The season is winding down and with it comes Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens’ final story arc. When an old foe appears in Hakata, Lin must decide whether he wants to face his past or run and live to fight another day. The stakes are high in this week’s thrilling episode of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens!
Japanese Original Episode Title: ショートストップ
Lin and Banba team up to take down the members of the Kakyu Association, but the former starts to realize he’s gotten a bit too comfortable in his new life in Hakata and tries to make a clean break. But when a face from his past suddenly appears in the city, Lin is faced with a difficult decision: either stay and settle an old score or run for the hills.
Calm Before the Storm: How do you follow up the emotional sucker punch that was last week’s episode? With a few lighthearted baseball hijinks, that’s how! Episode 10 opens with Banba and Shunsuke (aka. The Submarine Ninja) duking it out in the batting cages and it’s just as hilarious as you’d imagine.
Water: There’s a scene early on that takes place on the water, but rather than looking like the water has been animated, it looks like someone animated the characters over shots of real water.
The world seemed to stand still: After a day of shopping, Lin hears a familiar whistling that dredges up memories from his past. Rather than showing the scene unfold in real time, everything seems to slow down as Lin looks for the source of the whistling. It’s a really cool technique that puts an emphasis on Lin’s reaction while still taking note of the setting: a busy pedestrian crosswalk during rush hour.
Shower scene: Finally a bit of fanservice, via Lin of all people! Halfway through the episode, we get a shower scene that gets the viewer up close and personal with the cross-dressing hitman… he’s really… really… REALLY fit…
Themes & Trivia
Are you his boyfriend?: After teasing us with Banba’s ex back in Episode 6, we finally get confirmation that she did in fact date Banba once upon a time. But, she seems to have no hard feelings about the split, even going so far as to ask Lin if he and Banba are dating… a common theme in the show. #IShipIt
First name basis: So, it makes sense that Banba and Sayuri are on first name terms with one another… and usually I wouldn’t bring it up except that this is the first time in the series that someone uses Banba’s first name casually. Not even Lin, who is living with Banba, calls him Zenji…
Bland Name Store: Lin goes shopping at a local convenience store 24 Shop, and given the color scheme of the signage, the place looks eerily similar to the 7-11 convenience store chain.
Dear John Letter/It’s not you, it’s me: Lin realizes that he’s getting too comfortable with Banba and decides it’s time for him to move on. So, he does what anyone would do, he leaves a goodbye letter… albeit a very short goodbye letter, but, it does the job.
The last episode set up the groundwork for the final story arc and this week’s episode charges full steam ahead, The pieces are all in play and now it’s time to watch and see where the chips land… I used to think Banba was the main protagonist of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, and while he does feature prominently in the story, it’s becoming increasingly more apparent that the anime is really about Lin.
The Final Inning
With Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens winding down, you’d think things would settle down a bit. WRONG! If Episode 10 is any indication, the anime is definitely going to go out with a bang and I can’t wait to see where this crazy journey takes us! With just two episodes left there’s no telling what the Ramens have in store for us! Hope to see you guys next week!!
What did you think of this week’s episode of Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens? How do you think the series is going to end? Are you going to miss it as much as I will? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Winter 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!