Samurai Flamenco – 10
Yeah okay my plans for a weekend of writing kind of fell through – which was actually rather predictable given that it is the run up to Christmas. So a bit delayed once again, but at least I’ve gotten this out before the next episode airs, that has to count for something right?
Okay so this episode felt like it should have been a season finale, I’m beginning to wonder if they’ve forgotten there is a whole other cours to go with this show!
You know even though I thought this episode was interesting and pretty fun to watch, I still don’t quite like this whole playing the super-heroism straight thing the show is now doing. It probably stems from my general disinterest in super sentai and is no fault of the show itself, but I can’t help but feel that the show before Guillotine Gorilla was more interesting to me. The series is still well written, and the creators clearly have a great love of the super sentai genre, but their enthusiasm is in danger of running away with them. I get the same feeling from Samurai Flamenco that I got from Majestic Prince – they’re both shows that display a real love of their genres but have a true identity of their own at the same time. However I could appreciate Majestic Prince more because I shared that love of mecha, whereas I don’t have the same love of super sentai. Anyway that is more my personal issue than the shows so I’ll shut up now.
King Torture met his end at last and he went out in a suitably overblown manner. Again I don’t know if I was meant to be finding this whole scenario with the stereotypical secret base, giant rocket, huge monsters, “Torturemin cells” and chainsaw-hand action hilarious – but I did. It is the contrast of all this ridiculousness played completely straight that makes me wonder if I’m supposed to be laughing. The threats are very serious, the villains really do die and for all the fantasy trappings, the events are very real indeed to the characters. But despite knowing this, and despite being disturbed by scenes involving characters being tortured – I’m still struggling to take Samurai Flamenco’s drama seriously. It is just all too stupid and my suspension of disbelief can only be stretched so far.
King Torture himself provides an interesting contrast – he is exactly the same as Masayoshi, except skewed to the opposite of the spectrum….and somehow with access to advanced, possibly alien, technology. King Torture has been plugging away at his super villain preparations for years (that secret base and all his body modifications did not appear over night), but he only came out into the public once Masayoshi as Samurai Flamenco gave him a viable superhero to pit his super villain against. In a way it is entirely Masayoshi’s fault that King Torture even appeared in the first place – fella was crazy, but would have kept himself hidden away in his secret base with his memorabilia and evil plans because there where no real super heroes to fight against! Shadows can only appear when there is a light source, and the more competent a hero gets, the tougher their nemesis becomes.
Speaking of heroes – my god do I love Goto. There he was charging in in a pink hummer, saving the day without any fancy super hero trappings. Goto doesn’t want to be a hero and in the spotlight, he just does his job with remarkable courage and resourcefulness – I applauded him destroying the rocket, somehow it is fitting that Goto be the one to actually save the day. King Torture remarked that it wasn’t the main characters – the self appointed super heroes and super villains – that were the true heroes, but rather the support characters, the people who actually get things done without all the grandstanding; and I have to agree – just look at Goto!
That being said Masayoshi really stood his ground in this episode and his speech with the show’s taglines showed that he hasn’t completely lost the spark that made him such an interesting character to start with. Still I much preferred the Masayoshi of the first seven episodes, that gormless but well meaning idiot was much more endearing than the confident, capable individual we now have – although his ultimate weapon being a Swiss army knife had me in fits of giggles.
So once again I have no idea where the show is going for the next cours. Masayoshi’s identity is now out, Mari has had a wake-up call about her antics, King Torture is no more but Konno is alive and could potentially become an antagonist. There are new characters to be introduced (possibly whoever saved Mr Scientist?) so I’m sure the story is going to get bigger – I just hope it all the careful development doesn’t start to unravel.