First Impression – RE: Hamatora

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When friend turns foe.

spring14-kyoDuring 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 found the end to be quite abrupt. This brings me to the point that if you haven’t watched the first season, this post will spoil you about the story because the last episode of S1 and the premiere episode should be watched back to back or else it will leave you wondering for an entire season, what the hell happened. Are you still hanging around? That means you have either watched the first season like me or just want to sample this on how it went. Let’s start things with livetune’s opening Sen no Tsubasa with Takuro Sugawara (9mm Parabellum Bullet):

Similar to season one, the first episode centered around a case as well but rather than just hey, this is Cafe Nowhere and Hamatora detective agency has to solve a weird case, we get a nice reconnect to the previously touched upon alienation of Minimum Holders in this version of universe relevant to past events of season one. From how things went down, Yokohama’s citizens were almost taken hostage during the Minimum situation created by Moral, the nemesis in season one. You can call Moral, a Mad Scientist, who went overboard in his Minimum holder experimentation. His last big project was turning all humanity into Minimum holders. However, his plan was foiled by the Hamatora agents but in the end, he did find an ideal candidate for his ultimate experiment and it was Art, a police inspector and our main protagonists’ (Nice and Murasaki, the founders of Hamatora agency), old friend. Whatever Moral did to Art, it changed him completely and he basically turned his back on Nice. He not only killed Moral but shot Nice as well.

The Yokohama incident created a rift with normal humans becoming warier of the Minimums. Who wouldn’t, when some of them tried to kill all of them just a few months ago or transfer their weird power? Of course, there were two factions here with people welcoming the new powers, while others feared it. This later created some deviants who never registered their powers after this incident and became Freemums that Birthday and Ratio tracked down in second episode. This situation also made many Minimums jobless and turn to odd jobs like charging mobile phones or even giving kids horse-back rides in parks…. Yep, it’s a hard time to be a Minimum and most of our Hamatora cast was hit terribly by it, except for a mysterious Toranker-kun, who was plastered too far and wide in episode one. It was not hard to recognize this as a giant hint flag.

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For Hamatora cast though, things became worse with one of their leader dead but most of them coped with this situation in their individual way. The surprise was Hajime, who had very few lines in season one and was basically the moe pet of the agency, who ate, made faces and just sat around. Yes, she provided the kawai factor of the team but Nice’s death pushed her into much needed action, which is totally fine. However, Nice’s death was quite shocking as he supposedly was quite powerful in terms of Minimum power. How could he die though? Since when good guys died in anime unless being penned by sadistic writers like Urobutcher for an example? Oh well, like everyone thought and theorized, he was not dead after all. Terribly injured but not dead and his death announcement was more of a ruse to keep tabs on Art and getting to the bottom of whatever drove him to such extremes of killing his friends and being overly up-to-no-good.

In the first two episodes, events were highly intertwined and I did appreciate that. Even when on the front, Hikaru’s case seemed pretty useless for a teenager who could manipulate light to become a popular idol winning thousands of ladies’ hearts. In the process, he broke too many hearts by not saying no to anyone and trying to make everyone happy. Dude, either you are Don Juan, Romeo or Brad Pitt, in the end, selecting the One is all it takes to go ahead in life. Our idol however could not because he was an average Joe with a minimum power to become a bishie. Not a lot of brain was required to resolve his girls and gang problems (I have to say, the YKH84 had me on the floor), he ended up playing a part in Art’s plan. Giving him a gateway route from Facultas Academy, where Art broke in to steal Minimum powers from most of the students still in training there.

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This was the turn of events that even Nice’s snooping around for a few months didn’t prepare them for. Isn’t it really playing dirty when you shoot your own best friend and attack every Minimum holder that you get in contact with? I have a feeling his main purpose is a twisted version of saving the humanity by clearing them of the disease called Minimum powers. Even having the particular Minimum quality, Art could never awake his powers while being in Facultas and thus felt inferior due to it. Sure, he worked hard to gain physical strength and always used his brains but he was no match against a powerful Minimum. So, once he was given the power by Moral, something must have clicked in him that made him go to the extreme conclusion of eradicating the world of them. And now he does have the perfect means to do it, discovered by Moral: by stealing their powers. I have a feeling this season will be all about Hamatora tracing Art’s footsteps while he executes his master plan. Will Nice be able to get through to Art, who seems to be on a gorilla mission? We shall see.

Re: Extra

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BDSM Idol Group?! (´⊙ω⊙`)!

Click for more // Show ▼

I’m a fan of detective stories but they have to be engaging rather than become one giant arc, which was basically what season one became. The reason I never picked it up for weekly blogging. I like a diversified cast and Hamatora has that but something goes missing in the execution and I have a feeling season two is moving in the same direction with Art becoming the main nemesis for our cast. I like the overall diversified characters with the classic pair as founders, serious, strong to moe side-characters along with a tsukkomi and boke pair in Ratio and Birthday. But I just can’t get too serious about the cases or story because the mystery factor is quite low-key. I know the main plot themes are derived from famous pop-culture tropes of today and some of them are cool to okay. But personally, this series is more enjoyable in a marathon rather than following it weekly. I won’t be covering this series but would definitely like to know our readers’ opinions on it. Let’s hear it.

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14 Responses to “First Impression – RE: Hamatora”

  1. zztop says:

    I’m aware a different animation studio and team was contracted to do Season 2 this time. I wonder what the reason was.

    There’s also a manga prequel of Hamatora by Kodama Yuuki(creator of Blood Lad, also Hamatora’s character designer)that explains how Murasaki and Nice first met.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Yeah, Studio Lerche is helming the second season but NAZ that oversaw the first is taking second seat by collaboration. The first anime’s chief director Seiji Kishi is formally listed as the director for the new anime, but at the studio Lerche.

    • d-LaN says:

      Abt the manga, by chapter 14 Three and Honey finally show up. Also there some hint given like the client this time is a researcher from Facultas that researches into giving non-Minimum holders Minimum.

      On another note, manga Three is QUALITy as hell. Bleh.

      • BlackBriar says:

        It’s cases like this where I’m sometimes happy with being an anime-only viewer. I prefer not to be spoiled, especially when the story begins to show some promise.

        • d-LaN says:

          Nah, I honestly doubt it will spoil S2 plot points since I think its just a lead in to how Moral obtain the technology/knowledge on giving normal people Minimum powers since S1 spoiled the entire thing ady.

          • BlackBriar says:

            As long as it doesn’t spoil anything big enough it will impact the story.

            • Kyokai says:

              I’ll most probably be checking out the manga as well after RE is done.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Whew, finally some time to comment. Sorry for not stalking around lately. I’ve been going places for the past few days. I even recently just got back from Universal Studios Orlando.

    So season 2 is here. I watched the first and found it was alright. It’s a fairly good series to enjoy with your brain turned off and not expecting some grand plot. The characters are enough to compensate for a number of flaws and their cases are out of the box. Though I will admit things seem to have taken a more serious tone with Hiroshi Kamiya’s character Art becoming the antagonist. And a sigh of relief thanks Emiri Kato’s Hajime showing activity by stepping in on the action, especially after the huge impression she made with display of power last season. Looking forward to seeing more of her. Not every day you see a formidable girl with a healthy appetite. She just loves those burgers. :D

    (I have to say, the YKH84 had me on the floor)

    Hahaha, they were a ridiculous looking bunch. To me, it was as though Hajime and Murasaki were taking on rogue members of Kill la Kill’s Nudist Beach.

    If there’s anything that’s thoroughly positive, it’s its awesome OPs. I fell in love with “FLAT” by livetune adding Yuuki Ozaki (from Galileo Galilei) for the first half but now I’m addicted to Sen no Tsubasa. For now, it’s one of three favorite OPs for the Summer. Their full releases can’t come soon enough.

    Flawed, yes, no doubt about it but not so much I’d make me turn my back on it. There’s some charm and things are getting interesting so Re:_Hamatora will be on my regular’s list for the summer.

    • Kyokai says:

      Ooooh! I’m so jelly! Did you go through the Harry Potter tour? It’s on my list to go places because I grew up reading them.

      I kept up with the series just because I liked the characters, even when we don’t know a lot about their backstories, they are interesting in their own right. I still don’t understand why Art is doing whatever he’s doing. I’ll still stay true to my theory on his intention being saving the humans/Minimums but his way is just not straight but let’s see how the grey areas are treated in this season.

      I really did love livetune’s songs as well so both his offerings to the anime are quite good. I’ll keep watching RE too but not too regularly because of the already huge watch log. ><

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Is it just me or did the Commentator list go from top 15 to top 20? LOL. I must be seeing things. No, I’m not.

    • d-LaN says:

      ………….I just noticed there a huge gap in number bet yours position and the next. Suddenly me on #4 seems like nothing in comparison.

      • BlackBriar says:

        About that, congratulations on climbing another rank. You’re now “Meta Resident and Werewolf Chaser” Before reaching the 1200 comment mark, you had taken over Dan-go, the previous top commenter and my predecessor. Now go forth after Tofu and claim yet another rank!!

        • Kyokai says:

          Good job guys. Mr. Briar sure has climbed high, Mr. Fosh better watch out. xD

  4. Cassandra says:

    You want to hear readers opinions. Ok. I can do that. For me I thought the episode is okay and I just like the series and how it handles the mystery between a mixture of light comedy with some seriousness.

    I am still sticking with it then again I liked Season 1 a lot so much that consider it one of my all-time anime series favorites.

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