Re: Hamatora

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.

Episode 1
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?

Episode 2
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.

Episode 3
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.

Episode 4
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.

Episode 5
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.

Episode 6
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???!!!

Episode 7
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.

Episode 8
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.

Episode 9
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.

Episode 10
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.

Episode 11
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.

Episode 12
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 :).


August 17, 2014

What do you get when you cross a hamster and a tiger? You get Hamatora of course! Eh… Say what? You mean that is not what this show is about? Some superhero who is a cross between a cute furry little hamster but with the ferocity and power of the roaring tiger? Or at least a team combo between a hamster and a tiger? It’s not?! Of course it isn’t but that was my first impression when I heard about the title of this anime. Of course looking it up further dispels this misconception of mine. Although there is no hamster, the tiger is still there because Hamatora literally means ‘beach tiger’. Sheesh. Wait a minute. What kind of tiger lives near a beach? Hmm… Well, the location of this anime is set in the port city of Yokohama.

Also in this action series, we have the setting of certain humans possessing super powers. These powers are called Minimum and those having such are called Minimum Holders. And just like many series with people with super powers, they are only restricted to one type of power. It would be greedy to have 2 or more or even all, right? To use their Minimum, certain conditions must be fulfilled to unleash that power in which you will observe in this anime. So what is the use of having power themed animes if you don’t have our protagonists as a bunch of freelance detective agency which bears the same name of this anime. They take jobs and go around solving crimes that are related to the use of Minimum. Hmm… Doesn’t this sound like a detective version of X-Men?

Episode 1
Nice and Hajime are at the bank unaware that a robbery is in progress. But before you know it, the robbery is solved and the day is saved. They head back to their Hamatora Private Eye Investigation office, which is actually just a table rented out by Master in his bar. The other members include Murasaki, Birthday, Ratio and Koneko. Koneko has a couple of jobs for the guys. First, capture the group responsible for kidnapping local college girls and the second, safeguard a safe of a wealthy family whose patriarch, Toyosaki has recently passed away. There is somebody plotting to steal the safe’s content too. Murasaki wants to go for the safe job since it pays a lot but Nice who is more on the virtuous side wants the first one. How can he still say that when he is poor and hungry? They both go their separate ways while Birthday and Ratio have their own job of bodyguard a girl named Azusa. Murasaki is at the Toyosaki estate and his son explains the secretive but strict man his father was. They can’t force open the safe because doing so will cause the contents to be destroyed by some safety mechanism. Nice tries to bribe his usual informant, Mao to get more information. He isn’t going to get much with just 30 Yen!!! Out of cash? Don’t worry. Police officer, Art offers to pay for it and even treats Nice to lunch. He lets Nice know some information and hopes he can make use of it. Nice puts the puzzle pieces together and realizes something. He calls Birthday to tell him that Azusa is an intern and that she is the girl who was in the earlier bank robbery. Suddenly Birthday and Ratio are being attacked by a Minimum Holder. Too bad about Ratio’s car. He got it last month and now it’s trashed. He forces some number out of Azusa. But once Birthday attacks with his electric power, he flees. Azusa is brought back to the office as she explains she doesn’t understand that number and heard it via sleep talking. Yup. This girl slept with Toyosaki. Ratio describes the symptoms of sleep talking of one who is very stressed in keeping things a secret so it is possible he revealed it during his sleep. Nice then realizes all the cases are not separated but related.

Toyosaki only had the safe’s code all to himself but that secret became his source of stress and began to unconsciously reveal it in his sleep. Somebody learnt about his condition and they believe his physician is the one who sold him out. The kidnappers also learn about the safe and begin to kidnap all the college girls he slept with just to get the number. Only Azusa wrote it down due to her intern job nature. Imagine Toyosaki’s son’s fury when he realizes his dad is a womanizer sleeping around with female college girls! He brought him up so strict and yet he did all this behind his back! Didn’t want to know his sex life, eh? His old maid was cool enough to calm him down. Yeah. She’ll wear a school outfit for him. WTF. Murasaki saves them before the baddie Minimum Holder starts throwing things into the mansion. Murasaki’s power is to harden his body and smash through whatever is thrown at him with ease. Meanwhile Birthday and Ratio take out the other small fries hiding nearby. Ratio’s power is seeing through his enemy weakness and his gold metal arms really pack a punch! When Nice comes into the picture, the baddie calls him his comrade since they are Minimum Holders who use their powers to find money and prey on the weak. Of course Nice isn’t that kind of guy as he uses his speed of sound to take him out. When Murasaki opens the safe, he finds lots of porn magazines!!! Better not tell the son… Burning them would be the best. Art and fellow officer, Gasuke are at the scene to apprehend the baddies. Art thinks it is time to tell them that there is a serial killer going around killing Minimum Holders.

Episode 2
Birthday wanted to show some girls his cool magic trick but coincidentally the building behind him blew up. He got arrested for suspected terrorizing. Theo and Rei turn up at Hamatora to request to look for their missing arts teacher, Kitazawa. Nice and Murasaki impersonate as a transfer student and teacher respectively to get more information. Nice thought he could beat the other students to get some rare bread during recess. He might have got there first with his speed but has not enough money. Curses! Murasaki discovers some site that everyone uses to post their troubles that they don’t want to say in public. Theo was once a bully victim though the bullies got expelled. He couldn’t do anything or else they will harm Rei too. It was Kitazawa who took notice and helped him out. But Nice finds it odd because it’s like he is procrastinating dealing with the problem to him. Murasaki and Nice get a call from Art. At a crime scene, Kitazawa is dead. He proceeds to show them a classified case whereby a serial killer is targeting Minimum Holders. Kitazawa is also one and graduated from the same Facultas Academy like them. All victims have in common is that their brain is removed. At Kitazawa’s funeral, Rei is inconsolable. Nice has got Kitazawa’s Smartphone at the crime scene and wants to look into him a bit more. Despite Murasaki’s advice to leave it as it is, Nice feels Theo can’t move on till he learns the truth. He doesn’t want people to be classified based on weakness because that makes them no different than Facultas. He will finish the job he takes. Nice gets the photos of the bullies bullying Theo from Mao that was posted on the internet. He also goes to check out Kitazawa’s home PC (Art made it an exception to allow him).

This is the result of Nice’s findings. There is something odd about the pictures. Five bullies bullying Theo and all 5 got expelled. What is wrong? Who is taking the photos? That person must be the ringleader. He discovered the ringleader’s home PC and IP address to post the photos are the same. Yup. Kitazawa is the ringleader. Theo cannot accept this crap but he is shown a website Kitazawa frequents. A site that suggests food tastes better at the misfortune of others. His detailed excerpts of the bullying are posted here. Kitazawa had the ability to turn words into pictures. His idea of doing this is to increase his reputation. Theo got so sick hearing this that he started vomiting. Now that he has all the pieces, what he does now is up to him. Birthday who is released from police custody somehow managed to get photos of the serial bombing sites. They notice they are the same place where Theo’s bullying occurs. Only one place left unbombed: The school. Theo and Rei are at school to get something when they see a bomb. Then Kojima, one of the bullies, makes his admits the bombings are his doing because thanks to his expulsion, his dream of being part of the elite went down the drain. The only way is to reset reality. So why not blow up the world? I don’t know about his ability to accelerate time to make the timer faster, but shouldn’t he just use a grenade or RPG? Anyway, Nice and Murasaki were fast enough to throw the bomb into the sky but Kojima has bombs strapped around his body. Of course he doesn’t see them coming at such a speed and Murasaki deals the knockout punch. Theo and Rei are at Kitazawa’s coffin. Nice hands him a baseball bat. Is this what he is looking for? Theo thanks Kitazawa for everything before smashing everything up. Now he can move on. Meanwhile Art discovers that the recent baddies they arrested aren’t innate Minimum Holders. Meaning, they aren’t born with the ability like all Minimum Holders should. Seems it is possible to plant artificial powers and it requires a Minimum Holder’s brain. And we see this Minimum Holder serial killer, Moral having rows after rows of brains whom he calls his lovers.

Episode 3
Shouko Itou from some government equality department (it’s really a long name…) seeks Hamatora’s help to investigate any scandal in Facultas. She believes in equality and that this Minimum thingy is causing preferential treatment to those with such powers. So if they uncover some big scandal, they can use it and crush the academy who develops those Minimum Holders from all over Japan. She pays in advance and they will get 3 times more when they’re done. Of course Nice rejects but since his tab is running up, Koneko takes the job. Get to work! Itou’s aide wonders if she can trust them since they too were from Facultas. She has checked them out and can rely on Murasaki since he graduated with the second highest score in the academy. The first is a mystery and kept classified. Murasaki is on the job alone since Nice is bumming around. He is more interested why Itou is being so extreme. Art interrogates Moral at his place. Moral is a professor at Facultas and he admits of purchasing large amount of drugs from overseas. Seems all victims have that drug in their nervous system. Moral also reveals he is doing research on non-innate Minimum Holders although it is incomplete. He also talks about equality, blah, blah, blah. Giving an example that the weak can never kill and weak men without power cannot cross the line. That is why they envy murderers who stepped out of the line and accomplished what the weak couldn’t. Art doesn’t want to hear anymore of this but Moral continues that the world will be reborn if the weak is empowered. Art wants to leave but Moral speaks of Art’s past in Facultas. He didn’t show any potential of any ability but he graduated by displaying superior intellect and herculean efforts as a distinguished member. He mocks him that he must be jealous thinking why he doesn’t have a Minimum like others. He could have killed Moral but a phone call stops him. Art assures he will come back next time with an arrest warrant.

While Itou is giving her usual equality speech, suddenly the Incredible Hulk (only purple) emerges from the sewers and goes on a rampage. Itou is so desperate that if they can’t find any scandal on Facultas, just pin this monster blame on them. So she’s going to fabricate if she can’t find any proof? Nice is just sitting there, nothing how carefree the Hulk is. Then the Hulk turns to Itou. He calls her his mom. Itou realized it’s her missing son, Takahiro. Hulk runs back down the sewer when Art and his police team arrive. Moral then calls Art about a certain junior high school kid coming to see him a few days ago complaining he lacked any abilities and thus wasn’t respected. He felts sorry and would have wanted to save him. But seems good will led to this because if a subject lacks aptitude for the Minimum in the extreme, he will turn into a monster instead of a Minimum Holder. Moral sees him having lots of fun. The video is already viral on the internet. Itou is just in distress, lamenting how she shield him from this world and raised him with care. However Nice sees it as she views her son as weak and called him a loser. He tells her off if his mother didn’t even believe in him, who else would he trust? The police track down the Hulk and it seems he is travelling in sewers due to being sensitive to light. But he emerged that one time probably due to wanting to hear human voice. They corner him but he is too strong to be netted. Nice confronts Hulk. He deduces he showed up in public just to tell everyone how strong he is and how he surpassed Minimum Holders. This wasn’t an accident. He chose this path. Nice puts on his headphones and uses his speed to beat the Hulk up. Moral burns down his place to stay a step of the police before they could arrest him. He notes Nice is the top graduate in Facultas whose existence is classified. He wants to save him.

Episode 4
The police are investigating Moral’s burnt down mansion. All evidence are also burnt. Seems he escaped through a sewer. Hulk is now known as Outsider. Minimum Holders, Honey and Three foil an assassination attempt on some politician since Honey’s laptop, Mighty Script and her power is able to see 10 minutes into the future. The Hamatora guys and Koneko are in some Yokohama tourist advertisement assuring that the city is safe. Sounds like a hero gig… Murasaki must be regretting it a lot. How the heck did he end up doing it? Yeah, yeah. Complaints, complaints. Their video is uploaded the net and is gaining popularity. But not as popular as some handsome guy, Yuuki Katsuragi. So popular that he already has his own fan site. When Koneko receives a job to be actors at a nursing home, Murasaki of course vehemently wants her to refuse it! Meanwhile Honey and Three are at the airport. Her luggage is switched with totem poles. They have to get it back since Mighty is in it. While Three is reporting it at the lost and found section, Honey is kidnapped by MIBs. Of course Three goes after them but the car he is hitching is driven by a grandma! Go granny! Three jumps onto the baddies’ car and rips open the roof. That should scare them. They find lots of gun parts. Meanwhile Art and Gasuke are in another case whereby minors are attempting to rob stores with a real gun. All of them relate they got a gun from the internet. A question popped up asking them if they wanted a gun and a threat to do it or else. Also, they were given a chance to attack a convenience store or participate in an insurrection although none of them knows where the location is. Those who opted for the uprising are told of the location right beforehand via phone.

Nice meets Art to talk about this. But Art doesn’t tell him about Moral because he doesn’t want both of them to meet. Nice gets his usual info from Mao. All the victims had one thing in common and that they are heavy users of a video sharing site. All of them had seen that Yuuki Katsuragi video. There is a hidden message in the video using a certain frequency that only minors can hear. They are going to visit the uploader nearby. Speaking of which, he is actually an ugly person but his power makes him look handsome. Moral is with him and he is upset about his video being used for criminal acts. Moral disagrees he has done anything wrong and gave him power to grant his wish. He is going to report to the police but Moral shoots him. Honey and Three enter a room where the baddies are based. Though she finds her Mighty, she also discovers that they are smuggling guns and it would be easier to avoid detection if they were in parts and then smuggled in to be assembled. The totem poles are filled with the parts. Since she is already involved in this case, she contacts Art and he wants her to scan if there is something going to happen at Yokohama. Although her powers cannot predict such a huge place, Nice has a hunch where it is going to happen. Soon all the police apprehend the minors with guns at the amusement park before anything happens. Art wonders how he knew. Already at Yuuki Katsuragi’s place, a doll is seen placed on his head. Nice deduces this attack was probably just a game and if so, it’s more fun if it’s a big show.

Episode 5
Hajime wins the grand prize to the hotspring. She actually wanted the burger prize… So only the Hamatora girls including Honey are set to go there. Birthday tries to seduce his way in but his sexual harassment on Honey has her ordering Three to rip his guts out. But just in time, Ratio calls him for a job. Meanwhile Nice and Murasaki are undertaking a job from a rich female pimp to find the whereabouts of one of her boyfriends, Arata Hasuda who is a masseur at the hotspring. The Hamatora girls are at the hotspring. They see Rei and Theo working there as they have used up all their money on the Kitazawa case. All the guys are here too but on a job. Suddenly the hotspring is being taken hostage over by gay guys! Since they’re not interested in women, they let them go. But our heroines felt insulted and hid behind to solve this case. Especially Hajime who is bent on getting her deluxe dinner. Honey sees into the future but gets disappointed in only seeing gay guys everywhere. At least we know she isn’t a fujoshi. The guys on the other hand encounter Arata who starts doing sit-ups. WTF. His sweat will mix with the steam and cause people to fall for him. Birthday doesn’t believe and goes near him. Suddenly he loves this dude! A new possibility opening! Ratio could have been his lover too if everyone didn’t take them and dash out. When they take refuge, Ratio and Birthday relate that they lost their target. They are supposed to be bodyguards of a crown prince from some kingdom. He is apparently pro-Japan and loves visiting this country. Of course he didn’t bring his bodyguards. How can you relax when you have your guards around? That prince is hiding in the toilet but Arata finds him.

The girls are crawling through the ventilation and drop down in the locker room. They see in Arata’s locker lots of pictures of a famous male idol, Seiji Hijirikawa. But due to his scandal of sleeping with lots of women, this made lots of haters and forced him into retirement. Say, isn’t this the guy Art and Gasuke caught at the convenience store trying to steal a magazine? So when everyone confronts Arata who is in the midst of hypnotizing the prince, Honey deduces this is part of his revenge. He pretend to be that rich pimp’s boyfriend to steal all her money and assets to fund this plan. The plan is to hypnotize the prince with his Minimum to have Japan reinstate Seiji as an idol. Because that kingdom has helped Japan a lot, the government cannot turn down his request on this small matter. Then he talks about loving everything about the idol, blah, blah, blah. Because his Minimum doesn’t work on women, Arata floods the area with some slippery liquid. Then his gay underlings slide like hell to give him time to escape as they know how it feels like on unrequited love. When he escapes to the rooftop, the police already surrounded the area. Arata reveals he is the mastermind to save his fellow underlings and that they were just obeying his orders. He wants to jump down but Hajime catches him. Actually he got the ticket to the deluxe dinner. Arata is arrested and Seiji is brought to tears at the police station after being told that fans of him still exist. But Nice is baffled because Arata isn’t a Facultas graduate and shouldn’t have such powers. Somebody is pulling the strings. Meanwhile Gasuke and some scientist have discovered from the latter’s analysis that the Minimum factor can’t be harvested from brains of non-innate Minimum Holders. Because based on the last case of Yuuki Katsuragi, his brain was not harvested. Then Gasuke stabs him with a knife!!! HOLY Sh*T!!!

Episode 6
A famous illustrator, Chiyuu gets a big collaboration with a Hollywood director. In the dressing room, she gets kidnapped. So her manager approaches Birthday and Ratio for help instead of the police since Chiyuu made a personal plea not to do so if something happened to her. This means she might know this would happen and who the kidnapper is. Honey wonders why Art won’t tell Nice about Moral. Since she is persistent, he blows his top so Gasuke tells him to get some time off. He visits the grave of somebody and Nice is also there. Signs of other Hamatora members were there too as they left their gifts. But they don’t know this cosmos flower is from whom. Another illustrator, Misty is having a book signing event when Birthday and Ratio haul her up. She is a suspect of Chiyuu’s kidnapping since she would have been the candidate for the collaboration if Chiyuu wasn’t around. She disagrees since her works sell 5 times more than her and even though they are rivals, they are friends. Birthday seems to be agitated. He won’t let her leave, claiming that their friend is being abducted. Back at Hamatora, everyone is surprised that Torao, top illustrator is at their office to seek their help. Somebody knocks Birthday out and kidnaps him. Ratio gets a call from the kidnapper to come to a certain place and bring Misty too. But Ratio knows where the kidnapper is. Or rather, was. The place: Chiyuu’s manager’s office because of that parakeet’s voice he heard in the background. They find Misty’s works in his place. From what Ratio and Honey deduce, Misty is the true target. Also, the kidnapper tipped off the place where Ratio is to bring Misty because if he had done that, he will be blamed as the kidnapper. Then the story will sound like Chiyuu abducted her friend and thus the collaboration will be off and Misty will get it. The kidnapper’s goal is to get a hold of her once her market value is increased and that it seems Hamatora was hired not to save Chiyuu but to kidnap Misty. Birthday wakes up and sees Misty tied up alongside him.

Flashback reveals Ratio is able to see when people will die. This causes others to think that he might be some death ringer. However Birthday didn’t fear him and didn’t like how he tried to look like a prophet, which of course wasn’t Ratio’s intention. Ratio saw Birthday had an incurable disease and will die soon but Birthday won’t run and asserts he won’t die. He then made a bet that if he fails to die, Ratio will die instead. A week later, Birthday undergoes a surgery and because of his strong will to live, he survived. So will Ratio die as promised? What Birthday meant was his fake prophet is now dead. Although Birthday’s disease is not cured and can relapse anytime, he won’t let death get to him that easy or else his prophecy will come true. Birthday makes his way to the electric box and trips the wire so that the huge current can reveal their location. Once Ratio and Misty arrive, so does the true kidnapper who is Chiyuu’s manager. Seems he wants Misty for the collaboration instead of Chiyuu because her work sells more. He hardens his body to fight. Neither Birthday nor Ratio’s power can stop him but with Chiyuu tipping them off, they combine their powers to win. But he escapes via boat. It is short-lived as Murasaki and Nice got it all covered to bring him back. Speaking with Torao, he explains his manager overheard his plan. Since they are good friends, they want to resolve this internally. Torao will take it from here. The manager laments he got the power for nothing. Nice than approaches Art and wants to meet that serial killer named Moral. So he knows… And it seems Moral has this shape shifting ability because he disguises as that scientist to enter some high security lab.

Episode 7
All the non-innate Minimum Holders’ statement seems to have the same thing. They surfed the internet and found some website that promised them power. They feel threatened since it’s like the perpetrator knows everything they do. The next thing they know, they have the power. Also, they have never seen the perpetrator’s face. Nice explains his deduction how he pinpointed Moral. But mostly it was a guess and wanted to see his reaction. Art doesn’t want him to get involved when he gets a call that a forbidden specimen in a hidden facility is stolen. Because Nice becomes like some sort of detective, deducing the culprit may have entered the facility via disguise and distributing a photo of how he looks like might get people to be boxed by that, this causes Art to blow his top. Mr nice policeman gets mad? Nice, Gasuke, Honey and Three are in a discussion of how the culprit snuck in. Coincidentally, all logs or surveillance cameras were cut off after midnight. Later Gasuke talks to Honey about Art. Although all of them entered Facultas at different points, one by one our Minimum Holder protagonists quit and the only ones who actually graduated were Honey and Art. The latter because of his exceptional hard work despite no Minimum materialized. He holds the record as the first, last and only graduate to do so. Meanwhile Nice and Murasaki are talking to a guy, Kouichi Shiratori who has had sexual relations with many idols. Hey, this is a free country so anyone is free to love, right? But a group of otaku fans are demanding his apology. Shiratori maintains he did nothing wrong and even turns the tables on the otakus because they’re blaming him for what they couldn’t do themselves.

Art has a judo lesson with Three who was his teacher at Facultas. Three wants him to have faith in himself. After the workout, Art feels better and goes back to the basics of investigating. At Moral’s razed mansion, he sees the black cosmos and some of them are recently cut. Then he heads to the graveyard and sees Moral there. He didn’t waste time to point his gun at him and accuse him as the culprit. But just as Moral told him, it was all for equality. Art doesn’t believe his crap because he stole some forbidden specimen and wanted power for himself. Moral says he is greatly mistaken. He desired that too but was for equality. He wants to desperately save someone from solitude: Nice. To save him, he needs power. Because Nice is so powerful, he is unrivalled. So not only the weak is unequal but the strong too. Moral’s reasoning is that to achieve that, he needs to be Nice’s equal. Art won’t allow that because he will protect Nice as his friend. Moral laughs at his statement. Then he demonstrates his shape shifting ability and beats him up in great speed. Meanwhile Shiratori is being tailed by gangsters with dangerous weapons. Luckily he is saved by Nice and Murasaki and they find out those otakus hired them to do the job. Both sides blame each other and Nice beats up both sides. Feeling fed up, he decides to go see Art. Back to the graveyard, Moral views what Art said as an insult because without a Minimum, he cannot be his equal or his friend. He suggests if he desires, he can make him a Minimum Holder. Art rejects so Moral stabs him. Art crawls to grab an incoming call from Nice but Moral whispers something into his ear and plants several bullets into him.

Episode 8
Moral impersonates as Art to answer the call but doesn’t say much so as not to give himself away. He leaves it to his assistant, Momoka to clean up the body. Nice and Hajime get to go to Okinawa on a business trip! Yeah! They’re coming along with Theo and Rei’s class too since it’s cheaper that way. Previously some government guy approached them about some energy drink called Ideal. Those who drink it fall into eternal slumber (but not die) and never wake up. However Ideal doesn’t contain any ingredient to cause that effect and he believes it is manifesting its effects through some special mechanism. The man who manufactures this, Shuuichi Hiiragi is his brother and is based in Okinawa. Rei and Theo are having fun on the beach when a bunch of delinquents don’t like outsiders come to challenge them. They’ll settle it fair and square via some triathlon meet tomorrow and they can bring representatives to square off each other. Nice and Murasaki got a lead on Shuuichi but when they arrive at his house, he himself as taken Ideal. He is dreaming that he is some super strong cool dude and all the girls love him. Yeah. We guys love that, don’t we? The duo have investigated his background and it seems due to not having a proper job or he couldn’t stand the job’s condition, he flew back to Okinawa. They realize he is also a victim of that website. Later Theo pleads to Nice to join the triathlon on his behalf. He didn’t want to till he realizes the first prize is a year’s worth of bitter melon. Then they have a showdown with the delinquents who also hired other people: Birthday, Ratio, Honey and Three! Oh sh*t! Murasaki stays by sleeping Shuuichi. He narrates about Shuuichi escaping into the dream due to the hardship he experienced in reality. He knows his intention to save others like him but that didn’t change anything for him. No matter what great dream he is having, he still ran away while reality continues to be messed up. But Murasaki knows how he feels like. Because he was number one before a certain guy came along. Then he went on a losing streak. That became his hard reality.

Next day, the triathlon begins. This isn’t your usual triathlon because after those 3 usual sports, we have a battle royale using bitter melon! Last one standing wins! Honey deceives others that her swimsuit comes undone so all the perverts start looking for the boobs to give her a head start. Birthday wants to electrocute the water but Three won’t allow him. This causes Birthday to be disqualified. Not because of his electrocution plan but they think Three is his pet dog! Pets are not allowed in the race! Yeah, Three gets disqualified too. Oh, Three says he is more of a cat. Ratio withdraws because he ends up tending to injured participants. Even that delinquent boss pulls out because he ate too many bitter melons before the finals start. Honey is out when she gets taken out by Nice while being distracted that her Mighty isn’t sea water proof. The final is between Nice and Murasaki. The latter wants to be number one again. Without using their Minimum, they duke it out as Shuuichi’s brother brings the comatose guy to see. Eventually Murasaki loses. Shuuichi is so touched by the scene that he wakes up and starts crying. However kidnappers kidnap him but Nice and Murasaki quickly save him. The brothers end up in a petty sibling argument. When everyone leaves Okinawa, Theo and the delinquent boss are like so good friends. He didn’t even do anything… Meanwhile Moral and Momoka get ready to do operation on several people and turn his ideal into reality.

Episode 9
Hamatora receives an advisory notice from Minimum Agency to minimize the use of their Minimum. Meanwhile Three is at an orphanage he runs. Flashback reveals he was a mercenary fighting in a foreign war but was loved by the children. He was like Rambo, singlehandedly killing all the enemy troops. But when they took the children hostage, Three rushed to save them but was too late as the building exploded. ‘Art’ calls Honey and Three to tell them they have been assigned to another case for their own safety. Although Honey is not happy but Three respects his decision since it was him who called them back to Japan. Momoka then calls Moral to tell him Nice is at her flower shop. He seems to be hinting that she is some sort of super hacker but leaves without doing anything. Nice explains that Moral needed to find people to achieve his goal and to do that, he needs an internet provider or a super hacker. That person is someone likely close to Moral. Moral suggests Momoka to refrain coming to his lab for the time being and minimize contact. Though, he thinks wearing Art’s face won’t be enough to fool Nice despite it was convenient enough to stop the police investigation. When Nice returns to office, Koneko is trying to chase out a sleazy reporter. He wants them to look into Three and already pays upfront. Can’t refuse the money, can’t you? On the news, there is a talk show trying to paint him as a notorious killer. Reporters are swarming outside the orphanage trying to get answers. Nice sees Mao and confirms that all the children in the orphanage are orphans of war and he took them in. Birthday and Ratio disguise as fruit delivery guys to deliver fruits into the orphanage, as well as Honey. That’s the biggest fruit? Honey is not a fruit… Honey is not happy that Three is resorting to this so the kids throw a durian at her and spew some sort of vengeance line like as though they’re brainwashed to say that.

Nice deduces that this isn’t just about Three seeking redemption. It is some sort of atonement and punishment because he is teaching the kids basic combat too as it is not a sin to seek vengeance. In short, when the kids learn who killed their families, they will kill Three as this will be his punishment. But turning kids into killers? Honey cannot accept this because what about the promise they made? About him to always protect her. She is going to have a part in raising the kids and teaches them about warmth and kindness. That night, several mercenaries sneak into the orphanage but Nice and Murasaki knock them out. The leader of them all, Helenlee Masayoshi who was a guest in the talk show reveals Three is his idol. He became a mercenary just to be like him but when Three took in children and run an orphanage, his ideal image of him shattered. He wants to bring Three’s bloody reputation back. So he exaggerated the facts in the news to make him sound vicious and the plan is to frame him for raising these children to kill them himself. Three angrily takes on Helenlee while the rest go protect the children. Helenlee loves this anger in his eyes but it’s time for Plan B. He sets his comrades’ vests on fire and this spreads throughout the orphanage. Three is filled with anger but thoughts of how he met young Honey flood his mind. It gives him the power to ditch this dude and go save the children. He bursts out of the rooftop and all the reporters start snapping away. Nice breaks the sleazy reporter’s camera and returns the upfront money as compensation for it when he says he has found what he needed and doesn’t need Hamatora anymore. Meanwhile, Moral unleashes his army of newly operated people with powers.

Episode 10
People dressed in black with a black cosmos flower go around killing others! Three is chained like a pet. The rest thinks others will relax if they see him like this. No way… But there is a commotion not because of this. It’s the Hulk. Or Outsider. Or just Takahiro. He is here to apologize for the trouble he has caused. Yup, he seems very apologetic. As the news spreads that Minimum Holders exist among the people, while Takahiro was in prison, those black cosmos people released imprisoned Minimum Holders. Takahiro is here with a request. He wants to return to his normal body since his mind and voice did so and thus he thinks there is a chance. However Nice refuses to take this job. Why? He isn’t interested. He finds it odd that Takahiro wanted to be strong so back and now he doesn’t want the power anymore. Birthday tricks Hajime that she is getting fat to take her pudding. She believes it and decides to go on a diet with Takahiro. Maybe it will slim him down and look better. Murasaki agrees and will help them out. Honey goes around looking for a place to rent but gets rejected since the real estate agencies have this policy of not dealing with Minimum Holders. Itou ramps up her campaign against Minimum Holders. A street interview is held to seek opinions about Minimum Holders. Some support, some against and some don’t really care. When it is Nice’s turn, he notes there isn’t any difference if humans have power or not because it shouldn’t affect a human’s worth. It doesn’t matter if you’re confident about yourself and he is mad that people look down on each other. The internet forums are rife with postings against Minimum Holders. But after that posting, each get a nasty link that reveals their exact location. Shortly, they get attacked! Effective! This is all part of Moral’s plan to make those weaklings realize their place. Once they are faced with reality, they will seek power to get stronger and he will provide power to those who desire it. Yokohama is under riot. Itou takes away Three’s orphanage kids despite their plea to stay with him. He cannot lift a finger and must hold in his anger because one wrong move and he’ll fall into their game. Birthday and Ratio hurry to help Chiyuu but it’s too late as she gets beaten up badly. Nice goes to see Art but is not in office. He notices something strange. He never drinks black coffee and there is a black cosmos on his table. He goes to the rooftop but it is Moral who is waiting for him.

Episode 11
Surprisingly, Nice brings Moral back to the office. Koneko thinks he is such a nice guy till she learns he is the one responsible for everything. Nice explains how he used Honey’s Mighty to look for him and that looking for Moral won’t have him find him since he wasn’t ‘wearing’ his face. Moral demonstrates his shape shifting Minimum and his plans of making everyone into a Minimum Holder for equality. The riots aren’t totally his fault because he merely answered their call and people are just expression their newfound powers. Better to let it out than pent it up inside, right? He also mentions his goal to save Nice and to be his equal. He will become a messiah for that. But Nice laughs it off that he didn’t ask for that. He also doesn’t like his attitude of going around deciding who is strong or weak. Before Moral leaves, he tells them a side show is going to happen at the civic centre. Nice is forced to let Moral go because he has a sharp wire around Koneko’s neck. One wrong move and her head will fly. Meanwhile Murasaki is beating up other Minimum Holders who are misusing their power. He’s like taking out all his frustration. Takahiro sees this and laments he is still weak after transforming. He really wants to be strong. Itou at the civic centre is surrounded by Minimum Holders who want her blood. Takahiro jumps in to protect her with Hajime and Murasaki helping to keep the other small fries at bay. Takahiro screams and transforms into a hideous monster. Is this the result of getting more power? He narrates that all he wants is to live together with her like normal again. Even if mommy doesn’t acknowledge him or love him anymore, he will always love her and wants to protect her. He will never compromise that. Nice shows up like a hero to take out the remaining baddies. Itou hugs Takahiro and feels proud of him. Moral feels so sad after seeing this tragic scene so he is going to save Takahiro from this humiliation. A bomb inside Takahiro rips him apart. Mommy cries like mad. Nice is mad. Even Hajime is going to explode.

Episode 12
I’m not sure if Hajime is hungry, the reason she is feeling all the rage. You don’t want to mess with her when she is in this mode. But she can’t rage for long and passes out. There is an ad telling those who want to seek Minimum powers and to come to a certain place. People in droves make their way there, ignoring police orders. All because they want the power and claiming self-protection. However there are those still ignorant about this so hideous robot ladies are seen firing and injuring them to ‘wake them up’. But thanks to Honey’s Mighty, Birthday and Ratio go around stopping these robots. Momoka who is monitoring all these events from her home is arrested by Gasuke and taken in for interrogation. Nice and Murasaki board a ship to face off with Moral. Obviously Nice is not being Mr Nice and is going to beat the crap out of him. To his surprise, Moral can move faster than his speed of light and beat him up! Nice deduces that this Minimum power of his isn’t about speed. It’s teleportation. Moral admits this forbidden Minimum he got makes him anywhere within a 10 metre radius. It’s like he is everywhere but yet nowhere. Get it? Of course, he continues blabbing about being his equal, blah, blah, blah. Then he reveals his plan. The chaos in Yokohama is being transmitted to all the social sites throughout Japan. Everybody watching this must be judging based on their arrogance, stereotypes, whatsoever. He reminds Nice of a Minimum Holder he defeated last year, Hibiki. His ultrasonic waves can destroy people’s brain within a 100 metre radius. Now, this ship is heading closer to a tower and this will trigger a mechanism to stab Hibiki whom is captured and tied up. His shriek will be transmitted and everyone who hears it will have their brains pop out or at least permanent loss of hearing. So this will have them realize their weakness and powerless existence and thus lead them to seek power. Of course Nice can put this to a stop. All he has to do is defeat him.

Moral is happy that he has already rattled him with deaths of certain people like Takahiro and Art. He continues to outpace Nice and beat him up. Murasaki joins in but gets beaten to a pulp. Moral hints that because of him, people will die. Nice goes to Murasaki’s aid in which the latter says he isn’t acting like himself. It is not like him to avenge others. Nice gets back up and starts snapping his fingers to a certain rhythm. Theo and Rei who are watching the chaos on news (as with the other minor characters in the series) feel they want to support him and send him a mail. However Nice throws his handphone into the ocean and curses the people who are trying to disrupt his concentration!!! Your goodwill is not appreciated! Nice then explains. He doesn’t care about all those innocent people Moral is going to kill. Because he was never a hero of justice. Never will be. He uses his Minimum for himself and doesn’t have a grand purpose like him. But he still won’t let him get away with this for one simple reason: Because he doesn’t like him. The next time when he moves, Nice is able to avoid being touched by Moral. Although he misses at first, gradually he is able to tap into his rhythm and touch Moral! It must be so damn fast that if this was played in normal time, you wouldn’t see a thing. Murasaki steers the ship away from the tower as Nice finally lands the defeat blow to Moral. Moral is impressed but he starts coughing blood. A sudden shock entry by… ART!!! HE LIVES???!!! He explains that Moral is paying the price for having 2 Minimums and he knows it well that the human body cannot withstand it. Art pulls out his gun and shoots Moral. Revenge served? Nice feels he shouldn’t have done that for he was already incapable to fight. But here’s another surprise in store. Art points his gun at Nice’s head and apologizes for being late. Bang!

It’s A Sin To Be Weak
If that sudden abrupt ending is well, too abrupt, then bear in mind the 3 magical words of ‘To Be Continued’ flashing big and bright right at the end indicates that there will be another season. Yeah. Just taking a one season break before its resumption. By the way, the second season is in the midst of airing by the time of this blog. Overall, this anime was quite interesting although I felt that the build-up was a little slow (since the first half was about Hamatora getting into random detective jobs) and was in danger of writing it off as an okay series. When the pace starts to pick up after halfway and especially after Art’s supposed death, it was getting interesting as all hell breaks loose. Then the sudden ending disrupted my flow and pace of watching this, which is actually quite annoying. It is like you are having a nice car ride, cruising along at a comfortable speed on the highway when suddenly you jam on the brakes causing that sort of backlash when everything comes to a crashing halt. This is my exact feelings of the sudden ending of this season in which otherwise it could have been really great. I am just worried that those feelings might be diminished by the time I get around watching the second season. But with the mysterious return of Art, it could mean more than meets the eye. I mean, Nice did hint Art isn’t acting the way he usually is so there is a chance this might be another impersonator. Or the real Art himself and the one we know is just a fake. With Nice’s fate hanging by a thread, I am sure that is enough suspense to last till the next season comes around.

The colourful cast of characters is one reason why this series is interesting as well as their interaction with each other. Don’t mind them with odd names like Nice, Moral or even Birthday because certainly with these kind of names, it would have raised an eyebrow or two if this was reality and the first thing is that people would certainly ask them if that is really their name. For Hamatora as a detective agency, they are not perfect nor are they some sort of superheroes that we perceive them to be. Despite being casted as the protagonists, they aren’t your usual heroes of justice. Take Nice for example. He is certainly the most impulsive member in the team. He does what he wants and when he feels like it although it might look like utmost justice that he doesn’t take on a job for money. Cool. But who is going to pay for the bills? He is also quite perceptive in a sense that it might seem that he is selfish and doesn’t give a sh*t about friendship and the likes (at least not our rendition of it). Take for instance Takahiro’s case. You think he would feel a little sympathetic about that kid’s case of wanting to turn back. Wrong. Instead he feels wary because he wanted the power so much and even though it is not what he got, don’t tell me he doesn’t want it anymore? True enough, he admits he is selfish and does things for himself. But maybe all that is just his way of justice.

Other characters in Hamatora are cool too and they have their short episode in focus to help us understand their past a little better. But more could be done and I hope the next season would delve into it a little more. Sometimes I feel that the behaviours of the other Hamatora fellows are like a running joke. For example, Ratio whose brand new car always seem to get hammered in such situations. I wonder how he can afford to pay off the 10 year loan. Maybe that’s why his other job is a doctor. Oh, you know how doctors charge… Then there is Hajime who is mostly seen stuffing her face with some sort of food. It’s like she is on an endless streak of hunger. If she feels pity for you, then she offers you her food. Food is what defines her. The last episode reveals her Minimum which has something to do with her injuries and going berserk. This might be interesting and hopefully I could see more of her mysterious power instead of just some girl who bums and hangs around doing nothing but eat. Although Master isn’t part of Hamatora, the only thing I see him do is grind his coffee beans. That is besides him giving advice to the rest. And there is Three sometimes reading his sports or romance manga. Looks weird, though. Big cat guy with a small little comic book in hand… There is also something mysterious about Chiyuu whose lines only consist of colours. It’s like she is a friend of Birthday and Ratio but these guys don’t even know that she is a Minimum Holder (or at least that is how I viewed their relationship).

Most amusing character is Birthday because of his carefree personality. You could say he is the troublemaker of the group but that is what makes him so likeable. It is like everything is fun to him so he laughs, he mocks, he plays and he has fun while he can. Murasaki is the most serious and reserved among the gang, even surpassing Ratio. You could say that Murasaki and Nice make a nice pair because the former is like the voice of reasoning and rational thinker to counter the latter’s impulsiveness. Something tells me that Koneko is for the moe factor, Honey the fanservice factor (the clothes she wear somehow makes her boobs protrude and stand out a lot) and I have a feeling Three is like a pet mascot. Oops. Big scary lion guy as a Hamatora mascot? Can’t say. Besides, there is this mysterious tiger mascot that keeps popping up randomly in each episode either in person or as a symbol or logo. I do not know the significance of this as I thought this tiger mascot is related to the Japanese baseball team mascot of Hanshin Tigers. Nope. I thought Hanshin Tigers’ mascot looks more like a mouse… Oops, sorry! Unless they are just screwing with our minds, I was hoping that some sort of revelation would come forth, say, that Art was hiding inside them all along and observing everything! I know I’m stretching that but so far nothing about this tiger mascot that plays a pivotal role in the anime. It could be just some Easter egg that I am not familiar with.

The voice acting is acceptable with some familiar seiyuus in the line-up. Like Jun Fukuyama as Birthday, he is partly why he makes his character sound so amusing. Just like how he voiced Grell in Kuroshitsuji and Kakeru in Akikan. Other recognizable seiyuus include Hiroshi Kamiya as Art (Trafalgar Law in One Piece), Eri Kitamura as Honey (Cana in Fairy Tail) and Megumi Ogata as Momoka (Shinji in Evangelion). Yuuichi Nakamura as Ratio wasn’t recognizable at first since he wasn’t in angst mode like Gray from Fairy Tail or Tomoya of Clannad. Part of the other large set of casts include Ryota Ohsaka as Nice (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator), Wataru Hatano as Murasaki (Gajeel in Fairy Tail), Emiri Katou as Hajime (Kagami in Lucky Star), Katsuki Murase as Three (Masa in Seto No Hanayome), Kiyono Yasuno as Koneko (Sakura in Aikatsu), Yuuki Ono as Moral (Kiyotaka in Da Capo III), Atsushi Ono as Master (Edward Rutherford in Unbreakable Machine Doll), Yousuke Akimoto as Gasuke (Robert Reynold in Stratos 4), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Theo (Accelerator in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Ayaka Ohashi as Rei (Uzume in Fantasista Doll), Takuya Eiguchi as Mao (Hikigaya in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru), Takahiro Mizushima as Takahiro (Furuuichi in Beelzebub) and Miki Itou as Itou (Taiga Fujimura in Fate/Stay Night).

The songs are mostly rock based with the opening theme, Flat by Livetune featuring Yuuki Ozaki of the rock Japanese band Galileo Galilei. They seem to make this a point in the credits. Maybe there are lots of people named Yuuki Ozaki out there? The style of the song somewhat reminds me of Kamisama No Memo-chou’s ending, Asunaro. The opening credits animation feels like it is paying tribute to that astronomer because of that world globe in it. The ending theme is Hikari by Wataru Hatano and the insert song for the final episode, Nowhere Living Now by Kishou Taniyama (voice of Torao). With so much testosterone going about, no wonder this anime feels like a guy series.

The action is not too bad but it could get a little boring since each Minimum Holder is only bequeath with one power. How much variety can you have with that? Unlike One Piece’s Luffy whose Gomu-Gomu move can be stretched (pun intended) to several variations in which personally some look like the same to me, here we see them punch and kick their way and there is hardly any excitement to that after a while. For example, Nice just zooms past his enemies and takes them out before he knows it. Birthday is always relying on his taser to use his electric power while Ratio relies on his good old gold metal arms to give that metal punch. But the unique thing about this is when a Minimum Holder starts using his/her power, the colours of everything go into psychedelic colour. It is as though you have taken some drugs and it causes your vision to see such distorted colours. Cool, though. I thought I was going back to the hippie and flower power era.

The comical bits are spontaneous and in that sense it makes certain scenes quite funny. It can be serious or solemn at first and then a joke is cracked and it at least makes you break into a smile. Though the dramatic and tragic pace of the show at the end of the day overwhelms the comical bits because in almost every episode, somebody dies. And even if nobody meets their maker, you can see the chaos or the kind of crime that they pull off out of desperation or for their own selfish means. The detective work too isn’t too shabby with the clues and connection placed out well throughout the episode but I won’t consider it anywhere near Sherlock Holmes material. They keep you entertained enough, though.

I believe the main issue in this season is about Moral’s equality in humanity. Perhaps the other best character in this series because of his twisted logic that makes him a psychopath obsessed with his one true goal of equality. For better or worse, can you say he is living up to his name for his actions? Despite his noble intention to bring equality to all humans, perhaps he is doing this the wrong way and it makes him this season’s antagonist. Every one of us wants to be equal but yet unique. It is not wrong to wish for that. However basic human nature means that it will be an impossible dream and can never be achieved. Humans will always exist to judge others, to look down upon others, to feel superior to others. That’s why personally I think that even if Moral does succeed in making equality come true, it will only worsen everything than before. Because to be imperfect is human and to human is inequality. When you have perfect human beings, you are no longer human. So better to have all the fighting and differences than a peaceful and boring world? Yeah. That makes life so interesting. No wonder people continue to fight. It’s so much ‘fun’ that way.

Therefore, partially it is not Moral’s fault that the chaos in Yokohama escalated. Because selfish people see it fit and their right to obtain more power just to stay ahead of the rest. We all tend to have this thinking and herd mentality in such situations. At the end of the day even if the chaos is quelled, people in general will not learn their lesson and the inequality and persecution continues. So the moral issue (pun intended) is that everyone is weak and nobody is perfect. Including those with Minimum powers. They might be different but not entirely perfect. We see how Moral bested Nice’s Minimum before the latter finds some sort of a counter attack. Therefore no power is absolutely 100% perfect. Each power has its own flaw and weaknesses. Whether you have super powers or useless powers or even God-like powers, it doesn’t make you any different than other men in terms of being a human being. That is what everyone should prioritize and look at first.

This show may not be perfect or for everyone (blood, gore and death included although I consider them to be mild) but I recommend casual viewers to have a go at this one. Unless you don’t like sudden cliff-hangers, then you might as well see both seasons at one go to stem the waiting in between. After all, it is up to you and everybody else who has at least the power to decide what you want to watch and what you want to do with your life. I am very tempted to say this and since I can’t hold it anymore, watching this anime makes me want to say, “With great power comes great responsibility”! Or you can just don’t give a damn about everything. Because who cares? If people like Hamatora or Moral do, then you’re screwed. Have a Nice day!

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