Tuesday, August 19, 2014

ANIME REVIEW: Hamatora

Hamatora is a 2014 anime that ran for 12 episodes from Jan 8 to Mar 26 in Japan. It was produced by TV TokyoNAZDIVE II Entertainment and the second season titled Re: Hamatora began on Jul 8.

PLOT

"Minimum" - a special inborn power found in a limited number of human beings, known as "minimum holders." In Yokohama, the detective team Hamatora, formed by two minimum holders named Nice and Murasaki, comes across information connected to a serial killer being pursued by their old friend Art. It turns out all the victims are minimum holders like them. Unwillingly at first, the two detectives become involved in the investigation.

WHAT I THOUGHT

With that plot summary you might think that this show is as straightforward as can be an action anime with super powers and not much plot at all. You would be wrong there is something so much deeper lying below the surface of this anime, something that becomes much clearer in the second season. I’m getting ahead of myself first we should consider the core elements of the show.

The detective agency – Hamatora – which is really more accurately sort of an agency for odd jobs consists of a small group of friends who all possess Minimums which are there super powers. The powers seem to be activated by the Minimum holder interacting with objects that they tend to keep on them, I’m not sure if it is like a shortcut to an incantation or if they can’t use their abilities without them which is something we never find out.


The leader Nice has a power that puts him about one level below Superman in terms of the world of Hamatora though it took me until the second season to get any sort of understanding of what it was that he was doing. A lot of the fun I had with watching Hamatora was trying to figure out the rules around their powers but that might just be for former comic collectors like me to enjoy.

I can’t write about this show without mentioning that there is a lot of comedy thrown in there especially in the opening half of the season, comedy which for me did not always work but isn’t so bad that it puts you off checking out the next episode.


There is a mystery at the centre of Hamatora despite what the first few filler episodes might make you think I urge you just to hang in there, like a large number of anime shows out there the first few filler episodes are just that but they offer you bread crumb bits that actually do feature when things pick up in the second half of the season.


The animation is great and I love the outfits and sense of style, definitely good for cosplaying opportunities for guys something that I can definitely get behind. The music is interesting lots of piano and very different from what you tend to hear in most anime.


Hamatora first season lasts 13 episodes with a Finale that definitely has a WTF moment but in a good way and because it has a second season you know that you get some resolution and actually a reasonable resolution at that.

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