Samurai Flamenco Episode 1 [First Impression]
What a fun first episode, and completely different to what I was expecting! I expected Samurai Flamenco to be much more serious, but instead it turned out to be a light-hearted and comedic. I had high hopes for it, given the director behind it (Baccano! and Durarara!!’s Takahiro Omori), and the first episode has paved the way for another series full of character and charisma.
Masayoshi is a young model who secretly loves all things superhero, an obsession carried over from his youth and inspired by his grandfather. As a child, Masayoshi idolised the superheroes on television and aspired to be one, ridding the world of evil. Once he grew older, though, the adults in his life told him there was no real career opportunities for a wannabe superhero. Not satisfied with this, he gets a costume designer at his modelling agency to design a costume for him so he can dispense vigilante justice as Samurai Flamenco! Masayoshi plans to work his way up from “the small things” like jaywalking and drunk and disorderly to organised crime. This, however, doesn’t really got to plan, as his attempt to speak to a drunken jaywalker ends with Masayoshi being found naked in an alley by one Goto Hidenori. Masayoshi seems to bond with Goto, and shares with him his superhero obsession.
This episode really only set the stage for the rest of the series. Nothing of consequence happened, really, and we’ve only been introduced to two characters, Masayoshi and Goto. That’s not to say it’s a bad episode; on the contrary, it gave us enough information and plot tidbits to make us hungry for more. I really wasn’t expect Masayoshi to be such a loveable dork! He’s really smitten with the idea of becoming a superhero, and his whole little pose thing while watching the superhero shows of his youth was hilarious. And the fact that his first attempt at heroism results in him naked in an alleyway… You’ve got to admire his determination, though. It’s that determination, coupled with his idealism and real drive to become a superhero which has made me want to continue with the series. Masayoshi seems like a really nice, genuine guy and you can’t help but want him to succeed.
Given the fact that Samurai Flamenco appears to be quite a light-hearted show at this early stage, I wonder what direction it will take in terms of both plot and themes it will explore. Will we see the emergence of an actual evil for Masayoshi to combat, possibly with the help of Goto? Or is it going to be more focused on his attempts to become a hero without the aid of superpowers, in a more slice of life fashion? While the former could provide us with some sweet action sequences, the latter could be a really interesting take on the superhero genre. What does it mean to be a superhero in a world without an absolute evil to combat? And how do you combat the evils inherent to the world? Can Masayoshi become the hero he envisions? I mean, it’s most likely that somewhere along the road to becoming his perfect hero, Masayoshi is going to fall short, or realise that some aspects of being a hero aren’t achievable. What would be ideal would be a combination of the two. High paced action combined with soul-searching? Yes please! The OP hints that Masayoshi is going to get some sort of super suit, but then, Masayoshi wakes up from a dream afterwards. Is this just showing us Masayoshi’s ideal version of himself, or some sort of delusion? We’ll just have to find out. Perhaps we’ll also take a darker turn with Masayoshi finding out being a superhero isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He can’t save everyone, and he’s not perfect, and he’ll have to deal with the fallout from this. There’s a wealth of options for the series direction, which is a huge reason why I want to continue with Samurai Flamenco.
The first episode only really introduced us to Masayoshi and Goto from the core cast of characters. The dynamic between the two of them is shaping up to be a really cool bromance, I think. People have already broken out the shipping goggles, but I really just think that Masayoshi just wants someone he can talk about his superhero dreams with, and someone who’ll support and encourage him to achieve his goal. Goto appears to be a little disillusioned with his job as a policeman, so perhaps he’ll begin to live through Masayoshi’s vigilantism.
Samurai Flamenco definitely poses a lot of questions as to where it’s going (in case the massive number of question marks in this post didn’t tip you off). Which questions it chooses to address and how it addresses them is anyone’s guess, but I am sure whichever direction it heads, it’ll be done in style.
Possibility of blogging: Definitely!
Possibility of watching: YEAH MAN.