse me, by “Old Master” I meant the perverted oyaji. He very much did get around.

        But the Coffee House master is a neat character as well. I like it when coffee is fresh ground.

        • Kyokai says:

          You mean the bottomless pit. Alright, you have your Loli.

          Oh, you meant the lecher oyaji? He sure did and I do wonder if most of them were paid because I hardly find a reason for sleeping with an oldman of his age unless there’s something in return? Stupid teenage girls being dazzled by his money or gifts that he showered maybe? Though, another reason could be getting a better position in his company as well. Oh well, good riddance.

  2. Highway says:

    This show really didn’t do it for me. The first episode just felt like a chore. It wasn’t that it was bad, it just didn’t inspire me at all. But that’s not too surprising, given that detective stories and superpower stories aren’t individually my thing, and superpowered detectives don’t really fix that.

    I hope everyone else enjoys it, tho!

  3. akagami says:

    I came in expecting this to be good… and it kept its promise! It gave me some really good vibes of GetBackers ^_^, with a splash of DtB.

    Some of the names could have used improvement (Nice, Birthday), but other than that I was satisfied.

    It’s going to rain black wagyu hamburgers today!!!

    • Namika says:

      Yeah, the names were pretty ridiculous, but it’s nothing new here so 😀

    • d-LaN says:

      So Murasaki (Purple) gets a free pass? 😛

      Also, is it me or the characters names feels like code names?

      • akagami says:

        Colors are a-ok. I’m going to start calling Nice Shiro and Murasaki Kuro.

        Maybe when you become a minimum holder you get a new name?

        • Kyokai says:

          We’ll have to find out in time. I can’t see Nice as Shiro because he seems to have more of a brain but you can call Birthday as Yata and Ratio as Kamamoto for sure! 😉

    • Kyokai says:

      @akagami, I liked what they did for sure and I’m curious to know Hajime’s power. Super power PUNCHHHHI?! Let’s see shall we?

      @Namika, names are definitely not their strength but nothing too jarring.

      @d-LaN, Murasaki’s techni-colour coat gets a pass because he’s a meganekun and that’s a good idea about their names but then what about Art? Anyways, too early to jump to conclusions. 😉

      • akagami says:

        No no no, he clearly snapped. The punch was just an after-effect image of the snap in slow motion.

        • Kyokai says:

          I was talking about Hajime who we still need to see in action, not Ratio’s golden punch. 😉

  4. Namika says:

    This was nice. Though I found the comedy a little too worn and stupid, but it was bearable.
    I like the cast of characters, but it scares me at the same time, because this generic collection of characters may turn out great or terrible. Things like this always scare me TT^TT
    And BTW, Kyokai-san, totally true about Detective Yakumo. That was such a…. meh show.

    So, if this show balances seriousness and comedy well, it might turn out well. And it might be better if they ditch the comedy aspect a little, because the contents of that safe made my eyebrow hit the ceiling, and that hurt :/
    But the interesting thing is that they touched a rather mature theme with a young girl sleeping with a guy who has a son of her age. And this subject was addressed more casually than I expected.
    Super powers, yay~ :3 fights actually looked quite nice, I have to say.

    So for now, I officially declare that I’m keeping this show in my list! 😀

    • Kyokai says:

      As I said, they did use some lame lines and the comedy did not click every time but seeing how the oldman got around, that porn stash was actually pretty hilarious. Though, THE joke was the old maid offering to cosplay as a school girl…. Oh the nightmare.

      I think the show has potential but yes, it can go anywhere from here. Let’s hope it moves towards a nice mixture of plot, action and character development.

      Glad to have you for this ride! :3

      • akagami says:

        Why does Maid-san get no love?

        I mean, Maid-san in a jiyoshikou seifuku? Aren’t you excited? Maid + seifuku = ???

      • Namika says:

        Yeah. That was definitely high on the creep meter. And even higher on the gross one. Eeew -_-

        Let’s hope but not expect, so that we won’t be disappointed if it won’t be good.

        Yoroshiku ne, Kyokai-san! ^^

  5. BlackBriar says:

    For a start up, this was good. It’s no Zettai Karen Children: THE UNLIMITED – Hyoubu Kyousuke because of the use of superpowers as a base but it already feels a lot more solid than the enjoyable train wreck that is [K].

    The various character personalities are going to be one of the points of interests. Though some interests coincide like the two cases converging on each other, neither is entirely accepting of how they go about their business which is a recipe for causing friction.

    So, a supposed safe robbery to few girls being kidnapped in a certain area basically led to a perverted oyaji who was sleeping around too much for his age.

    Hahaha!! If you’re following Strike the Blood, you’ll know there’s a side character, a white haired girl, who’s the illegitimate daughter of a nation’s former king. And she’s the aunt to the nation’s current princess who is older than her. So I don’t think age is a factor if one is still able to get busy.

    Oh, do I pity the young master who was disillusioned after finding out his late father was getting rolls in the hay with hot college girls. Surely somewhere inside, the boy is taking it as an insult to his manhood.

    Hamatora is good enough to win my support so I’ll keep watching.

    • Namika says:

      That old man…. the safe… it was ridiculous xDD just too much of a fail. And the boy took it worse than it actually was. “My dad could have sex??? WHAT?” 😀

      • d-LaN says:

        I think the issue here is he hitting off with a bunch college girls. (I am assuming his age to be around 30-40+)

        • Kyokai says:

          I presume, he was in his late 40s or early 50s. I mean, check out his wrinkles in the scene where Azusa wrote the code? All of this was more scandalous because of the huge gap between their ages. Oh man, what a lecher!

        • BlackBriar says:

          I’d say the old guy was already in his 40’s.

      • Kyokai says:

        @BB, This definitely had a better start than K and super powers are my thing when presented well so the setting has definitely piqued my interest. It’s too early to think about friction but I definitely want to know more about Murasaki and Nice, like their association starter and them opening Hamatora, etc.

        And yeah, I’m pretty used to hentai oyajis but it came as a surprise in this case because well, he was supposed to be pretty respectable and strict towards his son. Pretty double-standard if you ask me for stopping his son to socialize when he, himself rolled in different hays. >>;

        Anyways, good to have you onboard for this! xD

        @Namika, I think he was so appalled because he was very strict towards him and was pretty old so the age gap disgusted him.

  6. Joojoobees says:

    I suspect this show is going to focus on the bishies and the action scenes, and not really deliver on plot.

    Slightly off-topic, but if you want to check out a good detective anime, try “Karakuri Zoushi Ayatsuri Sakon”. It looks a bit old by today’s standards, but it has real mystery stories.

    • d-LaN says:

      The (prequel) manga doesn’t give off that impression. At all.

    • Kyokai says:

      @JJB, I hope not. Even if I like my bishies, this series seems to have more promise than just showcasing some bishies going at each others’ throats.

      Thank you for the recommendation, I have no problem seeing dated anime so I will definitely check it out. ^^

  7. zztop says:

    Hamatora’s based on a onrunning manga series.
    There’s also a 3DS game dated for mid-2014.

    • d-LaN says:

      The manga is a prequel. Its stated to be a multimedia project after all.

      • Kyokai says:

        Yep, it’s a mixed-media project so stories will be related but not really adaptation.

  8. d-LaN says:

    After watching the 1st episode of the anime, I can confirm tht the manga is the prequel to the anime since Nice and Murasaki just met each other in it. There some stuff in the manga tht the anime hasn’t touched upon yet, but do you guys still want the summary?

    IMO, I think the best jokes in this episode is the one with old maid and her school uniform lololol. Also, the whole dad thing is hilarious yet eyebrow twitching because of…. well. The characters are pretty entertaining too especially Nice, Murasaki and Birthday.

    Also, did anyone notice Hajime (did I got glasses girl name right?) has a cat tail? The cop appearances kinda remind me of last season A-Drei.

    • Kyokai says:

      Okay, I want to know about how they met for sure. Add in under spoiler for people who might not want to read it. 😉

      I agree about the maid joke and the overall hilarity of a hentai oyaji for a first episode. At least, we know the staff won’t always play safe and anything can happen. Really, lots of potential here with interesting cast.

      The glasses girl is Koneko (Hajime wears a hat) and thus the tail and her mouth like :3 relevant to her character. I thought she had a tail at first too but then later it felt like it was an extension of her bag? Really not sure so I didn’t talk about it. Let’s pin-point it on second episode.

  9. AllenAndArth says:

    hajime-chan is so cute *0*
    Nice is an awesome character, the plot is pretty good… though the psycodelic-power-starter-thingy made me annoyed, nevermind that the show is good i approve of it o/

    • Kyokai says:

      Even with such few dialogues, we have many Hajime fans. Interesting. 😉

      I liked how the powers were introduced and everyone has a certain tick that is likeable. Let’s see how this goes. :3

  10. BlackBriar says:

    For those who haven’t yet, you should check out Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil. The first episode was way better than expected and could be more structured than Hamatora story wise. It certainly has nice visuals.

    • skylion says:

      bon~

    • akagami says:

      I’m not familiar with Sudo Cecil’s VA (Tanabe Rui) as she’s relatively new and I dropped Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku after 2 episodes. But I really like her voice and it fits the character well.

    • Kyokai says:

      I liked the trailer so I will be giving it a watch for sure.

  11. Irenesharda says:

    Well school’s back in session for me, so things are going to become busy soon. 😛

    Now, as for Hamatora:

    Hey, not as good a last Winter Season’s THE UNLIMITED, but it was pretty good. In fact give me anything with bishies and superpowers and I’ll watch it.

    I like the mystery angle and the teams’ superpowers are cool. I’ll be staying with this one. A pretty average premier episode, but it did it’s job of introducing everybody and their powers. I’m hoping they explain the concept of Minimums a little more. The “minimum condition” they have to achieve is pretty simple I mean, “taking your glasses on and off”, “putting your headphones on”, “chewing a piece of gum”? Kind of pretty simple and easy conditions, you wonder why they decided to give them any in the first place.
    The most outlandish condition was the guy who has to put a taser to his mouth, but other than that, pretty simple.

    I had fun and I’ll be sticking with this.

    • Kyokai says:

      Not the best start I agree but not so bad either. As I liked Darker than Black a lot and the minimum condition is comparable to the DtB contracts, I liked this part of it but I am curious on how they got it or are there levels of mastering them?

      Best of luck with school and good to have you on this journey! 😀

  12. Hime says:

    First Impression…this show is hella rad.

  13. […] Winter’14, I planned to aniblog Hamatora but after a good first episode, things kinda went downhill after in two-three turns. However, I did finish the first season and […]

Leave a Reply