Anime Vice News

SAMURAI FLAMENCO #10 Gets into Some Twisted Ideas

#10 -- Watch & Learn. Is he really evil? Or just playing at it?

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?

Watch, "Final Battle in the Enemy Base” and decide for yourself, then read my comments about the previous episode.

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
Marshal Victoryon Feb. 4, 2014 at 7:36 a.m.

Rember super heroes in America was not always that way. That style turned in the 80s some point to Watchmen some point to The Dark Knight returns. An if you look back at the golden age super heroes Tokusatu heroes would fit more or less right in there.

Sticking with this is a decompistion of all super heroes theory. Some times it jumps to present day Kick Ass version or vision . An some times it goes all golden age of all versions of super heroics.

takashichea moderator on Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:53 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Agree with you. I haven't read much comic books. Only read 2 issues of Injustice and that purple Witch Hunter in the Batman verse. This series' tone and Golden Age Tokusatu shifts a lot from comedic to serious and dark.

I feel like the anime should have end here despite the mysterious blue rock, I can't remember, if Masayoshi took it.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 10, 2014 at 4:13 p.m.

@takashichea: Thats the thing to. I can point to a few times the series could have ended an it would have been fine. Also have read many golden age to modern age comics, an being a grumpy old man I would say much of modern comics your not missing much. Tho if ya want can provide ya with a list of great grafic novels. Some of which may have influanced this show a little.

takashichea moderator on Feb. 10, 2014 at 4:25 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Sure, I welcome any recommendations. I was taking a lot in the Comic Book Club.

On-topic:

That reminds me I haven't seen any Kamen Rider or Power Ranger theme show from Japan besides Gatchaman Crowds and the American versions of Power Rangers, from Mighty Morphin to Dino Thunder. I think Dino Thunder took place after the Power Ranger series that had a Harry Potter theme. I could be wrong.

Still, Samurai Flamenco's Power Ranger theme is too dark for children. I was about to recommend this show to a friend and her little sister who was about 10 years old. Call me weird, but my friend and I are anime fans with little sisters. (I wanted to watch Oreimo because we had little sisters, but it was too embarrassing.) I warned him about ep. 7. They still watch it, and it was shocking for them.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 10, 2014 at 4:52 p.m.

@takashichea: Ill pm or post them in that link. My list is short for any one looking at comics. Really 4 grafic novels that cover alot of issues an trends over the modern era.

The Skull Man an the Kamen Rider which is often parody an homaged in anime would be in that mix to.

Dig Deeper into Samurai Flamenco

A young male model tries to live his dream of being a superhero as he dons the costume of Samurai Flamenco.

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