Episode 1 Rating: 3/5 complacent clouds
I honestly do not know what to say about the first episode of Hamatora Season 2. It was pulling everyone’s legs with the grief and the sadness and Nice being dead even though it was totally FAKE and Nice isn’t actually dead.
Hamatora basically used Nice’s death as a way to help the audience catch-up on what’s been happening. Nice’s death has been painted as a glorified hero story in order to give minimum-users a better image with the public. We go through the entire episode thinking Nice is dead. We see Hajime partner up with Murasaki to protect a minimum-holder pop idol named Hikaru. The only interesting part of episode 1 was seeing Nice’s minimum in action because it seems slightly different and he seems even faster than before. We’re falling easily back into the Hamatora light investigation world and episode 1 was nothing more than an extra episode to connect season 1 and season 2. Honestly I think the first episode of Hamatora could have served as an OVA rather than the opening to the second season. Episode 2 is basically called “Art Returns.” In my opnion, you could probably skip the first episode and directly start with the second.
Episode 2 Rating: 3/5 complacent clouds
Episode two is A LOT more interesting because we see Art who approaches Hikaru in one scene… and then all the members of Hamatora talking about their charade to hide Nice due to the “incident” three days ago. FLASHBACK BACK to the moment when Art shot Nice. THREE TIMES. Luckily Murasaki appears to save him… or at least distract Art long enough to give Nice a break. Art even tries to kill Murasaki but Murasaki does save Nice and they both dive into the ocean. The members of Hamatora continue to speculate.
In another scene we see Art doing push-ups and in his internal monologue we learn he still has NO minimum so all the conspiracy theories about Art’s minimum awakening were fake (for now). Why is Art targeting Nice? Biggest question ever. The episode continues to jump back and forth from character pair to character pair. From Birthday and Ratio we learn that the illustrator and minimum-holder Chiyuu is missing (again). They investigate at a night club while Nice and Murasaki visit Hikaru at the agency who’s recovering from a stab wound in the neck. Again the episode seems really choppy and there isn’t much of a sense of coherence except for the overarching broad question regarding Art.
The organization Chiyuu ended up as works to basically promote liberalism and growth among minimum holders, to hone their minimum without having to attend Facultas. The organization gathers these “strays” that Facultas turns away. If you remember from the first season, to graduate Facultas as a full-fledged minimum-holder meant you became the elite of the elite in society but those who are cast out are forced to hide their abilities and try to live a normal life.
Art infiltrates Facultas with his old student card and purposely leaves it behind. Hamatora continues to monitor Art’s activities. Since Art isn’t making an effort to hide himself, he’s either REALLY confident or he really has NOTHING to lose. He bombs Facultas and just STROLLS ABOUT. After Art takes down three minimum holders who try to fight him, he reiterates the fact that he doesn’t have minimum and that no one should stand out (turning into an egalitarian are we?) I really hope they don’t go down that route where Art takes up Moral’s mission in his own warped way. Whereas Moral wanted EVERYONE to have minimum, Art might want NO ONE to have minimum.
A minimum-holder named Paper appears (I’m guessing his minimum is the ability to turn paper into blades? Or at least make paper lethal with his blood). Hamatora finds out all the kids in Facultas are dosed with drugs and killed by Art. Paper kills Art… not really. Is Art unkillable then? He stabs himself and then… HE REGENERATES THE ARM THAT PAPER SEVERED AND COMES BACK TO LIFE. Of course, it’s called the Regeneration Minimum (nothing less than creative). Art injects himself with the Light Minimum to escape. So Art is stealing people’s minimums? That would be a yes.
Things. Got. Weird. Really quickly. I didn’t want to see Paper die! He has such a cool minimum! And basically Art comes back as a minimum-stealing avenger type of character who’s bent on destroying all minimum holders? I guess that’s why the tag line on the poster was, “We don’t need Minimum.” All my red flags are going off at the awkward pacing of Hamatora so far. They’re building the plot in little snippets of scenes which I really don’t like because there’s no sense of consistency with the flow of the story in conjunction with the characters. Episode 1 was suuuperrrr slow and then episode 2 just threw us TWIST after TWIST. And for god’s sake, WHY didn’t Nice do anything in the middle of the fray? HE’s supposed to have one of the swiftest and most instantaneous minimum abilities but he just STANDS THERE as Paper is being killed and Art is being stabbed. Geezus.
They didn’t even build up Art to be this intense super villain. It just…. Happened. And I’m not happy with how things just HAPPEN for no reason especially when this series is supposed to be in the investigation/mystery genre where it is imperative for plot points to align. I am going to keep watching Hamatora and I really hope they fix up the scattered story they’ve thrown at us so far.
What are you pondering today?