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Samurai Flamenco – 10

「決戦!敵の基地」 (Kessen! Teki no Kichi)
“Final Battle! At the Enemy Base”

Samurai Flamenco has turned into one of those shows that I have no expectations for anymore. There’s some good and some bad, but overall – I’d agree with Akira, it is entertaining. There’s something new every week and just when you think you understand where it’s headed; it throws you into the other direction. It’s almost like the writers are just pulling ideas left and right, trying to incorporate it all together and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. For example, I actually liked the psychological dilemma that King Torture (Hayami Show) put Moe through. It reminds me of the movie Saw (if anyone say the original from 2004) and I think it really brings to light the situation and intentions of human beings. On the other hand, I don’t like how everything ends so neatly without discussing the consequences or the “how“. Perhaps it’s because I’m a mystery-genre lover, but I always want to know the why and how it happened; especially in this episode, because godd*mn, the guy just came back from the dead! I think some answers are in order… but before I can even digest what is going on, the show already diverts onto another path. In this case, Masayoshi reveals his identity to the world!

This episode was a lot more graphic and psychologically crazy than I ever gave Samurai Flamenco credit for. Who knew that King Torture was capable of chopping…. oh my god, is that his arm?! Did he, just chop off his arm to attach a chainsaw? I can’t believe he just did that… so many words and not one can describe my awe and shock at that moment. Perhaps it’s because I don’t watch a lot of horror movies, but the idea of someone deforming their own body to make a point has always been a cringe factor for me. Even in animation (I wasn’t actually expecting them to show the arm!), I can still imagine what this would look like in a horror movie and that alone is unsettling. But I give the show full credit for being able to even animating the struggles between Samurai Flamenco and King Torture – to the full extent that no one would expect. Last episode showed us what King Torture was capable while holding hostages (Akira and Mari), but this week just took his “evil” to a whole new level.

King Torture has finally made a case for himself and he’s no longer just the evil guy that’s bad for the sake of being bad. To me, he sounds like he truly believes his intentions are for “good” and by “good” I mean, by doing evil. Does that make sense? When someone grows up believing that they are going to change the world and do wonders (the wrong way), you can’t help but feel a bit sorry for them because they don’t know better or had really bad parents. King Torture reminds me of one of those boys that grow up admiring a superhero (or in this case, a villain) and makes them a role model for his future. He’s right when he says that he actually mirrors Samurai Flamenco in many ways – just the opposite way. Whether I think he’s right or wrong isn’t going to change the fact that he thinks he’s doing right. I really appreciated the subtle shots of his childhood photos as well. This shows that King Torture is really just a human being – that happened to land super amazing powers and come back from the dead. Aside from that last part, there are some real human emotions that brought up King Torture to who he is today.

Last week, I mentioned that Mari got what she deserved – and this week, only reaffirms that fact. Sorry, but I just feel more aggravated by her behavior and intentions every time she appears. This week is no different because she still has this superiority approach when dealing with King Torture. I’m glad that King Torture brought up his thoughts because only he was able to see through her facade. It would’ve made for a more interesting story if Moe got up and left – but she didn’t and although this was rather predictable, the reaction from Mari was not what I expected. King Torture called Mari out for wanting Moe to stay and sacrifice her life, even though what she was saying was the exact opposite. Is Mari really that selfish? My response is obviously yes; she wants to protect her image for caring about Moe, but at the same time, she actually wants Moe to sit there and have her fingers crushed one by one. And it’s sad to say, but I think a lot of people are probably like that as well in real life. Of course, no one would ever hope to be caught in a situation like that, but I guess this brings out the real intentions of human beings. We want to protect an image of us, but at the same time, most of us would be scared to sacrifice that much for someone else.

This post is getting long but there are a lot of points in this show that I thought should’ve been discussed. King Torture may be crazy and evil, but he brings out the darkest secrets that people don’t want to admit. I think this makes for great topics of discussion so I’d love to hear what people think.

TL;DR – @RCCherrie: I’ll never have Samurai Flamenco figured out o_o it’s just a story that keeps on going and I guess it works? Who cares about alien rocks! But in all honesty, #samumenco brought up some great discussion about human selfishness and awareness… I’m no good with these topics =(

Note: Like last week, I still have issues with my laptop which makes it increasingly more frustrating and difficult to blog. Thanks for everyone’s patience and for all the help you guys have offered =) If you tweeted/emailed me your assistance, trust me – I’ve tried it all – I might have to do a refresh of my Windows OS (Restore didn’t work). Until then, please keep in my mind that I don’t have any access to Photoshop anymore and thus, no full lengths. Thanks Divine for helping me with my screencaps though – you’re awesome!

 

ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「涙星」 (Namida Hoshi) by 真野まり (Tomatsu Haruka)

December 13, 2013 at 12:20 pm
45 comments »
  • December 13, 2013 at 12:34 pmSatyr

    Gee i only watched the 2 first episodes,dropped the series and watched that episode.Bloody hell! that was some dark shit.I feel the need now to see how they transitioned from something lighthearted to this.

    • December 13, 2013 at 12:48 pmTarage

      It’s the exact opposite for me. I liked the tone and story of the first handful of episodes… and then the show jumped the shark, the shark’s friends, and Fonzie.

      • December 13, 2013 at 12:59 pmrukia

        I agree. They had something unique prior to this King Torture crap.

      • December 13, 2013 at 1:23 pmJackpot2121

        I feel like this show would have been better off keeping the light tone it had before we got monsters with bad puns for names, lame designs, and…well you get the point. Then again, this show has a total of 22 episodes, so I guess they needed to include something like this to fill up time. If it was a typical 12-13 episode series, then that’s a whole other story.

        Despite Mari’s attitude and her personality, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for her. Yes, she finally got a good does of reality, but at the end when she started singing, still bruised and wearing her costume, I just felt bad for her. She looked liked she would break down at any moment while singing the ending. Makes me wonder what will happen to her now.

      • December 13, 2013 at 8:02 pmTaiyo

        Dang what!? 22 episodes!? I thought this was some sort of finale of an 11 episode series.

    • December 13, 2013 at 12:56 pmKarl

      Well, the transition is essentially “BOOM! We have real monsters now!”.

      • December 13, 2013 at 1:13 pmMaya Stryker

        And then it’s like, “Hey, the monsters aren’t scary anymore! So don’t worry! Oh wait, King Torture is actually really messed up, be afraid again!”

      • December 13, 2013 at 6:13 pmMegas

        Well so much for the litterbug. They went from ‘hard mode’ to ‘easy mode’ to ‘fru fru poodle’ to ‘INSANITY’. Now what are they gonna do?

      • December 15, 2013 at 10:41 pmbrajt

        Right. The only poodle I need is a French Poodle.

    • December 14, 2013 at 8:31 amdeVacto

      i instanly like this series cause the OP and END is so good
      until now, but now the gore and the technology villain give is so random

  • December 13, 2013 at 12:48 pmVsAllGaming

    Kudos to Hazama for pulling an Iron Man/ Tony Stark.

  • December 13, 2013 at 12:50 pmKF

    This is dark! Mari getting beaten up like that and Akira getting tortured makes me flinch.

    TQ

  • December 13, 2013 at 1:11 pmMaya Stryker

    Hey, guess what? The summary for the next episode is up already on the SF website, and I managed to get a rough translation. From what I can gather, things are not going to calm down. They talk about Masayoshi getting taken away on an airship and some kind of fortress suddenly appearing in Tokyo Bay.

    • December 16, 2013 at 12:34 amrxion058

      I wonder what type of school supplies the airship will be made out of.

  • December 13, 2013 at 1:49 pmthedarktower

    yeah, samumenco can do everything. that’s why you can never know what will happen next time (and it’s never boring) it’s a good thing but bad as well. why it’s good? various of reasons, but for me it’s because it breaks the boundaries. it’s not apply to rules. it allow full freedom in writing, resulted in many things that affects the characters, content, story and pace. looking back we started with a poor guy named Masayoshi who was naked because who-remembers-why. but as we continued watching, the wildness in writing brought a lot of deep thoughts in terms of the characters (Mari, Masayoshi, interactions between them) and story ((who is king torture..why is he doing it) and content(Mari’s psychological dilemma, the cops being dead and so). even if the pace seemed a bit high after 10 eps, I couldn’t imagine samumenco’s pace otherwise.
    what’s the bad thing?well, it’s hard to say what’s samumenco is about because of those “jumps” in writing that shake the series every time.

    so,what’s the main theme here?well, after ep #10, I think samumenco is talking about what it wanted to be since day 0 (aka the trailers and the hype) – “it’s for those adults who don’t want to become adults”. who wants to be heroes. and truly, I am feeling it, with ep #10 more than ever. the whole thing behind “hero will never give up, never hide, never be defeated, never accept evil” has entered into the plot strongly. and I like it.

    before I continue, an announcement this week considering samumenco. stating 4 new characters in the second half, I am not surprised with the current development. especially since all samumencos(Masayoshi and Mari) revealed themselves. and the fact that Torture was defeated.
    so probably a lot of surprises are on their way. and hell, why not??

    speaking of Torture, I wouldn’t say he is human. maybe former human. but I sure liked how he described that he and Masayoshi are like Yin and Yang. if I have to guess, I would say he is a former human in somehow (maybe an alien who invade a human??aliens in samumenco is definitely still on the table) and I think we’ll see him later on. that crystal is definitely a clue. I am guessing he’ll return like Lord Genome from Gurren Laggan returned. and maybe this time he’ll be with the good guys.

    BTW, I understand the urge to know “how” and all. but I think the plot is progressing well (considering samumenco’s craziness LOL), especially in that matter. we can’t know everything just here and now. it wouldn’t be interesting (and I couldn’t comment about the my theory here…and that’s really a shame :P) besides, we got some clues with the photos, the crystal, the analogy to Masayoshi and so.
    I knowwwwwwww: maybe he’s Masayoshi’s lost brother/twin that got possessed somehow and become evil. and his parents tried to fight that evil in the world, but ended up losing.
    LOL, jokes aside (THO a reasonable scenario), you see – theories are great. especially if you have so much material to work with considering this is samumenco. so, go wild with your imagination! it’s also part of the series’ theme as I mentioned above (“those adults….).

    now let’s talk about what Torture did there to Mari, Moe and Konno.
    Mari – you know when people are annoying and you just have to urge to slap them and maybe they’ll understand (happens all the times in movies and anime)?well, since Mari is a crazy one, she needed much more crazy slaps. and psycho-dilemma served the purpose here. and again, that craziness in writing allowed samumenco not only to develop Mari, but also showing another aspect (through that dilemma)that we wouldn’t have seen if samumenco continued in a “regular” path we might thought it would.
    there is also Konno. true, we don’t know what’s with him know. is he good or evil?did KT recruited him?maybe.
    but in fact, Torture played mind game with him too. I belive Konno was released for the same reason KT released Moe. he respect their resolve and accept them as worthy people that aren’t shallow, selfish, indifferent to environment. humans that believe in their principles and will go all out if necessary, humans that will not take others’ umbrella or leave the trash.
    at least that is what I am willing to believe at the moment. who knows?:P
    so..is the Villain is the true villain?I bet he isn’t the last boss that samumenco will have (:

  • December 13, 2013 at 1:56 pmrukia

    Main reason I keep watching is to see if they ever reveal Goto’s girlfriend.

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:24 amCherrie

      LOL! I think everyone’s been wondering the same thing since episode 2.

  • December 13, 2013 at 2:23 pmmrdaftpunk

    Now that King Torture is possibly out of the picture, I wonder what’s next for the gang?

  • December 13, 2013 at 3:20 pmMagoiichi

    I was right the whole time! The monsters weren’t real! Just a byproduct of science! Trap evaded muahaha!

    I loved this episode so much and mainly because of this badass motherfucker. He exposed Mari for the fraud that she is. The way he got inside her head was so epic. That’s some Joker level shit. King Torture is the japanese Joker! Crossover needed please!

    Goto was badass too, he deserves a raise in his paycheck and a vacation so he can visit his offscreen girlfriend.

    Btw, those feels at the end of the episode when you tried to sing Mari, it failed to tug at my heartstrings, you gets no sympathy from me, all of my sympathy goes to Moe for being the Harley Quinn of the show with less crazy and the same amount of puppet syndrome. Mizuki is just there to be dragged along.

    King Joker, I mean Torture is definitely coming back, but the real question is how the hell did he heal up that quick? He must have chose to become a cyborg.

  • December 13, 2013 at 3:37 pmSucow

    Looks like Branding Piranha was not very popular.
    All the monster got a picture on the hall except for him.
    Poor fella…

  • December 13, 2013 at 3:48 pmJ_the_Man

    King Torture is definitely a bro villain. Letting Moe go like that and apologizing. Dude is a gentleman. He definitely plays by the rules.

  • December 13, 2013 at 4:02 pmDave

    To me, he sounds like he truly believes his intentions are for “good” and by “good” I mean, by doing evil. Does that make sense?

    Yup. It’s said a lot by writers/actors that a good villain always believes that they’re acting in the right from their own POV. John Rogers would call King Torture’s monologue to Samurai Flamenco the “Evil Speech of Evil“, the moment the bad guy stops to explain why they are the most rational person in the room.

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:30 amCherrie

      Exactly what I mean! For the most part, I think this works very well in comedy because it’s so ironic, yet true. In King Torture’s case though, it’s almost creepy because he’s actually doing a very good job in convincing the audience that what he’s doing is right… or at least, you can almost agree with why he’s so passionate about his work =S

  • December 13, 2013 at 4:08 pmTheVoid

    The way King Torture had his minions commit evil schemes even mirrors Masayoshi in a way. Masayoshi worked his way up from dealing with the minor crimes, while King Tortures henchmen started out brutal but got sillier and more minors crimes as they went on.

    Now all that’s left to wonder is who helped to fund his organization since he mentioned he’d been preparing for awhile but never had the guts to truly start his criminal plans until Samurai Flamenco appeared and who gave him the alien cells.

  • December 13, 2013 at 4:45 pmWibnice

    So, who saved Harazuka from the henchmen?

    At first, I thought it was Mizuki, but it seems she went straight to save Mari after calling Gotou, so it couldn’t be her.

    • December 13, 2013 at 8:03 pmTaiyo

      It was Red Axe.

  • December 13, 2013 at 4:51 pmsadakups

    Wow. So apparently King Torture is also a tokusatsu fan except that he liked the villains more and he had plan this crazy shit for a long time. Masayoshi’s road to becoming Samurai Flamenco does not even compare to King Torture’s. He could be a really rich dude.

    It’s gets really funny that King Torture dies by getting this “thing” out of his chest hole, and that he is voiced by fucking Aizen from Bleach.

    • December 13, 2013 at 11:12 pmrandom viewer

      So the “how” part for King Torture to survive impalement was it was all an illusion from his “chainsaw zanpakuto.”
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • December 13, 2013 at 4:55 pmsinkingmist

    Gotou is the true hero.

  • December 13, 2013 at 5:56 pmricz

    Gotou seriously need some love

    He is the reason why samumenco still exist lol

    I need to see gotou’s GF expression after masayoshi’s confession lol (Gotou’s GF \m/ XD)

  • December 13, 2013 at 7:06 pmKyosuke

    Gotou is the man. Hazama is nothing without him and to be honest Gotou’s the hero we all truly deserve! On a side note, I thought this was supposed to be the last episode.. Kinda confused on how they are going to go about the rest of the story; because let’s face it, King Torture was THE arch-nemesis of Samumenco… I STILL WANT TO KNOW WHO GOTOU’S GIRLFRIEND IS ARGGG!!!!!

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:32 amCherrie

      I wish I was his gf… =( lol.
      This is going to be a 2-cour show. It was announced way back when (I think I read it when we did the preview…).

  • December 13, 2013 at 7:07 pmjrj

    I was like “WTF”… the whole episode through… so many crazy moments, but I did enjoy this “finale”, lol, till the preview shows up haha…
    I wonder if they are going to explain what that mysterious stone was or would they move on to a completely different direction now that all the identities of the hero/heroine are out…
    Thanks for the coverage, Cherrie, as always. You are awesome!

    • December 16, 2013 at 9:34 amCherrie

      I wish I was as awesome as this show… o_o
      But thanks for always coming back to read and comment ^^

  • December 13, 2013 at 11:30 pmrandom viewer

    1> “the idea of someone deforming their own body to make a point” – is that pun intended? LOL
    2> Even after that horrible experience, Mari goes to sing? Extreme attention seeker much…? Hopefully she will stop offending the Flamenco name with her self-center behavior.
    3> Masayoshi revealing who he really is will most likely: (a) get him more fame; (b) result in him becoming like Red Axe; (c) his manager is going to be his next big villain (wink~); (d) at his point create more drama to fill up the remaining 12 episodes coming later.
    3> Next time bring in the Flamenco Rangers and a giant monster/robot battle.
    4> I like how every fight scene a new stationary weapon is introduced, but a swiss army knife shield…? http://randomc.net/image/Samurai%20Flamenco/Samurai%20Flamenco%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2012.jpg

    • December 14, 2013 at 7:16 amArgentus

      2) The contrary. She just went through a major crisis that turned her world upside down and crushed her ego. It’s only natural she seeks reassurance in the place that makes her feel most relaxed, loved and that supports her self-worth the most.

      It’s also not as if she just went out on the stage smiling like nothing had happened.
      She went out all beaten up and in the rags she was in, and was singing without any playback or instruments or any of the glamor of her usual performances.
      I take it more as a way or repentance, or an attempt at crushing her public self she might start despising at the moment because or the ugliness beneath the surface was shown in the full. Also notice she wasn’t caring about her voice at all. I take it as a way of saying “everybody, I am sorry and this is the real me. Would you still accept me as such?”

  • December 14, 2013 at 12:00 amZhinvu

    Sorry to get all deep on this but still I’m figuring out how King Torture exposed Mari to be a fake. If you take that scene as it is, Mari was telling Moe to leave and save herself which already sounds clearly like self-sacrifice, but King Torture says Mari is a liar because her telling Moe to save herself was cliched for superhero show standards. Only thing I can think of is it reverse psychology that Mari was using or King Torture may have sensed something else from the tone of her voice(partly maybe he was basing it on the interview Mari had on TV)? Because if Mari really WANTED Moe to take her place, I don’t get why Mari was so surprised that Moe was willing to sacrifice herself. Hope that made sense. On another note, this is why Haruka Tomatsu is one of my favorite seiyuus of all time. The way she sang that ending theme really gives you the impression of a girl who was mentally scarred. And on another note, basing it on this episode alone, it’s a surprise that Moe is such a badass character, so badass that she earned King Torture’s respect , considering in that past she was portrayed as the timid one.

    • December 14, 2013 at 6:54 amArgentus

      I actually do understand what KT was talking about. The problem posed to them was to choose who gets away safely and who stays behind. It’s true that Mari was calling King Torture names, saying that Moe had no part in this and such. But it might have as well been out of guilt because after all she was the one who brought the girls in and created the whole situation by her self-centered behaviour and boasting on TV. The point is that while she was telling Moe to run away, she never showed any real intention to sacrifice herself (like Moe did when she clearly stated she will stay). Basically she left the heavy decision to Moe which gave her a hope that she herself would be saved. By leaving the decision out of her hands she could deceive her consience that there was nothing she could do and that whatever happened was Moe’s will. Basically it was the lack of real resolve that KT and maybe even Moe saw in her reaction.

      • December 17, 2013 at 4:57 pmZhinvu

        Thanks! I got a better grasp of the situation with your explanation, especially that part about leaving all the decisions to Moe so Mari can take the burden off her shoulders.

  • December 14, 2013 at 3:26 amRed HeartGold ZX

    One thing I didn’t expect is King Torture’s change of heart for hurting Moe and describing her as someone w/ a “strong & beautiful spirit”.. Rather, I think it’s Torture’s way of testing her and generally, as a human. One good trait I actually like in this villain, unlike some other villains in Sentai shows.

  • December 14, 2013 at 4:35 amdude

    Am I the only one who thinks Mari meant what she said and King Torture, true to his name, was using psychological torture on both of the girls? We don’t know the full extent of what they both went through, and King Torture does know how to get into people’s heads. Like Konno last episode.

  • December 14, 2013 at 6:25 amSomeone Else

    I guess Masayoshi being the Batman is no longer a joke. He really needs those tools now more than ever

  • December 14, 2013 at 7:01 amArgentus

    Is it just me or does anyone else see Moe as a prototype romantic hero who sacrifices himself for his unrequited love (only in a lesbic form). Has SF been written by Victor Hugo or someone, Moe would already be dead while Mari was enjoying another fancy dinner with whatever cop she took a fancy to at the moment.

  • December 14, 2013 at 6:59 pmAggron

    Well that arc was something else I’m excited for what the second half will bring (it felt like a finale so I’ll call it a half :P). I’m willing to bet Goto’s girlfriend will finally make an appearance soon.

    Also wtf is with the leaks for this anime?!

  • December 19, 2013 at 1:49 amBizogi

    I think the monsters arc was well managed overall. Even if they took the anime into a different direction. For some reason they made a believable world. Lots of anime try to scare u but don’t end up. Here they made us used to nice and sweet and u werent ready to c one of ur fav characters die.