Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens – Episode 4 (Review)

By: RogueSymbiote

Here be spoilers! You’ve been warned!

As Lin emerges from his suitcase, he quickly realizes that something has gone terribly wrong. Being surrounded by average assassins is one thing, but in the crowd of foes stands the infamous Niwaka Samurai.

Story Arc

After ridiculing Lin about his failed plan to assassinate Yusuke, Zhang orders the Niwaka Samurai to eliminate this crossdressing menace. Lin mentions that Banba will find him, but just then, the Niwaka Samurai tosses a severed head in from of Lin. The goofy hairstyle of the head indicates that Banba has been disposed of by the elite assassin. As the Niwaka Samurai steps forward to eliminate Lin, he subtly utters, “spicy pollack roe.” Lin realizes that this mysterious hitman and Banba are one and the same! Just as this revelation washes over Lin, Banba turns on the entire room of hitmen and easily eliminates them in graphic fashion. The severed head turns out to be from a random corpse made to look like Banba.

Enokida, who appeared to betray Lin, was in fact following the plan set by Banba to confront Zhang and his employees. Both Zhang and Munakata are cut down by the Niwaka Samurai’s blade. The unlikely pair of allies then head off to confront Yusuke. Before Lin and Banba can make it to Yusuke’s location, Jiro and Saito arrive to avenge the framing of Qiaomei’s murder on the would-be assassin. Saito immediately recognizes Asakura Reiko, Yusuke’s bodyguard, as the woman who lured him to the apartment. Jiro immobilizes Asakura and Yusuke hides in fear. Not long after, Banba and Lin show up and begin to search the apartment for Qiaomei’s killer.

Lin opens a closet and finds Yusuke pointing a gun at his head. Saito finds a baseball and hurls it at Yusuke’s head, just in time to change the bullets trajectory and knock the mayor’s son out cold. We learned in a previous episode that Saito used to be a pitcher in high school, but quit after almost killing a batter. Yusuke is restrained and forced to divulge his crimes and outs his father for covering up his actions in a live broadcast. This results in Mayor Harada’s arrest. Yusuke attempts to apologize for the murders which ends in Lin pounding the psychopath’s face in until it is disfigured. Jiro then frames Asakura for Yusuke’s kidnapping and Zhang’s murder.

Lin reveals to Banba he doesn’t feel like he has a place in the world with his family gone. Banba quickly reminds him that he still owes the detective a 5 year supply of spicy pollack roe. The two return to Banba’s apartment for some tonkotsu ramen. Soon after the incident, all of the protagonists come together to form a baseball team, including Lin. Saito has also joined as the pitcher for the team, but has had some minor cosmetic surgery to alter his appearance due to his face being plastered everywhere for murder. The episode ends with the reveal of a new hitman murdering a target and looking extremely bored in the process.

Episode Review

This was the episode I have been waiting for all season! The violence and gore are finally displayed in grand fashion. I enjoyed Banba’s reveal as the Niwaka Samurai. The series does a good job at hinting Niwaka’s identity without giving too much away. Having a fake Banba head as a mislead was pretty genius and caught me off guard. I loved how he used his love for baseball in the fight sequence at the warehouse. One of the hitmen throws a timed bomb at Banba, to which he sheaths his sword and hits it right back at the outclassed assassin. This series isn’t groundbreaking, but it makes me smile and I have a fun time watching. Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens shines in its ability to bring various storylines and characters together seamlessly. Nothing has felt shoehorned in. Having Jiro frame Asakura for everything after she framed Saito was amusing and satisfying. Overall, this episode was fantastic. Plenty of action, great character reveals and a plot that felt well rounded and complete. I’m curious how this new assassin will make trouble for our rag tag baseball team.



8.3 /10


8.2 /10


7.9 /10

What Works

  • The violence and gore are FINALLY put on display.
  • Character reveals are exciting and well executed.
  • Bringing multiple storylines and characters together executed flawlessly.

What Hurts

  • There needs to be more character development for the supporting cast.

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