Samurai? Flamenco?

If you’ve watched all of Samurai Flamenco you’ll know that even though the show has humble beginnings and then progressively gets into increasingly more outlandish territory. It’s the kind of thing that you try to keep your mouth shut about so as not to spoil the uninitiated (by the way, SPOILER WARNING), partially because it’s obvious how intentional the whole thing has been.

The main character Masayoshi goes from tryng to be like a Kamen Rider-type to actually being a Kamen Rider-type, to being the leader of a Super Sentai team (with giant robot) and eventually even an Ultraman-style giant (and that’s not even mentioning the final genre shif at the end). The changes are so abrupt and swing so heavily from one thing to the next that I can only interpret the show as poking fun at the mid-season corporate meddling that can happen to a tokusatsu series and yet genuinely embrace it as a part of tokusatsu history.

I have to wonder, did Samurai Flamenco hint at this from the start? Perhaps Samumenco was always projecting an aura of neverending incongruities. Just think about the name “Samurai Flamenco.” What gimmicks or powers would a guy with a codename like that have? He’d maybe have some rhythm or dancing abilities (like Cure Lovely in Happiness Charge Precure) and probably a costume based more on a Japanese suit of armor. Real tokusatsu series do similar things, like how Ressha Sentai ToQger currently features trains, and even the fake in-universe shows of Samurai Flamenco like Red Axe features… a guy with an axe. Samurai Flamenco, however, is neither Samurai nor Flamenco, and when he finally gets a set of effective weapons his gimmick of all things turns out to be “weaponized office supplies.” In that respect suddenly getting a giant robot that’s a mix of Combattler V and Dancougar isn’t so odd.

Perhaps Samurai Flamenco was always about the hodgepodge, the elements that don’t quite fit together so you have to smash them all in and enjoy what comes out. After all, it does start with a guy dressed like a superhero getting beat up by kids, who then forms a friendship with a cop where they sit around and watch children’s television.

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One thought on “Samurai? Flamenco?

  1. At the beginning I enjoyed the show because of Hazama’s earnest attempt to make the world a better place. I was even more excited when the series changed gears in episode 7. It reminded me of how I felt about Madoka at the end of episode 3. I thought Samurai Flamenco would be a show with fun twists and something clever to say. I’m only on episode 12 now and I’m really struggling to finish the series. I had hoped for more surprising twists and shocking revelations, but instead they’re playing it straight and simply rehashing different tokusatsu storylines. Had I gone into the series expecting just that I probably wouldn’t be so disappointed. But I feel really cheated because they presented such a dramatic change in tone and then stuffed the story with cliched monsters and “been there, done that” hero types. I was hoping that they would surprise me again, but based on your review, that won’t happen.

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