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.
An anime adaptation titled Hamatora: The Animation was announced in the 2013 50th issue of Shueisha’s Young Jump magazine. The anime is produced by NAZ Animation Studio of Japan and began airing on TV Tokyo on January 8, 2014 with later airings on TVA, TVO and AT-X. While the anime ended on March 26, 2014, it has been hinted it would return in July 2014. The second season is to be titled Re: Hamatora Unlike the first season, it will be produced at Studio Lerche.
The anime is chiefly directed by Seiji Kishi. In addition, Hiroshi Kimura is also directing the anime, along with series composers and script writers Jun Kumagai and Touko Machida. The soundtrack music is composed by Makoto Yoshimori. Character designs are done by Yū Wazu, based on the original character designs by Blood Lad’s Yūki Kodama along with art direction by Fantasista Utamaro. The project was composed by Yukinori Kitajima. The story is set after the events of the manga, focusing on the already formed group of detectives known as Hamatora.
The series was simulcast-streamed by Crunchyroll with English subtitles in North America, Australia and other select parts of the world. Avex Group began releasing the series in Japan on Blu-ray and DVD volumes starting on April 25, 2014. The opening theme is “Flat” by Livetune feat. Yūki Ozaki. The ending theme is “Hikari” by Wataru Hatano.
There is also a radio program titled Hamatora From Cafe Nowhere where voice actors often interact. In March 2015, a film and a new television series were announced
Sentai Filmworks has licensed the first season for digital and home media release. The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on September 22, 2015 with both English and Japanese audio and English subtitles. Sentai Filmwworks has also licensed the second season for digital and home media release. The second season will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on January 26, 2015.
A Nintendo 3DS game developed by FuRyu titled Hamatora: Look at Smoking World was announced in December 2013. It was released in Japan on July 17, 2014. Directed by Shuuhou Imai, the game resemble the Tokyo Majin Gakuen role-playing game series. The combat is a turn based and require to input different commands to execute the Minimums. It takes place in the same fictional setting as both the Hamatora manga and anime but featuring a new story. It was made so that newcomers to the franchise will have access to it.
Set in a port town of Kobe, the protagonist is a transfer student named Souken who awakens his own Minimum and starts participating in fights against other students. Certain shopping districts were modeled after real-life areas, which the player will be able to see in stereoscopic 3D. The main cast from the Hamatora anime and manga series is also set to appear in the game. Preorders of the game include a Honey IC Sticker Card, that was designed using Honey’s tablet from the anime as a motif.
In August 2014, the production company Eigeki ran a Hamatora play for 12 performances from August 16 to August 24 at the Haiyūza Theater Roppongi in Tokyo. Titled Hamatora The Stage: Crossing Time, the play focused on the Hamatora team aiding Art in solving a murder case.
A novelization titled Hamatora the Novel by Kenichi Fujiwara was to be published by Shueisha in July 2014.
- The impulsive founder of the detective agency “Hamatora”, Nice works in the manga as the only detective with Hajime’s help whereas in the anime he is the half of the “Minimum Holder PI duo” along with his partner Murasaki. He is a former member from an academy of Minimum Holders who left to start a life as a detective, obtaining several allies. He is constantly in need of money, partly due to the fact that he does not care about the cost of a job request more than what it entails. He is a bit absent minded at times and rarely acts like his age.
- Despite his seemingly carefree nature, Nice is a genius thinker and able to quickly assess information. He always wears a set of headphones around his neck which he uses to activate his Holder ability, known as Sonic Minimum in the anime and Cannon Ball in the manga, allows him to move at the speed of sound. In Re: Hamatora, using the Minimum causes a strain in his body. He is the top-ranked graduate of the Facultas Academy and went there alongside Art and Skill. His existence is regarded as classified information. He tried to abandon that place alongside Hajime in order to see the world, but was shot in the process; his life was saved by Moral, who transplanted Skill’s heart into Nice’s body, saving his life, and left shortly afterwards to discover Hajime has amnesia. He detests the academy due to how it judges people based on whether or not they have power and believes power should not be necessary to determine one’s worth. In the finale it is revealed Nice has Skill’s heart as well as his Minimum, allowing him to grant others Minimums.
- The rather reserved other half of the “Minimum Holder PI duo” along with his partner Nice. He is originally an agent of Facultas sent to capture Nice, but ended joining him. He is a rational thinker and unlike Nice, prioritizes the cost of a job request over content. He has a bit of an existentialist outlook on things. His Holder ability known as Gravity Minimum in the anime and All or Nothing in the manga, is activated when he removes his glasses and greatly hardens his body, giving him super-human like strength. Using the Minimum in Re: Hamatora weakens his body. He is a prodigy who is ranked second among the Facultas Academy graduates. He dislikes how Nice always manages to surpass him and wishes to defeat him once in order to be acknowledged by him. In Re: Hamatora, Murasaki tries confronting Art but gets beaten up by Freenum. While he survives, his Minimum disappears, and returns to the group. In the finale, he recovers his Minimum.
- Hatano has commented that while the series its share of comedy, there is also drama in some parts of the story that could result in the viewer becoming emotional. He compared the series with a festival due to the viewer’s feelings. He added “The story will be followed with that feeling, what end will be met the complex case intertwined.”
- A gluttonous girl who spends most of her time at the Nowhere Café. In the manga, she is Nice’s only ally and accompanies him to all of his cases. She is one of Hamatora’s founders. She suffers from memory loss. Hajime is a test subject from Facultas. She was the first person to survive to a certain experimentation by Moral and was kept in the secrets. In Facultas, she met Nice who named her as she was simply known as “success No.01” and invited her to see the world alongside leaving the academy.
- Her Holder ability, while initially unexplained, makes her a strong combatant and is said to be able to rival Nice. Her Holder also heals her wound and is able to unleash a berserk state. By Re: Hamatora it is revealed the Minimum is known as the Nihilist Minimum triggered by despair which was first activated by seeing Nice nearly dying. It has the power of nullifying every other Minimum around her which cause her friends to go through sideeffects of their powers until they will lose it.