First Reactions: Samurai Flamenco Episode 4

Flamenco Girl definitely brings the punch to the show (even though Masayoshi can actually block punches now). She’s ridiculously violent, in contrast to Masayoshi’s passive-aggressive style of heroing, and comes backed with crazy theme music and a jazzy fight soundtrack. It would almost have been a fair contrast of methods, except she tazed a cop within 10 minutes of showing up. Considerably less cool.

Flamenco-4-1

(Though to be fair, he probably should have used ripple to defend himself)

To be honest, while Flamenco Girl’s appearance was a bit of a jolt to a show that been sleeping on the potential for a more serious plot, it more felt like it was replacing the awkward heroism comedy the show had been building up with a bunch of smacked-in-the-balls jokes that could only be the second best in a season featuring Hajime no Ippo. I like the notion of a hero who’s actually brutally competent, but that tends to crimp the more small-scale, episodic nature the show was going for. That brings in actual police involvement, as this episode showed, which *might* eventually lead to a Zenigata/Lupin-esque rivalry between Masayoshi and Goto.

…But it could just as easily suck the juice out of the comedy the show spent 3 weeks selling itself as. Right now, I feel like this show is struggling with its identity the hardest out of anything I still like this season. The opening wants it to be a passionate, hot-blooded parody. The first couple of episodes wanted it to be a heartwarmingly awkward comedy, sort of Tiger and Bunny without the reality TV. This episode wanted to be Kick-Ass without the mobsters. Unless you’re really good with your intro, building an identity takes time. Changing it takes more time. And meanwhile, lots of other things are fighting for your viewers’ attention. I’m still enjoying it, but I’d be lying if I said I knew what it wanted to be, and after a month into a modern anime, that’s not a very good spot to stand in.

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5 thoughts on “First Reactions: Samurai Flamenco Episode 4

  1. The progression of crimes that Masayoshi’s been dealing with (from kids, petty theft, to being kidnapped) leads me to believe that this will eventually go into more hardcore crime fighting. With their physical training and introduction of Mari’s crime fighting tools I cant help but feel it’ll end up going down this path. Part of me wants it to stay with the petty crimes since it makes it a lot more realistic and relatable but I’m interested to see how this plays out.

    • It’s 22 episodes, which only adds to the mystery. I thought it was just going to roll with being episodic and fun, since those types of shows can go an arbitrary length, but now a lot of options seem to be on the table.

  2. This episode was a bit of a downer for me – especially Flamenco Girl’s appearance. I agree with you there on how the show is struggling to find a right identity and the comedy is beginning to wear off even if the voice actors are all my favourites. Will probably keep on watching just to see what happens to Masayoshi! And I’d like to meet Goto’s girlfriend…

    • Goto’s girlfriend is a big x-factor in the show at this point. She factored into the umbrella theft scene in a really neat way and is one of the major ways Goto’s character has depth outside of what we’ve seen.

      The main thing selling it for me is just that the cast is fairly likeable, which is the main reason why Flamenco girl is a bit of a minus – she’s a fairly exaggerated angry tsundere out for a pound of flesh, whereas Masayoshi is a lovably naive do-gooder. If things end up being more like the last 2 minutes of the episode, she could end up being an ok addition, though.

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