Samurai Flamenco: A Quick Take

samfla01aMasayoshi is an idealistic young man who wants to be a superhero when he is discovered by a police officer named Gotou Hidenori and an unusual friendship between them forms quickly. After being beaten up by a drunk salaryman and having his suit set on fire, Masayoshi invites Hidenori to the luxurious apartment he can afford because his day job is that of a model. They discuss Masayoshi’s life and another day passes before he is at it again trying to stop some delinquents from being a nuisance. He takes a beating and tries to lecture them on how they should act before Hidenori breaks things up.

This setup is quite well worn territory if you think of the Kick-Ass franchise, apart from the actual super villains and the over-the-top violence…and the filthy language. Alright, basically everything up to where the protagonist in that first film gets his slightly higher tolerance for pain. It’s the story of a kid who basically never grew up and was blessed enough with the looks to never have to. That is pretty much the fundamental flaw in Masayoshi’s character. While he is lecturing the group of kids beating him up and filming it, he is doing it from a level of privilege. He’s telling them to live up to a social code that even those who are in authority believe is stupid. It’s an attitude that complete forsakes people as individuals, and it should be no wonder he’s punched repeatedly.

As far as the direction was concerned, I did like where it was going early in the episode up until Masayoshi’s reintroduction. A police officer dealing with all the disruptions in the social order because in the grand scheme of things they aren’t really hurting anyone. After that, the episode just seems to take a turn toward nostalgia about sentai series. That’s fine if it really had a point, but the way it seems to go about it seems all wrong. Society doesn’t care about Kamen Rider not wearing a helmet on his motorcycle because of what he does to defeat bad guys. Those that do care are the ones who disregard the common good for society.

There’s just another point worth mentioning in this post. There are no women in the episode itself outside of those girls that are part of the delinquent group. Yet, you would think by the ending that this was a completely different show that had an idol group as the stars. I’m not sure what the point of that was.

Reasons to Continue Watching

  • Interesting discussion on the role of law enforcement with low-level crime
  • For a Manglobe series it looks quite passable
  • Sugita Tomokazu fits the role of Hidenori perfectly

Reasons to Drop

  • Masayoshi’s view of society is quite troubling
  • Needed to be funnier to work
  • Takes itself far too seriously

My Verdict: I was incredibly disappointed at this first episode. I probably went in with my expectations set too high that this would be the funny show with a social commentary aspect. Instead, it’s quite different. It felt boring, pretentiously directed and with only one character that was can be related to. There’s too many flaws for me to continue watching this one I’m afraid.