NOT WHAT IT SEEMS TO BE
The biggest mistake one will do when beginning to watch this show, is not being prepared about what it actually is all about. The premise is misleading, and the initial episodes are not representing the mood of the show. If you have no idea what the twist is going to be like later on, chances are you will hate it. I make it sound like in order to enjoy it, you need to be spoiled about things that are not supposed to be spoiled, but trust me, it will spare you the rage and disappointment so many felt while it was still airing. Not getting what you expect out of a show works positively only when you get more than what you expected. In the case of this anime, you get less. So get ready, here comes the spoiler, it’s for your own good. Samurai Flamenco is not a subversion of superhero stories. It is a light comedy that makes it seem it is a subversion, before eventually embracing the dumb idealism of the superhero formula and heads for some really silly shenanigans. It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but it is.
When the anime begins, you are made to think it will be one of those stories where the protagonist wants to be hero, starts from the bottom, and gradually moves to bigger challenges. The setting is like our own world, there are no superpowers, no monsters, no giant robots. The gadgets he uses are created out of simple things you can find in your home. The enemies he faces are mundane criminals. And since he is not even that strong, or an expert in martial arts, he makes lots of mistakes. A typical street thug can kick his ass. Tv channels are all after him so they can make a spectacle out of the whole thing. The police treat him as an embarrassing, troublemaking clown. Everything feels exactly how it would be like if an average guy wears a mask and spandex and runs in the streets pretending to be a defender of justice, and preaching to people how to behave properly. It will look stupid, not cool, and will have lots of real life repercussions you don’t see in comic books. If the anime remained like this throughout its run, it would not be exciting but it would definitely be special.
SUPERNATURAL FOLLOW UP
But since I spoiled it for you earlier, you know that this did not happen. Eventually Samurai Flamenco jumps genres, adds supernatural elements, and gradually becomes a typical superhero flick suffering from jarring tone shifts and overbearing power creep. And the reason all these supernatural things appeared out of nowhere in a setting that did not have them up until then is (get ready for this, it will blow your mind) because God said so. That’s the big revelation which explains everything! It doesn’t sound like a big thing, but it is.
The anime doesn’t prepare you for this, it honestly wants to make you think it will remain basic and pragmatic all the way. Here we are enjoying mundane situations and accepting the show for what it is and suddenly BOOM a talking gorilla with a guillotine in its belly appears, followed by an evil organization of monsters who want to take over the world. Most viewers couldn’t believe this was happening for real. There is no way these Power Ranger shenanigans can happen in such a show. It has to be an elaborate prank with special effects; or a dream, any moment now the protagonist will wake up and everything will be normal again. And since I already spoiled it, you know that this never happened. It became ridiculous and many dropped it after a few episodes because it wasn’t what the show promised them to be. It betrayed them!
Not everyone dropped it though; many still accepted what it had become and kept watching it… only to encounter some very cancerous themes. At first they tried to excuse it as if the show HAD to turn supernatural, because it was already losing steam from all its simplicity. It tried to spice things up somehow and the best thing it could think of was a literal deus ex machina. I already mentioned how God made stuff happen but I didn’t tell you yet why his almightiness did that in the first place. Well, it’s because the protagonist wanted it! He was fulfilling his wish to have adventures as the ones in the silly comic books he loved so much, and him becoming a superhero who saves the world. It sounds innocent on paper until you realize that because of this wish, countless people suffered for it. I mean, really, so many died or were injured because of all the crazy stuff that kept happening. The source of all this evil was not some demon or alien. It was God and the protagonist who brought them into existence out of a childish whim! That’s just mean and horrible.
Not to mention unexciting since God can do anything he likes and thus all conflicts no longer feel threatening. Yeah, you are not supposed to know that until the end of the series but remember that I am sparing you the rage and disappointment by telling you about it right away. You know the protagonist will win no matter what happens. Which ironically makes an alien invasion less exciting than a single street thug, back when there was nothing supernatural in the setting and plot armor was not an option.
As for presentation, it looks ok in terms of animation and coloring, although none of the character designs are standing out. The males have a feminine feel to them, as expected from Noitamina series, and have very basic personalities. I can’t say I like any of them; I can forgive the generic protagonist for his naïve ideals, but not the pop idol girls who out of nowhere wanted to be superheroes too just for the heck of it. I mean, come on, they are just frail little girls, why do they beat up so many muscular men with simple tasers? And did we really need the yuri stuff? It was still supposed to be a normal series up until then. You also know your cast is forgettable when most of the audience was concerned with who was the secret girlfriend of one of the guys. Yeah, talk about being afraid of monsters that are trashing cities if you are wondering about those sorts of things.
I would have given Samurai Flamenco and average score if it remained a plain anime about a normal guy pretending to be Superman. It could also have ended as a 1 cour mediocre parody of power rangers most would remember as a nice filler anime between better things. But nope, the show decided to head for 2 cour and the only way it could think of for not becoming boring, was to keep throwing in more and more absurd things, as means to keep the audience guessing what could possibly be causing all those supernatural stuff in a typical world. And turns out it was God. There you go, have another Gorillatine. Now go play Batman with those lesbian pop idols.
How many plot twists can one anime have? -_-'
There are so many things I can say about this ... so very many things...
Samurai Flamenco starts off as a simply awesome anime. The first arc was incredibly entertaining and leaves you with the feeling that this is going to be a fantastic anime ... and then you hit its first plot twist ...
I sat there dumbfounded. I-I didn't know what the freck had just happened! Then the second one happened and I just gaped at my computer unable to comprehend wtf was going on! By the third ... well, let's just say I wasn't surprised anymore... -_-"
You simply cannot take this show seriously! If you do, you're in for major disappointment!
Despite the craziness I was still somehow able to make it through the entire anime, and I still found it absurdly entertaining. Samurai Flamenco is kind of like a train wreck. I simply couldn't look away...
The animation wasn't bad, nor was the soundtrack ... the characters, on the other hand, were one big giant bag of crazy! Hell, the only one you think is sane turns out to be one of the craziest! (sad, but unfortunately true). And the plot ... sweet baby jesus, the plot! It was like they crammed every corny superhero cliche into 22 episodes and then went "Awwwesommme!" ... no, just NO! *shakes head sadly*
I suspected for the longest time the staff and crew were either extraordinarily high whilst making this anime ... or extremely drunk! And honestly that may very well be their secret. I still cannot even begin to fathom who thought this up! It makes my brain hurt too much, so I'm not even going to try!
I will say though that I actually enjoyed the last antagonist. The wrap up though made me yell at the screen... I still don't get why Masayoshi- ehheem- you know what? Watch it. You'll understand why that wrap up made me facepalm and then made me want to bash my head violently against the wall ... -_-'
Overall an absurdly ridiculous anime that you can't take seriously. It has so many plot twists that you'll lose track... It will mess with your head if you even try to take it seriously. If you give it a go ... I say good luck! I hope you come out of it with your sanity still intact ... (I question my own)
The style and animation are beautiful, however the story is certainly bizarre. After watching 14 episodes, I feel as though there are 3 noticiable arcs. First, an introduction to our main characters and the birth of Samuri Flamenco. I enjoyed this, and this is why I continued watching the anime. Second, we have the appearance of Flamenco girl and the story starts to feel more far-fetched than before as she goes around physically assaulting criminals and using dangerous weapons. Then it seems to turn into something similar to Power Rangers. I am not a fan of The Power Rangers, and didn't want to watch something along those lines, but the beginning of the anime seemed more of a paraody so I enjoyed the first few episodes.
I think if you're into the bizarre plot twists and Power Rangers, you will probably enjoy this anime.
Samurai Flamenco! Model Hazama becomes a superhero, without having any superpowers or technology to create a high-powered suit. Honor of a samurai and passion of a flamenco dancer, Samurai Flamenco begins to fight crime for justice. Police officer Gotō finds out about Samurai Flamenco and his real identity on one of his routes, which leads to him getting involved into danger. Nonetheless, these two young men will come face to face with hardships of being crime-fighters while discovering what it means to be a hero of justice!
This is one strange anime. Ever since I first heard of Samurai Flamenco I had no idea what it was supposed to be about.
Recently they released the 11th episode and I still have no clue what is going on (Maybe thats why there still isnt a series summary).
Considering the starting situation I thought it was about a guy who did what many others only dreamed of: to become a superhero, or at least someone who fights "evil" in the name of "justice". (Definition of "evil" and "justice" are optional and might not be included in the final product.)
Something I rather liked were the 2 "main characters": Goto is a normal guy working as a cop, and Hazama is an actor who wants to become a hero like the ones he saw in his childhood series. While Hazama goes off and experiences a reality that is considered "normal" in every Power Ranger universe, we still have Goto who continues to live in a "normal" reality that could be considered the same as our because he certainly shows reactions we'd show in his place or at least consider normal.
And that was moderately interesting for a while. But then they started to add so many plot twists that barely anything is left from the first few episodes. I'm guessing they try to cover every superhero/power-ranger trope that ever existed.
Normaly you'd expect the series to wrap up after the MC manages to reach his goal. In Samurai Flamencos Case (based on the 1st episode) this would be the message that you dont need to be a hero to fight against evil.
Instead he gets sidekicks, a kind-of-mentor to teach him the way of being a hero, some crazy scientist to make gadets for him AND an evil organization pops up trying to defeat him, complete with faceless minions and strange monsters. Everything culminates in a fight against the final boss, saving all of Japan from certain doom.
And all that time there are other question haunting the viewers: Will we ever see Goto's rumoreed Girlfriemd that only sends textmessages to him? Where do all these strange people disguising themselves as evil monster come from? And what happend to Samurai Flamenco's side kicks who were captured and threatened to be tortured which left one of them in tatters psychologically and clothe-wise? (They went out of their way to show how the event affected her...)
WHO CARES? :D
Now that they covered the lone-hero-fighting-against-evil part, they decide to turn the heat up another level: The final boss wasn't the last boss after all and the REAL final boss (including the REAL evil organization hellbent on destryoing Japan) appears to defeat Samurai Flamenco. But fear not! His strange kind-of-mentor went ahead and secretly founded a super-secret hero organization to fight against exactly this REAL evil organization. And he already has a hero team prepared for Samurai Flamenco to allow him to continue this fight, including vehicles that combine to form a giant robot! Because IF there is something better then a hero, it has to be a TEAM of heroes! With morphing vehicles!!
If you can make sense out of it, please post a review because personally, I am unable to do so. On the one hand I kinda want to see how they will continue the sereis, but at the time I have this (bad) feeling I haven't seen all the tropes they plan to draw on yet.
If I didnt know it better, I would say the whole series is centered about a guy who wants to become a hero, and multiple people who have more fame, money and time at their hands who decide they also want to play the hero game (and not necessarily as the good guys) and as a result they turn Japan into one giant movie-set which nobody really knows about.