After the cliff hanger ending of the first season Re Hamatora kicks off in Nowhere Café, the gangs usual hangout. There is a sombre atmosphere as it becomes apparent they have just been to Nices’ funeral. It is a bit startling to think the main character has been killed over three months ago, however it’s not even the end of the first episode and he pops back in to join the action. After being in hiding for so long, Nice crashes Murasaki and Hajime’s job to get some exercise. With penniless pockets as per usual the teams re-connect and get back to accepting odd jobs for some extra coin.
The story travels much the same as the previous series, however they are now dealing with unexpected health issues related to their Minimum abilities. Honey is one of the first to show symptoms. After using her Mighty Script she basically has a brain fart and reverts back to her childhood personality for a few hours. The others all experience something sooner or later, and the cause remains a mystery even to Ratio. As well as their usual jobs, an underground movement of Minimum Holders called Freemum is building numbers and starting to cause havoc in the city. Each group also has their own issues to deal with, as Ratio and Birthday are searching for Chio who recently disappeared. Honey is dealing with her estranged father, a man devoted to science who is more interested in her as a test subject than a human being. They all have their hands full.
Not surprising from the ending of season 1, the antagonist turns out to be Art. Murasaki saved Nice at the last second, then faked his death so he could go into hiding and recover. Art skulks around the city, inciting a little bit of mayhem and stealing peoples Minimum abilities. His actions are incredibly out of character, seeing as he was previously on the police force. He also wraps himself up with Freemum and uses them to his advantage while faking interest in their goals. Not until the last few episodes are his true intentions revealed. I really thought Art was aiming for something grander since he was taking so many risks and had such a meticulous plan. After remembering his brothers (Skill) fate at Faculta, his change of heart is emotionally driven, not rational thinking.
As the series progresses we are let into the pasts of some of the other characters like Honey, Hajime, Nice, Master, Koneko and Art. This was really needed as it fleshes them out more and provides some insight into some of the less explored characters. Art’s Minimum ability is fully explained, and Morals connections to Faculta are revealed. In Re Hamatora, there are quite a few similarities from the first season, like stealing of Minimum abilities and investigating unusual happenings. Combine that with the Freemum movement, inhibited Minimum abilities and Art running around they are pushed to breaking point.
Re Hamatora is action packed and has some slapstick humour thrown in to combat the darker themes. They went a bit far with the Hospital episode, but other than that there is a good balance. I quite liked the flashbacks because it delivered something fresh and new to the story. And as one of the most unexplored characters, Hajime has a lot of focus in flashbacks and her presence in the second series connects everything together. There is almost a little too much going on at once, and I forgot a few times about Ratio and Birthday looking for Chiyo. Art’s actions and goals don’t match the absolute carnage he is bringing down on the city. His plot to kill Nice is also incredibly elaborate and it seems unfeasible it would have actually worked how he wanted it to in reality. It all got a little bit silly.
The main and really only issue I have with Re Hamatora is the overall treatment of Art. He committed and aided in horrible crimes that resulted in the murder of (most likely) hundreds of people as well as his trusted partner Gasquet. After the fated final encounter with Nice, he comes to terms with his brothers death and kind of says ‘sorry’ then leaps off a building. Of course, he won’t die as his Minimum ability will just revive him…duh… After all of the deaths he caused, murder of Freemum members, attempted murder of Nice and torture of Murasaki he is just welcomed back in the group. Not only is Art a terrible person, he should not be walking around the streets as a free man. In order to create a happy ending it was all swept under the rug.
After a Happy? Ending, the story comes to a close with everyone back at Nowhere Café. It is a good continuation from the first series, I just want not satisfied with the ending. The artwork quality does drop in some scenes but stays mostly consistent, and there’s another smashing opening theme to enjoy. The series is spread over 3 discs, and the cover is a double sided print. The Extras are stock standard with textless opening and closing animation, as well as some Promo videos.
Overall, I would highly recommend Re Hamatora if you have seen the first season and if you enjoyed the likes of Get Backers, Trigun, Black Cat and Tiger & Bunny.
A review copy was provided by Madman Entertainment to the author for the purpose of this review.