Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens follows in the same vain as titles like Black Lagoon and Jormungand in that it offers a gritty look into the world of crime, with a solid mix of black comedy and dark drama exploring characters with morally questionable professions. The series focuses on a crossdressing assassin named Lin Xianming who partners up with a detective named Zenji Banba to dispatch rival assassins and crime syndicates within the city of Hakata.
Before I dabble into this anime's more serious material, I should bring up the fun comical timing this series offers up. The title of the series in question is actually the name of the baseball team that Banba and his companions are part of for recreation on the side when not caught up in their criminal activities and adding to that angle, episodes of the series are named after baseball terminology and some action scenes have fun with the baseball motif as Banba usually partakes in baseball-inspired attacks and tactics. Many of the characters have their eccentric character quirks that clash with the violent professions they take up in Fukuoka, but this actually makes for a good balance to the mentioned darker elements of Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens.
And like Jormungand and Black Lagoon, Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens isn't afraid to show just how brutal and merciless the criminal underworld of Hakata can be. Hitmen, assassins, and torturers are shown to be brutally violent when performing their work and several major characters are shown to be negatively effected by their experiences within the criminal underworld. Lin's character story drives much of the show's run as the series explores his rather tragic beginnings of being forcibly raised as an assassin and learning to gradually trust Banba and his companions throughout the remainder of the series, offering the strongest character development of any character within the series. One prominent character within Lin's backstory has more relevance in the last story arc of the series and serves as a rather effective contrast to Lin as to the different experiences they had following their assassin training.
As far as other characters go within Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens, they're a bit of a mixed bag. Some of Banba's companions have their backstories explored in the middle of the series and some hints of their pasts are brought up. But these elements just exist to flesh out the characters and criminal organizations within Hakata, without offering any development to them and other characters within Banba's group are largely one-note throughout the series. Also, the series is largely lacking in major female characters as the few that do have roles are either brief or largely stay in the background and some are used as nameless victims to drive how violent and depraved some of the male criminals in Hakata are.
As mentioned, I wouldn't recommend this series to younger or sensitive audiences as it is often brutally violent in showcasing the killing and torture committed by characters and the clash of black comedy and dark drama found with the actions of its criminal characters won't be for everyone. But if you enjoyed the gritty romps offered up from Black Lagoon and Jormungand, Hakata Tonkatsu Ramens offers similar effective mixing of black comedy and dark drama in exploring its criminal underworld.
Rating: 8 of 10
Someday I’ll be gone To somewhere that we belong And God has never played his role 'Cause I’m the one who saves my soul It’s a perfect world we’re longing for
Dream: Taka: Looks like you didn't click on the link in my last comment. You'll get the DIO nod when you click on it.
Jan 7, 2020 22:15:55 GMT
Master Menos: Dream: I've always been a PC guy anyways. (Yeah, that was funny!)
Jan 8, 2020 4:09:50 GMT
Master Menos: Sidebar updated! Taka: My turn to scratch your back, Taka. 2019 me got really messed up with the job. @_@
Jan 8, 2020 4:53:59 GMT
Taka: Thanks Master Menos! I'll work on finishing the Winter 2020 guide.
Jan 9, 2020 4:50:29 GMT
Dream: My second Funi poll is done. Titles I will be watching and reviewing will include Chobits, Samurai Champloo, Spice and Wolf, Gankutsuou, and Dance in the Vampire Bund. Will let folks know which one I start off tomorrow at some point.
Jan 11, 2020 5:39:30 GMT
Dream: First anime I will sample among the Funi titles is Chobits. As a heads up, the series on Funi's Youtube channel is missing the two recap episodes the series aired. Not that I'll be missing those however.
Jan 11, 2020 15:13:09 GMT
Dream: Wow, never knew Shinbo was Gil, Sousuke, and Domon. More you know.
Jan 11, 2020 17:52:00 GMT
Dream: Just completed Chobits. Will get a review up for it at some point this afternoon.
Jan 18, 2020 18:37:22 GMT
Dream: Will post a little later what the next voted anime will be that I will watch and review.
Jan 18, 2020 19:48:38 GMT
Dream: Next anime up to cover will be Dance in the Vampire Bund. Suppose a short anime will do for now following Chobits.
Jan 18, 2020 21:32:36 GMT
Dream: Concluding things at episode 2 with Vampire Bund for the night. Hoping to get back to Basquatch tomorrow, as long as I'm not swamped with anything.
Jan 19, 2020 3:00:33 GMT
Dream: Geez, it's really quiet. No activity in the forums since I posted my review from yesterday.
Jan 19, 2020 15:57:41 GMT
Taka: I'll email the receipts. The best anime and manga of 2019 will be extended to Wed. I don't get time off for Mon because of community service. Please vote if you haven't yet. Thank you!
Jan 19, 2020 20:44:07 GMT
Dream: Hmmmm... looks like the version of Vampire Bund I'm seeing on Funi's YouTube channel's an edited version. A couple minutes of episode 2 were clearly removed with Mina in nothing but underwear battling human assassins. Then again, recall there was a good...
Jan 19, 2020 22:49:15 GMT
Dream: ...deal of controversy with the series a decade earlier thanks to the seemingly underaged nudity of Mina while in her younger form.
Jan 19, 2020 22:50:13 GMT
Dream: Not sure if I should be donning the nostalgia goggles or not giving a damn. Looks like the original Digimon Adventure series is getting a reboot airing starting in the Spring season.
Jan 21, 2020 3:21:13 GMT
Taka: I'll watch it if there's nothing catching my eye in Spring. winter 2020 was a weak anime season for me.
Jan 22, 2020 18:29:46 GMT
Dream: Wouldn't say it's all bad for me. Have a few titles holding my interest. Just it typically doesn't have as many major titles of note that would hold me over.
Jan 22, 2020 23:54:44 GMT