Skip to content

Samurai Flamenco – 12 & 13

January 20, 2014

Samurai Flamenco - 12 - Large 28Hugely 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.

Samurai Flamenco - 12 - Large 14My 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.

Samurai Flamenco - 13 - Large 20The 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.

Samurai Flamenco - 13 - Large 35Still 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!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2014 10:36 pm

    Putting aside that Tokusatsu is a broadly defined genre term that covers types of shows that are hardly similar to one another, unfamiliarity with it shouldn’t be some catch-all deflection of criticism, something you already touched on about the cast. The transitions between modes in Samurai Flamenco has been head scratching and the newer characters have never become endearing. Gurren Lagann can be observed as a love letter to different modes of the super robot genre, but there’s a consistent thematic through line and character arcs that tie the narrative pieces which allows it to stand on its own. In contrast, Samurai Flamenco seems to exist as Tokusatsu wankery, checklisting all the superficial elements without bothering to gel them cohesively, thus ensuring only the most hardcore fans will ‘get’ it.

    • January 25, 2014 1:23 pm

      That’s pretty much it. Because I’m not familiar with the genre I feel like I’m way out of the loop with SamFlam these days – the scenarios play out like an elaborate in-joke that I’m not privy too. It is unfortunate because with a bit more consistency it could have let me in on the fun as well. As it stands it’s just reinforcing the fact I’m not all that interested in Tokusatsu stuff, unlike how Gurren-Lagann let me have fun with ridiculous Super Robots even though I’m more of a Real Robot fan.

  2. January 21, 2014 12:06 am

    Though it pains me to say so (because I did really love this show at first),

  3. January 21, 2014 12:11 am

    Sorry about the first comment, my computer decided to throw a hissy fit before I finished writing.
    Though it pains me to admit it (because I did really love this show at first), I can’t help but agree with most of what you’ve said here. I think I’ll continue watching to the end, but at this point that’s only because a) I’d feel somehow disloyal if I didn’t, and b) like you, I don’t like leaving shows only half-finished. However, there are also a couple of things I’m curious enough about to want to stick around as well – namely, the Goto/Mari dynamic, and also the fact that we still haven’t seen Goto’s alleged girlfriend. She’s still getting a mention every now and again, and yet we’ve not seen a single glimpse of her, and part of me wonders whether this will be used as some kind of plot twist later on.

    • January 25, 2014 1:27 pm

      I’m continuing to watch SamFlam – if there is something I hate more than dropping blogging something midway through, it is stopping watching it midway. Once I reach the midway point something truly horrible has to happen to deter me from finishing it! Saying that the show has dropped down my priorities list – it may struggle to make it into my top 5 if APR was still running…..which is a huge change from the early episodes where it was a permanent fixture in my top 3.

  4. January 21, 2014 2:49 am

    I’m of two minds, myself. I’m definitely feeling the hurt from the main characters being sidelined in favor of a bunch of borind schmucks, and the tone’s been wobbling all over the place. The likelihood that this will blow up with no satisfying conclusion is getting uncomfortably close to reality. But darned if something doesn’t keep me going. 13 pulled me back in with that dream sequence and the survivor discussion (both on the nose, but in keeping with the show’s superheroes in reality theme), and while I’m starving to death for lack of Goto and the MMM girls, when they are on screen every bit of the charm I loved sings through as much as it ever did. But I don’t just refuse to give up series midway – I remain stubbornly optimistic in the face of all increasingly obvious evidence. Here’s to a miraculous turn around, I suppose.

    • January 25, 2014 1:32 pm

      I still think the writers and director have a grand scheme in mind for the finale, and I am truly interested in seeing what they pull next – but the lack of any cohesive element to pull all these disjointed shifts in tone together, really hurts my weekly enjoyment of the series. There are things I like in this series – mainly the relationship dynamics of the original characters – but they are now small bursts of fun in a larger incomprehensible whole. I do hope something pulls together in the end, because it would be a huge shame to waste the very solid foundation SamFlam built early on.

  5. April 14, 2014 3:24 pm

    watch episode 19-22….samurai flamenco genre becomes slice of life, and more focusing on psychological warefare. And….(spoiler)
    Masayoshi will propose to Goto…., i’m serious, just watch the anime till the end….u will be satisfied….lol

    • April 15, 2014 9:42 pm

      I did continue with the show (and loved it), I just stopped blogging it – although did end up writing something about it most weeks anyway in my Reflections posts.

Trackbacks

  1. ABC Awards Nomination! « Medieval Otaku

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s