I almost feel like I’m cheating for flooding my 12 Days posts with stuff related to EDs. Choosing this one in particular is kind of cheap, considering that it’s only been a week, and whether the impact will remain with me a few months later has yet to be seen. But whatever, here’s Mari forced to sing by herself, when she’s been emotionally shattered by her own realization that she only murders dudes’ junk and endangers her friends for the ego boost. Also misandry.
The regular Samurai Flamenco ED is bubbly, catchy, and just a tad out of place, even in the series’ less nutty BGG (Before Guillotine Gorilla) days. There’s certainly nothing wrong with it, but neither the song nor the animation would make this list when they have the likes of Splash Free to contend with. Already there’s a stark contrast between this and the strained song that Mari sings, but that alone doesn’t qualify her warbling as particularly noteworthy. What does that is how it breaks down the illusion that she had carefully crafted around her more negative traits, so she can confront just how terrible she is.
I don’t particularly understand just what the episode was going for, aside from campy superhero fun—fun that involves an innocent getting her finger crushed into tomato paste. Whether it actually succeeds at whatever the hell it set out to do remains to be seen. Mari’s purpose in this particular arc is hard to discern, but her being broken by the fact that she wants her close, borderline-obsessive friend to essentially stay in distress so she can continue acting out a delusional superhero fantasy, works as a small bit of character development on its own. She doesn’t consciously want to endanger Moe, but she does want the attention and feeling of power that it would bring.
Mari has always been absorbed in her own world, ignoring others except when they further her own goals—her two fruitless attempts to seduce Goto serve as a great example, despite him giving her a firm rejection both times. Every time she hasn’t had the chance to dominate those around her with her whims, she’s shown acting like a petulant child. Again, this isn’t a conscious decision—even Mari wouldn’t want to admit that she views a close friend’s utter devotion to her as a necessary part of her being. When this fact is laid bare, and her carefully-constructed world shatters, all she can do to cope is sing—horribly, and under great duress.