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Samurai Flamenco – 15

「イミテーション・ジャスティス」 (Imiteeshon Jasutisu)
“Imitation Justice”

It was all a government conspiracy! Who would’ve thought? It’s not a completely ludicrous idea, but I still feel like the writers are just making stuff up as they go along. There are no indication that the government was behind all the members from “From Beyond” and like previous revelations, there’s absolutely no flow. I honestly can’t remember the last time there was a pause in this show and no doubt, I think Samurai Flamenco needs one. It needs to slow down and build up some character development for its huge cast because I’ve already given up hope that any explanations will be provided past this. It feels like such a crop out just to say, “The government did it.” but I guess they didn’t want to go down the “It was all a dream” route. Perhaps this way, it’ll build up a better set up for the second half of the series. I don’t have very high hopes anymore for the plot, but at the very least, I hope they don’t throw away some of their better characters.

Some of the better characters being, Mari (and the other 2) and especially Hidenori. That guy just doesn’t get enough screen time. Ever. I understand that he’s not THE primary character, but as a pretty prominent guy (especially since the beginning), I would think that he should play a larger role. It would be awesome to see how a regular “everyday hero” saves the town against villains rather than seeing Masayoshi use advanced weaponry against government controlled monsters. And speaking of monsters, does that mean that the Beyond Flamenco (Ishida Akira) was also fake? Was he also created by the government to trip Masayoshi out? Talk about being anticlimactic… I was so sure that there would be more to that story being lookalikes. The fight with the giant drill was also pretty… meh. There was no sense of urgency from either the town or the government anymore at the point so I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It was obvious that they would save it, but I guess I never expected the contraption to stop working so easily. Honestly, it just feels like the writers even want to just get this out of the way and carry out with this next arc – which puts Masayoshi as enemy #1.

Now that the Flamengers and Joji are out of the way, I’m actually anxious to see what’s in store for Masayoshi. It’d be ideal to see Hidenori help him out and Mari (and gang) along with Jun because his weapons were just so awesome. It’s amazing what the media can do in such a short amount of time now. An announcement from your Prime Minister spreads so quickly with the help of the Internet and society being so interconnected. This links very well with the first few episodes that made Samurai Flamenco so huge in the first place and now, it’s back to bite him in the butt. Although social media and the Internet can be so informative, it can also be a plague that spreads rumors and stories quickly without people verifying their sources. In this case, Masayoshi has been quickly framed by the very people that he tried to protect so remind me, why does he want to protect this city so badly? What have they done for him?

TL;DR – @RCCherrie: It was all a government conspiracy!! I knew it!! #samumenco #plottwists

Note: More apologies for the delayed posts. I’m still on vacation and it’s a bad excuse, but it is what it is =( I’ll be back with Noragami’s double post on Monday and I should be back on schedule next week. Thanks for everyone’s patience! If you’re in Seattle tomorrow, go Seahawks!

February 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm
33 comments »
  • February 1, 2014 at 10:08 pmSpike

    Totally agree, they seem to be making it up as they go along. It’s really feeling like twists just for the sake of twists. If a writer found a teenager’s notebook with a fanfic containing a mashup of every superhero cliché, twist, and cheese – and somehow thought it was a good idea to write an anime bashed on that – You’d get Flamenco.

  • February 1, 2014 at 10:09 pmTre

    I’m still expecting a genius twist that will end up making sense of all this (like all this being revealed to be Hidenori’s drug induced dream since episode 7).

    • February 2, 2014 at 1:10 pmMCPhatman

      That’s what I think the genre stereotypes are just way to obvious to be a coincedence.

  • February 1, 2014 at 10:12 pmMagoiichi

    Mari back in bitch mode it seems.

    They might as well have went with the “It was all a dream” route. I was so focused on the rapid shift from the Kickass realistic premise to the monster of the week Power Rangers premise (or Kamen Rider/whatever thing Japan has) that the anime pulled a Red Herring.

    Even though I don’t want to admit it, the Prime Minister was kinda badass lol.

  • February 1, 2014 at 10:52 pmBakapooru

    I think I liked the twists and turns in Valrave more. They were actually kind of funny sometimes. The plot turns are getting more and more ridiculous. It’s really hard for me to watch this show now.

  • February 1, 2014 at 11:08 pmEmD

    I

    FUCKING

    LOVE

    THIS

    SHOW

    It’s brilliant in every way. That explain King Torture’s convenient appearance just as SF was police chief. And I love how every episode, someone makes some variation of “it’s not a dream!”

    Honestly, the release poster had the Flamenger Megazords in the background. How could you NOT expect this to go Power Rangers?

    The plot twists are incredible and neckbreaking. But they’re still safer than a New York Intersection.

    NICE JUSTICE!

  • February 2, 2014 at 1:08 amricz

    Finally!! I guess?

    We’re back to samumenco vs the world again

  • February 2, 2014 at 2:21 amILikePopCans

    Can you try to keep spoilers off the front page…

  • February 2, 2014 at 2:49 amMekem

    Called it. I knew the monster stuff had to be staged. It makes perfect sense! The tv-like format of the villains, the tv-like format of the Flamengers, why they confiscated all of Samurai Flamenco’s weapons, it was all to make the government look good! The prime minister wanted to keep the all-out invasion under wraps so the government could take credit for keeping the citizens safe, they didn’t want the Flamengers to destroy the drill so they could take credit for saving Japan, heck, I bet that drill was never gonna destroy Japan after all. Now that the Flamengers are superstars, the government turns the country against them to make themselves look like the heroes! Just look at the face on the prime minister. Although now superpowers are being thrown into the mix, it does explain how the government could have created and controlled the monsters.

    • February 3, 2014 at 7:25 amSingerOfW

      I bet that drill was never gonna destroy Japan after all

      But it was getting to the core of Mt. Fuji! Everyone knows that Japan can easily be destroyed by that!

  • February 2, 2014 at 2:53 amlorenzo

    Now, Mr. Justice’s backstory establishes the world of Samumenco as an alternate history of sorts, where aliens and monsters have been appearing in America ever since the Vietnam war. Which would be interesting, if it didn’t raise a BIG question: if those threats were so common,WHY was Japan so surprised when Torture and From Beyond appeared? It simply destroys the basic idea for the series!

    Still, I’ll give credit to Samumenco: the government conspiracy was an interesting twist. It reminded me of the strategy of tension in Italy, when a part of the institutions allegedly orchestrated terrorist attacks in the country so that they could steer towards an authoritarian regime.

    The problem is, like everything else it was executed awfully. It makes me wish a better series would exploit the full potential of such a twist. Aaah..

    • February 2, 2014 at 3:09 amlorenzo

      Also, I can’t believe they’re sticking to crappy recycled footage for the second opening.

    • February 2, 2014 at 5:25 amDvalinn

      I agree. The twist in and of itself wouldn’t be too bad in a better show, and could really shake things up in a status quo. Like Cherrie says, having his staunchward ally, the media, now be his undoing by hands of the government, would be a nice twist of fate. Sadly, this show has already jumped the shark in my eyes, so it doesn’t work. It ends up making no sense instead, as it requires some massive leaps of logic to even make it work, and even then it’s still full of holes. Not to mention there’s no momentum behind it either – the show keeps jumping from ridiculous plot to ridiculous plot without showing any sign of building a proper atmosphere.

      Still though, I hope this at least means we will be rid of those one-dimensional fellow Power Rangers for a while and get some more appearances of Goto and Mari. Because those are the only characters I still care about, and it seems like the character drama they’re going through in the background is far more interesting than all the sentai nonsense we’ve been subjected to. Seriously, it’s almost like the series is teasing us with all these glimpses of their lives, only to yank us away to more nonsense.

      Hell, I think the show would have been more interesting with Goto as the main, to be honest, where we see life through the eyes of a superhero’s friend.

      • February 2, 2014 at 5:41 amlorenzo

        Definitely. They should have used Goto’s POV to narrate the story. It would have been much more interesting. Or at least, alternate between him and Masayoshi, instead of giving him maybe three minutes of screentime per episode,

    • February 2, 2014 at 12:31 pmEmD

      I thought his “I was fighting Hollywood monsters” implied that Hollywood was the cover for the monsters, and all those incidents were waved aside as movies at the end.

      • February 2, 2014 at 1:55 pmlorenzo

        I don’t think so… It would still have to come across as true to the general public.

  • February 2, 2014 at 6:08 amGuren

    Okay, what’s next? An alien coming and revealing that the government conspiration is actually a plot made by aliens!!! Damn, I bet that if this show do not end with this “popularity conspiracy” arc, I ragequit this :D!!!

  • February 2, 2014 at 6:28 amTanz

    The government sure has a lot of free time.

  • February 2, 2014 at 7:18 amteme

    If you think about it, this is some solid writing. They’ve been able to come full circle and close a lot of the plot gaps that were there after the gorilla. Everything that’s happened has actually been foreshadowed even before things went bananas.

  • February 2, 2014 at 7:20 amMochaCookies

    Just putting it out there, but what if all the random plot developments are actually completely intentional by the authors?

    It’s like the magical realism movement. If you’ve read Like Water for Chocolate you’ll understand. All sorts of completely random stuff happens, and it’s all great comedy, and the author deliberately makes that kind of random stuff happen to illustrate his themes of sexuality and repression (don’t really remember them any more…)

    Doesn’t that sound kind of like what’s going on with Samurai Flamenco? You have these surreal plot developments which are usually played for humour to illustrate the relationship between heroes and media. It’s almost like the series is aware that it’s fictional and is playing out its theme of how superheroes are beholden to media (which is what the series seems to be saying so far) not just through plot events, but through the series’ interaction with its audience, us.

    • February 2, 2014 at 10:00 amRandom Gyu

      To me it feels more like they try to get a full season of sentai through in one episode, every episode. Not seen that many shows my self, it feels like a crash-course.

  • February 2, 2014 at 9:28 amVortigen

    I have one thing to say about this episode.

    http://randomc.net/image/Samurai%20Flamenco/Samurai%20Flamenco%20-%2015%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    NANOMACHINES, SON.

    • February 2, 2014 at 12:36 pmJack

      Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance reference

  • February 2, 2014 at 10:51 amrandom viewer

    -Mr. Justice should have brought the cavalry. But he was awesome on his own.
    -There was nothing I liked about Mari from this episode; she continues to hurt people.
    -I wouldn’t be surprised if the Prime Minister became a From-beyond monster either now.
    -It’s freaky to see a look alike of yourself bite the dust.
    -Was Masayoshi visiting his grandpa? There’s also the question of what happened to his parents right?

  • February 2, 2014 at 2:09 pmJames

    I’m sorry Cherrie, but this was NOT pulled out of nowhere. I’ve been calling it all along that the Prime Minister was up to no good. Many many questions that were raised earlier were addressed by this “twist”

    -First off, the PM has always acted strange. Not much else to say about that.
    -Where were the Flamengers when King Torture was still around? Because it was pretty damn strange that as soon as he was defeated the jouji magically has a top secret base (backed by the prime minister himself) that seems to have been running for quite a while.
    -Also, as soon as King Torture is defeated, From Beyond also magically appear. Sure, in the context of an actual super sentai show this makes sense, but I knew that the writers did this for a reason. And that super campy From Beyond introduction video that we now know to be a fabrication of the government? That pretty much gave it away!

    There are several hints spread throughout the show leading up to this, so I think it’s funny that people are still thinking this is “random.” I’m NOT saying it’s a particularly clever revelation, but it was pretty obvious from the start this was where it was headed.

    In fact I think it’s quite interesting that the general public of the samurai flamenco universe is mirrored by the viewers of the show itself: Throughout the show’s run, the majority of viewers were always too concentrated on the ridiculous aspects of the show that they seemed to have missed those hints I mentioned, similar to how the public is distracted by all the super hero stuff from the real issues happening in the government.
    Well done, writers LOL :P

    If anything though, I will agree that the From Beyond arc lasted too long and that this should have happened earlier.

    • February 2, 2014 at 4:17 pmleatherhead333

      Maybe no one noticed the hints because the show has become so incredibly stupid that hardly anyone gives a crap? Call me a bit cynical but when something about a show pissed me off so much that i want drop my laptop into a volcano i find myself missing little stuff like that.

      Honestly i find myself being less and less attached to these characters. Masayoshi has pretty much completely lost my interest at this point as well as the other Flamengers. They are all just SOOO completely artificial that it wouldn’t even care if any of them got killed at this point. If a show is trying to take itself seriously it should at the very LEAST have plausible and believable explanations for it’s revaluations and use a decent amount of what we call “logic”. But instead SF just avoids giving anything of the sort and just raises more questions with each simple minded explanation. One of them being
      “What the hell are these guys smoking and where can i get some of that?”

      I mean am i seriously supposed to believe that everyone in the world just plainly excepted the fact that all the heroes in the world were the reason behind the alien attacks just because the media said so? Considering that there are plenty of people out there who are skeptical about anything regarding aliens that the government prints out it’s azz these days that just requires a mind blowning amount of “suspension of belief”. With conspiracy theorist all over the world you’d think that at least SOMEONE would have spoke up about it…..but apparently not. Oh and all the heroes who of the world just who just defeated a bunch of monsters with stunning super powers were just as easily arrested as easily as any other person (only the Flamengers put up a decent fight).

      Getting back to the characters only one i find myself liking is Goto and (to some existent) the Flamen Girls. And i really think it’s just terrible writing to simply toss aside the characters you have established in one half the show and almost completely disregard them them in the next half. Not to mention when you replace them with forgettable sentai character tropes it just pisses you off even more. A lot of people say that they like this show because it always keeps you on your toes and you don’t know what to expect next. Well you know what’s better than that? Providing a great story AND loveable characters with plenty of twists and turns.

      Death Note would be a perfect example of this and that show doesn’t have NEARLY as many super natural elements to work with as this one. Personally i pretty much only watch this show to see how much further it will continue to ruin itself. When the show had great character development and amusing real life situations it was very enjoyable. To see it reduced to some fanfic authors toilet paper is a real shame.

  • February 2, 2014 at 6:53 pmTheVoid

    I’d say the idea isn’t completely ridiculous and that there were some hints early on even in King Tortures arc. When Goto wanted to investigate Guillotine Gorilla and his fellow officers deaths he was denied by his superiors and before that he questioned why they would have Samurai Flamenco take part in busting people selling drugs. It just so happens that the day they did that is the same day they meet Guillotine Gorilla and King Torture reveals himself.

    Plus it was mentioned that From Beyond was behind King Torture, so this makes the government behind both. Since the PM defeated Flamen Blue and pretty easily at that, they probably use the supernatural/scifi tech they’ve developed to keep people ignorant of how monsters have appeared before to use it to their advantage. Though I’m still betting on someone altering the world to make most of this happen.

  • February 2, 2014 at 10:18 pmTanz

    Whether or not the plot makes sense or not, I started not to care because of the characters. As mentioned by many others, they’ve gotten flat and the charm the MC had has also been lost.

    And normally, if this is a government conspiracy after all, you would be shocked and be awed by the amount of foreshadowing. The fact that it feels so random and the general reaction of “um, okay” shows that they didn’t really do a good job of it at all. Even if the hints were subtle or obvious, it lacks impact (the good kind of impact) all together.

    I’m still depressed that they went to this direction. I wouldn’t have minded if the government didn’t get involve at all, as long as it was about Masayoshi ._.

  • February 2, 2014 at 10:21 pmThe Plot Twist

    Plot Twist

    We’re watching a superhero anime series within an anime. There are no real monsters, nobody died, everything is not a dream but rather just another TV Show.

    • February 3, 2014 at 2:24 amlorenzo

      So… basically Samurai Flamenco is about US!!!

  • February 3, 2014 at 7:37 amSingerOfW

    Why is no one else discussing the bombshell that was the dialogue with Beyond Flamenco? It’s like he was trying to explain the whole underlying idea of the whole series, but Masayoshi (and the audience) just didn’t have enough info to understand him, so he just sounded all cryptic. Mark my words, this is going to be very, very important later.

    Actually, that dialogue also tells me that the government has nothing to do with the previous attacks: it’s just another one of the show’s “phases”, as Beyond Flamenco puts it. Really, just because it’s an easy explanation to accept doesn’t mean that it’s right. After all, King Torture was certainly acting out of his own deranged will, even with outside assistance, and From Beyond does have alien technology unknown to modern science. Unless you feel that the government has some secret technology that somehow didn’t get leaked anywhere and has an unidentifiable cellular structure, I’m just not buying it.

  • February 3, 2014 at 7:48 pmFlanders

    The words of that Captain America type guy describes this series the best: Tackle, tackle, tackle! Beam, beam, beam!

    Or in other words: Troll, Troll, Troll! We’ve been all taken for a ride. And the story plot kinda makes sense when you look at it from afar. After all, government is the master of misdirection.

  • February 4, 2014 at 3:40 pmRick Anime

    This show is so weird. I agree with the ‘writer’ of this article that I wish we had more of a lead up.
    However I must admit I am enjoying this show. It’s much different from all the other generic teenage->middle school anime of this season. At least it features lots of grown folks in it. Granted, the main character’s cop buddy gets on my last nerve. He has a totally hot girl living with him and all the time he’s like, “Oh, I’m not into her cause I got this mysterious girlfriend no one ever sees.”. Now that part is typical of anime (avoiding relationships, males getting teased and not responding).

    I do enjoy this show but its for sure no ‘Beyond the boundary’ or ‘From the New World’. It’s far from Epic. But its a decent show kind of