This week I’m returning to Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens to look at one of the characters who manages to appear in almost every story, play a fairly central role in a lot of the resolutions, and yet gets the absolute least attention. Yes, it is the luckless Saitou Kazuki who after suffering some kind of trauma ends up working for Murder Inc, a job he is utterly ill-suited for, and then through a weird series of events ends up ‘resigning’ and becomes a target for quite a number of would be murderers.
Although, from another point of view, Saitou has fantastic luck. When mistakenly identified as a murderer he manages to convince his kidnappers of his innocence before they do any permanent damage. When down and out without any friends he crosses paths with Banba and the others and ends up joining their baseball team. The nice doctor gives him a new face and identity to help him hide. And when he’s utterly cornered by a murderer Lin happens to be around to help take care of things.
So yeah, he goes through a lot but always pulls through and usually with minimal damage. I wouldn’t be volunteering to trade places with him any time soon, but considering his general lack of skills Saitou gets by just fine.
Unfortunately, Saitou regularly becomes the butt of the joke. He’s the comic relief in a story full of dark doings and characters with tragic back stories. When the hacker is looking for a diversion he sends assassins after Saitou, though he does apologise, and then Saitou spends the rest of the episode running or hiding. It would be hilarious except for the part where he might have been killed.
Still, despite this, Saitou remains a fairly admirable character. In a crazy world full of killers and assassins, Saitou remains one of the more relatable characters. He’s an every-man in over his head but looking out for himself and his friends. Over the course of the series he goes from someone relatively pathetic to someone who knows the score, knows his place and skills, and yet somehow manages to find a way to help even if only in a small way.
You could honestly do worse than having a friend like Saitou.
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