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Samurai Flamenco – 09

December 13, 2013

[HorribleSubs] Samurai Flamenco - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_18.17_[2013.12.08_15.02.06]Apologies for the massively delayed post, been pretty busy this week.

So as suspected in episode 8, it is indeed time for another shake up – complacency was setting in for our characters so along comes King Torture to fully live up to his moniker.

[HorribleSubs] Samurai Flamenco - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_14.56_[2013.12.08_15.00.17]

And how!  Mood whiplash is becoming a signature of Samurai Flamenco, even though I was full expecting some sort of plot twist, I wasn’t quite ready for seeing the aftermath of a lengthy torture session.  While not as pronounced as the jolt I got with the Guillotine Gorilla incident, seeing Konno and then Mari in such a state was indeed a bit of a shock.   All the more so since the majority of the episode had been spent stressing how mundane and unexciting the whole monster situation had become in the three months since Guillotine Gorilla.

I enjoy how this show seems to hold up a mirror to society – it is easy to believe that this is how we would act if presented with the sequence of events unfolding in Samurai Flamenco.  The viral nature of Samumenco’s early fame, the media saturation upon the initial reveal of King Torture and the gradual desensitisation of the public to the continued emergence of the monsters – I can easily believe it all, which is what makes Samurai Flamenco such a well written show.  I really had to laugh at the scene at the start with Samuari Flamenco & the latest crazy monster going at their full spiel, while the rest of the world steadfastly ignores them.  It is rather amazing how quickly the extraordinary can become mundane once you have been over-exposed to it.

[HorribleSubs] Samurai Flamenco - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_01.49_[2013.12.08_14.52.51]

King Torture himself even hammers this home with his comment that he and Konno are quite similar – they’re both seeking entertainment, be it good or bad.  Human nature leads us to seek out new and interesting things to entertain us, something which is clearly seen in both Konno and Mari’s actions.  Konno is constantly looking for a new interesting story – new entertainment, while Mari has gotten bored of the repetitive nature of the current fights and is seeking a new thrill by calling out the Big Bad himself.  Entertainment is an underscoring theme throughout the series, with a lot of the main characters working in the entertainment industry and the whole superhero thing being extremely aware of its fantastical, entertainment roots.  I suppose it is fitting that the main villain has now basically declared that he is in this for shits & giggles.

[HorribleSubs] Samurai Flamenco - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_11.19_[2013.12.08_14.58.16]

In other interesting titbits, I still love the relationship between Masayoshi and Goto (surprise, surprise).  Their sniping at each other in this episode comes across as a lovers spat to me, with Goto being tired of Masayoshi taking him for granted.  I also find it hilarious that they’re both on the front lines fighting crime and yet still cycle all over the place – suppose the monsters exploding cause enough pollution!

[HorribleSubs] Samurai Flamenco - 09 [720p].mkv_snapshot_20.50_[2013.12.08_15.03.30]

Speaking of the exploding monsters, I find it very amusing that the only character to really question the strangeness of the situation is the crazy stationery guy, Harazuka.  Harazuka was brilliant in this episode, be it his doing research into the nature of the monsters (are we dealing with alien tech now?? And just how does Harazuka have access to all this research tech when he develops stationery for a living!?) or fighting off the Torture Boys with his latest gadget – he was pure gold.

I’ve given up trying to figure out if Samurai Flamenco is being a parody or if it is a piece of social commentary or if it doesn’t have some grand idea and just wants to be entertaining.  Whatever it is up to I hope it continues – definitely one of my favourite shows right now.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 13, 2013 2:44 pm

    It is weird how you are able to sieve these through while watching while I would have contented to remain as a mundane entertained while watching. But your review just make me OOOO ALL THE TIME! Lols. And so darn true. I am always switching on fb because that is where I associate “happening” with. Because most of my friends are there, and after we make new friends, that’s where we contact first – facebook. And yet, there are MANY pockets of time where I am browsing through facebook, bored to death. I am looking for entertainment.

    • December 14, 2013 12:47 am

      I probably wouldn’t be paying so much attention to the show when watching if I wasn’t blogging it!

  2. December 13, 2013 4:26 pm

    This show steals my heart more and more by the week. My two fears at the moment are thus – that it won’t be able to pay off all this wonderful media subtext that its been building up, and that Goto is going to be in for some serious pain to teach Masayoshi a lesson (double the hurt because I’m right on the relationship train with you). But I find myself looking forward to each week nonetheless.

    • December 14, 2013 12:50 am

      I’m concerned by the fact this series is 2 cours – there is a whole 2nd half to go yet & I have absolutely no idea what they’re going to do with that at the moment. The pacing has been snappy enough so far that it feels like a perfectly serviceable 1 cours show…..guess we’ll have to wait and see.

      (Glad there are more people on the Goto/Masayoshi ship~!)

      • December 14, 2013 7:45 pm

        I’m not that experienced with sentai shows (aside from Linkara’s Power Ranger recaps) but if the Tiger&Bunny-like vibe continues I would guess we’ll play into a larger conflict using unanswered questions from the first cour – Konno seems like the big one with his new found taste for entertainment, as well as Goto’s ever mysterious girlfriend (if there isn’t something enormous hinging on that every last viewer will feel truly trolled).
        You mean there are people that don’t ship it? With eyes, and everything?

  3. December 13, 2013 8:44 pm

    “I’ve given up trying to figure out if Samurai Flamenco is being a parody or if it is a piece of social commentary or if it doesn’t have some grand idea and just wants to be entertaining.”

    I think it’s becoming a heady mixture of all three. From what I can tell, Samurai Flamenco is one of the more popular titles of this season, so I’d say it’s certainly not lacking in entertainment value – and even though it seems like many people don’t especially care for the sudden twist the show has taken, I personally don’t believe it’s been to its detriment. I think elements of parody are definitely present as well, although the line between this and pure homage is quite a blurry one, since while Samurai Flamenco is clearly poking fun at the super sentai genre at times, it’s doing it with an obvious level of both love and respect. As for the social commentary, it feels like these last handful of episodes have brought a new level of that aspect out in the series – mainly because of what you yourself have already pointed out in the second paragraph of this post. 🙂

    • December 14, 2013 12:57 am

      SamFlam is certainly among the top three of the season, at least according to Anibloggers if the Anime Power Rankings are taken as accurate – it is definitely doing something right in the entertainment stakes.

      I’m still not entirely sure what we’re meant to be getting out of Samurai Flamenco, but I do agree that there is a great deal of love and respect for the super sentai genre on display (kind of like the love of the mecha genre that Majestic Prince had in buckets). The super sentai genre isn’t one of my favourites, which is probably why I haven’t fully embraced the direction the series has taken since Guillotine Gorilla, but I still love how well written its characters are and the nice titbits of social commentary that are thrown in.

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