Samurai Flamenco – 08
This week – suddenly fighting super villains is completely normal! I’m not entirely sure what to make of the direction Samumenco has taken, but I am pretty impressed that they’re really going for it full tilt. If you’re going to drastically change gears you may as well go all out!
The Flamenco gang burned through quite a lot of goons in one episode, (I don’t think we’re in any danger of this show devolving into some sort of monster of the week format thankfully) all with hilarious names – Hanging Kite, Boiling Rhino, Wheel Orochi, Delta Horse and of course Torture Boys the faceless mooks, and all acting in an extremely stereotypical super villain manner. The fights all play out in such a stylised, generic manner that it feels like a parody – I wasn’t sure if I was meant to be finding this hilarious or not, since the characters are taking things very seriously and people actually do die in the show. It’s a weird feeling – I admire how gutsy the show is, but at the same time I’m really not a fan of sentai shows and can’t honestly say I particularly liked this episode as a result.
The pace is snappy though, with quite a bit of time passing in just this one episode – enough time that Masayoshi has had several upgrades to his Samurai Flamenco costume & become very competent at using the new features. However despite all the random fights in this episode I’m happy that the focus is still very much on the characters. Even if the bigger picture has changed from following a naive wannabe vigilante’s quest to make the world a nicer place, to having a proper super hero team fighting a big bad with actual nefarious plans, the show still takes time to further develop its characters – who are the primary reason I like this show in the first place.
Masayoshi’s character has come a very long way from episode one. By the end of this episode be has become a very slick operator in both his personas – Masayoshi is calm, confident and capable, a complete reversal from the enthusiastic but klutzy individual we first encountered. The new Masayoshi feels colder in a way too – something that even Goto’s girlfriend has picked up on despite never actually meeting Masayoshi face-to-face (to our knowledge anyway). Masayoshi’s competence is distancing him from the other characters that gravitated to his warm, endearing personality. He needed to be protected to a certain extent before, but now is perfectly capable of handling himself.
There is no need for Goto’s sensible, grounding force now because there are actual super villains to fight against – things that the police can’t handle on their own. At the start the Samurai Flamenco needed the back-up provided by the Flamenco Girls and the cops, but now with the upgrades he’s received and experience gained in fighting past monsters, Samumenco is fine all by himself. Mari is starting to get bored again since her Flamenco Girl unit is being sidelined by Samurai Flamenco’s more capable evolving combat style and the fact that King Torture only called him out and not her.
In general this felt like a build up episode, setting up the characters for another shake up soon – there were a lot of changes, quite a bit of time passed, pieces have been shuffled round the board setting up a new game. I’m still half expecting the show to pull the carpet out from under me again in some massive trolling exercise, which I’d be absolutely fine with so long as it proves to be interesting and well written. While this is no longer the show I fell in love with, I’m still invested in seeing where it is going……still wish it had a better budget though, the QUARITY is getting worse with each passing episode.