Samurai Flamenco – 07
You know when I watching this episode I was mostly taking notes ready to talk about Masayoshi’s past and the tragic backstory trope popular in hero shows…but then the last 5 or so minutes happened, and…….well suddenly we have a different show entirely!
Okay so before we get to the extreme WHAAAAAATTT!??? that was GUILLOTINE GORILLA!! and KING TORTURE!! lets talk about the rest of the episode very briefly.
I never fail to be impressed by how well written this show is, everything was progressing in a very natural manner – just like the amount of people visiting Masayoshi’s previously rather soulless apartment. I love how Joji brings him back random souvenirs from his latest trip for self-promotion, it’s a nice little touch that the show just fires in in the background, but it really adds another layer to the setting. There’s also the amusing fact that the petty crime rate has decreased thanks to the actions of the Flamenco heroes, leading Mari to becoming rather bored & moody and Masayoshi to take on more work as a model & idol. At this stage I was half expecting Mari to start to be moulded as a budding antagonist due to her intrinsic need to inject some excitement into her life…..but then….yeah I’ll get to that stuff shortly.
Anyway the reveal that Masayoshi’s parents were murdered when he was two and the fact his grandfather hid this fact from him, was very well played out – indeed this would have been a perfectly good episode if that was the entire climax this week. Masayoshi’s acknowledgement that vengeance for a tragic backstory is a classic in the superhero genre, while also being torn by the fact he just doesn’t have that desire for revenge due to not remembering his parents in the first place and then worrying he’s being coldhearted, was extremely well played out. I enjoyed Goto’s way of reassuring Masayoshi, by telling him that his feelings were extremely human and therefore natural as Masayoshi isn’t the perfect superhero he thinks he is in his head. This whole conversation just seemed to further cement the fact that this series is set in a world were there are no superpowers, just ordinary people trying to make a difference.
And then this happened.
and I no longer knew what to think. Literally. When the episode finished I sat back and just went “what the actual fuck?”
You know I absolutely love the fact I never in a million years would have imagined that this was coming. Not many shows manage to blindside me this completely – most major plot-twists generally have some sort of buildup, where you can look back at the previous episodes and see that tiny hints were being dropped. But not here – nope everything in this show has been reinforcing the mundane, the ordinary; the fact that there are no superheroes, just deluded youngsters that want to fight crime. There isn’t even a whisper of some madman crafting some new freaky drug or of any underground organisation that were gaining power in the shadows, before we are presented with a man transforming into a freaking gorilla with a guillotine in his stomach!!
And it is gruesomely presented – a werewolf style transformation and those policemen really die in horrible ways before Goto and Samumenco manage to shove the Gorilla out the window before he self-destructs. It is reassuring that the show keeps its realistic depiction even when throwing its own rulebook out the window to give us superpowered villains. I have no idea where the show is going to go from here – maybe Masayoshi’s granda wasn’t as crazy as I had been imagining and there is some key to unlocking Masayoshi’s potential in all those ramblings. Or maybe this is just one massive troll and the last five minutes were really an episode of Samurai Flamenco’s new TV show? Either way I’m absolutely blown away by this series – it’s fecking awesome!!