ゴーヤは血に濡れて – The Blood-soaked Bitter Melon
After an entire week’s worth of far-fetched speculations, episode 8 finally airs. As if watching last week’s ending was not painful enough, the opening of this week’s episode taunts us with almost two excruciating minutes of a recap of Art’s brutal ‘murder’. The use of quotation marks clearly illustrates my take on the matter – I absolutely refuse to believe that Art is gone. Hamatora is a series, of which the characters have powers, isn’t it? Somewhere, someway, somehow, I am desperately hoping that we will see the real Art again.
This week’s episode did not do very much for me. As I was still recovering from last week’s shock, I was thoroughly exasperated when we were presented with somewhat of a filler episode. Not much went on this week, with regards to Art’s fate and Moral’s plan. We were only given a snippet at the end, of Moral about to conduct mass surgery on what appeared to be corpses. Undoubtedly, he is planning something massive. But just what, we are still not told exactly. As Moral so zealously expressed, his ideal will soon become a reality. How soon is soon? With only four episodes left, I can only hope that the remaining episodes cast some light on the shadow that has been hovering over the series.
This week also saw the introduction of a new character. From what I gathered, she appeared to be working with/for Moral. After ‘killing’ Art, he left his body to her. Additionally, she was also by his side during the would-be mass surgical procedure. So just who might she be? Although I was curious about her sudden introduction, the episode did not seem to focus that much on her. And therefore, I shall choose to dismiss her as unimportant.
Moving on… our Hamatora team were sent on a job in Okinawa this week. Nice and Moral were hired by their client to capture his brother, who was manufacturing Ideal – a drink that put the consumer in a state of perpetual sleep. And the background to this case? Older brother (drug manufacturer), having faced nothing but rejection/hardship, decided to ‘help’ others in the same boat by letting them escape into their ideal dreamland. ‘Helping’ others proved to be insufficient for him, as he eventually succumbed to the allure of escaping into dreamland himself. As it turned out, he was ashamed of falling behind his younger brother (Hamatora’s client). However, all’s well that ends well, as it did for the brothers. Older brother eventually did awake from his slumber, only to assure younger brother that he will soon catch up with him.
Lovely sibling care & concern aside, this issue of escapism begs the question – to what lengths would you go to get away from the harsh realities of life? I do think that Murasaki summed it up very nicely for viewers. Being happy in a dream means nothing. Even if you do run away, reality is going to stay messed up. How much longer can you keep running? What good will that do? Tough as it may be, problems rarely ever go away unless we actively seek to solve them. Life might knock us down, but we cannot let it. Once again Hamatora, thank you for yet another life lesson~
I suppose this episode was not a complete loss, as there was quite a shift in focus. We see more of Nice, Murasaki and the interaction between the pair. Once again, Nice displayed his sharp detective/deductive skills. The boy has such a keen sense of awareness, it really is quite impressive.
Looking beyond that, however, we were also presented with the other side of the picture, being Murasaki’s envy. As he very grudgingly put it, the correct answer just occurs to Nice so naturally, that it crushes ordinary people who struggle so hard just to think. There there Murasaki, it is alright… we can’t all be geniuses. But yes, I do understand how you feel. When you try so very hard but there are some people who excel without the need for much time or effort, it just seems so unfair. And even more so when you are supposedly the best and someone else comes along and snatches that position from you without even trying.
Even though Murasaki is envious of Nice, he did not let losing get to him. We see him still trying hard to be at the top of his game. The fighting spirit within him is strong and I do enjoy watching the friendly rivalry between the pair. What really touched me, however, was witnessing the camaraderie between them. Case in point – when Murasaki asked, “what if I didn’t reach in time”, to which Nice replied “no way that would happen”. The amount of trust between them, and all the Hamatora members for that matter, is extremely admiring and endearing.
To sum up, yay for more of Nice and Murasaki, but sighs that there was nothing more on real Art. Oh HiroC, only for you, I cry. Honestly, the man does such a convincing dying voice, it really pulls at the heartstrings and leaves me utterly astounded. It would be a sheer waste not to hear him (i.e. see the real Art). Please Hamatora, work your magic minimum and bring real Art back already!