Random Curiosity

Samurai Flamenco – 17 »« Samurai Flamenco – 15

Samurai Flamenco – 16

OP3 Sequence

OP3: 「愛愛愛に撃たれてバイバイバイ」 (Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bai Bai Bai) by FLOW

「さすらいのヒーロー」 (Sasurai no Hiiroo)
“Wandering Hero”

This show sure gets polar reactions from the audience – on one hand, a lot of people think it’s cleverly told and enjoy it for what it is… and on the other hand, a lot of people probably dropped it because it’s totally gone down a different path. Then there’s me who is on the fence and I kind of just laugh at Samurai Flamenco because I can’t take it seriously anymore. It’s not SO bad that I want to drop it, because despite everything that’s happened, I just want to know how it will all end. Will it all make sense? Why am I so hopeful for this show? It’s definitely unique in the sense that… I would probably never recommend it (don’t hate me!) but I feel some form of accomplishment by actually finishing this series. It’s weird to say that it’s an entertaining show, yet it still pushes all the wrong buttons with me. I apologize to everyone if it sounds like I’m bashing it all the time, but I’m trying to enjoy it – I really am. With that all said I actually enjoyed this week’s episode. Samurai Flamenco has brought back some of the features that makes me hopeful again that these past 16+ weeks have not been wasted. I’m not exactly keen on the direction of this show, but at least there are still aspects of it that makes it enjoyable. You know I liked an episode when I’m not consistently checking how much longer the episode is… (Guilty of doing that… a lot when I’m bored.).

I mentioned before I would like to see more of Mari and boy, did we see a lot of Mari (and Moe). I know I called her annoying before, but these past weeks have made me sympathize with her situation. She doesn’t have a lot of relatable factors, but I can see why she’s so shaken up and angry with her group members. D*mn, can she hold a grudge or what? A lot of people aren’t proud of who they are or can’t accept themselves for who they are, and Mari has to learn and accept that she’s not Moe. Moe is the type to be so self-sacrificing that it scares me sometimes because I’m not like that. If there’s anything that I can relate to Mari about, it’s this. People are generally selfish beings and Moe proves to be one of the least selfish ones with her love for Mari. I’m not sure if everyone can understand how terrible that makes you feel when someone loves you that much and you can’t reciprocate to that extent. In this case, Mari is taking a huge step forward by forgiving Moe for what happened (but I never saw it as Moe’s fault) and I hope it actually changes her character in the future. It’s not about the “embarrassment” that she went through, but it’s about who she is as an individual and why she can’t be the type of hero that Masayoshi is.

There’s more than one person who came to term with themselves, and the other is actually Masayoshi. You know, as a main character, you’d expect him to go through the most development in 16 episodes, but I’ve actually seen very little growth out of Masayoshi (other than the physical abilities). Or maybe my expectations are too high? Masayoshi started out as an ignorant man who wanted to be a “superhero” in society. He’s grown into an actual superhero since then, but his intentions and ideals are still the same. He still wants to save the world and all his trials have been successful so he’s never had to change his approach to “defeating evil”… until now. Now, his opponent is the Prime Minister and not only that, but the entire city is after him and wrongly accusing him. I’m glad we have some actual conflict now that isn’t bogus because Masayoshi has some actual hardships to go through that aren’t self-inflicted. It’s funny that even through all these circumstances, Masayoshi still has very strong willpower to do the right thing. He hasn’t grown cynical or angry with the world, nor has he fallen apart and accepted defeat. He still keeps fighting to clear his name and I admire that quality about him.

Despite all the negativity that surrounds Samurai Flamenco right now, there’s still people out there that think the best of him. This old, blind man is one of those characters that make you believe in humankind again and that people can change for the better. Rarely do people ever change at that age unless something life-altering happens – and for him, it’s clearly meeting Samurai Flamenco. And I think it’s because of this very reason that Masayoshi did what he did. He wanted to make an impact on people’s lives and it’s funny how ironic the situation is. Masayoshi saved someone’s life that would later save his and there’s no better way to illustrate the effect that kindness has on the world. It’s really all about paying it forward, and I highly recommend everyone watch that movie (plug!). Anyway, I haven’t felt this happy for Masayoshi’s accomplishments since he saved that man from falling and the man let him escape the paparazzi. I hope Samurai Flamenco continues with these types of development episodes because it’s probably one of the only reasons I’ll continue to praise the show. See, it’s not all bad!

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #Samumenco has gone back to the roots that made this series so enjoyable in the first place. Hopefully it continues down this path =)

February 7, 2014 at 10:54 am
29 comments »
  • February 7, 2014 at 11:16 amTrixy

    “Took you long enough, baka!” Such a great line to end the episode. :’D

    • February 9, 2014 at 7:47 amSuomynona

      Yep, and it summarizes my thoughts about the episode perfectly.

  • February 7, 2014 at 11:26 amJames

    I knew there was a legitimate reason why Goto was relegated to the sidelines of the story. Masayoshi, at least in the sentai arc, felt very conflicted about involving Goto in his heroic endeavors. You’re right, it’s about paying it forward and also not shouldering the weight of the world on your shoulders. Being a hero is not just about how YOU can help others, but how through your actions, you teach others that being a hero is something EVERYONE can do. You don’t need a suit to be a hero. Very simple concept, but well executed this episode.

    It was a very poignant moment in the show when Masayoshi felt inner peace and fulfillment, while he was dirty, hungry, and on the run. He was never this happy even with all the fame the world offered him. That’s why I never wrote off the Sentai arc as unimportant (yes, it was too long, I’ll admit that), because aside from portraying the gross show-boaty commercial side of heroism, it also showed that Masayoshi was never fully happy with where he was. People that respected him out of obligation, Flamenco merchandising, etc. All that stuff strayed away from his initial path.

  • February 7, 2014 at 11:30 amleatherhead333

    Well will you look at that…..

    I can honestly say this was the BEST episode the series has had in it’s
    entire run. The focus was strictly on all the original main characters
    (which is what I’ve been asking for since the king torture arc ended)
    and they all receive good development in a very human/believable way.

    I’m glad the show decided to calm down for once and actually use what it
    had to work with. Just seeing dynamic of Hazama almost resorting to stealing
    when he was on the very brink of starving was awesome. A man who
    dedicated his whole life to being hero having to resort to such a
    thing……mmmmm it’s honestly very powerful stuff. And just when he was about to start questioning if all he had done was worth it a hobo who he saved from the past in turn
    rescues him. It simply goes to show that even if he ever felt like cursing
    the world for turning on him that there are people in the world who
    truly did appreciate his actions as a hero. I wish Karma worked like that in real life =(

    In the end it seems that Goto will always be the one he has to turn to
    in his time of need but i have absouletly no problems with that. The two have become an insuperable pair and Goto wouldn’t keep helping Masayoshi out if he didn’t truly care for him.

    I also enjoyed the first half with Marie-san. This really shows the
    significance of the King Torture arc as she was still messed up by the
    events that took place during it. And i hardly blame her. It was very
    nice to see things patched up between the Flamen Girls (and we even got a
    hilarious yuri moment from it lol! ) so I’m hoping that their involvement in the overall plot is as big as it was in the first part of the show.

    If they keep this sort of pace up I’ll have to take back everything I’ve said about the show >.> (eh that’s stretching things a bit though).

  • February 7, 2014 at 11:36 amEmD

    I hope that now people realize what the point of the goofy, unrealistic, cheesy Flamengers arc was.

    Absolutely brilliant story telling, especially juxtaposed with the realities of Masayoshi’s actions here in this episode.

    and if you haven’t…well, then you’re not truly enjoying this show.

    Brotou’s back in action.

  • February 7, 2014 at 11:38 amJiCi

    About time Mari snaps out of it… and they’ve done in the nicest way possible :D

    However, that’s just gross:
    http://randomc.net/image/Samurai%20Flamenco/Samurai%20Flamenco%20-%2016%20-%20Large%2018.jpg

    The censoring makes it like something OTHER than puke…

  • February 7, 2014 at 12:09 pmMike

    @ JiCi,

    The barfing wasn’t bothering me much, the following however did;

    http://i.imgur.com/f1xrKtW.jpg

    Sanitary!

    • February 7, 2014 at 12:36 pmTre

      That blue radioactive puke might be the beginnings of superpowers or something.

      At least, that’s what I’d be telling myself in order to go through with the kiss.

    • February 8, 2014 at 7:17 pmCherrie

      LOL! That kiss made me wonder about the puke too… >_>

  • February 7, 2014 at 12:34 pmDvalinn

    I’m like you, Cherrie, in the sense that I can’t take this show seriously anymore either. And I’ve actually lost hope it’ll ever be as good as the earlier episodes again and will just continue down this spiraling path into madness. Regardless, I will stick with it – not only does a show have to really piss me off if I want to drop it this far in (and Samumenco has at least some interesting characters left) but I do want to see how it ends as well. If only because the viewing experience wouldn’t feel complete without it.

    Still, credit where credit’s due, this was actually a pretty good episode, and the closest thing we’ve gotten to a sane episode in a while. Not so surprising either, because it focuses mostly on Mari and her problems, who is one of those aforementioned interesting characters. After all, she’s probably the most developed character in the series (as Masayoshi and Goto have been lacking in that aspect so far) and watching her go through her character arc is actually pretty engaging. I wonder what the show will do with her next though. I hope she doesn’t suddenly fade into the background or anything.

    And Goto is finally back. Well, goody. I’d like another sane episode with him, anyway, before the writers go balls crazy again.

    • February 7, 2014 at 2:59 pmJames

      Like EmD said several posts above you, the super sentai stuff is supposed to feel off and hard to take seriously, even in the context of the story! However, as far as themes and the points the show is trying to get across to us, I think the writers did a good job and I am taking that aspect of the show quite seriously (well, as much as I can take fiction seriously lol).

      It’s interesting that many people suggested that this will all end up being a dream. Personally, that would be a cop-out and would be very dumb. However, it is almost LIKE a dream in that masayoshi (as well as the viewers themselves) lost sight of “the realities of masayoshi’s actions” as EmD stated. This episode served as a slap to the face to both masayoshi and the viewers that “hey, being a hero is not about suits, robots, fame, and publicity.” I think this was intentional on the writers part too…which is pretty awesome.

      • February 8, 2014 at 8:06 amDvalinn

        I’m sorry, but that doesn’t fly with me. Yes, I understand the writers are trying to make a point, that there’s a grand theme behind it all. But if you have to make your point by shoveling an arc full of boring, uninteresting episodes down our throat, then you’ve failed as a writer. It fails to keep me, the viewer, engaged and invested in your show, just for the sake of their own self-indulgence. Honestly, it’s the same rationale that was behind Endless Eight.

        That’s why I can’t take this show seriously anymore – because I just don’t care about its grand story at this point. It doesn’t help that Masayoshi is the centerpiece of that story, yet most of the side-characters are more engaging by far.

      • February 8, 2014 at 8:35 pmJames

        I respect your opinion that it was uninteresting.
        But I don’t see why it’s wrong at all for the writers to indulge themselves…art that doesn’t indulge the artist…what’s the point in that? We already have enough shameless pandering in anime (this show isn’t exactly exempt from that either tbh).
        Sure, you can’t please everyone (such as yourself), but it’s unreasonable to expect writers to be unselfish. Fuck it, I respect the writers for doing what they think is interesting, regardless of the flaws.

  • February 7, 2014 at 3:27 pmrukia

    When is Goto going to introduce Mizuki as his girlfriend?

    • February 7, 2014 at 10:52 pmhoh

      I don’t think that’s a confirmed theory yet.

    • February 8, 2014 at 7:20 pmCherrie

      But is she REALLY the girlfriend? >_>

    • February 10, 2014 at 5:41 amchioneicedyrken

      I recall Goto saying that he and his girlfriend were in a long distance relationship. that’s why, it would take some time for her to collect her umbrella.

      And speaking about her umbrella, someone on MAL mentioned this.
      I quote:
      “All the from Beyond members had a octupus like neck piece. (http://randomc.net/image/Samurai%20Flamenco/Samurai%20Flamenco%20-%2014%20-%20Large%2022.jpg)
      The smallest group of members of from beyond were made of 4. An octupus has 8 tentacles. 4^8 = 65536, The exact number of members in From beyond.

      Now here’s the real kicker:
      What does the toy in goto’s gf umbrella look like.”

      Umbrella: https://24.media.tumblr.com/9f7d1d18fb0a9c31768147a6c63ea75a/tumblr_n0s85rzYpe1qby9cgo1_1280.png

      It’s probably nothing, but hrmmmm.. :P

    • February 12, 2014 at 8:16 amiron2000

      What if they leave the girlfriend thing unanswered all the way?

      Can it still be said that the show is still in the “From Beyond” arc?
      Perhaps the ‘answer’ part?

      Then from episode 20 onwards perhaps the final arc, where hopefully the girlfriend comes in?

  • February 7, 2014 at 5:05 pmricz

    Ah finally…. The old gang is back
    Screw those stupid ranger lol

  • February 7, 2014 at 5:40 pmGeebun

    An episode mostly about actual fun and likable characters that made this show interesting to begin with?! I put the series on hold after episode 12 but this makes me want to catch up with the show.

  • February 7, 2014 at 10:52 pmAggron

    When he was in the homeless person’s home, damn that sounds strange :/, I really wanted to get a look at the picture he had of his family.

  • February 7, 2014 at 10:56 pmAggron

    Someone else shared this on MAL, but I think its a great theory:

    So all the from Beyond members had a octopus like tentacle for a tail. The smallest group of members of from beyond were made of 4. An octopus has 8 tentacles. 4^8 = 65536, The exact number of members in From beyond.

    Now here’s the real kicker:
    What does the toy in goto’s gf umbrella look like?

    • February 8, 2014 at 8:15 amAni_BEE

      Thanks for that! For the longest time I as getting this gut feeling that the “big bad” of this series might be Goto’s Girlfriend that been a part of the show from the get go but we never get to see her or know ANYTHING about her.

      http://randomc.net/2013/10/18/samurai-flamenco-02/

    • February 12, 2014 at 8:21 amiron2000

      What if there is no girlfriend?

      Could Gotou himself somehow be the big bad?
      Or could he be under some hypnotic suggestion by the true big bad?

      Excited about the girlfriend thing too, its always be in the background wonder when will it surface.

      Wonder how they will tie everything up.

  • February 8, 2014 at 1:06 amJeroz

    I wouldn’t say it was all smooth sailing for Hazama when in ep13 he had the realisation that there’s something just right out of his league. He doubted his ability back then, but being true to himself he persevere and does the thing he knows he’s supposed to do.

  • February 8, 2014 at 7:32 amMochaCookies

    When they first changed the OP for the winter season I was a little disappointed at how every clip was reused from the episode just before the cross-season break.

    A few episodes later, I’m actually okay with it. The OP sequence actually fits the song quite well, if you ignore the fact that the clips are reused animation.

    Now they change it again, presumably as an improvement over the original. But all I can think is “Wow… the new OP is mostly stills with unimpressive CG effects. That’s even more underwhelming than all the reused footage of first version of OP 2.”

    It’s all intentional, I know, and necessary to shift the focus away from the Flamengers arc. But why didn’t they just make a less Flamenger focused OP sequence back at the season change, and then use that OP all the way through rather than changing it 4 episodes into the season? Now it just looks like they ran out of budget for the second cour.

    Incidentally, the OP song ends with “Ai Ai Ai” coinciding with shots of Mari, Gotou, and Masayoshi’s EYES. Unintentional pun :D

  • February 9, 2014 at 8:24 amGP1301

    Whats this? Japs imitating Hannibal Lecter?

  • February 12, 2014 at 8:11 amiron2000

    Have been putting this off since episode 12.
    The Flamengers arc isn’t as good as the solo arc.

    With the new arc, the OP is ‘completed’.
    The big twist that the Japan government is the actually evil organization.
    Looks like we won’t get an Ultraman-ish arc :P
    Was thinking maybe Flamenco is the name of some alien race like Saiyanjin or Kryptonian.

    I guess after the filler-like Flemengers arc, its back to solo Kick Ass action with Samurai Flamenco and maybe the Flamenco Girls?

    The words of Beyond Flamenco, the name ‘Flamenco’, why?
    So the JP Gov created From Beyond?
    Was it from what they found in King Torture’s base?
    The shiny rock thingy?
    Can the JP Gov control it.
    Will it go berserk and only the heroes can save the day again?

    Anyway check out the official twitter for a pic of the new Samurai Flamenco costume:
    https://twitter.com/samumenco/status/433488777453920256/photo/1

  • February 26, 2014 at 8:53 pmDivineJimmy

    I have a bad feeling about this re-occurring blind guy from this episode. If you remember it was episode 7 where this show took a turn into a more fictional show and I think its no coincidence that this blind guy has returned once again at Masayoshi’s 2nd lowest point in the show.

    ( the first lowest point being him getting the box and discovering the truth about his parents in episode 7 and now the 2nd in e16 with him on the verge of breaking his code ((stealing to eat.)))

    Also an interesting thing I happened to notice was how Masayoshi did not steal the bread from the bakery but was then given THAT SAME TYPE OF BREAD by the bum??? Coincidence????? I don’t know!!!??? But what I do know is that there are a lot of little unanswered questions and loop holes that I think will be explained in episodes to come.