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Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)

September 15, 2015 by  



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“Hamatora” is a fascinating and action-packed series on a world with individuals with supernatural powers and the protagonist is a leader of a detective agency.  Featuring a good balance of humor and action, the series does become much more darker and violent towards the end.  But for the most part, an entertaining action-packed anime series worth checking out!

Image courtesy of © cafe nowhere / Hamatora Project. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection

SERIES RELEASE DATE: 2014

DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 minutes)

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080pHigh Definition, English and Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Sentai Filmworks

RATED: TV MA VS

Release Date: September 22, 2015


Original Concept by Natsu Shobu, Yuki Kodama

Original Character Design by Yuki Kodama

Chief Director: Seiji Kishi

Directed by Hiroshi Kimura

Series Composition by Jun Kumagai, Touko Machida

Music by Makoto Yoshimori

Character Design by Yu Wazu

Art Director: Kouki Nagayoshi

Anime Production by NAZ


Featuring the following voice talent:

Hiroshi Kamiya/Leraldo Anzaldua as Art

Ryota Ohsaka/Adam Gibbs as Nice

Wataru Hatano/David Wald as Murasaki

Atsushi Ono/Carl Masterson as Master

Ayaka Ohashi/Juliet Simmons as Rei

Ayami/Kasi Hollowell as Chiyū

Emiri Katō/Christina Kelly as Hajime

Eri Kitamura/Margaret McDonald as Honey

Jun Fukuyama/Blake Shepard as Birthday

Katsuki Murase/George Manley as Three

Kiyono Yasuno/Nancy Novotny as Koneko

Megumi Ogata/Carli Mosier as Momoka

Nobuhiko Okamoto/Greg Ayres as Seo

Takuya Eguchi/Mike Yager as Mao

Yūichi Nakamura/Andrew Love as Ratio

Yuuki Ono/Chris Patton as Moral


Nowhere may seem like just another Yokohama cafe, but as with many of its employees, this apparently innocent eatery leads a double life. Because Nowhere is also where you can find Hamatora, the mysterious detective agency run by P.I.s who are also M.H.s. That’s M.H. as in Minimum Holders, individuals gifted with extraordinary powers and abilities.

For the right price, you can hire founder Nice, who moves at the speed of sound, and partner Murasaki, whose super strength and near invulnerability are a significant asset. Of course, with incredible talents like these up their sleeves, Nice may not decide to take a case unless it personally interests him. But when a series of serial murders all turn out to involve other Minimum Holders, that interest is about to become extremely personal. Something monstrous is going on, and Minimum Holders as a class may be targeted for extinction!


In 2013, writer Yukino Kitajima and illustrator Yuki Kodama created the manga series “Hamatora” (which derives from the words “Yokohama Troubleshooter”).

The manga series was serialized in Shueisha’s “Young Jump” magazine and several months later, an anime TV series for the first 12 episodes produced by NAZ debuted on TV Tokyo from January through March 2014, followed by a second series titled “Re:_Hamatora” several months later produced by Lerche and a Ninteno 3DS RPG game titled “Hamatora: Look at Smoking World”.

And now the first season will be released in the U.S. on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sentai Filmworks.

“Hamatora” takes place in today’s modern time but when several humans known as Minimum Holders are discovered to possess supernatural abilities.  These special individuals are then trained at Facultas Academy to develop their powers and their existence is confidential to the world.

The series revolves around a Minimum Holder named Nice who has a detective agency known as “Hamatora” in Yokohama and together with his partner Murasaki, they take on cases that involve other Minimum Holders.

But instead of having a few of these enemy Minimum Holders serving time, they are given a chance to become allies and partner up with Hamatora.

But recently, crimes are being committed by people who posses a Minimum but they were not born with it.  Who is turning regular humans to Minimums and who is also responsible for the murder of other Minimum Holders?

Find out in “Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection”!

The following characters in “Hamatora” are:

  • Nice – The main protagonist and the founder of the detective agency known as “Hamatora”.  A former member of the Facultas Academy and despite being a genius, because he doesn’t take any job, he is often broke.  When he puts his headphones on, he is able to use his power, Sonic Minimum.
  • Murasaki – A former agent of Facultas who was sent to capture Nice, but ends up becoming his partner.  He is a rational thinker and has the Holder ability known as Gravity minimum.  His goal is to someday defeat Nice.
  • Hajime – A girl who tends to stay at Nowhere Cafe and likes to eat.  She has a powerful Holder ability.  She is one of the founders of Hamatora and close to Nice. She also has for some reason, lost all her memories.
  • Koneko – An employee of Nowhere Cafe and also is Hamatora’s receptionist and contract negotiator.

 

VIDEO:

“Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection” is presented in 1080p High Definition.  The anime series is colorful and vibrant.  Characters are well-designed and well-shaded, while background art is good.  Interesting choices to have these red splatters on the bodies, which at first made me do a second take if those were artifacts or some sort of splotchiness, but those are intentional art that was utilized by NAZ.   But for the most part, picture quality is very good and didn’t notice any major artifacts or banding issues.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection” is presented in English and Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0.  Dialogue and music are crisp and clear through the front channels.  I heard no hiss or problematic issues with the audio.  Both Japanese and English voice acting are well done.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection” comes with Clean Opening and Closing, Japanese Disclaimers, Japanese Promos.


 

I first discovered “Hamatora” while in Japan looking at the Nintendo 3DS game.  Having no idea what the series was about, watching the first season on Blu-ray made me feel reminiscent of the X-Men.

While the X-Men, the storyline revolves around the fear of mutants (individuals with supernatural abilities) and the struggle between the good and the bad, “Hamatora” has similarities but revolves around a detective agency trying to uncover cases that involve the killing of Minimum Holders (the name given to individuals with special abilities) and also humans given the Minimum power, despite not being born with it.

For the most part, the first season serves as an introduction to the characters and seeing Nice and Murasaki take on various humans given the minimum power, who will later become allies.  But also learning who is responsible and how demented the person really is and why he is giving normal people these abilities.

As the story progresses, it goes from lighthearted to something much darker and more violent and yes, even a bit bloody.

While the first season is only 12-episodes, the first season is fascinating and if you enjoy stories like the “X-Men”, then you will enjoy the special abilities that each person has.  The protagonist Nice is an interesting character.  A genius, yet a person who is often broke, he is also a person trying to understand why these humans would want to have a minimum power and when he confronts those who are on the wrong side of the law, it’s interesting to see him and others use their supernatural ability.

As for the Blu-ray release, “Hamatora the Animation – Complete Collection” features a colorful and vibrant palette, but NAZ gave an interesting animated style for the first season.  I didn’t notice any extensive banding issues or artifacts, but the series looks very good in HD.  Lossless soundtrack is presented in Japanese and English DTS-Master Audio 2.0.  The dialogue and musical score are crystal clear through the front channels.  Special features are your typical clean opening and closing theme, Japanese promos and disclaimers.

Overall, “Hamatora” is a fascinating and action-packed series on a world with individuals with supernatural powers and the protagonist is a leader of a detective agency.  Featuring a good balance of humor and action, the series does become much more darker and violent towards the end.  But for the most part, an entertaining action-packed anime series worth checking out!

 

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