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Hamatora – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「FLAT」 by livetune adding Yuuki Ozaki

「File-01 コロンブスの卵」 (File-01 Koronbusu no Tamago)
“File-01: Egg of Columbus”

There’s not a lot of background information on Hamatora available without reading directly from the manga that released a few months ago. That being said, I wasn’t sure what I expecting when I started this episode. First of all – I like it! I give it thumbs up for a first episode that isn’t too overwhelming, nor is it too lackluster. The story formula is very tried and true, and one that works to my liking even though it may not be original. I love me a good mystery and I think this series delivers that. This first episode seemed very episodic (for the sake of an introduction), but I don’t expect that to continue into the next arc. I think this series delivers a great set up for the rest of the show this way, and it clearly lays out who “Minimum Holders” are and what makes our protagonists so special.

There’s not much more I can say about this show that I haven’t already said in my preview. It’s about two guys, Nice (Osaka Ryota) and Murasaki (Hatano Wataru) and they’re both private investigators that make up the group Hamatora. Their “office” is actually just a table in a bar and they take on random cases here and there to make a living. They’re both also “Minimum Holders” – people born with supernatural abilities. Unlike others though, they don’t abuse their powers and use it only to defend people. Their circle of friends include a girl that likes to eat (that’s me!) named Hajime (Kato Emiri), an actual police investigator named Art (Kamiya Hiroshi), other Minimum Holders and then some. I won’t name them all here because I’m sure we’ll get to see much more of them later on.

A few impressions that I got when I started initially previewing this series was that Nice and Murasaki were pretty much broke. I thought they weren’t very good at their job (which means they don’t have income) and they didn’t have many companions either. To my surprise, that’s not the case at all. In fact, Nice and Murasaki are very good at what they do and they should be rolling in dough from the way they solved this one! They also have friends (some of the Minimum Holders too I expect) that help them along the way. Sounds cliché, but as an introductory episode, I’ll let it slide. In terms of plot and story, I’m quite impressed by how much they were able to fit in one episode. There are obviously a lot of coincidences and a lot of thought processing (especially within Nice’s mind) that the viewer doesn’t see, but I think the anime tries to convey as much as possible without giving too much away. I can appreciate that the whole point of the story is just to provide some context for what’s to come so I won’t criticize it too much yet.

The animation definitely is the biggest issue I have with the show so far. Not that it’s bad but there’s a huge difference from the beginning of the episode, to the end. It’s fairly inconsistent because as someone who doesn’t pride themselves as “all-anime-knowing”, even I can see the fluctuations. I hope this doesn’t become a problem later on (or see the production value decrease even further) because I think some of the scenes are already below average (or maybe it’s just huge censorship…). Even some of the color contrasts and scenes, make my eyes cringe because it’s like they flipped the switch on the “invert colors with high saturation and contrast” button and it’s supposed to symbolize the activation of Minimum powers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well with me. Everything else seems to work fine though – the storytelling is very reminiscent of Durarara!! as many people point out, but I think it has a long way to go to meet those standards (I really liked that show!). The songs choices (both OP and ED) are very J-pop-like and aren’t anything too memorable for the time being. I like how they give a brief bio on each character in the opening sequence though. It seems like the creators have a story waiting to be told and I like that in a series, especially when it’s new and original. I’ll definitely stick around to see what’s in store… like I said, I love a good mystery and there haven’t been that many lately that blew me away.

TL;DR – @RCCherrie: #Hamatora is such a pleasant surprise =) I like it. The animation could use some work but I like the storytelling and the mystery amuses me.


ED Sequence

ED: 「Hikari」 by 羽多野渉 (Wataru Hatano)


January 8, 2014 at 10:57 am
  • January 8, 2014 at 11:05 amptyw

    Saw it and liked it.
    The whole power thing reminded me of Darker than black.
    Their powers were fun to watch too.

    • January 8, 2014 at 8:26 pmHorus

      Indeed. Also one of the first time I’ve seen a Porsche in an anime. Too bad it got trashed…

      • January 9, 2014 at 4:27 amlorenzo

        Misaki Kirihara in Darker Than Black drives a blue Porsche Carrera

  • January 8, 2014 at 11:33 amthedarktower

    I saw it, wanted to like it, but something didn’t click for me to truly like it for now. it was like when you put a piece of puzzle that is very alike to what you need and it almost get in right…but something there feel weird – it’s not going as smooth as it should be with. and that’s exactly with Hamatora for me for now.

    I found the idea really nice – mostly solving crimes and/or dealing with some other jobs that in the same domain(of police/crimes like guarding someone). I also liked the fact it’s kinda limited private guild (reminded me fairy tail with how similar the way they pick job and also due to the bar like fairy tail guild) because it’s not in an office or something, it was in a bar and that fits to the atmosphere.

    but still..something is missing to me. it’s hard to say what, but it’s missing. I think it’s both animation and characters.
    I expected more of characters. more interaction that will intrigue us to know more about them. but they felt distant, even the comic touch was still lacking (maybe except for Hajime..polar to the one of Gatchaman LOL). and animation didn’t help with that either since in the moments outside the bar, atmosphere and animation affected each other and made it distant.
    I am missing that click that I need so much to them.
    Enzo said it’s more like K and I have to agree with him. the characters feel like that, the atmosphere, execution. very alike. same with the special power of “Minimum Holders”. I find the idea nice, but nothing seems to appeal here in terms of story development as for now.

    yet of course, I am hoping that Hamatora can gather itself in the next 1-2 episodes and make me love it as I so wanted to.
    for now, this one was more like introduction episode. not to mention that they didn’t really touch the main thing as I read from the synopsis.
    so there is still potential here to set things to work out in a smooth way.

  • January 8, 2014 at 11:47 amSatyr

    Getbackers and Darker than black mashup eh? I’m interested.

  • January 8, 2014 at 12:22 pmjustin

    he inherited a bunch of porn mag. lucky guy.

    • January 8, 2014 at 8:19 pmMegas

      ~Just burn it~ LOL

  • January 8, 2014 at 1:30 pmYogghii

    Why is it always that when I like a girl, she turns out to be a slut :c
    Apart from that, this does seem like a nice show. A little too generic maybe, they just picked what looks cool and went with it. I don’t think this show’ll be especially deep or anything, but at least the first mystery was well planned out.
    The sad thing with mysteries is that a writer mostly has inspiration for 1 or 2 well planned mysteries and it goes downhill after that. Let’s hope this series is a bit more consistent.

  • January 8, 2014 at 2:39 pmVsAllGaming

    Watched it and I loved it. I can’t wait to see more. Their powers were pretty cool though for now Raito and Nice are definitely my favorite ones power wise. I’m looking forward to seeing what the other characters can do.

  • January 8, 2014 at 3:04 pmKF

    There’s something deeply erotic about college girls offering sex to old men- to some people. I had a mixture of like and dislike. I like the cleavage and all the parts that they show but I dislike the ntr vibe I’m getting. It doesn’t fit the ntr idea but despite that, it’s the only thing that can explain my discomfort. Any other ideas?

    • January 8, 2014 at 3:32 pmCrook

      You do know that this will ultimately only play a very minor part in the entire series, right?

  • January 8, 2014 at 3:05 pmlorenzo

    I knew I wasn’t the only one who thought of Darker Than Black

  • January 8, 2014 at 3:10 pmlorenzo

    Also: a freaking automail!

  • January 8, 2014 at 3:18 pmAmatsu

    Absolutely loving the character design and story setting, reminiscent of GetBackers. Although somewhat discomforting, college women servicing old rich men is quite the accurate portrayal of the reality of sex life in japan; young women with old men, young guys with their dominant hand.

  • January 8, 2014 at 4:15 pmKurama

    You can’t really blame NAZ for the cheap animation, this is their first series. People will have to support Hamatora so they can put more funding into their next anime.

  • January 8, 2014 at 4:34 pmTheMoondoggie


    It’s hard to decide on this. I supposed I’ll give it the 3 episode rule as well.

    • January 9, 2014 at 7:57 amyps

      agree so far it is nothing special for me

  • January 8, 2014 at 4:37 pmAggron

    Anyone else think of Persona 4? The way they handled the mystery was pretty similar and the Minimum powers felt like their cards’ powers except they could be used in the real world.

  • January 8, 2014 at 4:37 pmAggron

    All that over a safe filled with dirty mags :P

  • January 8, 2014 at 7:04 pmZhinvu

    Just saw this now and it also reminded me of Get Backers. What I liked about this episode is how it tied up all the seemingly unrelated events together. It never crossed my mind the teller Nice was talking to in the bank would have a significant role in the case. I’ll be following this too.

  • January 8, 2014 at 7:28 pmMeldoy

    I agree about the animation, the colors made my eyes hurt a little. Other than that though, I liked the first episode quite a lot. Hopefully it gets even better!

  • January 8, 2014 at 7:38 pmleatherhead333

    Meh a bit to generic for my tastes. Uninteresting characters solving a mystery that leads to nothing but disappointment (porn magazines really? I guess it was supposed to be funny but it just fell flat for me). All the super powers are unoriginal as hell and heck we already got a a cheesy “You are just like me so lets team up” line from a cliche bad guy with our hero responding in the usual “we aren’t like you!”.

    Really just nothing wowed me about this show at all.

  • January 8, 2014 at 8:10 pmbolton

    at first it seemed like it was trying to be super sleek and stylish but i’m glad they’re not just sticking with that route. the safe filled with dirty mags and the old maid who offered herself in a schoolgirl’s outfit to the young master was hilarious and i’m glad this show feels free to do shit like that. might be a little too cool or poppy for me but it looks like it can be fun so long as they keep up their sense of humor. i thought it was really cheesy though when the guy asked “can you see sound?” and all he did was just straight-up clock the guy in the face.

    all the characters seem well-designed but true enough they seem to pop out of nowhere. they are so individualized and it made me feel like i was popping in the middle of something but i knew that wasn’t the case. the gold mecha fists were highly entertaining but all of it makes me crave for some sort of origins or how they came to be. it’d be a little too strange for them to keep going without going into the backstory a bit so here’s hoping for some of those heart-warming character-focused episodes.

  • January 8, 2014 at 8:30 pmSeracen

    Huh, sounds interesting, but then again, so did Getbackers. And for some reason, while fun, I never really felt compelled to finish that one either. I suppose it felt too episodic.

    Hopefully, this work will provide a better overarching story.

    • January 9, 2014 at 10:36 pmkolachess

      Ahhhh that would be because you never got past the episodic arc. A lot of series start off episodic and then develop into an arc. Getbackers has some huuuuuge arcs, but all that fun plot comes after quite a few number of day-to-day episodic shenanigans. It’s a long series after all. :) If you liked the characters and background, I’d suggest you give it another go.

  • January 8, 2014 at 9:26 pmshii

    The housekeeper’s reaction was rather creepy…

    Thought that the episode was good; nothing overwhelming or brilliant about it, but it worked well for me. Liked the opening song as well!

  • January 8, 2014 at 11:43 pmtsukioniisan

    Aside from me thinking this is something like Hamtaro (the hamster show), this is actually pretty good.

    • January 9, 2014 at 7:15 amCherrie

      LOL! I thought of Hamtaro the first time I heard of it too… =P

  • January 9, 2014 at 8:20 amAndré

    Why they can’t use “normal” colors in these anime?

  • January 9, 2014 at 9:51 amAki-Chan

    Absolutely loved this first episode.The story seems good-the humour was great , and the characters are likeably eccentric.
    The only disappointment came from the OP and ED songs. The OP just doesn’t fit the anime at all. I would have thought something more like Foreground Eclipse , or at least something J-Rock would be used for an anime like this. The ED song doesn’t fit either , but the song itself is good in its own right , so I can live with that.
    Also , did anyone notice the Makoto Naegi look-alike in the ED song video? I wonder who he is…

  • January 9, 2014 at 11:37 am~fineyristensen

    I think its an interesting show with some special comedy parts and well planned crime-mystery.

    Curious if they can keep up this pace and how important the minimum holder for the core story are going to be?

    All in all a really solid intro!

  • January 9, 2014 at 2:46 pmMagoiichi

    It doesn’t give me any Durarara feels at all, not even Baccano feels. It does feel like Darker than Black though with the way Minimum Holders have to do something to activate their power.

    I liked this episode, it was just okay for me.

    Btw, am I the only one who read the name as Hamtaro by accident lol?

  • January 9, 2014 at 3:46 pmRubious

    Series reminded me very much of Get Backers.

  • January 9, 2014 at 6:22 pmOBAMABASEDGOD

  • January 11, 2014 at 10:17 amiTheShirt

    I just started watching this and I’m am very happy with what I saw. I wanted to know if there were any other reputable mystery anime out there to watch. Heavy emphasis on the reputable part if possible. D: