Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 3: Game On

Review:

Well, this anime just became my favourite of this season (still sitting underneath March Comes in Like a Lion which carried over from last season). The first two episodes interested me and started getting me drawn into these characters and their world but episode 3 consolidated everything I wanted from this show. Between the great sound track, betrayals, murder, and all of the general chaos, this is a great start to a season.

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Saito decides to do something about his situation and seeks out the avengers to frame the guy who framed him (sounds like it could be fun). This plot doesn’t get a huge amount of development but the seeds are there and it is definitely going to mess up other plans later on. More importantly, at least Lin and everyone else is smart enough to realise Saito has clearly been framed and not one person actually believes he killed the girl.

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As for Lin, he gets a very cool opening sequence when he goes to confront his former boss. The boss kind of bothers me because he has had countless chances to actually kill Lin and each time he ends up gloating and not actually doing it. In the office he gloats about how he’s been pocketing the money that Lin thought he was sending to his mother (who has apparently been dead for five years). That’s kind of petty and gloating about it just makes this guy look even more pathetic. Though I guess then we don’t just wonder about why Lin isn’t dead at the end of the episode given this guy already has a clearly established M.O of talking too much.

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Meanwhile, Lin isn’t the only one being targeted now as Banba’s also stuck his nose in too far. Lin and Banba teaming up was inevitable so I’m glad they didn’t drag it out and have Lin act stubborn for half a season before they got to this point. Still, it won’t matter if they don’t find a way to avoid the hitman who is clearly going to be coming for them sooner rather than later.

Basically, this was a lot of fun (you know if you don’t mind murder in your stories) and there’s plenty of characters to like and despise in various measures and plenty of plots bubbling away. I’m looking forward to seeing where this should go next but I’m very glad I picked this show up this season.


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Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 2: The Plot Thickens

Review:

This is fast becoming my favourite new show from the winter season. The first episode was interesting but I didn’t want to get too excited because there was such a large cast and so many ways for things to fall apart, but the second episode carefully built on the ideas from episode 1 and now we’re kind of in a good place for a fairly decent story.

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Lin get’s the lion’s share of attention this week as he refused to kill the private detective, Banba, until he’s paid for a job from the last episode (not that he actually did the job it was just the person ended up dead regardless). This episode sees some fairly interesting interaction between Banba and Lin as Lin essentially moves in to stop any other hitman from taking Banba out until he gets paid. Banba ultimately deals with this in the most sensible manner; he offers Ling money for information. But that wouldn’t make for a good story if Lin got his money and paid off his debt and lived happily ever after. The final moments of the episode give Ling strong and compelling motivation to stick it out and to get very involved in what is coming.

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However, it isn’t all about Lin, and we learn more about Saito (poor guy just can’t catch a break). After being mistaken for someone else last week and being kidnapped by the Avengers, on his release he ends up getting paid anyway because someone else has taken out the target (turns out there’s a connection to the mayor’s idiot son, much like Ling’s story so everything is kind of coming together). Saito decides to have a night out on the town but his luck really has not improved and it will be interesting to see the fallout.

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Meanwhile, part of me wonders about all the tourism plugs for food and theatre that pepper this story. While it would make sense in a slice of life or similar story, it seems weird for a hitman to be trying to sell travel to a particular city or region. Yet all those little details are helping to make the setting feel realistic even while the story is pretty far-fetched. It will be interesting to see if they continue to take this path going forward. Either way, I’m really enjoying this series so far.


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If you enjoyed this post and like the blog, consider becoming a patron to support further growth and future content.

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Karandi James.

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