At the beginning of the episode, Hajime wins a trip to a hot spring in a raffle at Chinatown. The prize ticket says that only up to three people can stay in the room, and the three who end up going are Hajime, Honey, and Koneko. Birthday complains about not being able to go. However, Ratio gets a call, and he and Birthday head out.

Meanwhile, Nice and Murasaki and talking with a potential client, who shows them a picture of a guy named Hasuda Arata and says he is her boyfriend. She wants them to tail him, because he’s been acting suspicious and she thinks there’s a woman involved. At first, Nice refuses, but after she mentions he works as a masseur at a hot spring, he decides to take the case.

We learn that Art, Honey, and Three have been working hard on trying to track Professor Moral down, so he tells Honey and Three to get some rest and relaxation at a hot spring. While Art and his partner are at a convenience store, they catch a guy who was shoplifting.

On the day that the girls go on their trip, Nice, Murasaki, and Three also visit the hot spring. They are later joined by Birthday and Nice, who are supposed to be undercover in order to watch the crown prince of the Abachahat Republic, who has secretly gone to the hot spring without his bodyguard. We also see that Theo and Rei, two kids they met in an earlier episode, are now working part-time at the hot spring.

A group of guys swarm the hot spring, and tell the women to leave because they aren’t interested in women. It turns out Hasuda has a Seduction Minimum, which he uses to try to get away with the plot he’s trying to unleash. As the story progresses, the various plots that seemed unrelated at first come together to bring about the answers to the case that’s taking place at the hot spring.

First off, we can now say that Hamatora has now had its hot spring episode! Will any of the other anime tropes, such as a beach episode, be too far behind?

Probably one of the most important things in this episode is the fact that we finally see there’s more to Hajime than simply being a glutton! It turns out she has incredible strength, which she gets to showcase in Episode Five. Admittedly, her motivation for using her ability is ultimately derived from wanting food, but at least we finally got to see that Hajime can actually do something besides eat.

There’s also something very interesting that happens right at the end of the episode that involves Art’s partner. I don’t want to provide a “spoiler” here, so all I will say is that what we saw could prove to cause some complications for Art.

I have to say that this was probably the strangest episode of Hamatora that I’ve seen. However, this doesn’t change the fact that of the six new shows I’m watching for the Winter 2014 season, Hamatora is still ranking at the top of the list of favorites. Hopefully, the remaining episodes will be more along the lines of the first four episodes, and that Episode Five turns out to be an anomaly.

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