Re: Hamatora Ep. 12 (Finale): The magical otouto

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How can the good guys just accept Art into their group with open arms? Are you kidding me? Sure, he isn’t directly responsible for any of the deaths all series long, but he still aided Freemium in their acts of terrorism. Art’s actions precipitated a chain of events that led to the suffering and deaths of many, so why isn’t he in jail? And if you say he did eventually go to jail as evidenced by his longer hair in the epilogue, then why wasn’t he in jail longer? Everyone looks as though they’re still around the same age. Art thus plunged the entire city into chaos, and a few years (at best) is all he got? Right, right, we’re celebrating his release. The prodigal terrorist has returned home, guys. The last few weeks have been nothing but a bunch of downer episodes, but don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I disliked them! I always felt that the first season wasn’t serious enough, and at times, the second season goofed off too much too. But I thought the story nailed the tone just right in the last few episodes, and I was hoping for an epic conclusion. Instead, the magical otouto reappears to turn everything back to normal, and we’re back to being besties again! Yay!

In fact, I think the show has a penchant for letdowns. I wouldn’t say I expected Momoka, a.k.a. Saikyou, to go out with a bang, but it just feels as though she gave up too easily. Oh, well, I didn’t change along with the world, and now everything’s boring. Best just to end it now! But she’s not the biggest problem. Ultimately, Skill is what makes this episode so disappointing. It looked as though Art had achieved such a complete victory. It took him weeks and weeks to move all the chess pieces in place. Then once he did, he deleted everyone’s Minimums, and it was like the wind had just been knocked out of the good guys. So what do I want in return? I want the good guys to work just as hard to bring things back to normal. I don’t know how they’d do this, but that’s the only way you can do justice to the preceding episodes. Unfortunately, that’s not what we get. Skill shows up — from Nice’s heart, no less — and restores everyone’s Minimums and Egos. Just like that, man. Just like that. And, well, that’s it. C’mon, that’s just lame. The bad guy flips the switch, then the good guys simply flip it back. What’s the point in that? What was all that build-up for if Skill could just undo everything in seconds? I realize we only have twelve episodes to tell the story, but the ending just felt rushed.

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Lerche definitely did a better job than NAZ. The animation is much better this time around, and the same can be said about the storytelling as well. Still, Hamatora as a whole is tough to recommend. You can’t really watch the second season without watching the first season, but large swathes of the first season was aimless and boring. There were so many inconsequential side stories (like the one at the bathhouse), but the worst part is, you couldn’t really skip them either. The narrative liked to squeeze in short but important plot-developing bits with Moral in every episode, so even if you wanted to skip stuff that felt like filler, you couldn’t. In the end, the first season became a chore to watch and I stopped blogging it from week to week. But again, if you didn’t watch it, then you were likely lost with the second season. Having said that, the second season wasn’t perfect either. There were still too many goofy moments interspersed with the more serious moments. Like why am I watching silly hijinks at the hospital? Or the good guys staging a play when Art is delivering a powerful speech? I know the goal there was to develop the relationship between Nice and Hajime, but I can’t help wondering, “Don’t we have better things to do?”

In a season with plenty of shows about people with special powers — and thus being ostracized from society for said powers — Tokyo Ghoul did it best by trying to focus on the personal side of the story… for the most part. It still faltered, but it succeeded where it could. Tokyo ESP, on the other hand, is pretty bad. Rinka is not a compelling protagonist, and the bad guys are pretty unconvincing. So where does Hamatora fit in? I feel like it straddles the line between the two aforementioned anime series. Hamatora did a pretty decent job developing Art’s motivations, so it beats Tokyo ESP out on that front. The ending, however, was such a letdown. It will please the people who want a happy ending to everything — minus all the of people who died from Freemium’s actions, of course — but to me, it just felt like a cop-out. We ran out of time, so let’s just trot out the magical otouto. So flashbacks dominated the early part of this episode as the narrative quickly tries to develop Skill’s backstory. But when you thrust a character on me like this, it’s hard to engage my sympathies. And it’s even harder when Skill just undoes everything Art had worked so hard to accomplish. Obviously, I don’t agree with Art, but I just think he deserved a better send off than a half-ass suicide attempt because he failed in a matter of seconds.

11 thoughts on “Re: Hamatora Ep. 12 (Finale): The magical otouto

  1. koko

    Art diretly commited murder on at least 3 persons (Moral, Skill and the freemum guy) and all he gets is 6 months of jail?!


  2. eternia

    This anime’s ending is embarrassingly bad, showing how any average dumbo can get a job as anime writer in Japan. This guy Art caused a nation wide rebellion and a mass amount of chaos, deaths and panic, directly and indirectly. An execution is in order. Yet he’s released after some questioning and chills around in a cafe downtown, Lol. We didn’t see him handcuffed or put behind the bars, mind you.
    WTF were the writer thinking?

    1. Sherris

      To be fair, the police probably didn’t want to have their image tarnished by an ex-cop and ex-chief who turned terrorist, so they could whitewash Art’s acts all the way they liked. In the end, he could only be charged with being a member of an NGO which happened to partake in terrorism at one point.

  3. akeem

    This episode almost redeemed itself when nice failed to catch Art, a few minutes later I see Art and I remember I’m still watching Hamatora. The stupid trope of having some sibling’s death be your sole motivation needs to stop. I liked that she committed suicide but it would have been better if she was on the ground trying to enjoy what she helped to create, it just felt too rushed.
    I’m not surprised they accepted Art really, I didn’t even give it a second thought until reading this. There just wasn’t any way the would have turned him down even though he ruined the lives of some people and messed up a city and caused so many people pain.

  4. Nafunu Zap

    Total deaths caused (either directly or indirectly) by art: Moral, Nice (he tried to anyway), Skill, the freemum leader, and any non-minimum casualties caused by the freemum riots (not including those directly affected by that one freemum member who had the singing minimum which was at the very least killed a whole train full of women and children apparently. apparently that’s all fine and dandy in terms of the hamatora gang accepting art back into the fold (all those dead ppl were probably bitches anyways, right?). but what about art’s partner? i guess nice-kun or anyone else doesn’t give two shits for art’s poor buddy, who just wanted art to trust in him (even on his “deathbed”). and what does he get for it? blood boiling! i assume thats gotta be pretty painful, being boiled alive from the inside out. not that i think the ending was all that good, but i think it would have helped to have their “best friends forever and ever” picture have a ghost Gasquet behind the gang flipping everyone off……”why art, why? i just wanted you to trust in meeeeeee!”


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