I really like this anime a lot, and you may have heard mixed things about it, but hear me out. It may be similar to Durarara! and Baccano, but it still takes a unique turn on some aspects that make it stand out to me. I haven’t watched Baccano yet, but I have watched DRRR, and I’d say even at this point in the show, I like it better than that.
You also may be a bit shocked to see that I’m talking about a seasonal anime, as I generally don’t watch them until the season is over. The only other one I’m watching is The Ancient Magus’ Bride, and I will watch My Hero Academia weekly when the dub airs. But I happened to see someone mention this show on Twitter, so I added it to my list and when I finished a different anime up, I watched the four episodes that were out in one sitting.
I’ll definitely be staying with this one until the season is over, and this post will explain why. I’ll have a follow up post when the anime is finished, and some of the points I make in this one could change for that one.
The city of Fukuoka is riddled with hitmen agencies, where about 3% of the population works as a hitman. Among this community of hitmen, there is a mysterious “hitman of hitmen,” the Nawaka Samurai that they are wary of.
Our main characters are Zenji Banba, a detective; and Lin Xianming, a hitman who was sent by his agency to kill Banba. He’s working as a hitman to earn money to pay off the debt his family has acquired, specifically to help his sister get back on her feet. Through a turn of events, Lin teams up with Banba and they work together on jobs.
The concept isn’t anything too out there. But there are aspects of it that really make it flow well and make it a very enjoyable watch.
Well Paced and Easy to Follow
I love the pacing of this show, and how it switches between different aspects of the same overlying issue, and how there are hints to figure out what’s going to happen next. If you don’t pay too close attention, you’ll be surprised. Personally I’ve only picked up on one or two small details and was able to make conclusions, though others may be able to figure it out quicker than me. I tend to not pay too close attention to shows in my first watch so it can do its thing and I allow the twists to happen as they do, so I can be surprised. When I go back, I try to find all of the pieces to the puzzle. This show has been one of few where I felt like I could follow everything easily and only some things come to a big surprise to me. Which to some may be a con, but I take it as a huge pro.
In comparison to DRRR, I could hardly follow that show, especially in its second season. It was a bit overwhelming in the pacing and how many characters there were. I still think it was a fun show to watch, but this is the big thing I like about Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens more. Everything is clear, and though there’s still a decent sized cast, it’s easy to remember who’s who and why they are important to the story, unlike DRRR.
A small bit I found interesting is how Lin Xianming’s crossdressing plays into the story. For the most part, when someone comments about it, something like “Oh, you even dressed like a girl for this job,” he just corrects them that this is just how he likes to dress and the story goes on. So far, there’s been one instance where it becomes a part of the event that was happening. In a majority of anime I’ve watched with crossdressing characters, that’s generally not the case. It’s refreshing to see. And it’s not an overbearing feature of Lin’s character. I generally forget the fact while I’m watching.
The baseball aspect was an interesting spin I wasn’t really expecting. All of the episodes have titles related to baseball, and all of the main characters are a part of a baseball team on their spare time. Which leads to the title of the anime: the name of their team is the Hakata Tonkostu Ramens. I think the purpose for this part is to show that these characters are still human, and though they make a living off killing people, they still have a want to have fun sometimes. It doesn’t make any of them close to good people, but it makes them seem less like killing machines and more like the people they really are.
Also, the music, for the opening, ending, and background, is amazing, and that’s really why I think people say it seems like Baccano. At least from what I know about Baccano, since I have yet to watch that, though I want to.
I’m thoroughly enjoying this anime. I look forward to the new episode every Friday, though I’m always a week behind, since I don’t have Crunchyroll Premium. One of these days when I have enough money I finally will.
I would like to follow some other winter anime, though the only one that I’ve thought about watching is How to Keep a Mummy. It just looks so cute! I’ll be looking at what other bloggers have to say about the winter season, and maybe I’ll watch some when the season is over. I’m still playing catch up with other seasons!
I didn’t go too in depth here, but that’s because I’d like to leave any more critical claims to be made when I’ve seen the entirety of the show. That and this was meant to be up Tuesday, but I never finished it, and I still wanted to write this. I’ve been falling behind on my schedule, and it all comes down to procrastination… something I really want to break, at least for the most part.
By the end of this year I hope to have a solid schedule. Twice a week T/F. Until then, please be patient with my weird posting schedule!
I’ll have a post up tomorrow, and next Friday is my OWLS post, which I’m super excited about!