First Impressions: HamaTora


Flashy and neon superpowers for rent

When a job needs doing, but requires that extra special touch, you go to a Minimum Holder. They've got powers ranging from neutralizing gravity to controlling lighting. And Hamatora is just the agency to submit your request to. This rag-tag group of weirdos can solve just about any problem you have.

Hamatora is a multi-media project, with the manga launched just a few months ago. It's the first major work by Studio NAZ, and the lead director is Seiji Kishi (Danganronpa, Persona 4, Angel Beats!). It's an interesting project, but has a jarring style that may turn some viewers off before even finishing the episode.

Hamatora is worth sticking with, if for no other reason to see where it goes. Let's discuss.

Hamatora is weird.

At the beginning of the episode, Hamatora throws everything it can at you. The characters are strange, the plot is a little hard to understand, you have no idea just where the episode is going. Some of the jokes came across as absurdist; really, weird is a bit of an understatement with this show. But thankfully, as the episode moves along, the plot begins to make sense.

What we have is an agency of "Minimum Holders" -- people with special powers -- that take jobs either from the police or private citizens. Protection details, rescues, or any extra-legal job that you'd need to hire someone for. The show follows the titular group as they sit around a cafe, waiting to get jobs.

In this first episode, several contracts come across the group's desk, all seemingly unrelated. But, as we progress through the episode, it quickly becomes apparent that they all lead us to the same place eventually.

Hamatora is arresting.

The color palette the show uses is varied and bold. Initially the show deals in highly-saturated colors, but as the show goes on and the Minimums activate their powers, the show takes on the sort of visual assault that you'd see in an Issey Miyake runway show. Neon rules the day, and the visuals are nothing short of a 90's acid trip.

I'll admit: when they first used their powers, I thought I was watching a corrupted file.

But once you get used to the palette, it's engaging. A number of the shows I watch aren't this bold, so Hamatora is visually arresting for me.

Hamatora is curious.

At the end of the first episode, we find that someone's been killing Minimum Holders, and the police want them to investigate it for them. It's a hell of a hook, and got me interested to see more. My biggest concern lies with the characters in the show -- will their off-the-wall personalities grate on me, or will I grow to love the characters as the show progresses? This is one I'll stick with for Annotated Anime, so please join me for the journey.

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Brad Rice
Brad RiceFounder   gamer profile

Brad helped found in 2006, and currently serves as an Associate He's covered all aspects of the industry, but has a particular preference for the business-end of things, more + disclosures



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