Samurai Flamenco – 09
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.