Hamatora the Animation

What’s it about ?

A back-alley team of Private Investigators. Who happen to have super-powers, and occasionally fight super-powered crime.

(There’s a manga version being published concurrently.)


Nice is nominally the PI agency’s leader, but it’s like herding cats, and his occasional stubborness doesn’t help. A running joke is that he’s terrible at managing his finances. His case this episode : investigating the disappearance of several college girls. (He also effortlessly foils a bank robbery while making a withdrawal.) His power : listening to music makes him super-fast, I think.

Murasaki is his purple-themed partner. He’s much more suave and sophisticated, but just as stubborn. He takes the case that will actually provide them some decent money : protecting the safe of a rich family, whose patriarch has died without explaining how to open it. His power : either super-strength or super-resiliency, I can’t quite tell.

Also working with them : laid-back Birthday (electrical powers) and Dr Ratio (x-ray vision that lets him see weak points in enemies), who both take a bodyguarding job.

Rounding up the agency’s cast : Koneko, who acts as their secretary, and Hajime, a gluttonous girl that even the opening titles have no clue what she brings to the table. Also : the owner of the restaurant they operate out of.

Art is a police detective who’s old friends with Nice. He seems delighted to have the team’s help for what the police don’t have time to deal with. (He’s the one footing the bill for the first case.) There are hints he’s got a hidden agenda, though.

As it happens, all three jobs are actually different angles on the same case ; they solve it together by the episode’s end.

Production Values

Very stylish indeed. The wild colour shift for the slo-mo power activation sequences are especially pretty.

Overall Impression

Hey, that’s actually quite good ! The mystery story is well-constructed, the characters produce some lively banter, there are some decent jokes, and the fight scenes are fun to watch. That it’s not actually an adaptation of anything even gives me hope that it’ll be able to properly pace its story out (an issue that has plagued many recent shows also directed by Seiji Kishi).

So far, so good. Let’s see how it develops.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2014 – Page 4.


(12 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Being a young telepath with soul-crushing angst is apparently no obstacle to starring in a high school comedy show.


Haruka Kotoura, the title character. She’s been able to read the thoughts of people around her ever since her early childhood. As a result, she’s considered a creepy monster. (The show makes a convincing case about how her innocently blurting out secret thoughts would make the lives of everyone around her a living hell.) By the time she transfers to yet another high school, she lives alone and purposely aleniates herself from anyone else (as it’s less painful than people she’s grown to care for eventually leaving her). That’s until she meets…

Manabe, the guy sitting next to her in class. He’s not creeped out at all by Haruka’s mindreading, barely taking notice to try and have a bit less erotic daydreams around her. While he’s a bit of a weirdo, he legitimely wants to be her friend (or more), and promises never to leave her.

The OP/ED indicates that she’s going to make more friends. That’s going to be a tall order indeed. Also, her mother is apparently going to stay as part of the supporting cast, which is a bit surprising given the way she abandoned her daughter.

Production Values

This doesn’t have a high budget, but it knows how to make do with it. In particular, there’s a nice effect with the colours progressively becoming greyer and more monochrome as Haruka’s life spirals into hell, until bright colours smash back in when she meets Manabe.

There’s also quite some creativity with Manabe’s mindscape.

What did I think of it ?

This really should be a hideous style clash, abruptly switching from borderline-manipulative melodrama to “traditional” high-school hijinks. But it’s fiendishly effective, setting up the show’s gimmick and the main couple’s relationship with a poignancy that a pure gag show couldn’t hope for. It helps that the narrative doesn’t cheat : other people’s reactions to Haruka are often unkind, but feel entirely human.

I’m not quite sure how the series can maintain this balance in the long run, but I’m hooked.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2013 – Page 6.

Absolutely Lovely Children: The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke (Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited – Hyoubu Kyousuke)

What’s it about ?

A spin-off show about anime!X-Men’s Magneto figure.

This seems to be original material, after a 2008 TV series that was a semi-close manga adaptation.


Kyousuke Hyoubu really does share a lot of traits with Magneto at his best : charismatic, confident, more than slightly creepy, ridiculously over-powered (there’s a reason the show is subtitled “the Unlimited”), and a body count in the dozens in this episode alone. Despite this being his show, he’s actually positioned as a bit of an antagonist. As he should, really.

Andy Hinomiya is our real protagonist and point-of-view character. He’s a prisoner in an mutant esper detention facility set in some south-american-ish island military dictatorship. His powers are said to be kinda crap (some weak telekinesis ?), but he’s a very good fighter, and there’s definitely more than meets the eye. He catches Hyoubu’s attention, and eventually gets to join the Brotherhood of Mutants his group of esper terrorists PANDRA by the end of the episode.

Yuugiri, a young (?) girl hidden in the depths of the prison. She’s the real reason Hyoubu lets himself get “captured” : his plan was to rescue her from the get-go. Destroying a lab performing evil experiments on esper prisoners doesn’t displease him either. Anyway, he calls her “Queen”, which is quite intriguing. (Has he moved on from Kaoru ?)

Most of the PANDRA members sketched out in the main series are to be part of the cast, obviously. The titular Children aren’t anywhere in sight, although the OP/ED heavily promises that their handler Minamoto is going to show up at some point and be as badass as ever.

Production Values

Quite good. This seems to have more of a budget than the original series, with some impressive action sequences. Overall, the atmosphere is much more serious, with no comedic exaggerations, and character designs of the “noodle people” variety.

Overall Impression

This is a promising start. Hyoubu is an interesting character when he’s not being a lolicon perv, so there’s something to be said for a “serious” spin-off series focusing on his Brotherhood’s action, without the comedy trappings of the main show. (Although, you know, his tsundere telepathic flying squirrel sidekick is still around.)

The good idea here is to have Andy as a protagonist, which gives the series a narrative arc of its own. I really doubt he’ll succeed in bringing Hyoubu down in any meaningful way, but it should be interesting to see him trying against impossible odds.

This is definitely more interesting than I was expecting, and notably better than its parent show. I’m in for the ride.

via [In which I review] New anime, Winter 2013 – Page 4.


(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

Magic-wielding teenage vigilantes.


Sakura, out point-of-view character. She’s the perfect idol of her high school (good-looking, great at studying, beats dudes twice her size in the Aikado dojo, etc.), cares for the homeless, and has enough charisma to pull off not being annoying.

Rei, the new transfer student. The bad news is that Sakura is pretty sure she saw him burning five people to death the night before in a park. She’s initially very distrustful of him, although he behaves so nicely throughout the episode that she’s starting to doubt whether she had hallucinations. This is despite the multiple warning signs, such as him never actually denying he killed those guys, and stating that he has a part-time job as a sanitation worker (is the phrase “taking out the trash” ever used straight ?).

Our baddies are the Falcon Gang, a big gang who are in cahoots with the police and doing random evil such as killing the homeless. Rei’s first set of victims were members, and he sets even more of them on blue fire at the end of the episode.

… just before doing the same thing to Sakura, because who needs loose ends ?

The OP/ED feature prominently four other magic-wielding teenagers who obviously share some connection with Rei, and have a cameo at the end to comment on how “it’s begun” after Rei’s outburst is visible from several blocks away.

Production Values

Not very good.

Overall Impression

I’m usually not one for hardcore vigilante shows, but this one isn’t without its charms. There’s some nice comedy in Sakura & Rei’s interactions, especially when their initial confrontation is mistaken by everyone else as a rejected love confession. It’s exactly the right kind of levity to avoid the series being too grim and gritty to be watchable.

Also, I don’t believe for a second that Sakura really dies at the end, but that’s one heck of a cliffhanger and I’m watching at least the next episode just to see how she gets out of this pickle. (If she does die… well, way to lose my interest, show. But I hope it’s better than that.)

via [In which I review] New anime, Fall 2012 – Page 5.


(13 episodes)

What’s it about ?

An underground fighting ring featuring mindless beasts went horribly wrong the day the 13 of them became sentient, killed everyone in the audience and escaped. Oops. Ten years later, they’re still at large, with at least one of them operating as a serial killer. Double-oops. Carnage and ultraviolence ensues.


Mr Kanzaki used to be a scientist or something at the fighting ring ; he managed to escape with a baby who’s obviously related to the monsters. Ten years later, he’s now a hobo trying to raise the kid as best as he can. Yeah, he was always doomed not to survive the first episode.

Jin, the kid, has a bit of trouble understanding some concepts such as other people not healing almost instantly ; but then it’s obvious “Gramps” dodged a lot of issues. He’s inhumanely strong and fast, and after a moment of intense stress he can transform into ZET, something which looks more like a sentai superhero than the other monsters.

Jin has a couple of friends from a rich family (their daddy disapproves, obviously). He also befriends a “nightclub dancer” after saving her from a mugging, and she’s impressed enough to become his mother figure after “Gramps” bites the dust.

Besides the serial killer (whose body count this episode reaches at least a dozen before Jin puts him down), we see a couple other of the monsters. There’s the mandatory slick dude who works for a conspiracy, but more intriguingly there’s another who seems to work as police (although he doesn’t seem too good at it).

Oh, and there’s a grizzled police detective running around trying to understand what the heck is going on. Good luck, chap.

It seems there’s gonna be a timeskip, with next episode featuring Jin as a teenager.

Production Values

Oh, look, it’s shaky-cam animation, where the editing makes it almost impossible to follow the action sequences around !

Also, the soundtrack’s a bit crap, and that’s even without going into the ludicrously upbeat OP played at the end.

Overall Impression

Urgh. There’s such a thing at taking grim’n’gritty too far, especially when there’s no nuance whatsoever in its depiction of society. (Hobos & night club workers ? Good. Businessmen, and the rich in general ? Bad.) Every single character here is completely one-dimensional, which makes it hard to care about any of them. The plot has no originality whatsoever to it, either.

It’s crap. Not a kind of crap I’ve seen much of recently in anime, but still crap.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2012 – Page 4.

Tiger & Bunny

(24-ish episodes)

What’s it about ?

In the future, there are super-powered people called “NEXT”. The most prominent ones are garish, megacorp-sponsored superheroes who fight crime in a Reality-TV show.


Kotetsu “Wild Tiger” Kaburagi, our protagonist. He’s a veteran superhero who is definitely past his prime (he rates barely above the joke who never does anything, and no self-respecting kid buys his trading cards). He’s in it because he believes in making good (and he needs the money for his wife and kid), but he’s kinda bitter with the whole thing, obviously. It doesn’t help that his sponsor just got bought out, and the new guys want a format change. Which includes teaming up with…

Barnaby Brooks Jr, who somehow has the same powers as Wild Tiger (flying brick for 5 minutes). The dude shows out of nowhere in the “season finale” to hog the spotlight, and makes it clear he’s a “new breed” of superhero, unafraid of showing his true identity to the world. Incidentally, he does less collateral damage than Wild Tiger, which probably endears him to the higher-ups even more.

There are six other super-heroes competing in the show : Blue Rose, the current superstar with impressive ice powers but who’s a bit of a coward ; Rock Bison, the only one Kotetsu could call a friend ; Origami Cyclone, who never does anything but stay in the background for product placement ; Fire Emblem, flaming gay stereotype ; and two others who don’t matter at this stage.

The supporting cast is rounded off by Agnes Joubert, the TV show’s producer, who only cares about ratings, and certainly not civilian lives. (“Nice cliffhanger entrance, Wild Tiger ! Can you just do nothing for 30 seconds while we run some commercials ?”)

Oh, and there’s our threats for the week : a group of bankrobbers who are ridiculously underpowered to face superheroes, but manage to run around for most of the episodes thanks to the latter’s incompetence.

Production Values

Superbly fluid animation for the action sequences (which comprise half of the episode) : this show’s got budget and ain’t afraid to show it. It’s also very good at spoofing Reality-TV shows, including the utterly obnoxious product placement on the superheroes’ character designs.

Overall Impression

Wow, this is AWESOME ! I grinned like a madman from start to end while watching this : it’s very, very funny indeed. Combining superheroes with Reality-TV works beautifully, and there’s a nice balance between enough cynicism to keep things grounded and still some idealism to keep it from being too depressing. It’s a very stupid series, but it’s got enough energy to pull it off.

The preview I’d seen didn’t look very promising, so this is a very nice surprise.

via [In which I review] New anime, Spring 2011.