AURON570 (Level 15)

kukuku, how did that laugh ever become cute?... mysteries of the world..
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Commentary on Superhero genre in SF

If the first 6/7 Episodes of Samurai Flamenco are a commentary or deconstruction of the superhero genre in a more realistic slice-of-life setting, then the episodes following episode 7 are a meta-commentary on the viewer's expectations. The viewer comes to expect such a deconstruction. After settling us into a familiar slice-of-life setting, with light comedy, memorable characters and good underlying moral lessons, the show flips the genre switch.

The result of flipping the genre highlights the entirely fictional nature of what we are watching. For example there are a number of times in the first few episodes where the police officer scolds Samurai Flamenco saying "this isn't some hero show, this is real life, you can't go around doing.." blah blah. Then when Samurai Flamenco finally succeeds in being a real-life hero, he is forced to face supernatural monsters.

Genre boundaries

In effect, the world of monsters and evil is set on the same level of fictional reality as the slife-of-life world we were presented in the first 6/7 episodes. So in this way, Samurai Flamenco can be seen as a meta-commentary on genre, AND how we as viewers relate to fictional characters and stories and derive meaning from those characters/stories.

Building genre expectations to set up for shock

I was very entertained with Samurai Flamenco's early slice of life commentary style. And I too was initially shocked by the series' almost surreal transition into a world of evil monsters. But, after some thought I'm convinced that Samurai Flamenco was up to something bigger. Namely by fusing the genres of slice of life and superheroes, boundaries are shaken and viewers are invited to re-evaluate what they are taking away from a show, and why. Why was I shocked by the transition from episode 7 to 8 when the gorilla guillotine monster appeared? What was I expecting? How did the first 7 episodes set up my expectations, and shape my experience to fall in love with the slice-of-life aspect of it, and feel so (initially) weirded out by it's surreal transition?

Experience of a story

Briefly speaking, it is because the first several episodes set up that tone of realism and down to earth characters which sets us up for that shocking transition. However, the implications of such a transition on the shows overall themes of justice, everyday heroes and such are still up for debate. Maybe the show is saying that despite our hero's early successes dealing with small crime, in the end, heroes really only exist in fiction and it is useless to try to mimic them.

Even if you aren't convinced by what I've said that Samurai Flamenco is a meta-commentary on genre, at least I hope one can think more openly about genre, one's expectations going into different stories or while watching a show, and how the story and presentation might work with or against those expectations to shape one's experience of the story (in this case the story of Samurai Flamenco).

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