March 7, 2015
After that nail biting cliff-hanger at the end of last season, the sequel Re: Hamatora is a much welcome relief for those following the series closely and like yours truly want some answers left unanswered by the first season and thus completing the series. Just because of certain groups of people having supernatural powers, a whole lot of complications, conflicts and difficulties arise from discrimination to extreme prejudice. Personally I thought the first season was really cool especially the execution of things. Hopefully this season gets to live up to its bill and surpass all that.
What a gloomy way to start the sequel. Cafe Nowhere is close to hold a memorial service for Nice. Although it has been 3 months since the riots, Nice is believed to have died in hospital :’(. I don’t know if they’re trying to make a joke because Birthday is like wanting to take his porn collection and Three won’t allow it to protect his honour. WTF. Anyway it’s back to business as usual as a lady requests them for a job to protect her from some invisible stalker. Surprisingly Hajime replaces Nice to pair up with Murasaki for the job. The other Minimum Holders are trying some odd jobs to make ends meet but it isn’t working out. So while Hajime sets some burger traps for the stalker, here comes Hikaru with his light speed power to save the day. I don’t know what he did but the requestor lady jumps ship to this handsome guy. Seems this guy is a rising idol celebrity and there are lots of girls going crazy over him. Event tickets are sold out instantly and even membership is closed and no new ones till somebody opts out. All job requests have been going to his agency, the reason why our heroes aren’t getting any jobs. Then a crazy fan girl comes in and seeks a request. Do they do hit jobs? She wants Hikaru killed! In a typical Japanese dating simulation visual, we see how Hikaru is a player with a harem of 5 cute and lovely girls. Of course Murasaki turned down the hit job but has got a request from his agency manager, Natsukawa to protect him. Murasaki even tells him to pick someone and end the feud but he says he can’t do that. Picking one means abandoning the rest and he doesn’t want to hurt them. However Hajime points out it is himself who doesn’t want to get hurt. Since when did she get this talkative?
So our other Hamatora guys are talking to the other ladies in supposedly Hikaru’s harem. They’re old and ugly if you compare them in today’s standards of beauty. Ratio tries to pay them off while Birthday even offers his own escort service! No way! I don’t know if Honey is trying to describe sex with Hikaru but this causes one of the girls to get worked up because she would have paid more if it meant sleeping with him. She throws down lots of handshake event tickets. One night, crazy fan girl waits for Hikaru to pass and is about to slash him but Murasaki stops her. Actually he protected Hikaru because he knows this guy is trying to commit suicide to end it all. Even though he repents it all, crazy fan girl won’t accept it and orders her lackeys to beat him up. Hmm… S&M clothes? Gas mask, paper bags and helmets as masks? Who are these people? Shunned idol interns who never got a chance to make their debut thanks to Hikaru. They are YKH84! WTF???!!! I don’t know there was an S&M party going on. Murasaki and Hajime move into action when suddenly this Tanker mascot jumps into the scene. It’s Nice! HE’S STILL ALIVE???!!! He reveals his undercover investigation that Natsukawa has a shady side lucrative business. He reached out to obsessed fans and sells them handshake tickets. Something about having a girl waking up in his room in the morning. Birthday and Ratio confront Natsukawa about this plot. They don’t buy his story that the populace needs a tragic story of a social minority’s dramatic rise. The turn his place upside down and warn him not to decide the futures of Minimum Holders. Crazy fan girl still won’t forgive all that has happened and sets YKH84 to finish them. Nice uses his power to beat them all out. Later Nice notices Hikaru’s power not exactly the speed of light. He actually bends light and this means he doesn’t have a pretty face. When he meets the other girls to tell the truth and let them see his real face, to his surprise they still love him. I guess appearance isn’t everything. Yeah, ugly people go together, right? Oh sh*t! Just kidding! Everyone celebrates Nice’s return. By putting things on his tab. For once Hajime smiled. Murasaki wonders why Nice couldn’t just rest in hospital. He can’t. That guy has started to make his move. Isn’t that Moral approaching Hikaru?
Moral stabs Hikaru in the neck. He is taken to hospital and barely alive. He was lucky the attack missed his windpipe. Back at nowhere Cafe Nowhere, everyone blames Nice for ruining the plan for him to play dead. At last season’s cliff-hanger whereby Art shot point blank at Nice, actually Nice was fast enough to move but was shot in the shoulder and guts. Murasaki barged in to save him and they jump out of the ship to escape. They believe Art wants to kill Nice somehow and feeding him with information that is dead he would no longer be a target but that dumb guy had to ruin it. Speaking of running away from hospital, it must be a trend since Birthday and Ratio are trying to trace Chiyuu’s whereabouts as she too has escaped from hospital but left a sketch with a butterfly logo supposedly the place she went. Turns out to be some disco bar or something but they’re denied entry by the bouncer based on some worldly ideology crap thingy. Till Ratio mentions that reality won’t change because they are all Minimum Holders, this gets everyone’s attention and they stop dancing. Oh, there is Chiyuu to. They are taken to Shunichi Ishigami, the representative of Freemum. In short, this is a place where Minimum Holders get to live freely without being watched. People like them are called strays by the Minimum Agency and they will try to recruit them to be official Minimum Holders. In the event if you reject, you will be killed in extreme cases but technically this also means they will continue to watch over you for the rest of your life. So this is what Freemum is all about. Because after the riots, discrimination against Minimum Holders is still persistent. They need to create a new social order and are seeking a saviour. It’s not like they want to become Minimum Holders.
The dorm of Facultas explodes. However this is just a diversion so that Art can slip in and do his business. Everyone is appalled that Nice wasn’t confined to his hospital bed for 3 months because he has picture proof of tailing Art’s movements! Seems he is in connecting with guys with mafia roots and making some deal. The explosion is on TV and Nice recognizes the same car on scene belonging to Art. Time to get a move on. There are some comical heroes trying to stop Art in Facultas but they’re just jokers after all that talk as Nice shoots them in the head and injects something into their neck. After that he goes on a killing spree! Eventually he is shot by the dorm defence master, Paper. Art reveals he has finished his job of saving all the students here. By the time Nice and Murasaki arrive, they are horrified to see Paper blowing off his limbs. They’re not too happy about it. But Art is not dead yet. He says hi to Nice and claims to have liberated the children. This will bear their sins. First he stabs his own heart! All his limbs regenerate back to normal subsequently. How the heck does he have the regenerating Minimum? Then he takes out a syringe and stabs it into his neck. I think it must be giving him the Minimum power. Paper is distracted by a hologram of Art and the real Art stabs him in the neck. Then he disappears. Birthday thought it was a ghost but Nice could tell it is the light Minimum. A good news, though. Art didn’t go on a killing spree since he just knocked out all of them.
Art is facing off with some wind Minimum Holder after dispatching his underlings. He uses the same trick. Inject a syringe into his neck. Goes into a little convulsion and voila! He now has Paper’s Minimum as he defeats this samurai dude. The Hamatora guys discuss how all the children lost their Minimum abilities. But oddly they seem unnaturally happy. The talk descends into money and Nice doesn’t mind being worth a 500 Yen coin detective. This brings back memories when Nice won some bet against Art. However he won’t buy the usual stuffs and wanted something different. He wants to get out of this place and be free and thus this coin will be his war chest. Art thinks he eventually gave in to the temptation and didn’t save up. Oh, he notices a prisoner transport schedule too. Meanwhile Gasuke talks to his underling, Sakurai. At a prison where all the police and prisoners killed themselves and the last one standing committed suicide. This is thanks to the insanity Minimum belonging to Gou Samura. People who look at his painting have this tendency to go crazy and kill each other. At first the media hailed him as a blind genius painter until they found out about his serial killer background. This incident was possible when he managed to draw some art on his meal plate with the ketchup. Now they are going to transport him to a ‘better’ facility. Along the way, there is a roadblock by protestors calling for his head. Gasuke wonders how the people could know about the schedule. Only one way. Someone leaked the info. Luckily his guts told him tonight is going to be bad so he called in the Hamatora guys as backup.
Suddenly Samura frees from his chains and gets out. He strips down to his underwear and there is painting all over his body. Everyone starts killing each other. Honey uses Mighty and sees Art coming into the picture in 10 minutes. However shortly after that her personality is reduced to a child and Three is forced to pacify her. Nice and Murasaki distract Samura and it seems from the way he reacts, he can see. That is when Art enters the scene with his flashy wind power. He uses that to draw up the sea water and wash away all the painting on Samura’s body. The spell is broken and the people come to their senses. Art faces off with Nice and believes he has all the factors he needs to defeat him. He knows about the limitations of Nice’s Minimum based on a define range. But before he could deliver the finishing blow, the others jump in to fight him. With Ratio’s ability to see and predict his actions based from his muscle movements, Art is close to defeat. He reconsiders he still doesn’t have enough and escapes. Meanwhile Samura holds Hajime hostage. This weak scrawny madman holding a little girl hostage? Even if this scene doesn’t make you laugh, he sure picked the wrong person to take prisoner. A judo throw ends it all but this time Samura starts panicking for real because he suddenly cannot see anymore. Gasuke confronts Sakurai in the midst of a heated argument on the phone demanding his cut as per agreed. He realizes that with the coincidence of the events, only he is the one who could have unlocked Samura’s handcuffs and overlooked his body paint. So why is he doing this? He is just following orders from someone named Saikyou.
Art stabs himself again and it seems by killing himself he gets to start over again although he still can’t get used to dying. Honey cannot believe she turns into a baby personality after she uses Mighty. So she takes up the challenge to prove them wrong. Well, what do you know? Birthday recorded it just in case. So now you believe? Yeah, everyone is so darn tired trying to pacify her. She must be one heck of a baby. Still unable to accept this, she runs away and locks herself in a room although she gets a call for a security job. Meanwhile, some guy named Doktor is returning to Japan. From the way he talks, it is like everybody living in this world has a part to play. He hates those who don’t contribute. This means Minimum Holder strays are the worst of the lot. So Ishigami is talking to his Freemum freaks about Doktor’s return. He was exiled due to his extreme opinion but now is welcomed him back as his opinions are sought after Samura’s incident. Looks like Minimum Agency are set to endorse his suggestion of total control over all Minimum Holders. Ishigami vows that won’t happen as this is what Freemum is for. Besides, they have Saikyou. Honey is supposed to be security for Doktor but he doesn’t view that necessary and cancels it. This has Honey remember about Doktor. He is her father. She was happy when he praised her abilities but when she learnt her ability is going to be placed as a tool for murder, she became sad but daddy felt happy because she was going to contribute to the world.
At a hotel, the Freemum guys intercept Doktor and kidnap him. Honey was sneaking in too but was caught. She manages to send a distress signal to Three of her whereabouts and the guys in Hamatora know she is in some sort of trouble as she is sending SOS in this way and unable to contact them via handphone. Ishigami is going to use Doktor to change Minimum Agency’s mind. One of the Minimum Holders has this sculpting ability to make precise human masks that no one can tell apart. The catch is that the person must have an expression close to death. Doktor and Honey are whisked away in a van to a scrap yard to be crushed. What a horrible way to die by being flattened, eh? When Three and the guys arrive, of course Honey is no longer around and the hotel people know nothing about that. Before death, Honey talks to Doktor that he has not changed and still knows nothing. She was in despair when she learnt about how her abilities were going to be put. That’s when she met Three who just returned from the warzone. She joined father watching Three undergo some horrific experiment and she noticed he was struggling despite the futility of it all. She too was struggling like him. Honey is so mad that she could break free from her chains! Actually I think the van is about to be crushed so the structural integrity may have given way. This allows her to use Mighty and let Three know of her location although this turns her into a baby as usual. He transforms into a beast and rushes his way there just to stop the crusher with all his might. Wow. I think he pulled a lot of muscles as you can see blood spurting out against the opposite force. He too remembers how Honey made him his so he could protect her. He agreed because it was like giving him a second chance in life. In the aftermath, Doktor’s attitude didn’t change. He calls Minimum Holders motivated by emotions as defects and believes they will all learn a lesson when the world changes. Elsewhere, Birthday and Ratio are acting strange after finishing a job. Birthday seems to be hook in trying to lick more electricity while Ratio’s body starts to burn up. Murasaki is driving along to catch Ishigami when the tree roots uproot. It’s Art. Hello again.
We’re going to start round 2 again but Art uses his plant abilities to keep them at bay. Nice is just stunned while Murasaki can’t claw his way out. Seems Art is doing this to let Ishigami and co get away. Birthday and Ratio are fine but they think back what happened and their symptoms may be similar to Honey’s regression when they use their Minimum. Same case happening to Three because he is more violent and aggressive than usual. Gasuke talks to Mao for more information on Saikyou. He already did an impressive job deducting this Saikyou dude and somebody behind the scenes has enough money to fund an organization and enough political clout to strong arm the police. Of course Mao tells him not to dig too deep unless he wants his life shortened because he can’t get back what he lost no matter how hard he tries. Art visits Freemum and they know about each other. They also know the fact that they are going to use each other so let’s make the best out of it. Art can help them attain true freedom. Meanwhile Birthday seems to be interviewing the Hamatora guys because since that Samura incident, they have been in the spotlight again so such interviews uploaded to the internet will help quell things down? I don’t know if it’s going to work… Ratio has done some investigation on Minimum side effects. He found a report 3 years ago on an accident. It is unclear what happened. No damage to buildings but only Minimum Holders were the casualties. All those within the range of accident lost their abilities (by the way, Samura lost his too). Their symptoms sound exactly like those whose abilities were taken by Art.
Gasuke also has that same report that happened at Facultas. He is trying to piece the connection of Saikyou and Art and may have stumbled upon something. The prison facility is under attack by Art and Freemum. Seems Art made a deal with them to help him out in his next operation in exchange he will allow them to use him as they please. As a religious idol that will lead them to the top. Standing before Freemum’s path is Gasuke. He has deduced that if the perpetrator’s target is Minimum Holders, the only places in Yokohama that houses large numbers of Minimum Holders besides Facultas is this prison. From the way he says things, Ishigami believes Gasuke knows who this Saikyou dude is. Nice and Murasaki are called to the scene too. Gasuke cannot trust the police anymore and believes they are the better option. Of course powerless Murasaki is no match against the Minimum abilities of the Freemum guys. Ishigami views him as a dangerous man and laments they have to lose somebody as competent as him. I don’t know what Ishigami’s Minimum is but it make Gasuke look malnourished and close to death! It’s like he’s crying blood. By the time Art arrives, Gasuke wants to tell him something but it’s too late… And I think it is really too late because by the time the police secure this place, the culprits gone and Nice and Murasaki find Gasuke, he is so weak that and spouting crap about being partners so they shouldn’t be keeping secrets, he then dies. Holy sh*t!!! Don’t tell me… DON’T SAY HE’S DEAD!!!! OMG!!! From the way the guys react, he’s really gone!!! I can’t believe they killed him!!! Even Art is seen feeling sad about it. Of course Nice is no more Mr Nice and is going to teach Art a lesson.
It’s true! Gasuke is dead! Everyone attends his funeral and security has become tighter than before. Nice and Murasaki see Mao to get details on what Gasuke found out. The same thing. The same warning. Because Saikyou is just an alias and he is very good in covering up his tracks, not even Mao knows his true identity. Nice wonders if Gasuke looked impatient then. No. He was frustrated. Frustrated by the reality he couldn’t accept. Back at Cafe Nowhere, Honey shows surveillances around the prison area, no signs of Art and co breaking in. They may have tampered with the recordings but they didn’t foresee one recorded by a passing cab. Enhancing the image reveals the faces of those Freemum freaks and they are surprised to know they are behind this. They rush down to their headquarters but it seems they have evacuated the place (now a bunch of drag queens are partying?). Not even Mighty can detect where they went. Looks like they foresee Hamatora coming and moved out earlier than expected. Now they are using Art’s little humble room as base. Nice and Murasaki get into an argument. But Murasaki starts feeling pain. His conscious then speaks to him. It’s like he is blaming him for being inferior to Nice because he was number one till Nice came along. There was a vast difference between them and the gap is growing. Murasaki knows his body is deteriorating, a symptom of using his Minimum. It is getting more evident now and he will soon lose his power. Alter ego continues to mock him that he must be feeling more sympathetic towards Art because he and Nice are close friends despite their difference in ability and grades. Speaking of Art, here he is too see Murasaki personally. Coincidentally, Murasaki wants to see him too. Meanwhile the other guys figure Nice got into a fight with Murasaki and it is his fault! They just know. Ratio comments that Murasaki was probably trying to come up with a plan to fight Art and Freemum because everyone has realized the symptoms of using their Minimum is starting to show.
Art brings Murasaki back to his room and have the Freemum guys leave so they can have a private conversation. Art hints to Murasaki that he is just acting nice and straight so that he can find his weakness and tell Nice. Art is adamant that he has no choice but to kill Nice because of their bonds. Murasaki gets mad and punches him but Art continues to laugh at his weak punches. Unknown to him, this act is being filmed by Freemum and uploaded to all screens in the public. Everyone is watching this punching bag session. Murasaki is mad Art let Gasuke die. He reasons he is a necessary sacrifice. So is Nice the same too? No. He was never supposed to live in the first place. That’s why he will fulfil his promise and killing Nice is just a means to that end. The more Murasaki powers up his punches, the more Art mocks him. Murasaki points a gun and readies to fire. Art stands there, allows him to do so and continues mocking he won’t reach him. He won’t be able to stop him. He will kill Nice. Then blam! A shot in the head! The public must be in disbelief to see this. Cool CGI effects?! Get real! Murasaki calls Nice but it seems he went out and forgot his handphone. Leave a message. Murasaki realizes the Freemum guys recording this as Ishigami explains the reasons why Facultas couldn’t uncover his ability. Firstly something about the central nerve in the brain that controls Minimum isn’t there. It was merely in a different place. That place also works as a trigger for Art’s Minimum. Ishigami takes a knife and stabs into Art’s heart. Suddenly he revives and all wounds healed. So what does this scene look like to you? Yeah. The advent of the saviour. He is God. You know how gullible the people are. Of course Ishigami thanks Murasaki for allowing Art to become a good charismatic leader but his role ends here. There is a knock outside Cafe Nowhere. Nice thinks it is Murasaki but it is a body bag. Murasaki is in it. NO!!! ARE THEY TRYING TO KILL OFF ANOTHER CHARACTER???!!! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???!!!
Thankfully Murasaki is still alive and hospitalized. With his broken state, he’ll be in here for a while and his Minimum is as good as gone. Murasaki is conscious as Ratio treats him. He remembers Art won’t kill him because his Minimum power is mostly gone and will no longer have any relations to their world. He is punched out by one of the Freemum guys. The rest of the episode turns into a comedic fashion… Because Birthday comes in dressed as a lemon suit to cheer him up! Koneko brought some flowers. Camellia. It withered. Master brought some food but Hajime ate them all. Real jokers these people. Birthday then hands him some porn magazines to read but accidentally pushes the bed button which causes the bed to go upright and send Murasaki slamming into the wall! Thinking he is dead, Birthday uses his taser to bring him back to live! Now do you wish you were killed back then? Next, Theo and Rei visit him and brought glasses. Because Murasaki without them is like nothing, right? Is that an insult? But all the glasses they brought are joker types. Everyone is laughing so loud that Birthday accidentally slams into the button again. Deja vu. Wall slammed. Taser resurrection! Honey and Three are next and they give him a basket of fruits. Guns and grenades? He better start using this from now on to protect himself. Three is curious about the button… Oh God… You know what they say about curiosity and the cat, right? Too bad Murasaki is the cat. Not again! I guess the guns come in handy as he tries to shoot them all! Get out!
The visitors (minus Master) follow Birthday as they leave but that joker guy got lost. Honey uses Mighty to find a way out. 10 minutes into the future she saw… They’re still lost! She regressed for nothing. I don’t know how but they end up in an abandoned wing of the hospital that looks like a creepy sanatorium you see in horror movies. Three is looking like the most scaredy cat. He’s a lion by the way… Yeah. Hajime, Theo and Rei got separated and when they think they’re seeing things, it turns out there are ghosts!!! When Birthday uses his electricity for light, more ghosts pop up! Three turns into his beast mode but how do you beat up ghosts? They are saved when Master turns on the lights. The ‘ghosts’ turn out to be those previous Minimum Holders who has lost their ability. They look like mad people now. As revealed, because don’t have the manpower to handle them all, they are placed in this unused area which was recently opened just for this. Hajime, Theo and Reo may have got separated from the rest but they end up back outside Murasaki’s room. At the same time, our hero Nice has finally decided to turn up. So the Hamatora duo have a guy to guy talk and you can tell they have reconciled with that carefree laughter. But… Nice accidentally touches the button! Here comes the pain again! It makes me wonder if Murasaki needs all the electrifying in his life. Meanwhile as Hajime is at the convenience store, a familiar lady approaches her, hands her a flower and calmly blames her it is all her fault.
Hajime doesn’t take a liking for Momoka but when she shows her an old photo of young Hajime and that she can tell about her past, Hajime takes her chance and follow her into her limo. When Nice finds out from Theo and Rei that they saw Hajime follow a flower lady, he remembers who she is and becomes frantic in finding her that the other guys could tell Nice isn’t acting as he normally would. In the limo, Momoka dresses up as her true self. A sexy lady in a red gown but a scar on her face that resembles like a blooming flower. She brings her to an underground abandoned lab and mentions that it all began ever since she her power awakened (at the end of last season). There are monsters in this lab. This brought back traumatic memories as Hajime is reduced to a vegetative state while we delve further into those memories. Hajime was one of the many abandoned children imprisoned. Every day, many children came in and many went out. Those who were taken never returned. By the time it was her turn, she stopped feeling sad or scared. She wasn’t even afraid of death and expected it. Till she saw on the monitor during her operation that those monsters were what those kids turned into after failed experiments (they had the similar bracelet). She started feeling scared and screamed she didn’t want to go through all this. Momoka returns to Art and co who are watching from afar. The cat is out of the bag. Momoka = Saikyou. This is a secret lab Moral kept in case of emergency. I guess he doesn’t need it now.
Hajime is then isolated in imprisonment for who knows how long as she wonders how long this will continue. That is when she met Nice. This cheerfully talkative kid is trying to strike a conversation with her outside her cell but she is more pissed off than anything. Especially she had no name and was referred as Success Number 01. I guess the place was echo enough that Nice heard her stomach growl. He gives her a hamburger and calls her Hajime. It’s better than that atrocious experiment tag, right? After she takes a bite, she cannot stop crying. She has had it. She wants to get out. She wants to see the outside world too. What has she done to deserve this? She is human too. Nice agrees to help her get out. Nice receives a transmission sent by Koneko about Hajime’s whereabouts. He too remembers the past. Flashback continues. One day, Nice returns as he has swiped the key of some guard and today’s security is somewhat low. After he opens the door, this is the first time they see each other. Cute girl, no? As he takes her hand and run, he doesn’t know if her hand is trembling because if she was cute or he felt sorry for her. But he knew he wanted to keep holding her hand and protect her. As they climb the wall, Hajime’s hand got shot. She is in pain. She is tired. She wants to give up. But Nice kept motivating her till she finds the strength to reach his hand. Unfortunately, Nice got shot. And this is where it all began. Hajime in both the past and present starts activating some super power. Art explains that her Minimum is one that eradicates other Minimum. Despair is the trigger. All the monsters revert to their original human form. They are satisfied with this ‘show’ and Momoka will continue to fund their activities till the final curtain call. Nice and the rest barge in to rescue Hajime. Art wants to back off for now because they might be infected by her nullification if they get too close. As for Nice and co, it isn’t wise to finish them off once now because he knows they are not an easy bunch to be defeated. Hajime extends his hand to her just like that time. She thanks him.
Doktor begins his extreme proposition to Minimum Agency to eradicate stray Minimum Holders. While everyone else learns about Hajime’s past, Honey and Three come in to have them all make their acting debut. The company who took in the orphans of Three’s orphanage are organizing a festival and a stage play is one of them thus they are helping them out. Murasaki is seriously panicking here but I guess everybody jumps in when Hajime decides to join in because she wants to try it out. They will be playing the Princess Kaguya story and I think there is some twist in it. With Hajime as the main role, we have Nice, Murasaki, Birthday and Ratio acting as the guys trying to win her heart by offering food. Despite Hajime finishing the entire plate of Birthday’s pasta, Ratio’s desserts and Murasaki’s large fried rice serving, her unsatisfactory look has them ‘executed’. Poor Murasaki was executed before even Hajime tasted it. Finally it is Nice’s turn. A simple burger. Brings back memories, eh? That is the smile we are looking for. Do we have a winner? Too bad he got executed too! Having fun aren’t we? Meanwhile Momoka has bought a building and under the pretence of a normal seminar, they are housing lots of stray Minimum Holders who continue to party like there is no tomorrow (because one of the Freemum guys have this decadence power).
Now it is Art’s turn to make his speech. Claiming himself not to be God or a saviour, he is just a Minimum Holder like them. He talks about their God given power and being prejudiced in society. He talks about freedom and his duty to fight for the oppressed. He talks about establishing a nation with true freedom for everyone and that he will never betray them. So let’s go forth and build this nation together. His charisma revs up everyone and they throw their support behind him. Ishigami talks to Momoka that he already has a plan to transform Yokohama into their little kingdom. All that is left is to translate that to reality. At the same time, Doktor is giving his bloody passionate hate speech while stray Minimum Holders are a nuisance and useless since they do not use their power for good. Now it is the time to ring in the chaos. Our Hamatora guys are still practising their play with Honey being the very passionate director. A moment of nostalgia has Nice and Hajime act out adlib with true emotions. Seeing her sad, he holds out to her hand and doesn’t want her to go. This ‘top notch’ acting amazes everyone. Can win the Oscars? In the aftermath, Ratio is startled that Birthday starts feeling pain. Seems the symptoms are coming back and it has returned during while their Minimum went berserk. He never said a thing because it could have been his last time to have fun with everyone like that. He starts coughing blood and Ratio needs to hurry to find a person with the healing Minimum. Of course he has spoken to Mao about it but as he values his life, he isn’t going to give it so freely as he believes that Minimum Holder is somewhere in Freemum. As everyone rearranges the furniture in Cafe Nowhere, Nice doesn’t see Hajime around. But there is a letter addressed to him.
It is a goodbye letter from Hajime. It’s for real. She ran away to join Freemum. Birthday is admitted to hospital as Ratio gets started in his search. Suddenly a van stops before him. Inside is Chiyuu. She is taken to the hospital. Her disoriented state is like those who have lost their Minimum power. There was no bodily harm or drug used and she couldn’t recognize Ratio. But there is a video in her handphone that shows a Freemum guy, Suruga healing a person with illness. The guy Ratio has been looking for. Momoka then calls Nice under the masked identity of Saikyou. She wants to play a game. In 10 minutes, a bomb will go off somewhere. She also sends a picture of Hajime with a bomb next to her. Nice contacts Honey for help. She uses Mighty to scan and it seems a bomb will go off at a flower shop. Nice knows that place but when he heads there, there is only Master. He saves him in time before the bomb goes off. Then another call. This time there are 2 bombs in 2 different locations. She tells the location that one of them is Cafe Nowhere and the other a facility previously used as a racetrack. Nice wants Murasaki to rescue Koneko tied up in Cafe Nowhere while he heads to the facility assuming Hajime is there. Momoka then calls Ratio. Murasaki saves Koneko in time before the bomb explodes. There goes the cafe. There goes their office. When Nice arrives, Momoka calls him to apologize she had lied and makes him go up to the roof. Before him is Ratio. Through the laptop, the guys finally see Saikyou’s true face. Nice remembered her being taken into custody by the police but you know, she managed to buy her way out. The law is flawed and the police are only human. All you have to do is cater to their desires.
Now here is how it is going to be. Showing Hajime before her and also Suruga, she wants them to fight to the death. If Ratio wins, Hajime will be killed and Suruga will be given to him. If Nice wins, Suruga will be killed. As she doesn’t want Murasaki to show up, the time limit is 15 minutes. If there is no winner, both will die. The guys do not hesitate to face off. They have no choice. Ratio knows he is at a disadvantage and escapes into the building as they play hide and seek. He uses his ability to check and predict Nice’s moves but of course he starts to burn out due to the side effects. Nice calls Murasaki to tell him to head to Without (where Hajime is held) instead of coming here. Hajime wonders why Momoka is doing this. Just like how stray Minimum Holders seek freedom, she seeks entertainment. She reveals she earns 3 billion an hour (OMFGGGGG!!!) via playing stocks, foreign exchange markets and hacking. All too easy. She got everything she wanted from the human world. Did everything she could even shady stuffs like murder. Now she is turning her attention to Minimum Holders. People with gifted powers are dancing in her hands. Meanwhile Ishigami is talking to his other Freemum members. They don’t agree about Hajime joining them as her nullification can be detrimental to their cause. Ishigami is not concerned because her power can be useful to those Minimum Holders who don’t join them. He is more worried about Art’s goal. He feels this guy has an ulterior motive. When Ratio makes his move, it is still not enough as Nice knocks him out. However Momoka says it is not over till one of them dies. Can he do it? Momoka tells Hajime that Nice will kill Ratio just to save her. People will die because of her. Oh no. Depression building up. Once time is up, she is about to ‘shoot’ Hajime but Art stops her because he knows she isn’t the kind to find simple murder entertaining. Momoka calls Nice to tell him she will kill neither but hopes he will provide better entertainment next time. Art notes that with those Hamatora guys out of the running, no one can stop him now. When Murasaki arrives at Without, nobody is around except Suruga. He seems disoriented and senile. Oh, he lost his Minimum power too.
Flashback reveals Nice, Art and Skill made a promise to watch together the world from below from this Landmark Tower. But it seems only Art is watching from it as Momoka has bought the entire building. Master and Koneko are operating their cafe in a little roadside stall. Nice and Murasaki confront them. From what I understand, the broken tracer on Hajime after they fixed and traced whatever IP signal thingy, the location was always the same. You hiding something Koneko? You too Master? Flashback time. Master was one of those scientists along with Doktor and Moral. A time when he had a full head of hair that he’s unrecognizable. Master was against Doktor’s opinion to put Hajime down as she was deemed too dangerous. He has realized of the inhumane treatment these kids were being subjected too and he was more willing to throw everything away just to be Hajime’s guardian. Moral also agreed with Master’s view because they have lost Nice and Hajime is like a precious specimen. Talking to Master personally, Moral also shares the same morality view as Master and the experiments are getting to him. Moral thought Hajime is capable of saving Nice from solitude. Master talks to Hajime and thinks of opening a cafe with her. Then he also snuck out Koneko who was one of those imprisoned children. Nice now understands why Hajime was gone before he came back. Although he subsequently found her at Cafe Nowhere, she didn’t recognize who he was. Shocked at first, he thought it wasn’t such a bad thing since all he wanted was to protect her. Ishigami makes his public announcement on TV. You know, rights and freedom thingy. He wants the authorities to declare Yokohama as a special district for Minimum Holders. Or else. If you’re wondering why this Freemum dude, Sakuraba hasn’t said a thing, it’s because it is a condition needed to trigger this devastating Minimum power (3 months of no talking!). When he starts rapping and singing, a large barrier covers Yokohama. Those who go out of this barrier while he is still performing will die! Oh sh*t! It’s getting very bloody outside! Really, man. “Let’s do this sh*t!”.
So Doktor confronts Ishigami and his underlings and he will not change his stance. After they tie him on a bridge and then kill all the army in hot boiling water (Ishigami’s Minimum), Ishigami reveals his true colours to become supreme ruler of all Minimum Holders. Honey and Three arrive to fight them. Honey almost fell into the boiling water but Three jumped in to save her. Ishigami orders all the hostages to be driven out of the barrier. But the trucks never reached there and all the hostages are freed. This is part of Art’s plan. Hajime is also freed as Momoka points her the way to Sakuraba’s performance. And she did this kung fu fighting to everyone who gets in her way! Art fights and steals their power before he shoots and kills Ishigami. When Nice and Murasaki arrive, Art reminds Nice about their promise to watch from this tower. He wanted to show his little brother, Skill a beautiful and transformed world. Uhm, transformed yes, but how is this beautiful? Nice fights Art but the latter’s symptoms kick in and render him useless. Art goes up to him and whispers his goal to obliterate the Minimum ability. He will go as far as to kill him for that. He stabs his heart. Hajime sees this with her eyes and becomes engulfed in despair. So big her despair that her barrier spreads out and nullifies all within the range. Momoka praises Art’s plan of using Freemum to gather all Minimum Holders into this are for this purpose. Everyone becomes disoriented and senile. Even normal people. Minimum Holders lose their power. Ordinary people lose their desire. It’s a mad world alright. I don’t know if this is like a joke because Ratio is laughing he can’t save Birthday anymore. Because he’s dead!!! NOOOOO!!! Because Art possesses many Minimums at the same time, he will be the last to go and the witness of this transformed world. He believes all is well and has fulfilled his promise to Skill.
Art have this complex of pondering why he was the only one not having a Minimum. Even if Skill is okay with him as he is, Art continued be bothered. He conducted his own research about it and when Skill’s Minimum was found, he felt jealous. One day he found a report about a Minimum that would amplify the ego of individuals thus eliciting their Minimum. Exposing normals to that could turn them into Minimum Holders. However success rate is low and they are turned into monsters. At the same time when Nice snuck out Hajime, Art found Skill confined in a chamber with all the wires feeding through him. He was shocked. Even more when Skill wanted big brother to kill him because he doesn’t want to sin anymore because every day they try to force his ability. Minimums are the human ego made manifest. Such desire to be better than others is the root of all Minimums. Seeing his sorry state, Art stabs a broken glass bottle into his chest. A large aura is emitted at the exact same time when Hajime’s go berserk. It cancelled out each other. The impact blows Art away to a point he fractured his skull. Moral checks on Skill and notices he is brain dead. He is happy nevertheless as there is still a way to save Nice. When Art woke up in hospital, he lost his memories of that night. That’s why he couldn’t believe it when Moral whispered into his ears at the grave that he was the one who killed Skill. After Moral shoots him and leaves, Art revives and Momoka picks him up. With his regeneration, his brain damage was healed and he now remembers everything. Even depressing is that Momoka handed him a report on Skill and it seems he didn’t die and was ‘transferred’. From that point on, Art vowed to destroy all Minimums and eradicate humanity’s ego.
Back in reality, Momoka has enjoyed every bit of entertainment. However she cannot believe she is still her sane self in this insane world. Unable to take this ‘boredom’, she shoots herself! Art views it as punishment as he is still sane and have absorbed too much ego. Nice suddenly wakes up. All his wounds heal. The moment he sees Hajime like a vegetable, he becomes mad. He confronts Art and beats him up although the latter is surprised he can use his Minimum. Nice deduces Art’s Minimum abilities get reset when he dies and regenerates, the reason he stocks them up. Art views it as liberating them from their ego. As they battle with their Minimums, a pile is going to fall on Hajime when suddenly angry Murasaki destroys it and starts yelling a Nice. He wants to kick that mother f*cker’s ass!!! Hajime sees a vision of Skill. It is their first meeting. He reveals Nice was looking for him on that day but met Hajime instead. Now it is her turn to find him. With Hajime back to normal and screaming she is hungry, Nice is so relieved. With that, Nice emits a huge aura that just returns everything back to normal. Minimum Holders get their ability back and normal people regain their sanity. Oh, best news: Birthday lives! Art notices about the ego Minimum in which hope is its trigger. Nice lectures Art about ego. From trying to be number one and confessing your love. That is ego too. Everyone is shouldering their own ego and staking everything on it to jostle with each other. That is what makes the world interesting. Art doesn’t need any Minimum to kill him to fulfil his promise to Skill. Will just a knife do? Nope. Nice definitely have the upper hand on this one. As they trade normal punches, Nice tries to open his eyes that he wasn’t born with such Minimum. Skill gave it to him and is he going to reject it? Art realizes that he doesn’t have the right to do this and jumps down the tower. Art couldn’t catch him. Six months later, Yokohama is back to normal. Nice and Hajime visit Skill’s grave as Art notes his heart is beating inside him. Art is alive too and pays a visit. But Nice punches him to warn him if he ever tries to die again, he’ll kill him. Eh? What?! Everyone celebrates Art’s return as well as the reopening of Cafe Nowhere.
Equality In Inequality
Wow. If I should describe this season in a single word, that would be it. It is a good thing the sequel lived up to my expectations and you could say it is better than the previous. The storyline was good, the flow was executed smoothly and they wrap things up pretty nicely at the end. Although the only down part for me was trying to understand the final episode’s revelation and explanation. It took me a while to realize and understand what was going on as I was trying to piece and connect the dots between Minimums and egos. Well, even if I didn’t fully comprehend about it, thankfully I generally get the idea of what this is about and how this whole mess and Art’s insane mission came about. But some things weren’t tied up as I begin to ponder about Doktor and wonder if he is still going to come down hard on stray Minimums. Chances are humans won’t change and neither would he. But I guess we don’t pretty much care about that dude as the series focuses more on Art and leading to its revelation.
This season takes a grimmer toll especially with Gasuke’s death that really shook things up. At thought they were going to kill everybody off one by one starting with Murasaki when he was close to death. Even more depressing is the fact that our Hamatora heroes cannot use their powers as they please as they will go into some side effects. In a way, it limits their options of what they can do and this just makes it sad. That’s even though when that hospital episode felt so much like a joke and filler, it was a welcome relief and didn’t feel out of place. By the way, I feel it is Murasaki’s most prominent episode because of that unfortunate bed bumping accidents. Especially the spamming of those replays… Running joke of the episode. Speaking of running joke, it seems they have discarded last season’s one whereby Ratio’s new car always get hammered and his heart inside must be clenching in pain thinking about the 10 year loan he has yet to finish. I guess they’re done with that.
On the same topic, in many of the episode openings right before we jump into the opening credits and song, there seems to be some sort of narration by Nice amidst the jazzy and lively fanfare background music (which reminds me of that swing BGM in Oh! Edo Rocket). It isn’t exactly a summary of what happened in the previous episode or the-story-so-far kind of narration. He’s making comment about a certain topic that was what I believe is prominent in the previous episode such as Hikaru’s case the ‘explosion of art’, family bonds, presents and giving fiery speeches. I don’t know whether it is supposed to be a joke or something serious or both because at the end of it, it makes you think hard and reflect on the words he just said and how true sometimes it is.
Art has taken Moral’s place as this season’s antagonist but that itself is hard to say. It is also difficult to pinpoint if Art and Freemum or even the ordinary humans like the extremist thinking Doktor are the villains of the series because of what they are doing in spite of their reasoning behind it. Despite their cause, sometimes it doesn’t feel right on what they do. For example, if a person is a serial murderer, is it right to take the law into your own hands and kill him? In a way when I think about it, it makes Minimum Holders and ordinary people just the same if they resort to such. Momoka feels like the mastermind of it all pulling the puppet strings because she provides the funds and let everybody do their stuffs while she sits back and watches her own brand of entertainment. So is she the real antagonist? Well, we can’t be bothered by the fact she is dead now. It just goes to show that even money cannot buy you happiness. So much money in the world and yet so bored.
It is refreshing to see that this season, Hajime has more focus than the last time as he was merely portrayed as a glutton bumming around. Although this time round she still seems to be stuffing as much of her favourite burgers into her face, we get to delve a little more into her past and origins. And of course the big revelation of her Minimum power and the trigger that activates its devastating effect. Compared to last season, Hajime shows a tad more emotions than before. As far as I remember, she smiles more often although it is just a handful of scenes but compared to her emotionless personality, that is quite an achievement for a girl who seems she can’t smile because it’s like doing you a favour. Happy emotions, she also went to the other extreme end of being in total despair. You’d never believe she could actually scream and be in such fear like that. There are a few nice (pun not intended) close scenes between Nice and Hajime too but not too much that would make you think there is something going on between them. With the flashbacks of how they met, it shows how long they have come and the trust they build among each other.
Birthday is still the most amusing character of the series. He still hasn’t lost his knack and tendency to make jokes at everything. He has this penchant of coming up with witty lines so no matter how grave the situation or not, you can expect him to comment something that will make you snicker for a short while. Too bad he was reduced to be on his death bed in the final moments so he and Ratio are put out of any action in the final scenes. Yeah. Too many jokes can literally kill you. Haha. Just joking.
As Art has been taking the limelight in this season, the other characters feel a little side-lined but it is not so bad as to say that they are really forgotten. Like Theo and Rei, this season could have actually gone by without them as they don’t really contribute much to the impact of this season. But I suppose they’re around just to show us that they aren’t totally forgotten. Same case with Chiyuu as it feels her very brief appearances were so it would lead and introduce our guys to Freemum. Birthday’s dying symptoms and Murasaki’s curious alter ego and inferior complex to Nice are interesting enough to make you want to know more but I guess with the flow of where the story is heading, an elaboration doesn’t looks like it is coming. The only ‘big’ thing that I thought was really missing throughout this season was Tanker. In the first season, you could see this friendly tiger mascot in the background in every episode and it makes you think if this character has some sort of hidden motive or should spring up something. But some things are just red herrings. Tanker was only seen in the first episode and the final montage moments in the last episode. With our mind preoccupied on the ongoing of the story development, this tiger mascot hardly crosses our mind. Not even as a distraction.
Although the general and overall art and drawing remain typically the same, I noticed that there are a few slight changes to the animation concept. One, each time you see the Minimum Holders activating their power, for a short time you can see their blood veins pumping. Like as though their power illuminates from underneath the skin to let you see the veins. This replaces the psychedelic effect that was used for this in the previous season. Especially when Ratio starts using his Minimum power, you can see the bones, muscles and organs of the person he is focusing. I thought it looked like that x-ray attack in Mortal Kombat… Also, they added scene changers and it looks pretty neat to have the transition scene with engraving and embossing effect. But I have just one complaint for this scene. There is a loud screeching electric guitar sound each time this scene is played (at least 90% of the time). Personally I do not like the shrieking sound made and this is made even more annoying as the scene changer is played quite often in the initial episodes. It got on my nerves. Fortunately, the final episode was void of this and it was a welcoming relief thinking about this. Yeah. It was that ‘stressful’ for me to hear it.
This season, the opening theme is Sen No Tsubasa by Livetune featuring Takuro Suguwara from 9mm Parabellum Bullet. It is quite a heavy rock piece so you want to keep your volume down if you intend to hear this song. I think my speakers almost exploded with all that heavy bass lines. Breaking the custom that all the songs are sung by guys and thus my perception that this is a guy series is the ending theme. Brand New World is sung by Ayami and feels like a slow pop rock ballad.
It goes to show that whether you are a Minimum Holder or just an ordinary person, some form of discrimination is bound to happen. Because that is just human nature. Discrimination is alive and well. That’s just so sad. Even oddly if you think about it that Minimum Holders are like minorities but with special powers. Aren’t humans supposed to treat such rarities with great care and to an extreme extent treat them like gods? So I guess with a few people ‘different’ from them, the majority will take advantage via discrimination. The irony is how powerless people can actually rule over people with power (literally). Because at the end of the day, everyone is still a human being whether you have or lack something. Also a point to ponder: If such powers in human beings give rise to discrimination, then why the heck do we all adore and be amazed with Superman, Spider-man and all other super powered heroes and heroines? Funny, right? Because if these guys exist, as far as this anime goes, we’ll start hating them instead of being grateful from saving Earth from super powered villains. And for the record, Batman has no super powers.
With everything back to normal, the question is if everyone can still use their Minimum power. From the looks of it, they still do. But what about the side effects? Ah, another burning question that is left unanswered. At least for my case. I mean, it is going to be a real pain if they continue to keep regressing, right? Unless you’re telling me that Skill’s Minimum restored everything back to normal. Even so, I bet the discrimination between ordinary people and Minimum Holders will still continue. It is not over by a very long shot. Art’s goal to rid everyone of their Minimum and become equal may be noble but if you think about it, humans with or without any sort of power are still sh*t. Because our varied and f*cked up personalities are what makes us human. I know it’s harsh but deal with it! That is what it means to be human!
Overall, this series may not be breaking any new grounds and the general plot isn’t new or original (anti-hero trying to rid or reset something that affects the entire world? Try something better than that) but it does its best in trying to offer a different perspective, the cause and effect about humans having super powers. In some ways, it does stand out on its own. There are some action moments, some funny and silly moments, some dramatic moments. Even if you are not into the super power kind of series, this anime is still worth the entertaining watch. At best it makes you reflect the actions you take and how you would treat others if you have certain powers or not. Would you do something for your own selfish gain or for others? Would you join the herd mentality and ostracize others just because they are a little different? With all the discrimination going around, would it be right to no longer be Mr Nice Guy anymore? But I hope you have a Nice day then :).