One should really be prepared for what this show is all about. Regardless of what the premise and the first episodes make you believe the show is about, is not going to be valid for long. So if you want to get into this series with the proper mindset as means to enjoy it, it is crucial to be spoiled about a few things. So allow me to spare you the trouble and spell it out for you. Samurai Flamenco is a parody reconstruction of a superhero deconstruction, set in a laid back slice of life world, where supernatural stuff exist only if God said so. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Well like it or not, that’s what it is.
Set in the Noitamina timeslot, you of course need to expect the characters to feel sort of feminine, since it is aiming at middle aged women who prefer things to be easy going, regardless of how post apocalyptic the stories may be. Right off the bat, don’t expect excitement of the sort of Hollywood action flicks, nor expect manly brutes.
The biggest quirk this show has is its several genre shifts. It will constantly be switching from normal, to superhero campiness, and then back to a normal world. The reason for that is because the protagonist really wanted to be a superhero, and because there were no supernatural stuff in the world, God created them for him. And that is the explanation you get in the end of the show, and I have to spoil it for you if you don’t want to drop the show because of the genre shifts. For you see, when the show began everybody thought it would be a realistic take on how heroes would look in a typical world. Of course and it is embarrassing to have a guy dressing like a clown and going around preaching to people how to behave properly as if they are still in the kindergarten, and of course most wouldn’t take him seriously and try to kick his ass. Of course and the media or the police would try to unmask and ridicule him as a troublemaker. All that felt at place in the first episodes and you were made to think that, well, it may not be exciting but at least it is trying to depict how ridiculous it looks to try bringing lame idealism in a cynical world.
But when gorillas with guillotines in their bellies started appearing (aka Gorillatine), most of the audience was very confused. Many dropped it because it became ridiculous and others thought the whole thing was either special effects or the protagonist dreaming the whole thing. THERE IS NO WAY SUCH WEIRD STUFF CAN HAPPEN IN THIS SETTING. Well, turns out there can happen if God said so. Thus the ultimate deus ex machina is supposed to excuse your discomfort of having a realistic setting turning to Disneyland. As long as you can bear with it, you will like the show for the silly nonsense it is.
As for me? Well, I like exciting shows and this one never was. It remains all the way as nothing more than a light comedy about a zero turning to hero casually fending off gradually more ridiculously powerful enemies that popped into existence because God said so. Also, if you are waiting to see another Sunred or One Punch, or Kickass you won’t get that either. The daily lives of our heroes are filled with lots of silly moments one would expect to find in a fluffy shojo romance and not in a dynamic coming of age teen story. And indeed, what most of the viewers were more concerned about was if some of the girls were lesbians, or 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 that sort of thing.
The way I see it, the show could 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 for not becoming boring was to keep throwing in more and more absurd things to keep the audience guessing of what could possibly be causing all those supernatural stuff in a typical world. And it was God…
Now you may be wondering why I make such a fuss about the Big Cheese. The reason is, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE if God feels like it. There is nothing to take for granted, all conflicts are rendered useless, and what is worse, the hero didn’t even know he was given a playground for his petty dreams. It’s like he unknowingly almost destroyed the world a dozen times because he was a brat, and nobody was telling him it was his fault. How childish and disgusting is this? How doesn’t that contradict the premise of a show where a superhero wants to protect the world, when he is the one endangering it, and then treat the whole thing as a joke?
Of course there will be those who will try to defend the show as EVERYTHING IS FORESHADOWED and that IT MAKES SENSE in the same way they consider Clannad to be the most realistic anime there ever was. Wish fulfillment doesn’t slide with me and what I mostly care about is excitement and consistency. This show has neither. I would have given it the base score if it remained a plain anime about a normal guy pretending to be superman. But it didn’t, it turned to a farce because God said so. There you go, have another Gorillatine. Now go stalk those lesbians.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 6/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 3/5 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/5 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 2/2 (rather cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 5/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too much ridiculous stuff because of God)
Memorability 4/4 (it is coocoo enough to remember it forever)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
Art 0/1 (looks typical)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (had potential, turned to shit)
Characters 2/4 (they are ok, nothing special)