First Reactions: Samurai Flamenco Episode 8

Eschewing my usual order for this week for the obvious reasons, plus the fact that I’m a day late getting to everything that came out since Monday.

Samurai Flamenco is the Allen Iverson of the Fall season; every subplot you can dredge up is interesting as hell. For starters, King Torture is going to be a thing. Which means that Goto and the Flamencos are an, albeit not entirely textbook, hero team. It’s a dynamic made more juicy by the fact that Mari didn’t really react to King Torture’s proclamation until he acknowledged Samurai Flamenco as the main character of the show. Meanwhile, her finisher remains blunt trauma to the groin even with triceratops-cauldron hybrids.*

On the production side, there’s plenty more to sink your teeth into. Takahiro Omori is still a badass who pulled off a longer version of Escaflowne’s prologue, except in 2013 where that stuff is approximately 20 times as commercially painful. This is far from the biggest right turn a show written by Hideyuki Kurata has ever taken, but the “coolest show by him” crown is very much in a rough and tumble title defense at the moment. The show is still hiding OST at this point; the scene where SF showed up on the bus had another brand-new track. And just how little animation can they get away with? This episode utilized still frames like it was the late-80s.

I’m a huge fan of both Dai-Guard and Astro Fighter Sunred, but I didn’t think you could mix their formulae like that and have it work. It’s working right now, though. The fact that they’ve already gone through at least 8 monster of the week battles after an episode and change does make me wonder whether this arc is going to last for 13 episodes or just 3. The pacing suggests to me that this King Torture business will either be over or escalating wildly when it hits the halfway break in late December.

*Oh, a further fun subplot alert: If it wasn’t enough that Stroheim’s VA showed up last week, now ACDC is getting in on the action. I have to wonder if this show is eventually going to tap the entire vocal cast of Battle Tendency.

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