I really should’ve sung the praises of noitaminA earlier. Chalk it up to sensory overload, I guess, but I just didn’t make the connection that most of the more interesting shows I’ve watched over the past few years have been on this block. PSYCHO-PASS, TATAMI GALAXY, [C] – CONTROL and all the wonderful slice-of-life series like BUNNY DROP, PRINCESS JELLYFISH and KIDS ON THE SLOPE that I didn’t get a chance to see all the way through. All series that reach outside of the usual demographic boundaries; all series that give you something meatier to chew in, even when they misfire.
I didn’t realize that FLAMENCO was part of this block. Now that it’s moving past the familiar amateur vigilante premise and getting into bigger ideas, it really is less of a surprise.
Sam brought this up a few times on the Vice Pit, and it’s something I noticed while watching TIGER & BUNNY, but American superheroics and Japanese tokusatsu seem to majorly differ over their characters’ motivations. US heroes are generally seeking vengeance (Batman/Punisher), atoning for mistakes (Spider-Man/Iron Man/Thor) or are outcasts who’ve suddenly been empowered to save their persecutors (X-Men/Hulk/Captain America). That is, they’re driven by very personal reasons that can quickly get angsty.
Tokusatu heroes, on the other hand, generally seem to be just do-right guys who are trying to live up to a heroic role. However, it’s a step beyond (or removed from) true blue heroes like Superman because there’s often this odd disconnect where they seem to be literally playing a role. They’re heroes because there have always been heroes and, by gosh, somebody needs to be the hero today. Whatever they do is an affectation.
It’s an interesting contrast, and FLAMENCO throws us an added twist here by revealing that the villain is also playing a role. Who knows if the series will actually go this far, but this development does raise the logical question of where this train of inspiration started. Who are the real larger-than-life heroes and villains that these normal people have been taking their cues from?
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|