Samurai Flamenco – 08

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You better strap in for MOAR ridiculous torturous monsters

I am back and what do I get? Moar monsters! As month-ends are always busy for me with more things to finish at work and this time around I literally am balancing three jobs with Metanorn and some RL stuff going on. All of it involves even more writing than usual so I feel like I’m back in uni, preparing for a multi-specialization… Anyways, I’ll bitch about my no-time on twitter and get on with my review here. xD

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Like Overcooled wrote in the last review, this series took a huge turn in the previous episodes with the introduction of King Torture and that beheading machine of a gorilla monster. However, I waited for someone to pinch me or the characters to realize that they were having a group dream or hot on some hallucinogens but nothing like that happened. From the get go of the episode, our Flamenco dude and his cheer leading squad of MMM were busy battling… wait for it… Hanging Kite, a crowing monster. I hoped to see a camera crew filming all the action but no, I won’t get this satisfaction as it seems because this was supposedly happening for realz. A turn of events that was unexpected but got old fast.

Previously, I commented on how this series is breaking down the usual Super Sentai show tropes and putting the visage of realism; however, in the recent twist, they have not only let go of the trope-killing but are now moulding towards the typical trope. As we still have fourteen episodes to go, there is still a lot that can happen with some room for trolling, but for now I can only delve into the clear cut good and evil sides of the current episode that were presented almost in a perfect half.

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Let’s start with the bad guys because at least the head honcho seems interesting. When a baddie is voiced by Show Hayami (Aizen from Bleach and Tokiomi from Fate/Zero), you can at least think that this will be srs bsns rather than trolling. Even when latter can’t be completely denied, I was happy to hear him as the herald for all kinds of torture with varied sized minions that have been left to some people’s imagination as it seems. King Torture’s gesturing and threats weren’t that long-winded but the monsters got their own bit throughout the episode. Add in the side-minions, ball-gagged with choreographed appearance and you have a flashback from the past! I had Thunder Cats, Captain Planet and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles déjà vu all in one go. If you were skeptical about Masayoshi and Mari going overboard with their posing, the Torture troupe leaves them in the dust with their cheesy entries, superfluous dialogue and shouts of torture!

Hell, now I can’t take this seriously at all, which is fine by all means. When I signed up for this shifty bag of a series, I was sure that not all the developments would be to my liking. And personally, this episode’s monsters looked pretty ridiculous. Even if you want to imagine them in elaborate costumes and try to find some sign of humanity within them, you are still left puzzled for what to make of the extra wheels and pair of legs placement in terms of the Sharlin Orochi and Delta Horse respectively. From unoriginal names to shocking getup, I am worried about this series for falling prey to the monster per episode bonanza. I really hope I am wrong about this.

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On another hand, we have our morally charged hero, minus any super powers but for the time being laden with some amazing yet deadly office supplies (Senjou is so proud!) for weapons and finally a lot of upgrades on his costume and gear. Along with his own level-ups, he can always depend upon his powerful backup in Flamenco Girls and the righteous cop Goto Hidenori. The crime rate is going down and after the initial shock and deaths wrecked by the beheading Gorilla, things are going on the peaceful side to the extent that even the governmental task force has decided to meet on weekly basis from daily. The Prime Minister is either drunk or completely stoned while these meetings were in process because I haven’t seen him do anything except nodding. With some things going right, others are going wrong; the lull of no deaths is really a silence before the storm.

I have to give kudos to Hidenori’s girlfriend for catching something weird with Masayoshi, whose behavior is setting on a pattern of modeling, acting and fighting. It’s been a long journey for our red-adorning hero but even with him powering up, training hard and becoming a better fighter, I still have a nagging feeling that something is really amiss. Of course, the preview gave us more than a hint of King Torture devising a horrendous BDSM plan for him but is that it? I have a feeling that he’s going through a hero slump of doing everything and finally becoming so good at it that he doesn’t have to panic for the next steps. I might be looking too much into this but another facet of his routine-ness could be the fact that he’s thinking of himself as a hollow man for not caring about his parents’ deaths or innocent lives that he could have saved.

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This time around, Hidenori played more of an active role of fighting the monsters rather than just subbing for a Samurai Flamenco pose on the roof. At least one theory of mine has hit home: everyone from the samurai poster banding together to fight the bad guys. Ishihara and Konno are still not in the crowd but with the current developments, I see them joining very soon. It’s clear that Konno already has all the details of MMM girls supporting Masayoshi, which makes me mention Mari, who was neglected in this episode. I’m sure she’s not the only one feeling left out of sorts for playing the second fiddle but I loved the fight when all of them fought together and same for the later double-posing after Boiling Rhino went bye-bye.

In terms of pacing, this episode could be the fastest of all but in the end, the only thing I came out with is the question: What is King Torture’s objective? Which better be more than just creating chaos in the city! Though, will the bag guys remain to be as unoriginal as the typical monster of the week? This is not the first time that Samurai Flamenco has thrown a curve ball at us but with all the upgrades and a clear villain, I just hope we get more twists rather than continuation of the same.

So, no dancing samurai yet but at least there are dancing Torture Boys?! Though, Masayoshi has indeed become a low-budgeted Batman. I mean, see, Hidenori is Gordon, Kaname is Alfred, Harazuka is Lucius and Flamenco Girls is his elaborate entourage. There never really were three batgirls but some improvements can always be made, right? There’s also some inspiration of poisoning the city water to just killing off citizen randomly with different ploys. However, the monsters aren’t really that great and this episode was not the best of the lot.

When everyone waited for an explanation of the sudden genre change, the only answer came with more questions and Monsters Inc. unloading. Sure, this will cause more cameo appearances by industry seiyuu but it also means that other scenes will become derpier with more focus on fight scenes. Currently, I have no more theories regarding the happenings but I definitely hope we get some more thrills and not just Masayoshi-gets-beat-up or the dark-side-is-too-strong kind.

Preview:

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Taking dominance to the next level…

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18 Responses to “Samurai Flamenco – 08”

  1. skylion says:

    So many directions this show can go. How many point down?

    • HannoX says:

      For me it’s going downhill. I’ll give it one or two more episodes to win me back. If it continues like this, I’m out of here. All it’s doing now is making me long for another season of Tiger & Bunny.

      • Kyokai says:

        @skylion, Many points down for sure. I’m very sad really.

        @HannoX, I swear they should have gone with another season rather than a bunch of movies. I signed up samumenco because it felt like Tiger and Bunny. I can only hope to be not disappointed. ><

  2. millia says:

    I just got annoyed with all the cheesy monsters tbh. Probably the only redeeming factor was all of the kids working together. I’m still crossing my fingers for an “it was all Masayoshi’s dream” twist.

    • BlackBriar says:

      At this point, I very much doubt this is all a dream, even if the monsters Masayoshi is fighting are completely ridiculous.

    • Kyokai says:

      This new direction really saddened me. I don’t think we can hope for the dream-trope but I would still like to get this changed from the downright super sentai feel.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    The effect of the twist from the last episode is still there. It’s still hard to believe it happened but Masayoshi has managed to strike a balance between his career and his “duty”.

    It’s clear he’s being set up for a fall. The monster fights were too easy so the incidents could be used to build his reputation up only to be severely torn down when the bad guy decides to get serious. That and I think the Prime Minister is directly involved given he’s been too easy-going with the situations.

    • Highway says:

      I’ve seen the point made that perhaps King Torture is like the anti-Flamenco, in that he just wanted to be a villain, and hasn’t really had a clue how hard it would be to start as a villain.

    • Kyokai says:

      @ BB, From the preview, the fact that Masayoshi’s ass would be handed back to him is saying it mildly. He better be prepared for things to go ugly but I really do want to know to what extent?

      Prime Minister’s nodding is definitely fishy and we’ll have to see what he’s planning really. Like JJB and Highway’s theory below, any of the two can happen or he could actually be in on the whole deal and keeping silent for a reason.

      @ Highway, I don’t think King Torture comes without preparation and is a floozy startup. I mean look at his investment in his lair, troupe of monsters and torture boys. He’st not a lone wolf and has spent a lot of hours thinking up his visage and image. Now, it can be debated that he may not be the actual mastermind with someone else pulling the actual strings from behind?

      The wildest idea that I could come up with is Konno being responsible for this charade of monsters, after his failure to capture the true identity of Samurai Flamenco with the power of mob. Though, this seems too extreme for a talent agency to invest upon even to fuel some viewership, which would mean involving the police in their scheme and announcing false deaths of their own men? Seems unlikely to me but let’s see what they go with.

  4. Joojoobees says:

    The Prime Minister is either drunk or completely stoned while these meetings were in process because I haven’t seen him do anything except nodding.

    I wonder if his seiyuu wouldn’t give something away. What if he sounds like Sho Hayami?

    • Highway says:

      I took the point of the Prime Minister’s nodding to mean that he wasn’t really that important.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Or maybe he has something to do with the incidents.

        • Kyokai says:

          I think JJB’s on to something but I did go back and listened to the PM nodding sound. He did not sound like Hayami but who can really tell with a simple hmm?

          He definitely seems fishy for one and there has to be a reason for showing him not giving a shit in four different occasions.

  5. Overcooled says:

    I was hoping they’d go somewhere good with the actual monsters but this was pretty…bad. I’m hoping that this episode was just one big parody and they’ll somehow go back to being somewhat realistic. The fact people are so chill about rhinos and snakes invading their town is just odd. If they’re gonna put in monsters, at least try and make it different from every super sentai show out there. I’m still curious though so I’m seeing this to the end.

    Oh well, if it goes the full-on comedy route then at least I will get a laugh out of the Torture minions saying nothing but “torture!” The gag-ball and rope bondage outfits they wear is just so perfect.

    • Kyokai says:

      Same here but aaagh, they sure trolled us good. I say this because like you, I’m expecting something more rather than beating around the old bush of super sentai.

      I am mostly disturbed by how the governmental officials are just shooing these incidents off. Police will take care of it, SF will take care of it, we don’t need any special task force for this, etc. I mean, imagine, a mechanical gorilla beheads your hard working cops and you do nothing after that? It’s weird.

      PS: Check these screens from Iron Man And Hulk Heroes United CGI movie (ugh). Doesn’t frame 3 and 4 give you a shock? I swear Omori is trolling us… >>;

  6. Nia says:

    Somebody unknown posted this valuable message:

    “You guys are idiots. No, this isn’t a standard toku show where crazy things happen and you roll with it. No, this wasn’t an idiotic plot twist made by juvenile, stupid writers. It’s a be-careful-what-you-wish-for plot.

    Hazama wants to be a hero and fight evil. Why? Because he watched toku as a kid. His life is easy. He doesn’t suffer. He goes out and tries to fight evil and exactly what you’d expect to happen happens. The story then asks him over and over, do you really want life to be like toku? And he replies, yes. Then Red Axe shows up and teaches him how to fight. Then Idol Yellow shows up, then he finds out his parents were murdered, and at that point he comments on how it’s too perfect. Then, out of the blue, blindsiding us completely, we’re in a toku. But it’s not a nice toku. There’s crazy, stupid monsters, and they kill nice people in horrible ways. Evil doesn’t come from human nature, it comes from King Torture, and YOU, Hazama, YOU are responsible for everything bad that happens to all of humanity if you don’t take him out. He never wanted THIS. He wanted to be in a stupid toku, not a gory one. He didn’t want the consequences of life turning into a fairy tale, but now it has.”

    • Kyokai says:

      If the story turns into this mode, I won’t mind at all. It’s the typical hero trope that’s really killing this anime for now. I’m all about hidden nuances and symbolism any day.

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