Sentai Filmworks Licenses the Re:_Hamatora Anime

Sentai Filmworks has announced that it has licensed the Re:␣Hamatora anime. The company plans to release the series on home video.

The sequel to Hamatora aired during Summer 2014. The first anime’s chief director Seiji Kishi directed the anime, and animation was moved to studio Lerche. Hamatora‘s original animation studio NAZ collaborated with Lerche. The cast and several other staff members returned.

Source: ANN

2014 In Review: Summer 2014 Season

I’ve posted about the series I watched in the Winter 2014 season and about the series I started watching during the Spring 2014 season. Today, I’m posting about the anime series I started watching during the Summer 2014 season.

Sailor Moon Crystal: So far, this series seems to be following the manga much more closely than the original anime series did. I’ve only seen a portion of the original Sailor Moon anime, but from what I’ve seen of both that and Sailor Moon Crystal, I think that the storytelling and feel of Sailor Moon Crystal is stronger. The animation in Sailor Moon Crystal was very rough for a while, but the quality seems to have improved with more recent episodes. The main weakness that Sailor Moon Crystal has is the fact that it only airs twice a month; because of that, momentum is lost between episodes. Hopefully once the series becomes available on home video in the future and viewers can see episodes much closer together, that the storytelling will feel stronger than it does now. This is a series that will be continuing into the Winter 2015 season, so expect to see it appear in a retrospective for 2015!

Free! Eternal Summer: This is the second season for Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club, a series that aired during the Summer 2013 season. When I watched the first episode of Free! Eternal Summer, I saw much more blatant “fanservice” included in it than I had in all of the previous season of Free! I found myself fearing that Free! Eternal Summer was going to try to focus more on the fanservice than on the story. Fortunately, the fanservice was toned down tremendously after Episode One and that there was more of an emphasis placed on the story. Not only did Episode Two tone down the fanservice, it also did a great job of setting up the new elements that were being introduced to the series. With Episode Five, I was very happy to see Nagisa get a character development episode. While most of the other characters had received character development episodes in the first season, Nagisa was the only one who hadn’t. After watching Episode Five, I felt I understood where Nagisa was coming from a lot better than I had previously. With how the prefecturals progressed in Episode Six, it allowed Free! Eternal Summer to differentiate itself from the first season, since there would be a story that focuses on the Iwatobi team going to nationals. I also appreciated seeing the way that Free! Eternal Summer came to an end, which is with a montage that shows what happens to the various characters during the next school year. But from seeing this montage, it leads me to believe that there more than likely won’t be another season of the Free! anime. While I do enjoy this series quite a bit, I really can’t see where they could take the story, especially with Makoto and Haruka no longer being on the school’s swim team. It just wouldn’t be the same without all four of them.

Aldnoah.Zero: After watching the first episode, I thought that Aldnoah.Zero showed a lot of promise. However, I did have some issues with how much “info dumping” took place. During the first couple of episodes, I found myself being able to predict some of the events that happened. But this ability to predict what would happen in the story went out the window as the series progressed. The info dumping came back in Episode Six. At this point, I found myself wondering if maybe the series needed more episodes, because the info dumping felt as if it was being done to help the story move along faster in order for it to fit into the allotted number of episodes for the series. At the end of Episode Seven, I thought the storytelling had become even more of a mess than what I’d seen during Episode Six. At the end of Episode Eight, I thought that the writing had gotten sloppy, there was a relative lack of character development, and that there were radical changes in characterization. It almost felt as if someone was making up the story as they went, and that was the only way I could explain how the storytelling had fallen apart as much as it did over the course of eight episodes. Unfortunately, the quality of the writing never improved over the remaining four episodes of the series. After reaching the end of the series, I found myself thinking that I’d wasted 12 weeks of my time watching it.

Re: Hamatora: This is the second season of Hamatora that I’d been looking forward to watching after watching the cliffhanger at the end of the Winter 2014 season. After watching the first episode, I felt that even though there was a more serious tone than there had been to the first season of Hamatora, the second season seemed to be a strong continuation for the series. I pretty much felt this way through Episode Five. With Episode Six, though, the series started to become much more weird and dark than it had been. At that point, I had hoped that perhaps this would be the weirdest that the series would get. Unfortunately, the episodes continued becoming stranger and stranger for the remainder of the series. In the end, I didn’t enjoy Re: Hamatora as much as I did the first season of Hamatora. Right at first, the darker and more serious tone of Re: Hamatora was a refreshing change of pace. However, as the season wore on, the storyline in Re: Hamatora just continued to become stranger and stranger. Ultimately, the two seasons of Hamatora were as different as night and day: the first season was more light-hearted with the occasional serious moment, while the second season was more serious with the occasional light-hearted moment early on. But by the end of Re: Hamatora, any light-heartedness was basically gone. In the end, Re: Hamatora did present some interesting concepts, but I’m not convinced that the execution of those concepts worked as well as they could have.

Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun: After watching the first episode of the series, I thought it was off to a good start. I liked the main characters and how they interacted with each other. The story also kept my interest, and the humor was very enjoyable. Episode Two did a good job of building off of Episode One, and the story continued to be amusing. That episode introduced Yuzuki, who ended up being the only character who never truly grew on me; I found her to be rather annoying. I have to admit that my interest started to wane a little with Episode Five, because the humor in that episode wasn’t quite as amusing as it had been in the previous four episodes. This slump in the humor lasted for two episodes, then started getting better for a couple of episodes, and then there was another minor slump in Episode Nine. Fortunately, the final three episodes of the series help to make up for the slump in the humor that appeared around halfway through the series. But even with the episodes that weren’t as amusing as the rest of the series, the stories presented in those episodes weren’t bad. My main gripe, though, is that there seemed to be too many characters, so some characters couldn’t get the development and screen time that they needed. The characters who really felt as if they didn’t need to be there are Nozaki’s tanuki-loving former editor, and his upstairs neighbor who’s also a shojo manga artist. In the long run, those two particular characters really didn’t add a whole lot to the series and didn’t contribute much to the overall story. Even though there was no real conclusion to the story, I think the series needed to end the way that it did. This is due in large part to the fact that the manga is still ongoing in Japan. Also, if any of these potential couples did officially get together by the end, it would have had a strong effect on the series’ humor. Overall, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun was an enjoyable viewing experience from start to end. In fact, I would have to say that this would be one of my overall favorite series that I watched during the Summer 2014 anime season. I’d even be willing to go so far as to say that would rank up there among my favorite series that I watched during 2014.

Blue Spring Ride: After watching the first episode, I thought that Blue Spring Ride was off to a promising start. I liked the various character interactions, and the episode did a good job of establishing the characters and the story. And after watching Episode Two, I thought it was even better than Episode One had been. By the time I finished Episode Six, I thought that there were a lot of ways in which the plot twists and turns in Blue Spring Ride remind me a lot of what I saw in Strobe Edge, another manga by Io Sakisaka. Since I enjoyed the twists and turns in Strobe Edge, I also enjoyed them in Blue Spring Ride. After I finished watching Blue Spring Ride, I thought that it was a well done shojo anime series. The series had characters that I became interested and invested in, and the romantic and friendship storylines were done in a way where they really didn’t come across as “over the top.” Blue Spring Ride is a series that I’d happily watch again at some point in the future. It’s another title that would rank up there among my favorite anime from 2014.

HaNaYaMaTa: After watching the first episode, I found myself thinking that the animation was very bright and colorful. Also, all the female characters seemed to have a rather “cute” look to them, which gave the series a moe feel. Storywise, I thought HaNaYaMaTa was off to a decent start and appeared to have the foundation for an interesting story. At the time, I hoped that the series could continue in the style I saw in the first episode and not devolve into yet another “cute girls doing cute things” show. By the end of Episode Three, I had to give HaNaYaMaTa some credit for the fact that while it had a “moe” look and feel to it, the girls came across as actual characters and not as girls that fit various character types. There was also an overarching story that helped to keep a viewer interested, unlike many of the more recent moe type shows that seemed to focus more on vignettes and simply being cute rather than having much in the way of substance to its story. At the end of Episode Six, I was impressed by how the series’ plot kept the story moving and how the portrayal of the characters endeared them to the audience since they were actually characters and not simply character types. I appreciated HaNaYaMaTa for proving to me that a show with cute girls can actually have substance to it and be enjoyable to watch week after week. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as satisfied by the ending of HaNaYaMaTa as I hoped I would be. A major event happens at the end of Episode 11 that really affects the Yosakoi Club, but Episode 12 brings a resolution to that roadblock in such a way that I had a hard time using my “willing suspension of belief” or finding any way to the ending to be anywhere near realistic. Also, I thought there was a major loose end that was left resolved at the end of Episode 12. Overall, I did enjoy HaNaYaMaTa, even if I was a little disappointed in how the expected resolution with Hana ultimately transpired.

Love Stage!!: After watching the first episode, I saw that Love Stage!! was leaning more toward the comedic side. From what I saw, the comedy seemed to work for the story being told. I also thought that the series showed a lot of promise. Episode Three, however, made me a little uncomfortable when Ichijo tried to force Izumi to strip down and then became rather romantic toward him when he saw Izumi’s face. I wasn’t bothered by the fact that this scene featured two guys. In fact, it would have bothered me just as much if this scene had taken place between Ichijo and a female character. Honestly, if Shogo hadn’t come at just the right moment, Ichijo could have potentially raped Izumi. And that would not have been cool at all. But it still wasn’t cool how far Ichijo had managed to get before Shogo’s interference. By the end of Episode Four, it was very blatant that the series was heading into boys’ love territory. As I watched the remainder of the series, I thought that the boys’ love aspect was handled rather well. The series ended pretty much as I expected it to, with Izumi and Ichijo becoming a couple. With the way this episode ended, it could work as an ending for the series, but if there’s more content in the manga that hasn’t been covered, there could always be the potential for a second season if the first season performed well enough. As of this writing, there’s only been an OVA that’s been released in Japan in addition to the television anime series. Overall, I thought Love Stage!! was an ok series, but it’s not something I’d personally rush to see again anytime soon. I’m not saying that because it’s a boys’ love title, because if this had been a series with a straight couple that was done in this manner, I’d feel the same way.

Terror in Resonance: After I watched the first episode, I thought the animation looked good, and that Yoko Kanno was delivering another good anime score. Story-wise, I thought the series was off to a promising start, even if it was a little slow to get going. Once the story started to become more established over the course of the episode, it intrigued me enough to keep my interest. By the end of Episode Five, it felt like the story had been kicked up a notch, due to the introduction of Five and the potential issues that Shibazaki faced in this episode. But at this point, I found myself not feeling terribly sure about Lisa as a character, because she just didn’t seem to have much of a purpose; she was starting to feel more like a prop than anything else. At the end of Episode Six, I found myself wondering if should truly be rooting for anyone. Nine and Twelve were the main characters, but I wasn’t sure I could root for them with everything they’d done up to that point. Five may have been affiliated with the authorities, but she was only looking out for her own interests, so I couldn’t root for her. Lisa still hadn’t done much of anything at that point, and the closest character there was to a “good guy” was Shibazaki. At the end of Episode 10, I was still rather frustrated with Lisa as a character. At this point, she’d either been a prop or becomes the “damsel in distress.” Also, I was also feeling frustrated by the overall lack of character development for both Nine and Twelve, who are supposed to be the main characters of the series. After finishing the series, I came to see how the series only touched on its themes and the majority of its characters on a purely surface level. The only character to truly have any character development was Shibazaki. Lisa seemed to have the least development. All we seem to know about her is the fact that she was being bullied and had an extremely clingy mother. Episode 12 made an attempt at trying to make Lisa a more important character in the series, but at that point, it was simply too little, too late. Two of the characters were killed at the end of the episode; however, since they were really only known to the audience on a surface level, it was hard to feel any kind of emotion when they died. Terror in Resonance is a story that had so much promise, but in the end, it didn’t deliver as I’d hoped. It’s got good animation, great music, and an interesting premise; unfortunately, the series was ultimately lacking in its overall execution. It reminds me a lot of cotton candy: it looks good, tastes great, but in the end it still leaves you feeling empty.

Tokyo ESP: After watching the first episode of Tokyo ESP, I thought that the animation was rather well done. I also thought that there seemed to be an interesting idea being presented, but that the pacing felt a little on the sluggish side. I also found myself feeling rather confused, because the episode was done in such a way that it felt like it was being assumed that the audience already knew and understood what was taking place. With Episode Two, it became clear that the trick of starting at one point in the story and then backtracking to fill in the gaps to get back to where the story started was being utilized. After watching Episode Two, I did have a better impression of Tokyo ESP. But as the series continued, I found myself thinking that it probably would have made the series stronger if the second episode had been the first episode and had just gone in chronological order. By eliminating that first episode, the writers would have gained one episode that could have potentially allowed them to develop the characters or the story a little more. When the final episode concluded, it didn’t feel like the story had come to an end. In fact, it felt as if the stage was being set for a second season. However, there was nothing at the end of the episode to announce that another season would be coming in the future. After finishing Tokyo ESP, I found that I never was able to enjoy it as much as I’d hoped I would. The way the series started didn’t really help anything, since it left me so confused as to what was going on. When the actual story got going in Episode Two, the pacing of the story tended to feel slow, although not quite as slow as the first episode. But the pacing never really improved much after Episode Two. I also found that I just couldn’t get into the characters, not even into the characters who had some clearly defined development, such as Rinka and Kyotaro. Looking back, I realize I had this underlying sense of detachment from the characters. In the end, Tokyo ESP had an interesting concept behind it, but the execution just wasn’t as strong as it could have been.

Additional 2014 In Review posts:

Anime Spotlight: Re: Hamatora

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season was produced by Lerche and was directed by Seiji Kishi. The series aired on Japanese television from July 8-September 23, 2014. As of this writing, Sentai Filmworks holds the North American license for the series.

The world of Hamatora is set in Yokohama in 2014, and in the world of this franchise, humans with supernatural abilities have been discovered. They are referred to as Minimum Holders. Two Minimum Holders named Nice and Murasaki have formed a detective agency called Hamatora, and they rent out a table at the Nowhere Café and call it their office. Their friends, Birthday and Ratio, who are also Minimum Holders, are also part of the Hamatora team. Hajime, a friend of Nice’s, also hangs out at the café and tends to spend her time eating hamburgers.

Their friend Art works for the police department, and he has hired two Minimum Holders named Three and Honey to help him with a serial murder investigation where the murderer targets Minimum Holders.

At the end of the first season of Hamatora, it appeared that Nice had been purposely shot to death by Art. In the first episode of Re: Hamatora, there’s a memorial service held for him. At the end of the episode, though, it’s revealed that the audience had been trolled and that Nice was alive and was in hiding for three months.

Pretty quickly, it’s discovered that Minimum Holders are losing their powers and end up in bad shape. It turns out that Art is behind it, and he appears to have become a rather twisted person. Over the course of the season, Art allies himself with a group known as Freemum. This group is made up of Minimum Holders who believe that they should be able to live free.

As this is going on, the members of Hamatora discover that they begin developing side effects when they use their Minimum abilities. This ends up tying in with a revelation that’s made about Hajime near the end of the series.

After watching the first episode, I felt that even though there was a more serious tone than there had been to the first season of Hamatora, the second season seemed to be a strong continuation for the series. I pretty much felt this way through Episode Five.

With Episode Six, though, the series started to become weirder and darker than it had been. At that point, I had hoped that perhaps this would be the weirdest that the series would get. Unfortunately, the episodes continued becoming stranger and stranger for the remainder of the series.

In the end, I didn’t enjoy Re: Hamatora as much as I did the first season of Hamatora. Right at first, the darker and more serious tone of Re: Hamatora was a refreshing change of pace. However, as the season wore on, the storyline in Re: Hamatora just continued to become stranger and stranger. Ultimately, the two seasons of Hamatora were as different as night and day: the first season was more light-hearted with the occasional serious moment, while the second season was more serious with the occasional light-hearted moment early on. But by the end of Re: Hamatora, any light-heartedness was basically gone.

During the ending credits for Episode 12, there’s a television report showing that remnants of the Freemums are still creating unrest six months later. Before seeing that report, I was sure that this episode would wrap up the Hamatora franchise. However, seeing that tidbit in the ending credits does leave the door open for a potential third season. But after how this season went, I’m not sure I’d be in a big hurry to come back if there ended up being a third season. I’d probably watch another season if I had an opening in my anime viewing schedule and couldn’t find anything else to watch.

In the end, Re: Hamatora did present some interesting concepts, but I’m not convinced that the execution of those concepts worked as well as it could have.

Additional post about Hamatora:

Re: Hamatora: Episode 12 – “Resolution [EGO]”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

Episode 12 opens with Art having a flashback of his time at Facultas Academy when he was younger, as well as what happened to Art when he was shot by Moral in the first season of Hamatora. The flashback lasts for almost half of the episode, which does kind of bog the episode down a little. But through this flashback sequence, the viewer finally gets information on how various pieces we’ve seen and heard about up until now come together.

While we needed all of this information, I wish there had been some way to spread this out over the course of the season. By waiting until the final episode, it made the first half of it feel like a major “info dump.” Since a finale episode is typically supposed to be exciting for the viewer, having an extended flashback sequence really muted the excitement.

But once the flashback ended, the rest of the story focused on bringing this season to a close. In a lot of ways, it felt a little rushed. Also, how everything was brought back to normal has a “deus ex machina” feel to it. But then again, considering how strange Re: Hamatora had become, this resolution seems to work with the tone that this series had set.

For the most part, the loose ends of the story were wrapped up in Episode 12. However, during the ending credits, there’s a television report showing that remnants of the Freemums are still creating unrest six months later. Before seeing that report, I was sure that this episode would wrap up the Hamatora franchise. However, seeing that tidbit in the ending credits does leave the door open for a potential third season. However, after how this season went, I’m not sure I’d be back if there ended up being a third season.

In the end, I didn’t enjoy Re: Hamatora as much as I did the first season of Hamatora. Right at first, the darker and more serious tone of Re: Hamatora was a refreshing change of pace. However, as the season wore on, the storyline in Re: Hamatora just continued to become stranger and stranger. Ultimately, the two seasons of Hamatora were as different as night and day: the first season was more light-hearted with the occasional serious moment, while the second season was more serious with the occasional light-hearted moment early on. But by the end of Re: Hamatora, any light-heartedness was basically gone.

In the end, Re: Hamatora did present some interesting concepts, but I’m not convinced that the execution of those concepts worked as well as it could have.

Additional posts about Hamatora:

Re: Hamatora: Episode 11 – “End of Yokohama”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

Episode 11 ends up providing backstory for Boss, the owner of Café Nowhere. It turns out that he was one of the scientists working under Moral and Doktor when Hajime’s Nihilist Minimum was activated the first time. Boss ends up saving Hajime’s life when he declares that he’ll be her guardian and watch over her when Doktor wants to kill her for being too dangerous. We also see the beginnings for Café Nowhere. Koneko just appears at the time when Boss opens the café. I just have to assume that he found her somewhere and brought her in to help him and Hajime with the business.

Ishigami and the Freemums launch their plan, in which they demand during a broadcast that Yokohama becomes a special district restricted to Minimum Holders. If not, they have a way of killing some people at a time until their demand is met. Later, Ishigami takes on Doktor when he tries arguing against giving in to the Freemums demands.

But the Freemums are in for a surprise when Art reveals that he was simply using them. I was basically right when I guessed in my writeup for Episode 10 that Art was simply using the Freemums to gather as many Minimum Holders together as possible and using Hajime’s Nihilist Minimum to get rid of Minimum abilities.

This episode ended up being rather intense. And with only one episode left, I’m very curious to see how this story is resolved. At this point, it appears that Nice is dead. However, we were deceived once before, so the writers could be pulling a similar stunt here. But in addition to that, it appears that Hajime’s Nihilist Minimum has been taking away Minimum Holders’ powers, including everyone associated with Hamatora. The situation looks rather bleak and hopeless at the end of Episode 11, so I’m very curious to know how this story can be resolved in one episode. Hopefully we won’t see any reliance on a “deus ex machina” ending or something really bizarre happening in order to reverse what happened at the end of this episode.

Additional posts about Hamatora:

Re: Hamatora: Episode 10 – “For Whom to Duel”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

Episode 10 sees Hajime leaving Hamatora and going to the Freemums. Unfortunately, it’s decided to use her as a hostage in order for Momoka (aka Shikyou) to have some entertainment with Nice, Murasaki, and Ratio. She keeps calling Nice and creating situations where his friends are kidnapped and are trapped with bombs, and having Nice try to save his friends before the bombs go off.

Birthday’s illness has also kicked back up again, and Ratio makes him go to the hospital. Ratio also finds Chiyuu, and she’s extremely disoriented. In fact, she’s so disoriented that she doesn’t even recognize Ratio.

After Momoka tricks Nice into going to a location where she claimed Hajime was, he discovers that Ratio was also called there. Through a video call on a laptop, they learn that Hajime is at Without, along with Suruga, the Minimum Holder with the Healing Minimum that can help both Birthday and Chiyuu. Momoka says the two of them must use their Minimum Ability to battle each other to the death. Whichever one wins will determine whether Hajime or Suruga will live or be the one that’s killed.

This Momoka woman is such an annoying person. We learn her entire motivation for what she’s doing is the fact that she’s bored because she has too much money. Really? Talk about First World problems!

I’m also wondering why Hajime suddenly left the Hamatora crew and went to the Freemums to insist on joining them. I know that the events of Episode Eight rattled her quite a bit, but I can’t believe they changed her that much. My assumption is that she was hoping to join the Freemums in order to become a spy and learn what their plans are. If that’s the case, then her plan didn’t really seem to work out so well.

But we also see in this episode that the leader of the Freemums is starting to question Art’s true intentions. I have a feeling that I may have been right in my writeup of Episode Nine when I wondered if Art’s true intention was to gather as many Minimum Holders into one location as possible in order to take away their Minimum abilities. This would fit in with what we saw Art doing earlier in the season. And this would also explain why Art was trying to awaken Hajime’s Nihilist Minimum. But if the leader of the Freemums is starting to question Art’s intentions, this could potentially damage whatever Art’s plan may be.

It appears from seeing the next episode preview that the showdown between the Freemums and those who follow Honey’s father may start taking place. And from what I’ve seen, it appears there’s only two more episodes left for Re: Hamatora. At this point, I imagine it’s going to be pretty intense. It’ll be interesting to see how this series will ultimately come to an end.

Additional posts about Hamatora:

Re: Hamatora: Episode 9 – “Symphony in the Moonlight”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

The primary focus of Episode Nine is on the views of two different groups in regards to the Freemums. Honey’s father believes that instead of using their abilities for the good of the world, they exist without purpose in the world. I got the impression by the end of his impassioned speech that he feels something has to be done in regards to all Minimum Holders, not just the Freemums. This includes his own daughter, but it was made clear in an earlier episode that there’s really no love lost between these two.

On the other side, the Freemums are trying to recruit other stray Minimum Holders. One of the Freemums uses his ability to create food that will enthrall the newcomers. And then Art is sent on stage to deliver an impassioned speech, which causes the stray Minimum Holders to join their cause.

It was during Art’s speech that the intercutting between Art and Honey’s father was the most effective. This really helps to show just how wide of a chasm there is between the two opinions. These scenes also helped to truly make it clear to the audience that the climax of the series will have to be coming sooner rather than later.

But I’d been under the impression that Art wants to take away Minimum Abilities, so why is he helping the Freemums recruit members? Unless Art’s plan is to gather as many Minimum Holders together in one place and find a way to take away all of their powers at the same time?

When it comes to the Hamatora crew, Honey and Three tell them that they will be participating in a play for a children’s festival at a local shopping district. The festival is being organized by the organization that took in Three’s orphans after his orphanage was burned to the ground. It’s decided that they will do a play of the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter, with Hajime cast as Princess Kaguya. From what rehearsals we see in the episode, it looks like it’s a wacky telling of the story!

For the most part, the play almost felt like “time kill” for the episode. However, near the end of the rehearsal, Nice does something that seems to indicate that he has feelings for Hajime. This was a rather sweet moment, and it was the most important part of the rehearsals for the play. But shortly after this, it appears that there’s something wrong with Birthday…

So we’re at a point where we have the stray Minimum Holders ready to do battle, while Honey’s father and his ilk are ready to take them down. Personally, I don’t see this ending very well for Honey’s father and his group.

And for the Hamatora gang, Hajime appears to have been affected by what happened to her back in Episode Eight. Murasaki has now lost his Minimum Ability, and Birthday’s not in very good shape, either, not to mention all the side effects they’re having from using their Minimum Abilities. It’s starting to feel like that all hope is lost for the Hamatora crew, but somehow, I think they’ll find a way to turn things around. I have no idea how, but I suspect they’ll come up with something.

Additional posts about Hamatora:

Re: Hamatora: Episode 8 – “Worst Promise & Best Memory”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora television anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

Episode Eight has a very strong emphasis on Hajime, and by the end of it, I came to better understand why she’s the way she is and why she likes hamburgers so much.

Momoka, the flower shop lady we saw working with Professor Moral back in the first season, makes a return in this episode. She runs into Hajime at the hospital, and convinces Hajime to go with her after showing her a picture of Hajime when she was younger and telling her that she can tell Hajime about her past. As part of this, Momoka tells Hajime it’s her fault that the Minimum Holders around her are experiencing disturbances in their abilities after a part of her power awakened.

Throughout the episode, we get to see how Hajime was abandoned as a child, used as a test subject by Professor Moral and some other scientists and was the only success they had, and how she and Nice met. I really enjoyed seeing these flashbacks, especially since Nice and Hajime’s meeting has been hinted at in the footage that appears during the opening for Re: Hamatora. Also, I came to like Hajime much more as a character by the end of this episode. It was nice to finally get her background and see that there’s so much more to her than the gluttonous girl we met at the beginning of the first season. And when Hajime is brought back to the place where she’d been experimented on, she freaks out and believes that what’s happening to her friends is indeed her fault.

It turns out that Momoka has ties to both Art and the Freemums, and that Art wanted Hajime brought to this place to awaken her Minimum. She has what’s called the Nihilist Minimum, which eradicates other Minimums and it’s triggered by despair. So it looks like Momoka may not have been exaggerating about Hajime being the cause of her friends’ Minimum abilities being disturbed.

This episode appears to be setting up the foundation for whatever events will be taking place in order to conclude the series. And it appears a lot of it will be revolving around Hajime. After having such a minor role to play in the first season, she’s now going to be a major player in this series. I admit that after seeing this episode, I’m really concerned for what’s going to happen with Hajime and how it’s going to end up affecting her.

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Re: Hamatora: Episode 7 – “Emergency Room 24 Hours”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

At the beginning of Episode Seven, it’s revealed that Murasaki is indeed alive, and he’s taken to a hospital that has connections with the Minimum Agency. He’s suffered blunt force trauma all over and has fissure fractures in both arms. Unfortunately, while he should be able to heal physically, his Minimum ability is as good as gone.

The remainder of the episode is set at the hospital. It was decided to treat a lot of this episode as a comedy, and I assume this was done to lighten the mood after how dark and heavy Episode Six had been. Unfortunately for much of the humor, the writers relied on the same gag four different times over the course of the episode. This gag consists of someone messing with the remote for Murasaki’s bed, causing him to fly out of it and smack against a wall, fall to the ground and appear to flatline, and ending with Birthday using his Minimum to shock him. I admit that this gag was a little funny the first time it happened, eyeroll inducing the second time, groan inducing the third time, and facepalm inducing the fourth time. I really got the sense that the writer fell in love with this gag and decided to overuse it during the episode.

Intercut with these scenes with the hospital bed gag were scenes of some of the Freemums talking to a doctor. Because of their various mutations, the doctor is taken aback. Apparently, these bits were supposed to be funny, but I honestly thought they were rather dumb. They really didn’t add anything to the story, and these scenes felt like they were here more for “time kill” than anything else.

There was another section that apparently was supposed to be amusing, when Birthday, Koneko, Honey, Three, Rei, Theo, and Hajime get lost trying to get out of the hospital and end up in an unused area of the hospital. It’s dark, and a narrator pops in a couple of times to backtrack a scene to point out the “supernatural” things that show up. After going through three of the gag scenes with Murakami’s bed remote and three gag scenes with the Freemums, this section came across as annoying and not humorous at all.

Overall, the only important parts of Episode Seven happened right at the very beginning and right at the very end. Everything else felt like a waste of time, which made this feel like a waste of an episode. Hopefully Episode Eight will be better than Episode Seven was.

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Re: Hamatora: Episode 6 – “Advent”

Re: Hamatora is the second season of the Hamatora anime series. This season begins three months after the end of the first season, and the Hamatora detective agency is still taking on cases that come their way.

Episode Six opens with a memorial service for Art’s former partner, Gasquet, who was killed at the end of Episode Five. It’s revealed that it’s being reported to the public that the assault that took place at the prison complex was a terrorist attack targeting the prefectural police.

Nice and Murasaki go to question their informant, and he tells them about the meeting he had with Gasquet during Episode Five. The informant also warns the two of them about not getting in too deep if they don’t want to cut their life short. With what happens later in Episode Six, you really don’t want to hear this phrase coming out of this guy’s mouth because it seems to be a precursor to something bad happening.

Honey uses Mighty to try to find security camera footage of the people who perpetrated the attack on the prison complex. They were able to cover their tracks except for a dashcam in a nearby taxi. When Honey enhances the image, they see that the Freemums were involved. Hamatora goes to the club the Freemums had used as their headquarters, only to discover that they’re long gone. We see that the Freemums are now running their operation out of Art’s place, which is a rather nondescript room.

Next, we see Nice and Murasaki having some kind of an argument. The audience comes into the middle of it, but from what’s said, it appears it has something to do with tracking down Art and the Freemums. After Nice leaves, Murasaki starts acting as if there’s something wrong with him physically. We learn it’s a side effect of using his Minimum ability; the more he uses it, the more his body deteriorates. When that was revealed, I had a really bad feeling that something bad was going to happen to Murasaki.

We then see Murasaki walking down the street and dealing with an inner conflict with himself. In the animation, this is depicted by showing his “inner voice” speaking to Murasaki as a ghostly apparition walking next to him. I understand what the animators were trying to do, but it comes across as weird. Unfortunately, I would discover there were things later in the episode that made the ghostly apparition almost look normal!

Murasaki then runs into Art, and the two say they need to talk to each other. Art takes Murasaki to his place, and tells the Freemums to leave them alone. Murasaki tells Art about how frustrated he is with Nice and says he wanted to talk to Art because he thought he’d understand his feelings. Unfortunately for Murasaki, Art realizes that Murasaki is trying to put on an act, and this leads to a major fight scene between these two characters. At first, Murasaki’s punches don’t do anything to Art, but after Murasaki powers up with his ability, he’s able to punch Art hard in several vital spots, and even holds him by his hair. Unfortunately, Murasaki’s leg gives out on him, so he has to pull out a gun. He shoots, and it looks like Art is shot and killed.

The Freemums barge in, holding Murasaki at gunpoint. Ishigami, the leader of the Freemums, provides a small “info dump” here when he explains why Art’s Minimum ability couldn’t be uncovered by the Facultas Academy; this is due to the Minimum central nerve not being in his brain. It was located elsewhere, which was the same place as his trigger. It’s then said Art is worthy of becoming the savior of Minimum Holders due to what lies in his chest. Ishigami stabs Art in the chest, and Art comes back to life in a resurrection that seems to be trying to evoke Jesus Christ with what appears to be a cross in the background.

OK, at this point, I was going, “What the heck?” Yes, Hamatora has done some strange things since the series started, but this resurrection was strange, even by Hamatora‘s standards. If you ask me, Art has developed quite a God Complex, and I suspect this will end up being a major thing for Art’s character for the remainder of the series.

Right at the end of the episode, Murasaki is delivered to the café in a body bag. At first, I thought Murasaki was dead and was getting upset over the fact that this would be two episodes in a row where someone was killed. However, the preview for Episode Seven showed that the next episode is set in an emergency room, so it appears Murasaki isn’t dead yet. The question at this point is, “Will Murasaki survive this ordeal or not?” Considering that Gasquet was already killed, I don’t think anyone in the series is necessarily “safe” from that fate.

OK, I knew over the past couple of episodes that Re: Hamatora was turning into a darker series than the first season of Hamatora, but I didn’t expect it to get this dark and weird! Episode Six was definitely a downer for me, and it’s started to dampen my enthusiasm for this series. Hopefully the weirdness in this episode is as weird as Re: Hamatora is going to get. If the series gets any weirder, that could really change my opinion of the entire Hamatora franchise.

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