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Samurai Flamenco – 13

「決戦前夜」 (Kessen Zennya)
“Night Before the Decisive Battle”

Since when did Samurai Flamenco get so serious? Just last week I was treating this like a badly executed show that can be poked fun at. This week, I’m not sure what to think anymore because they touch a variety of different issues and Masayoshi takes on a much more prominent decision-making role. A lot of people mention that this is meant to be a spoof or poke fun at the genre, but I don’t really know what Samurai Flamenco‘s intentions are anymore. Is it trying to be funny or is it trying to actually make sense? The bad news is I don’t think this story can be both without turning me off.

Intentions aside, this episode really shows the reality of the situation within Japan. Weeks ago I pointed out that these monsters just seemed to be invisible to the general public because no one was getting hurt and Masayoshi wasn’t feeling very underappreciated. If you ask me, that’s just so unrealistic! What I would imagine actually happening is massive chaos in Japan with people fleeing the country and possibly other countries coming to help. Regardless if there are causalities yet or not, with so many unexplained occurrences, I would expect people to be scared of the unknown. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for the government to do anything about it and the fact that other countries would STILL come to Japan despite all this abnormal behavior. What is going on? You see – I wouldn’t mind so much if the government never got involved, because then it’s truly like all other superhero show. People live happily and ignorantly, no body dies and we move on. But the fact that there might actually be deaths now and it’s no longer about building giant robots to fight monsters, I wonder if this is meant to be the climax of the anime.

This show also needs more Hidenori (and dare I say, even Mari). It seriously needs an injection of characters other than the Flamengers (who still haven’t made an impact on me). I find the Flamengers similar to icons (like Joji himself) that protect the city, but don’t do much else. They receive awards, they get along, but they don’t have any distinctive personalities nor do they make public appearances for PR. It bothered me a lot that no one else wanted to defend the civilians in the city other than Masayoshi himself. No one else debated on telling everyone to RUN! It was like the Flamengers settled with what was told to them and didn’t argue with Joji or the Mayor. Is secrecy and control really necessary when evacuating the city? Definitely, but I don’t think this was the way to go about it. They were too unprepared and the mayor made the wrong choice to keep the civilians in the dark. Now – it’s too late to change that and there’s no contingency plan.

I say all this, but of course I have no experience of what it’s like to be in the apocalypse. All I can say is that, I think Masayoshi did the right thing to warn the public. Joji is a d*ck for running off and no, I don’t think it’s because he has some secret plan hidden up in the mountains. I think he’s played all his cards and he was selfish enough to leave without the others (and possibly his own wife). Perhaps that wasn’t such a big surprise to me but it’s a nice twist to the story. Masayoshi didn’t warn Hidenori about the invasion of monsters either… which made me wonder, why not? Was it because he couldn’t narrow down his list of people to 5? Or was it because he intended to save everyone anyway? We’ll have to wait until next week to see… but who knows, maybe Flamen Green’s prediction was totally off and now everyone’s panicking for no reason! Any guesses?

TL;DR – @RCCherrie: #samumenco suddenly got a lot more serious o.o And they finally address the issue of DANGER! Watch this all be a troll from the monsters lol

January 17, 2014 at 2:08 pm
24 comments »
  • January 17, 2014 at 2:34 pmTre

    Based Hidenori’s girlfriend – her influence stretches far and wide.

    • January 17, 2014 at 11:41 pmPtolemaios00

      She better not be dead…
      I was kinda worried when Goto said something like “she already knows, and I’m not doing anything guilty.” To me that sounds like she’s in heaven observing him or something. He does get text replies from her though, but that could be him looking at old texts or some automated reply system?? I hope they don’t pull a Fuwa Aika here. Gah, I really hope I’m wrong.

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:34 pmVsAllGaming

    When that little kid was killed by that monster Domestic Violence I’m so glad that was a dream or nightmare I should say.
    I actually like how serious the show is getting now but of course Kaname disappears.

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:37 pmVsAllGaming

    Also a part of me actually wanted Hazama to pick a few people. I was hoping we could finally see Hidenori girlfriend lol.

  • January 17, 2014 at 2:55 pmlorenzo

    I appreciated (partly, at least) the effort to give things a bit more of drama, but honestly, I still think this is one mess of a show. The whole “politicians only think of themselves and don’t care about the lives of millions” thing (which is already a clichè in itself) just popped out of nowhere,only for the sake of a mood shift.

    This is simply not the show we were promised. I’m sorry, I know it was all planned from the beginning (yeah, yeah, you can see the megazord parts in the promotional art), but it was so poorly written. It was supposed to be an humorous take on the hero genre, which is funny and all. Then shit got real with King Torture: ok, fine, it was interesting seeing the series deconstructing its premise, and besides, if there is a wannabe hero there must a wannabe villain.
    But the whole second half is simply stupid. It’s not the original series anymore. They can’t blame the viewers if they stopped being interested: the show transformed into something totally away from where it began.

    • January 17, 2014 at 2:58 pmlorenzo

      Oh, and at this point, Hidenori’s girlfriend has the potential to be the biggest Deus Ex Machina ever seen in anime. And it just builds after each episode. I’m expecting to be mind blown.

    • January 17, 2014 at 3:18 pmDvalinn

      You pretty much summed up my feelings for the show.

      I don’t mind writers getting creative, or deconstructing genres and whatnot. I wasn’t even driven away by the jarring tonal shift of King Torture into a show that seemed like a humorous version of a Nolan Batman movie at first. Because, y’know, the show still had interesting characters and conflicts at that point.

      But the show truly jumped the shark for me at this Power Rangers arc. Because, y’know, it’s gotten really, really stupid. Especially because, well, this is just horribly written. The drama is artificial, the new characters are not interesting, the enemies are stupid and the fights are boring. The show has given me all the reason in the world to stop giving a damn. I really wonder just what they’re doing here – if they’re going for parody, well, they should do a better job. Because at this point it’s like they’re playing it straight. Or maybe they are? I don’t even know!

      Seriously, this show is a train wreck in every sense of the word.

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:03 pmthedarktower

    this week episode sent some vibes of the old-samumenco. reminded me of what attracted me to samumenco in first place. true, it’s a little late for seeing this series as what it was in the beginning, but this episode brought back the scent of the old-samumenco.

    it wasn’t just the lack of super-sentai stuff, but the whole way of wrapping the theme of “what should we do?whom we save?we are gonna tell public?” and lots of interesting dilemmas for every hero in this square. and of course, Masayoshi got the right decision, it was expected, but the way toward this decision – presenting the problem, describing the dilemma and its options, consulting friends (didn’t go well ha?) and the understanding..it was all set beforehand, but they executed it really well.

    a word about Red-Axe. I have to disagree with you Cherrie.
    first, he told everyone that he isn’t going to hide his wife like all the regular nobles/vip. and it’s different, it’s not like he ran away with her. he actually said he isn’t letting her know, he treated her like regular civilian. and why?because he trust himself and his fellows to do the job and protect every civilian. that’s a very brave decision. no one was able to do it the way he did, no matter how much they talk, but he didn’t even(!) tell her, not to mention hide her or something like even his other flamngers. he didn’t panic and more importantly he did not discriminate.
    true, it seems like he ran away. but let’s admit it. he didn’t. how many times we thought he just ran away or something but return like true master of the heroes. and that’s what he is – the mentor. and I believe he’d do something. call it his joker card..whatever. he will do it.

    and there is more. I think the fact he ran away was preplanned. it helped masayoshi to understand what’s truly important. without it, masayoshi was still under Red-Axe’s shadow of judgment, but after he escaped, it allowed masayoshi to think since he become true leader without accepting Red-Axe judgment for granted.
    now why is that Red-Axe didn’t go public with the info by himself?it’s hard to say,I admit it. but it was felt that he wanted to. maybe it’s because he is too obligated to higher-ups, they have his wife or something..or maybe it’s just couldn’t be done by him. although he got reward and he is the head of the flamngers unit, he isn’t at the spot light as masyoshi, and maybe the timing wasn’t completely right back there. what they said about panicking the public when the government isn’t ready..that’s true. the problem is the greedy prime-minister (BTW he is a prime-minister, not just mayor LOL).

    as for why Masayoshi didn’t warn Hidenori – well first it’s because he couldn’t narrow down his list. but above all – he just couldn’t do it. why would he save Hidenori and not someone else..even if he doesn’t know..like that kid from his dream or whatever. it would be wrong by all means of superhero. that’s exactly what Red-Axe didn’t do.
    plus, masayoshi really eager to save everybody.
    I don’t know what’s with Hidenori. well he is lovely for taking care of Mari like that and all. not to mention his loyalty. but someone pointed out to me that maybe…his GF is dead or something. because something doesn’t feel right and isn’t connecting to me. do you know any gir in this world that won’t worry like that?sure, Hidenori is a loyal and honest guy…but the whole situation for them not to meet like..the whole show (which took place for a year or couple of months). something is weird there. but hey, I am still hoping he will staff the yellow flamnger. and I hope flamenco diamond and her friends would join too.

    pieces are still missing. like Konno who jump back out of nowhere. if you ask me, after he passed KT(king torture) mind-game, he got info that this might happen and this is his chance to save the girl (this was KT mind-game with Konno back there if you remember).

    looking ahead gonna be a lot of go go power rangers flamngers in super-sentai style. that’s not a good thing. but maybe if they do things right and under control, this could work out since there is alot of material to work with in terms of characters. it worked this episode and it’s possible for the future eps too.

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:13 pmAbsaroka

    This reminds me of the premise of Pacific Rim where the Kaiju originally came one at a time and were easily dispatched by the Jaegers so people stopped taking the Kaiju seriously. Then the Kaiju kept coming faster and in greater numbers to the point the Earth would be overwhelmed.

  • January 17, 2014 at 3:37 pmTheVoid

    I feel bad for the Blue Flamenger. Gets treated badly by the man he respects, spent ten years training to be a Red Ranger only to get passed over, the only people he has on his phone to call are his fellow Flamengers, and he lives in some run down apartment next to the train tracks in a room filled with Red Heroes.

    At this point I think the show is trying to show that what Masayoshi wanted, fighting evil organizations and the like, isn’t what he truly wants. This was always his goal, to work the way up from small crimes to fighting evil like in his favorite shows. Also, I think he kept it a secret from Goto after hearing what’s going with Mari and how much his girlfriend trusts him in the current situation. So he probably lost the desire to bring it up. Plus revealing it to Goto would be breaking the rules about how they can’t let it leak.

  • January 17, 2014 at 4:05 pmJames

    The fact that it took this long for people to realize the theme of the show is beyond me…

    It’s honestly not that hard to see that the entire show so far has been about what it means to be a “hero” in society, whether it be a guy on a bike or a well revered icon of sorts.

    • January 18, 2014 at 2:50 amlorenzo

      Look, what you say it’s totally true; it’s the best way to summarize the show’s premises. But it was executed awfully. It’s like the writers aren’t able to tell us what to do: take the show seriously? Laugh it off? Episode 11 was so over the top that it looked like a parody; then this episode foreshadows a nation-wide apocalypse.
      Some works about heroes are comedic in nature and yet still manage to have some really serious moments (take Onepunch Man in its later chapters, or Tiger & Bunny). But this show just fails. It doesn’t have mood shifts; it has mood swings.

      • January 18, 2014 at 9:34 pmJames

        I dunno, even with the crazier episodes there were signs of social commentary. To me, even though there were some ridiculous things such as the villain character designs, the show never really forgot what it was trying to do. Even in the midst of all the crazy super sentai fighting there were very clear signs that the people around Masayoshi had “impure” ideas of what being a hero was about.

  • January 17, 2014 at 4:08 pmricz

    “Since when did Samurai Flamenco get so serious?” Whenever Goto appeared? lol

    But seriously I’m not gonna fall for it again ;p

    And yeah I agree w/ Goto and the gang > Flamenger

  • January 17, 2014 at 5:55 pmBakapooru

    Where are people supposed to evacuate to? Which city is going to be attacked? Just Tokyo? Evacuate all cities? How? There are too many questions to notify the public and there is no place to hide in a small country like Japan.

  • January 17, 2014 at 9:59 pmEmD

    “The Destruction of Japan.”

    This show is doing it. They’re going to space. Red Axe left to prepare the Space Station and Goto will become a Space Sheriff.

    And I thought that small scene with the Flamengers and their family said a lot about them. But I miss Harazuka and Goto, yeah.

  • January 17, 2014 at 10:00 pmCorey Lucas

    I find that this show turned a 360 on the genre parody of Super Sentai/Power Rangers shows and took it in a REAL direction of what’s currently going on in Japanese Society as we speak. The citizens being ignorant and not knowing or caring what’s going on with their government, the slimy prime minister who only gives a shit about his National Pride, Publicity in Japanese Media. That with what it means to be a “hero” makes it an amazing twist. I love Masayoshi and is a unique and lovable character that’s gonna grow from this series. This is why I love Noitamina shows cause they are different from the late night otaku fare that comes on. To wrap up my comments for Samurai Flamenco: SHIT JUST GOT REAL!!!

  • January 17, 2014 at 11:56 pmDrasca

    People panic and its ugly. The public is its own worst enemy, and everything that thinks our ‘hero’ ‘did the right thing’ haven’t seen how disasters really go. Keeping order really means keeping people from killing, beating and looting each other when they think all is lost.

    Here’s an article on the real thing when people panic:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots

    You do not just set off the public with no recourse. They lose faith and they go out of control. A special briefing with evacuation plans already in place can and will go entirely differently.

    That said, as it is an anime, I imagine the next episode to show some of the said panic and drama for conflict’s sake. Man against man is one of the first forms of conflict.

  • January 18, 2014 at 10:15 amMagoiichi

    Take your best shot Samurai Flamenco, I am prepared for whatever shenanigans you pull!

  • January 19, 2014 at 12:10 amflCer

    weirdo to the max

  • January 19, 2014 at 1:25 amJeroz

    I still find it odd that Cherrie thinks nobody died when last week we saw multiple people being shattered after being frozen.

  • January 19, 2014 at 9:58 amKF

    I don’t know. This show is just impossible. I can truly say I predict any of it!

  • January 19, 2014 at 2:51 pmrandom viewer

    -My guess is that nightmare was actually a reality check for Masayoshi. It has gotten out of his hands to really protect a nation more or less than to even be able to protect at least 5 people including himself now.
    -I thought Joji was talking big for someone who didn’t fight on the front lines. And he isn’t the “captain who would go down with his ship” if you know what I mean. I could think of many different other ways to call Joji for what he did…a d*ck is not the worst. Masayoshi can finally stop calling him Master now.
    -Mari really doesn’t have a role anymore; other than connecting the other two girls back to the show. I thought she would create a rift between Hidenori and his girlfriend, but this episode just established that his girlfriend is the “best.”
    -I did hope for Masayoshi to come through at the end to tell the good people of his nation. He did the right thing to not withhold such important life changing news from them.

  • January 20, 2014 at 2:47 amPatsuan

    This show keeps throwing me off balance. It never stops fluctuating between “disappointingly shitty” and “and pretty damn good!” :/