Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens Episode 5: Ask a ninja

In many ways, this week's episode seemed like a bit of a throwaway, but I suppose it was trying to start up a few different stories. I can't really say that I'm fully on board with the baseball parts, but I think the main story about the new ninja hitman seems interesting so far. I think part of the trouble I have with this series is that I feel like it tries too hard to keep Saitou relevant.

I thought the idea of having Saruwatari become a copycat for the Niwaka Samurai to draw him out was pretty good. With the way Saruwatari complains about weak opponents, he's a natural fit for the role of hitman killer. Still, I think the show's kinda screaming at us that he'll eventually join the main cast by featuring his baseball history in this episode.

I'm not sure what's going on with the shady job website. It's a funny gag, but it seemed like something that will become relevant later. I was expecting Saruwatari to start taking jobs from the site or something.

I really liked this scene with Banba and Lin. It really baited me into thinking that Lin would fall for Banba's obvious taunt, but he ended up throwing it back in Banba's face. My only issue is that the preview shows Lin in the Niwaka Samurai outfit next week, so I hope this scene doesn't get wasted.

My big gripe in this episode was the big confrontation at the end. The way it tried to put together Banba's baseball advice with the shaky train scene felt way too forced to me. It seemed more like the show was trying to make the baseball aspect relevant to the main characters by shoving it in my face. I guess I expect more from this show.

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