汗と筋肉と私 – Sweat, Muscles and Me
The title very nicely and succinctly sums up this week’s episode of Hamatora. Not your typical onsen (hot springs) episode, but still it was all about the onsen and what went on in the onsen. There was Sweat in the form of Arata’s minimum; there were Muscles in the form shirtless dudes roaming the onsen; then there was Me shamelessly savouring the entire episode ^^
We start things off with Honey’s little speech. What I gathered – beware of fatigue, say ‘no’ to the blood vessels in your brain getting damaged, stop risking your life. To sum it up, make sure to rest and play and not overwork. And so, for the sake of efficiency, let’s go to the onsen! Very good advice Honey, very good.
I rather favour Honey’s character. Building up from last week’s introduction, we see more of her interactions with the rest of the Hamatora members. From what has been shown so far, Honey is fierce, quick, sharp, spunky and takes great pride on her femininity. I find it a very good combination for a female character to have, as we see that Honey definitely stands her ground against the rest of the male characters in the series. This is not to say that the other ladies get overshadowed – oh no, very much the contrary. The ladies of Hamatora can definitely pull their own weight and I am sure that in a match with the guys, they would probably be the ones standing on top!
The entire episode was mostly fluff and gag. I guess the playful scene immediately after the OP sequence set the mood for a nice and light episode. As always, we see the Hamatora members at Nowhere café. Birthday was ever so cheeky, with his suggestive phrases (lol he actually dared to invite Honey to go skinny dipping with him when Three was present) and naughty taunts. That aside, I very much enjoyed junjun’s voice acting. As was the case with his character, Grell, in Kuroshitsuji, he sounds less like he is working and more like he is just trying to have fun with this role. You can tell from the way he changes up his voice that he is really enjoying playing this character, at least that is how I view it. And I have to say, hearing him have fun makes me have lots of fun watching his character. Really, voice actors bring so much more to the anime watching experience and this is a fine example of a seiyuu doing his job well and enticing the fans to want to watch more.
So, this week’s story involved a case at the onsen. Again, the different pairs are sent on different cases, but their cases end up converging. And where do they meet? The onsen of course! Ratio and Birthday are sent to track the crown prince of the Abachahat Republic. Said prince is fond of Japan and occasionally sneaks off on his own to go to the 10,000 Year Club (onsen place). Sound familiar? I was instantly reminded of Jasmine, from Aladdin, sneaking off to the market place by herself. Meanwhile, Nice and Murasaki are sent on a spy mission. They were hired to follow a crazy lady’s so-called boyfriend, Arata who works as a masseur at the onsen. Two very disjointed cases which collide towards the later part of the episode.
One thing led to another and the characters eventually met up at the onsen. Some were there to enjoy – Three on the massage chair, simply hilarious; Hajime going on an eating spree, very expected but also funny. On the other hand, some were there for work – Birthday, Murasaki, Nice and Ratio. What initially started out to be a peaceful onsen trip turned out to be a crime scene, as a gang of dudes infiltrated the place and started taking the male population in the onsen hostage. Yes, you read it right, only the men because they had absolutely no interest in the women at all. Honey was severely insulted and threw a hissy fit at this, no doubt.
As it turned out, the leader of the gang was Arata, the allegedly cheating boyfriend whom our main pair was sent to spy on. Blond and gifted with muscles, Arata was this week’s ‘villain’. The jaw-dropping moment was when he revealed his minimum – super sit-ups? No. Abs power? No. His minimum is what he calls a ‘seduction minimum’. When his sweat (eww) mixes with the steam, people exposed to the mixture fall prey to his charms. Not knowing any better, Birthday and Ratio were affected by Arata’s minimum. It was a very disturbing scene, but also highly amusing. What with Birthday screaming “I see a new possibility” and Ratio replying “Don’t look, don’t open the door”, only to be affected by Arata’s minimum just seconds after. That entire scene had me in stitches.
Jokes aside, it was then revealed that Arata wanted to use his minimum to seduce the prince, so that he could reinstate his idol, Seiji. We see the dangers of fandom in this week’s episode. Arata went to such great lengths to reinstate a fallen idol. He proclaimed his love for said idol, and declared that he loved everything about Seiji – from his relationships to his loves to his sins. Because that is what fans do. Wow, the dude’s taken obsession to a whole new level. What a fanboy. Of course, he is not one we should be concerned with any more, as Hamatora managed to subdue him and all is once again well at the 10,000 Year Club.
Rather surprisingly, Hajime was the one who put an end to the whole fiasco. Her character definitely stole the show this week. We see her in action for the first time, kicking bad guy butt! She’s actually not just a spaced out foodie. Sure, she loves food so much, to the extent that she saved Arata to get the Deluxe dinner voucher. However, we see from this episode that she is also a very reliable member and can hold her own in a fight.
Having said all that, we can’t have a mystery show without a little mystery. And we indeed get a little cliffhanger at the end of this week’s episode. As it confused me (I am getting way too confused with all these new episodes lately), I am not going to write much about it. So here’s a picture to show just what happened.
Not much of Moral this week. But with that twist at the end of the episode, I expect he will resurface next week. And with him, we will probably also see more of Art. As was with last week, I’m looking forward to next week’s episode~