You can either watch this Review as a Video on my Channel, or read it as text on this Blog! Which one you want to chose is up to you!
Once in a while, the Anime industry produces something so different or unique that it is bound to stand out from the masses of shows we get each season. Popular examples of that kind of show being Fooly Cooly, known for it’s ridiculously fast paced storyline, or the unique direction style of Akiyuki Shinbo he uses in shows such as the Monogatari series or the currently airing Mekaku city Actors. Of course those kind of shows don’t always go right and often enough backfire hard! The Anime that is today’s topic is a prime example for exactly this kind of show and while it doesn’t completely fail per say, the factor of it’s weirdness certainly.plays a huge role in how many people do like it. Today’s topic shall be the Super Sentai Tribute Samurai Flamenco!
The Story of Samurai Flamenco basically is an homage to every single Super Sentai or Superhero show that has ever aired! It follows Hazama Masayoshi, a rather normal but uprising model, that has an unusual obsession with Superheroes! He has basically watched any Superhero-show that seems to have existed and owns tons of figures. However, it does not end at him simply being a rather passionate fan, but he wants to be a superhero himself and because of that he often leaves his house at night dressed in a cosplay-like outfit, to help society to become a better üöace and help people in danger! Of course though, it is not as easy as that and he has a lot of problems in finding work as a superhero, so he mostly ends up getting angry over incredibly small crimes that have no meaning at all. The Anime shows his struggle as he tries to become more and more of a superhero and be accepted by society while at the same time keeping his identity hidden. A realistic interpretation of the Super Hero genre…sounds interesting doesn’t it?
Due to the shows nature, I will not be able to keep the following part of this Review completely Spoilerfree! However I will try to be as vague as possible so even if you still plan to watch the show, you should be able to go on without skipping!
Samurai Flamenco’s story is a weird one to say the least. It starts out pretty nicely, portraying a Superhero in a rather realistic setting and that is exactly the charm of it. The story is not too eventful at first and even though it does have some rather nice twists, it is this sense of realism and the well written characters that make it enjoyable! However SamFlam does something that noone would’ve ever expected it to…it completely solves every conflict that has ever been within this show and then proceeds to throw every single concept that had been going for it out of the window. The realism that had been the base of the show so far completely vanishes and the show quickly develops into a huge rollercoaster of Plot Twists.I usually would say that a show having a lot of plot twists is a good thing, but in the case Samflam, that just is not true! This show pulls it’s Twists out of thin air and there is no way to say what exactly is going to happen next and in this case that is nothing in favor of it! The Plot Twists for the most part make absolutely no sense at all and even the explanation to everything that happened feels more like desperate try to finally get this show over with than an actual explanation that is supposed to be taken seriously. It gets more and more ridiculous every time to the point, where it even seems to escalate to Gurenn Lagann level and it happened several times while watching that I found myself questioning the minds of the writers of this show. In the end though, I also have to admit that the amount of ridiculous Plot Twists in this show ended up being it’s biggest fun factor and while I was really irritated by a majority of them, the level of escalation that it has did make it fun after all. The show did go from it’s realism being one of it’s biggest charms to it’s escalation being one of it’s biggest charm. However this escalation factor wasn’t always big enough to carry the show on it’s own and only really is when it gets close to the end. It happens so, that the show falls flat on his face a lot and mostly after the biggest and most ridiculous Plottwists happen.
For a long time the show is not sure whether it wants to be taken seriously or as a mere joke. While some of the scenes and character interactions do seem very serious about the Superhero-theme, the fight scenes and monsters seem to have been written while the author was high. This leads to a rather large part of the show dragging on a lot and to it needing something else to carry it, good thing it has one more aspect it is good at!
The character cast has exactly that kind of thing, that the story lacks for the most part! Realism…at least mostly! The characters for Samurai Flamenco do feel really inconsistent at a lot of points! While they are really well and realistically written for the most part, there are parts in the middle of the show where neither is really true!
Just as with the story, the characters start out as for this type of show unusually realistic and while some of the decisions taken by the main characters are questionable, the characters do get really well characterized and I did really enjoy basically every single one that was important! However just as the story, the characters do take the same turn and the character department developes into another part, where the show just doesn’t know what to do! Especially Masayoshi keeps going from extremely realistic to incredibly irrational several times and that’s mainly what I mean when I talk about the characters being inconsistent! The other characters however do often make up for that! While some of them feel a lot like Plot Devices and not all of them seem to be necessary, the majority of the characters are incredibly likeable and for a long time were the driving force of the Anime and the thing that kept it alive! Most notably Goto! Goto is Masayoshi’s best friend and keeps helping him out, using his position as a police officer, even though he has a huge share of problems himself that get unraveled later on in the show! He is by far the most likeable character of the show and incredibly well written. Another noteworthy character is Mari. Mari is a rather popular Idol of the Idol Group MMM by day and a super hero trying to help Samurai Flamenco at night! She doesn’t do it out of love for Masayoshi though, but rather because she is a pretty self centered person and basically is addicted to attention. While not necessarily likeable, Mari is an extremely well written character and when the show puts serious attention at her, it happens more than once, that SamFlam suddenly has one of it’s most realistic points overall. She even is responsible for the darkest and one of my favorite episodes in the show. In total, SamFlam’s characters, while being inconsistent at points, are by far the best part of the show and what saved the middle part of the show from being absolutely horrible!
The Soundtrack for Samurai Flamenco was composed by Kenji Tamai, who never really did anything besides this show and that certainly is recognisable! The OST doesn’t stand out in any way and even though it fits the tone of the show, it really is nothing special! In contrast to the actual OST though, the Openings for SamFlam are amazing, as they fit the show perfectly and are really good at getting you hyped for what is to come in the episode, even though the episode itself might be rather boring to watch, which is the case for most episodes in the middle of the show! They are rather fastpaced rock songs and as such are a perfect fit for the show itself and sounds really good as well! The Animation for the Openings however is not always the best, even though the first Opening and the second version of the second Opening do look okay in style and direction, I’ll have to talk about the first Version of Opening two! The Opening itself, seems like an extreme budget cut and has almost no new animation in it! Instead, they use already aired scenes from the previous episodes and throw in something that resembles a little bit of a slide show! Fortunately, they fix that a few episodes after it’s first time coming up, but it’s annoying, considering how the second Opening music wise is the better one! The endings of the show are the complete opposite of the Openings, as they are rather calming and usually serve as a nice outro to an episode that featured another extremely weird plot twist or some more incredibly ridiculous monsters. I wouldn’t say they are on the same level as the Openings but still are rather good!
The Animation for Samurai Flamenco was produced by Studio Manglobe, known for their works on Ergo Proxy, Deadman Wonderland and Watanabe’s Samurai Champloo! While they do have some shows that are rather popular, SamFlam’s Animation honestly is pretty hit or miss! Some episodes can be pretty well animated, while others seem to be complete crap! The shows animation is pretty inconsistent, but that never really actively bothered me! Of course, I am not an expert in the field of animation and I surely am not the best person to judge it, but the when the animation needed to be fluent it was fluent enough to show us something to enjoy and when it didn’t necessarily need to, the show slowed it down! While in total the animation was not a lot better than average, it certainly did do it’s job and was good enough to sustain the series!
In total, Samurai Flamenco is one of the most memorable Anime to come out within the last year and even though it certainly is not for everyone, it is enjoyable enough for me personally to recommend it! If nothing else, Samurai Flamenco is an experience that has to be experienced by every person on it’s own, as there is nop objective way to say if one is going to like it or not! However, if you do enjoy Super Sentai or Superhero shows or Movies, I would definitely recommend to check this one out! And even if you don’t, I still would definitely say it is worth giving a shot though, if nothing else at least to experience the sheer ridiculousness that is it’s plot!
With that, I hope you enjoyed this Review of Samurai Flamenco and I do hope it helped you! As always, if you did enjoy, remember to subscribe to my Blog or follow me on Twitter, for further updates! Also check out my Youtube channel for more content, such as Spring Seasonal Previews and further uploads! Thank you for watching and until the next time!