Hamatora is a series that expands it’s storyline over several mixed medias, and starting off with the manga serialization in 2013 it there is also the animation (split between two series), a role playing game, a light novel and even a stage show. It’s pretty stock standard these days for a half decent manga to acquire an anime adaption, and it’s becoming more common to have small side projects, which I think really builds the interest with fans and may even take them to a media they are not that familiar with.
The cast introduction in the first episode is brief as you are expected to know who they are, but even coming into this for the first time you can quite easily figure out their role. Nowhere Cafe is the home base for Hamatora (short for Yokohama Troubleshooters) run by two young men Nice and Murasaki who are professional freelance detectives. Along with many other characters they are both Minimum Holders, which are people who were born with a special unique power kept secret from the general population. Nice and his partner Murasaki and in a sort rivals and take on jobs from all walks of life to make some cash, more often than not it always involves other Minimum Holders in some way. Helping them out on occasions are Birthday and Ratio who have their own business Odd Jobs, and they often run into each other and work together to solve their cases. This happens quite frequently, almost too often for my taste.
Things start to take a strange turn when the Police uncover murders of Minimum Holders who have had their brains removed, and normal people seemingly develop Minimum abilities (they are called non-innate Minimum Holders) are causing all sorts of trouble. The Yokohama police superintendent is a young man named Art, who is following the string of murders and trying to piece together the meaning behind them and who exactly is doing these abominable things. It’s really quite obvious from the start who it is, and over the 12 episodes his motives become clear and society starts to crumble as he unleashes Minimum Holders on the city. Art employs two body guards Honey and Three to help with the increasing cases, and it’s a nice touch to see some character development here that wasn’t in the original manga with Three.
For a 12 episode series, I was hoping the animation would be a bit cleaner, as it does lack in some scenes. I do however like the simple creative theme they have going, with textured colours in shadows and gradient fills in shirts and clothing to make it unique. There are also episodes that have a very filler feel to them which I think they tried to give meaningful outcomes, but they just really fell quite flat. These did have some amazingly funny moments though, and the Onsen episode was actually just bizzare and almost too awkward to watch. The guaranteed boss fight at the end was a little underwhelming, but the absolute mind blowing twist at the end makes up for it all, and had me screaming for more!
All in all this series draws you in even through the silly and almost meaningless episodes it still keeps you entertained. This is a continued story from the manga but I still didn’t feel I missed out on anything too substantial as they have a few flashbacks and explain a few things. Hajime and the staff at Nowhere Cafe have the least information revealed so I will probably do some research on them to fill in the gaps. With the second series hopefully not too far away, I am way too keen to find out what happens!
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.