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Samurai Flamenco – 21

「愛をおしえて」 (Ai o Oshiete)
“Teaching Love”

How do you define love?

One of the areas that Samurai Flamenco has never dived too deeply into is this concept of love and how it plays a role in everyone’s lives. The show has been mainly focused on friendship and teamwork and what it takes to make a hero… but Joji flat out states that in order to be a great hero, you need to learn to love. My initially reaction was no surprise – “Wow, that’s so cliche!”. However, as you keep watching and as the episode follows Masayoshi’s journey to find out what “love” means, I think I’ve come to accept that this might actually be a great theoretical solution to Haiji’s obsession with Masayoshi. Haiji is not just another “monster” that can be taken down with fancy stationary tricks, he’s someone with a purpose and in order to win against his tactics, you need to know what drives him. What motives him to do what he does and why? I think that’s the secret that Masayoshi needs to uncover before confronting Haiji.

People always say that there’s a fine line between love and hate and Sumi clearly stated that point in this episode. While explaining to Masayoshi her definition of love, she compares the feelings of obsession and passion to love and how those feelings can manifest itself in many forms. If you believe her reasoning, you can see how that “justifies” Haiji’s obsession with Masayoshi and the idea of Samurai Flamenco. While some people showcase their love and appreciation of Samurai Flamenco by writing fan-mail and going out to support him, Haiji chooses to show his fascination with Samurai Flamenco by tainting him and basically trying to be his arch nemesis. Why? Is this truly a way of loving someone? Another way that I look at is how Haiji explained it to Gotou. Haiji has never felt more passionate about anything in his life and I think he wants attention from Masayoshi because he’s been so crazy about him for this long. In other words, Haiji wants reciprocated attention from Masayoshi and that’s why he’s dedicated his life to making Masayoshi’s life a living hell. Is this love then? Well it’s definitely some form of obsession, but I wouldn’t call it love myself.

When I envision love, it’s probably going to be in the romantic sense. However, there are obviously other forms of love which were mentioned in this week’s episode. There was always something missing from all of Masayoshi’s behaviors and I think Joji hit it right on the nail. It’s not that he lacks love or the capabilities to love, it’s simply the realization that he doesn’t consciously do anything for the sake of loving someone or something. Masayoshi has a strong sense of justice and no one can deny that fact, but that’s not necessarily actions of pure love. I don’t want to sound like he doesn’t do great things though, because I think Masayoshi does have a lot of qualities of a real hero – but that “love” aspect is important because it allows the hero connect to people. It’s odd that up until this point, I couldn’t truly grasp why I felt more connected with Gotou than Masayoshi because he’s not a bad character at all. But it’s much more clear now that it’s because I can’t relate to him… and I can’t relate because I think he feels rather hollow at times. It’s taken this long for me to finally feel some empathy towards Masayoshi but at least it’s there. The urgency at the end to save Gotou makes for a great cliffhanger finale and I’m hoping that doesn’t crash and burn. You never know with Samurai Flamenco… Haiji also hasn’t disappointed me as a villain and it almost (but not really) makes the entire ride feel worth it.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie:The power of love is always the answer… But I’m buying it this time around. #Samumenco is ramping up for a good finale I hope.

March 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm
18 comments »
  • March 21, 2014 at 4:08 pmVsAllGaming

    I can’t wait for Masayoshi to take down Haiji. Pretty sure he wont be alone though. I would imagine Mari would appear to get payback for what he did to her friends.

  • March 21, 2014 at 4:22 pmJ_the_Man

    I get really weary when love adulterated with romance and becomes an emotion. As an emotion of feeling something, love his perhaps the most flimsy adhesive binding two people together. As soon as the not so good feelings kick in, (because let’s face it, life ain’t a cakewalk) the lack of good feelings of infatuation by logic appears to me there is a lack of love.

    If I could define love, it would be the individual’s capacity to sacrifice themselves for others’ well-being regardless of their thoughts on the matter. Can you step in front of the bullet for someone if push came to shove? I think this attitude of love would lead to more stable relationships. I think that’s what Masayoshi must realize as a hero.

    • March 22, 2014 at 7:34 pmEbisu

      There is self-esteem too, love towards one self. :D

  • March 21, 2014 at 4:50 pmEmD

    If this show ends with the love of the Justice Boyfriends saving the day, it truly is utter greatness.

  • March 21, 2014 at 5:11 pmmagoiichi

    It’s just like Masterpiece’s Sherlock or Batman in general. Unless they meet the one who really interests them, the romantic type love is out of the picture. Loving friends and family is what Masayoshi already does and understands.

  • March 22, 2014 at 12:20 amCybersteel

    So Cherrie, if Jouji had super hearing and super vision, how did he miss that giant truck headed right for him?

    • March 22, 2014 at 12:21 pmFlayvorOfEvil

      Because Kaname Jouji has super ADD, he focuses on Haiji 18 times harder than normal people.

    • March 23, 2014 at 8:38 pmTheCommentGuy

      The truck has super speed

  • March 22, 2014 at 4:54 amGeebun

    Except the flamengers and alien flamenco(not including 16 and 17 till the end) part which were weird…I’m still really liking this show and I am really exited for the final. As strange as it is, Samumenco is still one of my favorite show to follow this season and I hope they don’t mess up on the ending.

    • March 22, 2014 at 6:50 pmThe Shizard

      It’s not strange, there’s a lot a like about this show. That creepy catchy ending, girl love, sometimes hideous animation and self-mockery. The last episodes were pretty good and similar to the first ones.

      And this season is arguably one of the worst in a while…

  • March 22, 2014 at 11:52 amSDFGS

    Did anyone notice how Haiji was actually backstage with everyone at the MMM concert? Look closely at the third picture on top.

  • March 22, 2014 at 12:22 pmFlayvorOfEvil

    So… does Haiji also run off of Flamwenco Space Magic?

  • March 22, 2014 at 3:23 pmFeik

    I still can’t understand why no one is more concerned with how the girlfriend and a bunch of people can vanish from a bus?

    Alien Abduction? Spirited Away? Eaten by something?

    But there is no blood or damage… they are just gone.
    Hell it looked like the bus was carefully parked as well.

    I have been watching through the insanity just to find out what happened to her (I assumed dead).
    And now we are expected to accept “missing”. If it was just her… perhaps… but a bus full of people leaving a perfectly good bus?

    The only thing I can think of is Masayoshi “Suzumiya Haruhi’d” the lot of them out of existence so he could get a sidekick.

    • March 22, 2014 at 6:00 pmEmD

      I’m pretty sure it was only her and the bus driver (which is ever more suspect)

      and it happened 6 years before the start of the series so I doubt Masayoshi had anything to do with it lol

  • March 22, 2014 at 6:11 pmLongSocks

    I think this is your best post on the show. Very insightful.

  • March 22, 2014 at 7:02 pmThe Shizard

    I wonder if they are going to make Masayoshi fall in love, or focus on the realisation that he loves friends, family etc. If the first, it has to be a character already existing..i’ve been expecting Ishihara-san to be that person! That blushing face when she first met him, and the amount of time she’s been getting this episode and the previous ones…time will tell.

  • March 24, 2014 at 9:40 amAkito_kun

    Did anyone on the show forgot the minor plot story about Masayoshi’s parents disappearing? This was last mentioned on the earlier episodes and was never mentioned again. Wondering why they didn’t go back to that and solve the mystery behind their disappearance.

    • March 24, 2014 at 6:56 pmChioneDyrken

      Now that you mentioned it, a lot of people seem to be ‘disappearing’; Goto’s gf, Hazama’s parents. Haiji is also using the concept of disappearance since his existence is somewhat intangible. Maybe they are all connected???? O.O But I don’t think they’ll end with all these mysteries solved.

      My guess for Goto’s gf though might probably be that the bus went into an accident where she lost her memories; answering why she hasn’t come back to her ‘home’. Then probably at the end of the series, she’ll probably walk past Goto, and leave this bittersweet taste in the plot behind. Mwahaha..that’s how I’ll do it if I was leading the end. Oh but we’ll see how it goes :)