Exploring the World of Anime

It Wasn’t About Ham(atora)

hamatora-nice-madI know it’s the time of year that I am supposed to blog about what I plan on watching for Fall Anime 2014. I plan on blogging about that soon. For now, I’m going to focus on Hamatora. It was one of my favorite series from the Spring and Summer lineup. It was one that I didn’t drop when others fell by the wayside.

Hamatora; which means “Beach Tiger” (still trying to figure that one out) has ended its 12 episode run. The show has given me a Durarara!! feel almost each episode. The similarities include the animation style, the storytelling style, a mastermind, double crosses, and the behaviors of the characters. Hamatora focused on a private investigation agency named, you guessed it, “Hamatora”. The agency is made up of minimum holders which are special innate abilities that some humans have. These abilities can range from super speed, super strength, super green thumb, pretty much maximizing abilities humans already have to superhuman levels.

Of course you know with superhuman powers comes supervillain shenanigans. But wait, are these really supervillains or just misunderstood humans? Humans acting out of grief, desire to control the world, or a desire to make the world the way they believe it should be. We live in a society that good and bad is not always clear cut. Many of us would like the people of the world to behave a certain way and go about interacting with others in hopes that they may act in the way we want them to. Some of us are a bit more forceful and choose to destroy those who don’t conform whether by death, brainwashing, or isolation. Some of us just want to see the world burn. Hamatora has all of this in its show.

Hamatora revolves around Nice who is an extremely powerful Minimum Holder but wants to live a carefree existence while helping others. He is our favorite anime character; appears to be a bumbling idiot and immature while truly is very keen on what is going on though he acts brashly. Nice is able to see the connections between crimes and tries to solve them at great risk to himself and those who work with him: Murasaki, Birthday, Hajime, Ratio, Three, and Honey. This really wasn’t a “deep” anime, though I felt it tried to go there but not in a heavy-handed way. Hamatora was able to keep it light even when murdering off characters or beating the crap out of them. It attempted to describe the “Minimum” as the human’s ego exaggerated. As in, humans seek to be better than others at all times.

The pursuit of perfection in humans or being better than others is evident in our everyday lives. It’s always about being number one. Awards are given, massive amounts of money is made, accolades, celebrity-dom comes from people wanting to be the best, to be noticed. What is it that drives humans to want to be the best? To want to be the top of it all? Is it a cultural phenomenon or do most humans seek to edge past others even if it is a little edge? This is why I love watching anime even when series are pretty terrible as it raises questions that I find that many live-action shows don’t do anymore. Could Freud have been right about the id, ego, and superego. I definitely think he was on the right track.


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