「愛をおしえて」 (Ai o Oshiete)
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.