Anime Review: Hamatora

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The summer simulcasts are approaching on Crunchyroll, and among them are many premieres of series that have already made their debut! And while some folks are heavily anticipating some things over others, I will be closely watching the continuation of Hamatora!

But before I get into new stuff, let’s talk about what Hamatora’s all about before the second season starts!

Re: Hamatora

Re: Hamatora is coming to Crunchyroll in July!

Hamatora brings us back to the alternative present day urban Japan, where humans go about their daily lives and do what they can to make a living. That’s fine and all, except that some of these humans are “minimum holders,” people who carry special genes that allow them to utilize superpowers from within! But because they’re different from others, various “normal” human beings are trying to oppress them while a vile minimum holder executes a plan to make their kind dominate the world.

If this is starting to sound dangerously like a certain American comic franchise, it probably is; but that’s not important.

Despite what some people think, this series is a comedy; a dark comedy that tosses between making us laugh, making us cry, and making us wonder what possessed the creators to put certain things in the show. Maybe that’s just the way Hamatora operates.

In case you were wondering, Hamatora is the name of the minimum holder protagonists’ crime fighting detective business. It is also the unofficial name for the weird guy in a hamster-tiger costume (hence “Hama” and “Tora”) that occasionally pops up in the background doing aerobics or something; and no one seems to acknowledge it. It’s just there!

The Hamatora

No need for another mascot. There’s one standing outside doing whatever!

I won’t try and reveal too many spoilers, granted you probably should know about a few of them if you decide to watch the second season (but I recommend you watch the original series first!), but there are points in this anime that can get somewhat graphic in terms of content. If you have a stomach for blood-spattering, human organs lying around (particularly brains), and sexual teasers for both men AND women, be my guest. Hamatora seems to have it all, despite being marketed as a shounen series (demographic for young, teenage boys).

Ratio and Birthday

Ratio (left) and Birthday are one of several detective pairs in Hamatora. Some fans also like to pair them for other reasons.

Rei

While Rei is not a minimum holder, she brings another flavor to the series.

But like anything else that belongs in the action genre, there are a lot of lovable characters in this series. I, myself, will be cosplaying one of the characters from this series for one of the days at Anime Expo this year!

If you have read through my 10 Great Moments of Winter 2014 list, you should already know how much I like Three’s character (granted he is NOT the guy I’m cosplaying), but there are definitely a lot more cheerful parts in this dark comedy series than we are led to believe. Sometimes, however, these cheerful moments take a long time to get to; and frankly, they are also very much short-lived.

While that’s upsetting to a lot of viewers, I can’t see it any other way for Hamatora. Remember folks: dark comedy isn’t always supposed to make you feel good. In fact, most of the time you’re laughing at it because it pisses you off so much that you aren’t expecting the outcome!

But alas, it does have its moments, be it sad, funny, or just plain bizarre. I could make up a top 10 list of Great moments just from this series alone because it’s become quite the cult classic. But instead, I’m just going to be “Nice” and leave that for another discussion altogether.

Nice

Nice doesn’t like spoilers, so I won’t say anymore.

So if you’re looking for an atypical comedy and action anime with lots of cool characters and the occasional bizarre gag, watch Hamatora. It’s a series worth watching at least once.

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4 thoughts on “Anime Review: Hamatora

  1. Your review is amazing. I think you have captured it quite well without revealing too much.

    I didn’t know it was probably marketed as a shounen anime series but despite not being a guy got into it. It certainly has a lot of genres it double dips into. Makes it have something for everyone.

    • Thanks, Cassandra. It’s funny how the anime market works, as things that are marketed to boys or girls (or men or women) in Japan don’t always translate in a similar fashion to the world market. Heck, it doesn’t seem to translate that way to the Japanese market! In some of the polls I’ve seen, Hamatora was ranked one of the most popular shows for female audiences in Japan for the Winter 2014 season. This list, interestingly enough, was topped by Hozuki no Reitetsu, an anime originally marketed as a seinen.
      If anything, demographics should be regarded as a guide to what one might like, but not necessarily what one will like. Demographics for anime/manga are usually determined by what manga publisher (and therefore what target audience they cater to) decides to release the series. In my conversation about “Anime Girls” in my blog series Road to Feminism (see left-hand column), I stated how there are plenty of titles out there that appeal to both men and women, granted for different reasons, and how in some cases, the fans that follow are significantly from the other demographic gender.

      • No problem.

        Yeah. I think you have a point. I also think many times series out there appeal to men or women in more random patterns.

        Demographics aren’t everything. At least they shouldn’t be. Your “Anime Girls”-Road to Feminism blog series sounds intriguing. I’ll take a look at it and probably also comment on things that catch my interest.

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