47 CommentsFirst Impressions, Samurai Flamenco / By Scamp /

Samurai Flamenco episode 1 – Mid-life crisis at 24

Samurai Flamenco - 01 -27[2] (1)

Samurai Flamenco is about a naive young man who decides to become a superhero. A few people have compared this to Kick-Ass, and some of the setup is quite similar. If you haven’t seen Kick-Ass, it’s about a loser male lead becoming internet famous as a superhero by getting random magical powers and kicking ass that was supposed to be intended as a modern day take on superhero stories but is instead a pile of crap that is actively unpleasant to watch, managing to be bad in all the ways superhero stories usually are and adding in several more bad aspects all on its own (I thought I was alone in thinking Kick-Ass was horrible until the sequel came out and a load of people said “eurgh not more of that thing” which I was hugely relieved to see).

Oh right, this is supposed to be a review of Samurai Flamenco, not of Kick-Ass.

Samurai Flamenco - 01 -25[2]

The superhero wannabe is kind of adorable in his own hopelessly naive way. When God was assigning skill points for him, he put all his points into beauty and none into pretty much anything else. I like that they make a point of showing how skilled he is in anything else. He’s a model, but as a model he mostly just stands there and looks pretty. He can’t sing or act and feels mildly ashamed of this fact. It’s this general feeling of being unable to do much that lends to his naive belief that he can save the world from his privileged fancy apartment position.

What makes it work is the contrast between fancy pants and the policeman he befriends. The policeman is more a reflection of the realities of adulthood and realising you can’t save everyone. The dialogue doesn’t outright state as much, but does a very good job of working around it with amusing conversations about whether Kamen Rider’s mask counts as a helmet. The dialogue is great in that it infers a lot about the themes of the show. It works better when you take the story from the perspective of this policeman finding this slightly eccentric naive fashion model and discovering through his enthusiasm what it was that made him become a policeman in the first place.

To drop a sort of overlying story-type over Samurai Flamenco, it’s a mid-life crisis show. All right, the policeman isn’t particularly old, but the same boredom of his current life and position is shining through quite strong. It takes a kid jumping in with wild ideals to wake him up and start to remind him of what he valued when he was younger. Despite its superhero motif, the tone is quite chill, with the muted colours and the fact half the episode was the two main characters eating curry and watching cartoons together. It’s supposed to be set in a real world, so it suits, but I’m guessing it does start to expand its colour palette and energy when the cop rediscovers his youth and does the classic midlife crisis thing of powering an intergalactic super laser with his electric guitar.

flowers of evil

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45 Comments

  1. Nadgers
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Makes me want a One punch man anime.

    Also I might actually watch this since I really love superheroes of all shapes and sizes.

    • matrixEXO
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      One-punch Man anime would be as boring as waiting for a hurricane to happen in Malaysia. It just won’t pique enough people to stay for more given you know he can just one-punch any baddies to their doom.

      • TheVoid
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        I read it just to see the other characters try so hard yet never succeed in winning against the monsters and then Saitama arrives to punch it. Genos is my favorite character as a result.

        I’d almost agree with Nadgers except I’m not sure if the animation would do the manga justice.

      • Cirith
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        There are longer fights in the manga, usually happening between other heroes and villains. You always know that once Saitama shows up it will end quickly, but that is the whole point.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      I’d like to see a One Punch Man anime if only because its stylish format would work way better in anime than manga

  2. Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    I liked the beginning and ending of Kick-Ass, but the middle part felt confusing in what tone it was trying to go for. Was it playing things straight or was it supposed to be a satire? Kinda had the same problem with this episode too to be honest.

    The sequel to Kick-Ass was definitely a downgrade though. What a mess that was.

    • gedata
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      It’s no coincidence that the mid-portions we’re the part that deviated from the comics the most. The way the movie handled the romance so unrealistically was particularly awful.

      Never watched Kick-Ass 2, but I have read it. It didn’t have the annyoing mean girls segment with Hit-Girl at school either, (that was handled before hand). They must’ve really screwed up the sequel movie to actually make it worse then the first, since what I read was fucking awesome.

      • Scamp
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        For the record, I disliked all of Kick-Ass. So yeah, the original stuff and whatever the comic stuff was.

        Fuck that movie

      • gedata
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Because you didn’t make that clear enough in the post

    • lmm
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      It was a reconstruction. The point was to acknowledge the criticisms of the genre while at the same time saying “yes, but actually superheroes are still awesome, because…”

  3. Eizenberg
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    So,it´s safe to say that Scamp have a fall series to blog at least.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      I dunno. I liked the first episode a lot, but I generally don’t get on with superhero stories. Plus this is drawing from superhero fandom and having me, a person who actively dislikes the super sentai/hero genre, cover the series seems like it shouldn’t work.

      But hey, we will see

  4. gedata
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Is this a sure blog?
    I thought this was a pretty Kick-Ass first ep *dodges rotten tomatoe*

  5. Kiraly
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for making me feel less guilty about not donating for KickHeart.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      …not sure how you got that from this but ok

      • Kiraly
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        …because I mixed up KickHeart with KickAss.

        (I didn’t donate because I didn’t have a job yet back then)

  6. Shikamaru
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    But, but I really liked Kick-Ass… I thought it had perfect balance of humor and drama. It didn’t take itself too seriously or too lighty.

    • Pusswookie
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Yeah Scamp can you tell us specifically why you didn’t like it, as opposed to “It’s shit.” ?
      As I recall, Kick-ass never got any “magical powers,” unless you count the shounen ability – neigh, requirement – of taking an ass whooping to get anything done a power.

      • Scamp
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        I thought the first paragraph did a pretty good job of explaining that. It’s the same bullshit superhero formula of arbitrarily granting random loser magical powers so he can become a saviour, except this time with a terrible attempt at modernisation through swearing, gay jokes and power of the internet. It’s not funny and the plot is shit on a stick.

      • Johnny Joestar
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        I personally thought the comic book was absolute garbage, but kind of somewhat liked the movie.

      • Pusswookie
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Again, I’m not entirely sure what part of He Never Got any Magical Powers you don’t understand.
        I think you were watching something different.

        And besides, we all know the real saviors were Hit Girl, excessive language aside, and Batman Big Daddy.

      • Scamp
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        I thought his ability to take a beating was his magical power? People whacked him over the head with iron bars and nothing happened

      • Pusswookie
        Posted October 13, 2013 at 12:51 am | Permalink

        As I understand it, the first beating that he received in the parking lot gave him severe nerve damage and made him have to get numerous metal plates throughout his body; he even references them numerous times in the story.

        So no, nothing magical about it.

  7. gw_kimmy
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    ……

    is it just me or do i feel the bromance coming off the page from just your description alone?

    DONT LET ME DOWN

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Are you just going to watch every bromance show and that’s it? I suppose it’s as good a method for choosing anime as any.

      • gw_kimmy
        Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        shut up dont judge me! ;_;

        tbh i probably wont watch anything at all again. oh well 8D

  8. TheVoid
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    At the end it looked like one of the kids seemed to have seriously considered what Masayoshi said since he was just standing there and had to have a friend tell him to come on. I bet he’s just as naively idiotic as Masayoshi and I also think he’s adorable. I like that his first time had him lose to a drunk man who was smoking and jaywalking.

    The OP makes me think something happens to Goto’s girlfriend with the bouquet flowers falling off the cliff.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      The obsession with jaywalking always struck me as awfully odd. It’s not a law over here, so the idea someone would run away from the cops for jaywalking seems so bizarre

  9. AG
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Your blasphemous distaste of superhero movies makes me wonder, what did you think of The Avengers? Since I know that film is somehow universally liked by everyone.

    Anyway that was good first episode of SF(although a bit slow) but I worry about which way this show will go. It could be celebrating or poking fun of superhero/sentai genre, which I would like, or try to do both like Kick-Ass, which was a good film for the record but could have been better, or it might throw away all that and be a harem show, which is the feel I got from the ed.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Never saw Avengers. I stopped watching superhero movies after I thought Ironman was boring but absolutely everyone else loved it. That was the clue I needed to stop watching these movies. Don’t support a thing you don’t like. I’ve been a happier man for it.

      (on the other hand, I did like the first Batman movie even though, and probably because, it barely resembled a superhero movie until the end where it started to go downhill. I like the second batman movie but that was almost entirely on the Joker, everything else I thought was pretty meh. And the third movie was rubbish because it was another fucking superhero movie)

      (I hate superhero movies)

      • AG
        Posted October 11, 2013 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        Oh yeah I forgot to ask you about The Dark Knight that’s another universally liked film but also the least ‘superhero like’ movie because it tried to curb some typical tropes (for example when batman had to choose between saving Harvey Dent or the girl), which is why it’s so well liked. But mainly it’s the joker being awesome.

        Anyway I’d predict you would not like The Avengers, but it’s liked by a lot of people, even those who dont really care about superheros so I was curious to know.

        “Don’t support a thing you don’t like”

        True dat

  10. Black Dalek
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Watching Astro fighter sunred some years ago makes me enjoy Samurai flamenco more!

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Shit, I really should watch that someday. Everyone I know who watched it really likes it

      • Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        Astro Fighter Sunred = actually funny Seiji Kishi + parody of super sentai + midlife crisis (Sort of. It’s played for laughs) + “manliest villain ever” Vamp. I don’t see much reason why you wouldn’t like it other than the fact that the dry artstyle can take some adjusting to.

  11. Cobrah
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    I’m looking forward to how this one turns out, and also whether or not this duos relationship will go the Tiger and Bunny route.

  12. Nagisa
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 4:47 am | Permalink

    Did you make that image on your own? I like it!

  13. Nagisa
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    I like how the one kid actually took his speech to heart as he was standing there when the rest of the kids ran away. Maybe it’s his small start to being a hero?

    I died laughing when he was in the phone booth and yelled “Sunshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine!!!!!!!!!!!” Imagine someone doing that in real life. Hahahaha! This show is great!

  14. Someone Else
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    On unrelated note, Gargantia might be having a second season. What’s your reaction?
    A. Facepalm
    B. Facedesk

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      Butch Gen is already doing the sequel I want with Psycho Pass, so good for him if he feels like doing more Gargantia too.

  15. Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    “It’s about a loser male lead becoming internet famous as a superhero by getting random magical powers and kicking ass that was supposed to be intended as a modern day take on superhero stories…”
    Wait a second, while my memory is fuzzy, I don’t remember him getting any magical power? He stayed a weakling until the end. The strong one is the loli whom he met.

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      When I get hit over the head with an iron bar, I don’t tend to get back up again

  16. Jeevas
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    I bet that kid who just stand after the speech will be important later on. He got that bishie face, must be important.

  17. Hanasra
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    “I love Legend of Black Heaven tag”
    So, it’s the middle life crisis thing that sucks you in huh?

    • Scamp
      Posted October 12, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Apparently so. More anime with midlife crisis I demand it

  18. Erif
    Posted October 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Hm. I honestly thought this was all different shades of mediocrity, but maybe it has potential?

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