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SAMURAI FLAMENCO #20 Picks Up KILL LA KILL's Slack?

Episode #20 -- Watch & Learn. It's a more thought-provoking show.

Say what you will about SAMURAI FLAMENCO’s animation looking a little more… workmanlike, at points - - at least the show comes out on time. I was planning on doing the usual fresh-off-the-stream twofer with KILL LA KILL again today, but CrunchyRoll has an apology up for ‘production issues’ delaying that episode by 12-24 hours. Anime programming blocks must be flexible, apparently (I’d hate to be whatever B-league shows are being made to play musical chairs with that showboat’s timeslots).

Sure, nobody’s going to say that this show’s anywhere near as flashy as KLK but, in the long view, it’s proven to be far more though-provoking. KLK dallies with ideas, but it’s all smoke and mirrors. FLAMENCO sticks with themes - - even if it’s not always clear what they're getting at.

Take our mysterious new villain, Haiji. Part of me wonders if he’s supposed to be a metaphor for hostile fans - - a very MISERY-like scamp who’s grossly misinterpreted Samumenco’s work.

Another part wonders if he’s a personification of Samumenco’s psychotic break (which I’ve speculated about since the appearance of Guillitine Gorilla). It seems like every time curry shows up, it represents Masayoshi’s handle on his dreams. Or something. This villain might be an even-more-desperate attempt to cope with the fact that his vigilante fantasy has gone as far as it can go. They’re just aren’t any more villains to fight - - not even fantastical, cosmic ones - - so this is the half-baked vision Masayoshi’s pulled from some random, uneventful encounter in the past.

There’s also a third possibility that the kid’s a voice to the unresolved romantic tension between Masayoshi and his cop pal. Shippers would love that. But seriously - - the clues are kind of there.

From the beginning, these guys’ bromance has been awfully… forward. Last episode, I believe, Masayoshi’s manager was asking him why he didn’t have a girlfriend. Haiji's threats sound like a sexually-obsessed stalker's at times (“I need to be worthy of you”), and he’s explicitly presented as a double for the imaginary girlfriend. Top that off with how 'Gota' and Masayoshi’s shoving match seems an awful lot like a lover’s spat and… it’s certainly possible?

Watch "Boy From The Past" 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 March 14, 2014 at 1:46 p.m.

Sorry not seeing bromance or any thing implyed there of. But can see Haiji being either part of the ghosts that have had no justice an want revenge on him for not helping them to. And/or the Joker complex,the I am only evil because you Famenco bit fits that.

Wished it would have stayed Haiji was a normal middelschool kid. So our last vilian could be real an really evil but its not looking that way. Tho there is another posibility now. Goto's grilfriend may be kinda real like Haiji.

hitsusatsu11on March 14, 2014 at 10:30 p.m.

Imo samflam sucks. It and Dandy are two shows this season that I just disliked right off the bat for some reason (I did drop Nisekoi half way thru the first episode but due to boredom not to real hatred)

SpectroRaphaelon March 15, 2014 at 12:50 a.m.

I thought I was the only one seeing the bromance, and I was kind of expecting a confession of love to. Everyone else seems to be oblivious to it, but the fact that the very first person Masayoshi's always worried about is Goto.

zaldaron March 15, 2014 at 1:49 a.m.

Sigh....still don't understand why you hate kill la kill so much....but what ever.

takashichea moderator is online on March 15, 2014 at 2:14 p.m.

I would have prefer King Torture. Having a stalker or a mental apparition was pretty scary. Part of this reminds me of Robin's Slade hallucination (in the Teen Titans cartoon series). I see the Joker reference that Marshall pointed out. Joker only exists to troll Batman. Good cannot exist withou evil.

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