Samurai Flamenco – 02
So Samurai Flamenco will be the second show I’m covering this season – I just couldn’t resist this fantastically well written and directed show. It may be a bit different to what I was expecting, but it’s actually better because of that – become a hero tackling one petty crime at a time, this week it is umbrella theft that is in the spotlight!
Well I say that but really this show is a commentary on what we’ve come to expect out of our everyday lives. Sure the world would be a much better place if everyone followed the rules to a T, but life just doesn’t work that way – human nature is geared towards doing what is convenient for themselves, especially if it seems rather innocuous like leaving out your garbage in the evening rather than first thing in the morning. Although on that subject, why don’t they just have big bins rather than loose bags, which would solve all their pest issues!
Anyway, our Samurai Flamenco only sees the world in black and white – rules are there to be followed regardless of convenience. It is a very naïve outlook and his character would be supremely irritating and false feeling if it wasn’t for the excellent writing this show displays. Masayoshi is a simple idiot the like of which is hardly uncommon in anime, but it’s how straightforward and honest he is about his desire to “fight evil” that makes him likeable and interesting to watch. The sheer pigheadedness he displays in the face of socially accepted common sense is actually endearing in a way that is pretty difficult to pull off, but Samurai Flamenco has managed it with seeming ease. What is unusual is Masayoshi’s admittance that he has no friends – normally this kind of singleminded idiot character has a group who look after him to a degree, but it seems like Masayoshi’s strange obsessions have alienated everyone from him.
This week’s insight into Masayoshi’s day job as a model was also interesting as was meeting his manager Ishihara. In the idol business Masayoshi’s only commodity is his pretty face, he is devoid of any other talent and his personality and adoration of superheroes is hardly marketable. You can feel how hard Ishihara is working to get him work, she’s frightening in her intensity, but it is a cutthroat, throwaway industry so she has to be that tough. Masayoshi is entirely dependent on her and his company both for his job and his home – he doesn’t really have any right to protest, and without any other talent or qualification to his name Masayoshi is more or less tied to the idol industry. The contrast in how Masayoshi is treated compared to the established trio of idol girls in this episode also hammers home how tenuous his position is in this industry – his Samurai Flamenco shenanigans could really harm his career if it is revealed. It also looks like one of those girls is a big superhero otaku too – should be interesting to see what will come from that.
Now as for Hidenori – I really hope his girlfriend materialises on screen at some point, because at this stage she just feels like an excuse for not having him and Masayoshi get together right away! I ship these two hard; they make a great couple as Hidenori’s dry common sense and innate protectiveness work well with Masayoshi’s naïve passion and social awkwardness. I loved how Masayoshi went off on a mad chase after Hidenori’s stolen umbrella because he knew it was important to Hidenori’s girlfriend (what a great scene that was!), and I loved how Hidenori cannot seem to help himself from getting involved in Masayoshi’s antics despite his better sense – even if trying to talk sense to Masayoshi about his superheroing is like talking to a brick wall. The pair have wonderful chemistry and I really enjoy watching them interact.
So yes, Samurai Flamenco has the makings of a wonderful show – the whole concept is creative and well written with great direction, looking forward to next week!