Samurai Flamenco – 12 & 13
Hugely delayed because I am seriously struggling with this show now and that is apparently because I have zero experience with the Tokusatsu genre, which was brought home to me when I read updatedude’s post the other day. As such I think this will be my last Samurai Flamenco post…..unless something happens that endears the show to me again.
My major issue is that I’m only interested in the show when the original characters are in it – those brief scenes with Goto and Mari made me sit up and start being interested again. But these scenes were all too short and the bulk of time is spent with the rather bland Flamengers. I haven’t even bothered learning their names yet, and while episode 13 gave us a tiny insight into each of their private lives when they were given the option of giving loved ones priority access to the shelters, it isn’t enough to make them feel like real characters.
Masayoshi is the only one that feels authentic right now – you can see the stress of leadership and public expectation really getting to him, as his attempts to keep up appearances war with his innate desire for justice and keeping people safe. His plastic confidence of a few episodes ago that rubbed me the wrong way, is starting to splinter as the loneliness of the life he’s chosen sets in. The other Flamengers are colleagues – their interactions have a kind of professional coolness to them that was absent from interactions with his old Samurai Flamenco team, and while the Flamenger team is warming up to each other the chemistry just isn’t quite there. Masayoshi himself seems to feel it as he goes out of his way to see Goto when feeling a bit troubled – always at Goto’s apartment now, not his own interestingly. But these little human moments are what I liked most about the show, and not nearly enough time is being spent on them at the moment.
The desertion of Joji Kaname didn’t really surprise me. I never really bought into the idea of Joji as a real leader and hero – he’s always been far too aware of public opinion and the media and much too quick to dump the difficult stuff onto his “disciples” while swooping in to take the credit. Basically I’ve never trusted the guy and so his swanning off when things get really serious is no major bombshell. Joji’s absence will be a challenge to the rather shaky team dynamic of the Flamengers though – Joji’s overbearing and strong personality kept these very different individuals together since they all looked up to him in some capacity. Masayoshi isn’t really equipped to bring them all under control, but he is making a valiant effort.
Still overall these past few episodes have left me rather cold. Things have escalated in such a manner that I just don’t really follow what’s going on. Being a complete novice with the Tokusatsu genre, these sudden plot progressions have made the show feel disjointed and the characters are now behaving in uninteresting ways. The wonderful dialogue and interactions that so endeared the show to me at the start has entirely disappeared, replaced by stilted conversations and scenarios that feel like parodies. At this stage even if they pull “and it was all a TV show / product of a deluded mind” stunt, it is way too late for me to still truly care. Unfortunately Samurai Flamenco has started to overstay its welcome with me and I’m just not interested enough to continue writing about it.
This leaves me in an odd place – I hate dropping shows midway through blogging them, but I’d rather do that than continue some half-assed coverage each week as it becomes a chore. However I don’t actually like anything from this Winter season enough to replace it, so I have no clue what I’m going to write about each week…..guess I could do a round-up kind of thing – I am watching quite a lot even if I’m not whole enamoured of anything. I’ll figure something out I suppose!