Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – 01 (First Impressions)

Three percent of the population of Fukuoka’s Hakata district is hitmen. In the first Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, we meet a number of them…and I don’t like any of them. They’re either dull, or assholes, or both.

One of the assholes is a cross-dressing dude who is trying to kill his way out of debt for his little sister’s sake. He’s hired to murder an employee at a club who was skimming profits to the tune of 10 million.

Many hours later, a shaggy detective is tasked with discovering the club employee’s murderer…only to be the cross-dressing hitman’s next target.

Another asshole is the son of the mayor, who has a habit of abducting women, taking them to hotels and beating them to death if they won’t let him have his way with them.

This horrific monster is the spawn of Hakata’s mayor, who suggests minimizing his own exposure by giving the brat women with no families who have recently been brought into the country via human trafficking.

Meanwhile, the brat’s friends lynched a foreigner who is now in a coma, and the foreigner’s foreigner friend wants revenge, so calls upon some hitmen, which includes a little blonde girl, because sure, why not.

They end up mistaking another hitman hired to kill the attacker, who is on his first job since being transferred to Hakata from Shinjuku by the professional killing company he works for, RED RUM (har har).

Mr. Shaggy Detective has some conversations and does some snooping around the club, which leads to the aforementioned cross-dressing hitman to come after him. However, the cross-dressing hitman isn’t very good at his job, and the detective is able to make the first move.

This is all very dreary and unappealing so far. An entire city of hitmen is obviously ridiculous, so this show scaled it back to “three percent”, which is probably an abnormally large proportion but it doesn’t sound like a lot, it just sounds kinda limp.  And it doesn’t really matter how many hitmen reside in Hakata if none of them could create a single positive impression on me. Pass.

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Jormungand – 11

As the team prepares for a small-time job with the mafia, Valmer reaches a breaking point with her dreams and goes off on her own. Suspecting something like that might happen, Koko ordered Jonah to follow her. She is after Cheng Guo-Ming, Karen’s boss, who was the one who massacred her UN unit and took her eye in Africa. Meanwhile, a group of hitmen prepare to target Koko & Co., led by Dominique, who proposes they take out one of her men at a time, starting with Ugo. When the mafia deal goes sour, Koko shoots the boss and her men kill the rest. Afterwards Dominique, Gregoire and Liliane make their move at Koko’s hotel.

Just last episode we brought up the fact that Koko and her team have handily succeeded in pretty much every mission they’ve taken on, with no loss of men and minimal consequences. Well, scratch all that, because consequences come hard and fast in this episode, and a distracted Koko never sees it coming. Orchestra and Chinatsu weren’t very, uh, discreet in their attempted hit on Koko (they mostly just emptied clips in her general vicinity). Their brazenness was beated by the skill and discipline of Koko’s team. This time, the hitmen not only have their shit together, but are led by someone who isn’t going to make any rash mistakes. This time, people die. This time, Koko looks like she’s in some real trouble.

The first thing she says in this episode is that the 3-truck mafia thing is “no big deal”, but she’s fine with a small job since there’s a bigger missile deal on the horizon. We knew right then and there this wasn’t going to be the piece of cake she expected it to be. The loss of Valmer and Jonah meant a serious hit to her strength, while her decision to kill the mafia boss – who offered drugs instead of cash – led her men to momentarily question whether it was such a good idea. That, and the fact they exerted themselves that night, and their missing comrades made them ripe for an ambush, and that’s what Dominique gives them. Like we said, this is quite the pickle, and there will be lasting repercussions.


Rating: 9 (Superior)


Car Cameo:
There’s no clear shots of the whole car, but Team Kill Koko is definitely riding in a BMW 7-Series (F01), judjing by its headlamps and other styling cues.