予言者の苦悩 – Prophet’s Torment
The bromance was strong in this week’s episode of Hamatora. From a funny hospital scene (sentence of the episode: “Technically, hospitals are supposed to prevent anyone from going to heaven”) with Birthday and Ratio, to another more sombre hospital scene, we are given a flashback to their childhood, which reveals so much more about the close friendship between the pair.
Being constantly shunned by others because of a natural, but uncommon, ability would have an adverse impact on any normal person. Even more so when said person is just a child. Having been avoided by people all his life, Ratio no doubt built walls to protect himself. As Birthday tells us, Ratio kept his distance from people to avoid getting hurt. That is, of course until Birthday came along. In his forceful and assertive manner, Birthday reached out to Ratio. And according to the both of them, Birthday killed Ratio. Or rather, he killed who Ratio used to be; he killed his past. We see a paradox to this, as it was through killing Ratio that Birthday had actually saved him. The fake prophet was now dead and Ratio could live on as himself. Awww~~ although, on a more serious note, that scene really made me think – could I actually kill someone to save him/her? (The concept of euthanasia came to mind)
Of course, their friendship is not at all one-sided. Birthday might have saved Ratio from his self-misery, but Ratio in turn saved Birthday. It was because of the bet that they had, about killing and dying and what not, that Birthday pulled through the operation. In my opinion, his fighting spirit and will to live could be partly attributed to Ratio and his then budding friendship with the boy. We see from then on, the start of a very close and stable friendship between the two, built on a strong foundation of mutual trust. Again, awww~~
And so, as it turns out, my guess from episode 4 was completely wrong. Birthday does(did?) have an incurable disease! It was a terminal illness predicament! Okay, I know I should not be laughing, but I can’t help it. It was quite funny when I found out. So anyway, it was then revealed that nobody knows when Birthday might have a relapse. I guess this now definitely explains his devil-may-care attitude. Although some might perceive his carefree attitude negatively, I can’t help but wish that I had such an approach to life. Just live life to the fullest, have all the fun you can and not over-think and worry too much. Let’s let that be this episode’s takeaway ^^
Then there is this week’s crime, a reverse kidnapping, so to speak. Chiyuu, fellow Facultas Academy friend of the Hamatora members, was allegedly kidnapped. And her manager called on Birthday and Ratio for help. However, things were not what they appeared to be, as it turned out that the manager was the one who arranged for the kidnapping to take place, as he was targeting Chiyuu’s friend, Misty.
And the backdrop? Two fellow artists vying for a chance at a collaboration project with some big-shot director. There is Chiyuu, who is less popular but whose works contain so much depth and meaning. Then there is Misty, who is insanely popular and earns way more money than Chiyuu does, but whose works just do not have the avant-garde quality that garners critical acclaim like Chiyuu’s does. What viewers get with a setting like this, is jealousy and empty desire. We see clearly, Misty’s envy towards the credibility that Chiyuu gets. And so, even though Misty has fame and fortune, she still isn’t happy. Sound familiar? This is pretty much an everyday occurrence in real life. When are we ever satisfied with what we have? When will we ever stop wanting more? That desire and need for more are what consume people, leaving them empty and soul-less. Because, the more one wants and the more one takes, the more one forgets why one wants and one just ends up wanting more for nothing. A dangerous path that many people take without awareness. Very dangerous indeed.
In other news, we find out that Art had a brother, who was friends with all of Hamatora as well. Honestly, I NEEDS to see more Art (and in turn hear more of HiroC). He is not getting enough screen time and I am not too happy about it. There is so much that Hamatora still isn’t telling us and we are already 6 episodes in! Why doesn’t Art have any powers? We were given a little snippet of that in episode 2 but that has not been further elaborated on. I hope that we will be given more information on this in the episodes to come. And speaking of screen time, Nice is another character who has not been seen much either. The only thing we were given this week was his fanboy face! Isn’t he supposed to be our protagonist? Come on Hamatora, much as I enjoy watching the Birthday & Ratio combination, I would like a move on the storyline, with more detailed explanation please!
Although I mentioned last week that I could expect to see more of Moral this week, he barely appeared. In fact, I doubt Ono Yuuki actually spoke. Other than the reuse of one of the previous episode’s clip, he had no new lines. A pity, as I do still think that he is doing quite a good job as the series’ psycho. The only good thing to come out of it is that we get a little sneak peek into his shape-shifting powers.
So then.. what will greet us in the next episode? When will the seemingly similar Nice and Moral (note: their “look like he’s having fun – 楽しそう” comment is a dead giveaway) finally have a showdown? Hamatora appear to be getting closer to solving the overarching mystery of the serial killer, as we hear in the final scenes that Nice finally figured out that Moral is pulling the strings. However, the episode ends just as quickly as that fact was revealed. And so, as always, looking forward to next week’s episode~