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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Taking dominance to the next level…