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Hamatora review
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Review of Hamatora

When Hamatora was announced as a new mixed-media project in 2013 I could barely contain my excitement as I’m a big fan of those in general. As soon as the manga got serialised I threw myself after the first chinese translations and when the first episode of the anime aired in January 2014 it looked promising – story- and plot-wise. Additionally the music was provided by my favourite Japanese composer Makoto Yoshimori. I had high hopes.

Slowly but steadily disappointment took over though. The characters were briefly introduced, I reckon for the majority of people it was enough to take a liking to them, but unfortunately I wasn’t one of that majority. For me the series was lacking depth and I didn’t know what it actually wanted to be. It was a wild mix of easy-going slice of life followed by psychological horror yet again followed by one or two episodse full of forced comedy which seemed completely out of place. Pacing was and still is Hamatora’s Achilles’ heel and it keeps destroying all of the potential it ever managed to build up. The ending of Hamatora was rushed and predictable. Re:Hamatora was the chance to sort out the mess but alas they wasted it and even made it worse.

The aspect I liked most about the first season was Moral and his role as a villain. He was cruel, consistent in his actions and pursuing his ideals – without being overpowered or excessively superior but just making use of his environment and relationships so they would help him achieve his goal. Seeing a character acting refreshingly contrary to the run-of-the-mill anime villains we see most of the time made me really happy. Saying that he was relatable would be too much but at least he acted in a way that seemed logical for a person under his circumstances.

I can tell that Hamatora the Animation has a tragic and complex story that it wants to tell but simply doesn’t come across as that for me. Instead of getting explanations the anime keeps throwing more info at me and then it’s just small pieces so that I won’t fully understand either. Everyone’s fragments of backstory are thrown at me during one episode without love and I find it impossible to emphasise with all of them so fast so as a result I care even less. The whole minimum idea is so interesting and seing their different abilities is a nice change of pace yet since it’s all so disorganised and usually exaggerated into the extreme of too powerful or too ridiculous I cannot enjoy it as much. Yoshimori’s compositions are wasted on this show, to be honest, because his music creates a unique atmosphere and Hamatora is too rushed to let one be created. The fade-ins and -outs in Re: destroy every bit of atmosphere that been tried to build up before. The cruelty that is depicted in some scenes would usually send shivers down my spine but how could it that happen now when I’ve just been fed a slapstick scene 2 seconds before.

It’s not that I completely dislike the show, to a certain point a enjoyed the first season a lot and the animation still remains very good. But it upsets me how much better it could have been. All that being said, I of course did not look for a highly psychologically demanding show, I knew that from the start and basically wanted to be entertained but by now it won’t even entertain me anymore.

Added by Kamichan
2 years ago on 24 February 2016 16:52