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SAMURAI FLAMENCO #19 and the Banality of Evil

Episode #19 -- Watch & Learn. Sinister texts!

Finally! A series actually went ahead and did it. There have been countless times when a show, or comic, has teased about showing how boring things would be if the heroes actually defeated all the villains. They never go ahead with it, of course - - precisely because it’d be boring - - and that’s one of the most basic conceits of all this stuff.

So, to pile another comparison point from superhero comics, this portion weirdly enough makes me think of the chapter appendices in WATCHMEN. Specifically, the excerpt from the retired Nite Owl’s biography: wherein he reminisces about when, as a teenager, he saw his boss commit suicide after learning his wife had an affair.

I always thought the point of putting such a lengthy piece of prose on that particular subject into a sprawling superhero epic was to make a comment on the banality of evil. Like, that was a horrible injustice that didn’t involve super-villains, bank robberies or any attempts at world domination. Wasn’t it dramatic enough that a normal man would kill himself after some other normal people broke his heart?

While Hidenori’s constant texting has generally been played for laughs - - the SAMURAI FLAMENCO equivalent of a Canadian girlfriend, perhaps - - there always did seem to be something fishy about it. Now that the secret’s been revealed, it’s proven to be probably the most realistic part of this whole series.

If you’ve ever dealt with anybody who’s gotten caught engaging in outlandishly depressive behavior like this, it’s always a shock because they do such a good job of hiding it. There are no clues in the rest of their life that make them look like anything but sensible, well-adjusted people. Is such a seemingly small, unresolved problem a worst threat than anything Samumenco's dealt with, so far? Well, maybe that’s the point.

Of course, the show fesses up to how it can’t run with banality - - evil or otherwise - - for too long. Call me crazy, but I suspect the explosion at the cliffhanger means we’ll be seeing a return to real superheroics next time.

Watch “The Quiet Life” 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
Lurkeroon March 6, 2014 at 2:51 p.m.

Everyone knows that Batman doesn't kill criminals because Batman wants something to do the next week.

I'm still hanging in there on Flamenco after everything went crazy. I'm in too deep now.

Marshal Victoryon March 7, 2014 at 12:09 p.m.

@Lurkero: Eh no cause hes not The Punisher thats why he does not kill. Punisher kills an has something to do next week tho to.

This episode was the becareful what you wish for you may get it episode. My bet on the next episode its not super villians its normal people doing evil. Or would that normaly evil people doing whats normal to them evily? Something like that any way.

Lurkeroon March 7, 2014 at 7:20 p.m.

@Marshal Victory:

Police officers kill if a suspect is being violent. I don't see why Batman is above that idea unless he is crazy or psychopathic. Punisher actually gets things done. At least Punisher isn't killing the same people every week (mostly).

takashichea moderator on March 7, 2014 at 9:01 p.m.

Finally get to see his girlfriend only to find out she was missing. Can't blame the guy who cannot let go his past love. That young boy from the early episodes showed up with the exact quote. Now, we get some action.

Om1kronon March 7, 2014 at 10:43 p.m.

this was such a depressing episode, he seemed to be the only person on that show that had their head on straight =(

zaldaron March 8, 2014 at 2:32 a.m.

@Lurkero: it comes down to if you believe in the death penalty or not or if everyone can always be redeemed. Personally I believe in the death penalty and think there are plenty of people who can not be redeemed (like the joker) so I don't agree with Batman - but batman has always been a limousine liberal so...

Marshal Victoryon March 8, 2014 at 7:44 a.m.

@Lurkero: Well see thats part of his character since they took Batmans gun away. Yes at one point he had a gun. Tho with the nu52 craparo stuff dcs intresting tho convaluted history has been wiped away. But yeah Batmans chacter is not to kill.

Now say Punisher or even Captian American if the need rises they would.Thats why when we talk of all these adaptions an remakes subtle changes make the characters into some one difrent.

@zaldar: Been while since heard him called that. An oddly liberals genraly dont like Batman for " beating up the poor" or some such, least thats what I have read on comic forums for years any way. Long ago read a neet theory that he was not liberal because he uses capatalism to help the poor an not reliant on other ( ie goverment) money. Basicaly it comes down to who writes him. An since most comic writers lean left...well.

I half expected the tabloid guy in SAMURAI FLAMENCO to use that angle on him. But he went with the lottery winner unmask the hero route.

zaldaron March 9, 2014 at 3:41 p.m.

@Marshal Victory: Ah as I don't read the comics as they are way to much of a money pit and way to high on drawing and not near high enough on story I am referring to the movies...only about three of which are any good. The long convoluted history making getting on board a comic at any point after say fifty years ago impossible without way to much investment another reason I stay away.

Marshal Victoryon March 9, 2014 at 5:01 p.m.

@zaldar: He was refered to it way way way before the movies. Even before http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(1989_film)

Comics art now is not near as good I think. An story wise well its not enuff for me to collect any more. I just do grafic novels now, because you get all the story an parts of the story thats important.Not sure ill ever go digital on comics . Just love holding a book still. Was just looking at a V for Vendeta Grafic novel an mask set on amazon actualy.

What kept the comic idustry going was its history.An you didnt have to collect all the older stuff to know the story.Now well their is a reason One Piece sales millions each month an even the best titlels of DC or Marvel are lucky to see a quarter of that or even a tenth !

Course entertainment dollar wise. Computer games an mmorpgs strech that entertainment dollar. I would put anime around the same as going to the movies if your buying bluerays. If just watching for free online tho it takes the lead.

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