Manga Monday- Hamatora

Manga Monday- Hamatora

Hamatora is a Japanese mixed-media project. The project began with a manga series written by Yukino Kitajima and Yūki Kodama as the character designer, while Yū Wazu is adapting the design to the illustration. The manga, Hamatora: The Comic, started serialization in Shueisha’s Young Jump magazine in November 2013. An anime television series, Hamatora: The Animation, by the studio NAZ premiered on TV Tokyo and ran for twelve episodes between January 8 and March 26, 2014. It was followed by a second series by Lerche starting in July 2014, Re:_ Hamatora. Additionally, a role-playing game titled Hamatora: Look at Smoking World developed by FuRyu was released in July 2014. Other related titles include a light novel and a stage play.

The series takes place in the year 2014 when selected humans called Minimum Holders have been discovered to possess supernatural abilities. The story focuses on Minimum Holder Nice who forms a detective agency called “Hamatora” based in Yokohama and he starts gathering a large number of allies such as his partner Murasaki and assistant Hajime as well as enemies including several criminals. The anime stars Ryōta Ōsaka, Wataru Hatano, Hiroshi Kamiya, Emiri Katō, Kiyono Yasuno, Jun Fukuyama, and Yuichi Nakamura among others.

The series has earned mixed criticism from publications for manga and anime. While the elements of mystery have been praised, the themes and animation have been less well received. It has also been often compared with X-Men for its plot and characters.

Manga

A manga series, Hamatora: The Comic, written by Yukino Kitajima and illustrated by Yūki Kodama began serialization in Shueisha’s Young Jump magazine in November 2013. Its first tankōbon volume was released on February 19, 2014. The series is a prequel to the anime and focuses on Nice solving cases with Hajime while Murasaki works on bringing Nice back to the Facultas Academy.

Plot

The series takes place in Yokohama.

The story of Hamatora revolves around a 17-year-old teenager called Nice, who runs a private investigation agency called ‘Hamatora’ in Yokohama, Japan with his partners Hajime and later, Murasaki. In the world there is the existence of Select humans called Minimum Holders (ミニマムホルダー Minimamu Horudā) have been discovered to possess supernatural abilities known as ‘Minor Miracles’ or ‘The Minimum’. These people are trained in the Facultas Academy to develop their potential, and are given highly advanced classes and training to do so. As a result, those who graduate from Falcultas are given extreme benefits and privileges that enable them to be highly successful in life, such as being entitled to any job or career they want with ease. The existence of minimums and minimum holders is kept extremely confidential and secretive from the general population of the world.

The events of Hamatora The Comic takes place in the year 2013, with Nice having left Falcutas academy early in his first senior year. Due to Nice both being a genius and a prodigy, Murasaki, the second highest ranked graduate from Falcutase, is tasked with the mission of bringing Nice back to Falcultas by any means necessary. As Murasaki first meets Nice, his impressions of him leave Murasaki feeling insulted and angered that someone as easy going and immature like Nice could be superior to him. As Murasaki observes Nice on his jobs though, Murasaki finds himself assisting Nice and comes to see the potential Nice actually possesses as well as acknowledging his genius. He also dwells on Nice’s views on Falcultas’ workings and his opinion of how people with minimums are not slaves and are free to live their lives responsibly.

During the job where Sayuri Akatasuki requests for Nice and to rescue her sister Shizuku, a Minimum Holder who can generate fire, from a criminal family. Nice and Murasaki finish their job but Murasaki is tasked to leave Nice and to take Shizuku back to Facultas as part of the academy’s dark dealing with the mafia family. As Murasaki takes Shizuku to Falcutase, Nice, Hajime and Sayuri are attacked by Falcutas and the Hamatora office is destroyed. As Murasaki hands over Shizuku, he struggles on the decision he made and ends up trying to rescue Shizuku from Falcutas. Nice, who managed to save himself, Hajime and Sayuri before defeating the Facultas agents, ends up saving Murasaki, but during the confrontation with Falcutas and the mafia family, Shizuku apparently dies. In the week that follows, It is then revealed that Shizuku survived and faked her death so that she and Sayuri can live a new life without fearing her Minimum or Falcultas and the Mafia Family. Murasaki has since left Falcultas and has joined Nice as a Hamatora P.I. which is now located in Cafe Nowhere along with Birthday and Ratio’s ‘Odd Jobs’ Business and Honey and Three’s Bodyguard business.

During the anime, Murasaki has joined Nice as a Hamatora P.I. now based in the Cafe Nowhere in Yokohama where they prefer to sit around all day with their friends and wait for clients. During their Jobs, Nice finds similarities in the working of several crimes he investigates and the existence of non-innate Minimum Holders; people who possess a Minimum but where not born with it. Nice and Murasaki are warned by their friend, Art, a non-Minimum Holder who still managed to graduate from Falcultas, about a Minimum Holder serial killer who extracts the brains to create more Minimum Holders.

The culprit is Moral, a former professor from the Facultas Academy who wishes to give everybody Minimums in order to achieve equality. For this, he has to kill several Minimum Holders and use their brains to create a substance he calls ‘essence’ that enables him to create 24 non-innate Minimum Holders for every Minimum Holder brain he possesses. While his overall purpose in this is to create equality, what Moral truly wants is to save Nice, as he believes that Nice is tortured by solitude as he is the number one student of Falcultas, also calling him the accumulated wisdom of humanity, and therefore has no equal.

Moral kills Art and starts assuming his identity to dismiss the Hamatora from the case. He starts a riot in order to expose the existence of Minimum Holders, and Momoka also leaks information exposing the existence of Facultas Academy and Minimum Holder identities, causing a disturbance in society as normal people treat Minimum Holders in a hostile manner while Minimum Holders fight back to ensure their right to exist. After discovering Moral took Art’s face, Nice confronts him in person to get revenge for his best friend’s death. The two face off in a ship that Moral is using to perform terrorist attacks on non-Minimum Holders. As Nice defeats Moral, the murderer is killed by a resurrected Art. As revealed in Re: Hamatora, Art survived Moral’s attack thanks to Regeneration Minimum and has since been collecting new abilities. He becomes the leader of a gang called Freemum composed of Minimum Holders who are against the Minimum Agency. Using Freemum and Momoka, Art succeeds in leaving Nice as his only potential enemy. He tries killing Nice to trigger Hajime’s Nihilist Minimum which erases all Minimums in Yokohama. Shortly afterwards, Nice is revived by the powers of Art’s late brother, Skill. His heart had been transplanted by Moral years ago during an incident. As a result, the people in Yokohama recover their lost Minimums thanks to Skill’s own power. Nice defeats Art and six months later they reconcile.

 

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