OP: 「JUST ONE LIFE」 by SPYAIR
「サムライフラメンコ、デビュー!」 (Semurai Furamenko, Debyuu!)
“Samurai Flamenco, Debut!”
Model by day, superhero by night! Welcome
As a young child, Hazama Masayoshi (Masuda Toshiki) always dreamed of becoming a superhero when he grew up… I mean, don’t we all? Unlike most children though, Masayoshi never gave up on this dream – even when he knew that superheroes don’t actually exist. As he grew up, he didn’t have very many talents, but luckily ended up being spotted by his manager and became a model. This didn’t extinguish his hopes of becoming a hero though and instead, he creates a suit to hide his identity and prowls the streets looking for crime to stop. On his first night, Masayoshi tries to stop a drunk man from smoking in a nonsmoking zone, he gets beat up and meets an actual cop, Goto Hidenori (Sugita Tomokazu). Hidenori lets him off the hook, but he also ends up befriending Masayoshi and even saves him from a gang of loitering teenagers. The episode ends there, but not before Masayoshi makes debuts on “Nutube”.
My first initial impression how much Samurai Flamenco resembles TIGER & BUNNY. Masayoshi and Hidenori remind me of Tiger and Barnaby… except in reverse roles. Masayoshi is the model that wants to be a hero and help others, whereas Tiger was the father that always seemed a little naïve. Not to mention that Masayoshi and Barnaby are both family-less and models… living the upscale life. Unlike Tiger and Barnaby though, Masayoshi and Hidenori have a connection that sparks up in the first episode. The duo has great chemistry – with the basis being the value system that they both share. They both want to protect and help people. Whereas Masayoshi pretends to be a superhero fighting crime, Hidenori is an actual cop – who isn’t seen as a crazy person lecturing children. I don’t know how interesting they are as individual characters yet, but together they’re quite comedic and lively. Even when they trail off topic and make the most obscure metaphors to curry, it’s entertaining to watch (and not awkward at all when one of them is forced to wear a garbage bag for pants).
As an introductory episode for an original anime, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. First of all, the episode is simply just a very small introduction to a huge cast. The opening and ending showcase at least 3 guys and 3 girls we haven’t met yet. I can appreciate the attention that it puts on Masayoshi and Hidenori though – they’re clearly the two protagonists which the story is going to revolve around. The premiere doesn’t overwhelm the audience with too much info or names at once. On the other hand, it doesn’t explain what this show is about. Yes, it’s about superheroes and crime fighting and average people that don’t have superpowers… but what else? We have no true antagonist (yet?) or perhaps this will end up being an episodic anime about Masayoshi doing stuff every week. I highly doubt the latter though because this is a two-cour show and I’m hoping it builds up to an overarching story. Perhaps something with organized crime or a villain that wants to take over the city… it’s too early to tell to be honest. The morale of the story is… Masayoshi has a dream to become a superhero and he’s going to make that happen.
Everything else about the episode was rather plain Jane and I’m not going to try and spice it up in any way. The animation is rather simplistic and the characters don’t look as distinguished as I’d hoped (perhaps that will change when Masayoshi gets a new suit). There’s not a lot of action in this episode either so beyond that, the episode is strictly about two guys talking to each other. The ED and OP don’t wow me, although the ED is quite catchy – featuring the three girls (likely an idol group in the anime) and their seiyuu’s singing. I liked the aftermath scenes post credits and it actually gives off a “and life goes on…” type of epilogue feel. It feels much more fitting for a finale, but it does allude to more mischief that Masayoshi is getting himself into. As a starting point, I do think this anime has a high potential to be a standout for the season (or next two seasons). I’ve noticed a trend in the amount of one-cour shows (and their cliffhanger endings!) that I do not love so I’m relieved to finally blog a two-cour original show. These are the shows that I tend to find more character depth and development in, but it takes a while before it takes off; plus, I don’t have to worry about potential spoilers! I’m taking a gamble with Samurai Flamenco so it better pay off!
TL;DR – @RCCherrie: Totally not what I was expecting. I think everyone wished they could be a superhero when they were younger. Now I want some curry udon… Or just curry. #samumenco
ED: 「デートTIME」 (Date TIME) by ミネラル☆ミラクル☆ミューズ (Mineral Miracle Muse)