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
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
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.
Who wants dibs on this cutie?
Bottomless-pit version of Akatsuki
Been a while something reminded me of Grease Lightening
Shingeki no Minimum
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?
Drink a lemonade and tune in next time for another case