It’s a bit of a last-minute decision, but Samurai Flamenco will be the 2nd show I cover this season. So that’s Monogatari and Flamenco for me, Kill la Kill and Hunter X Hunter for Shinmaru (since he’s obligated to cover anime that repeat the first word in the title later on in the title, which is why he covered Jo Jo). Not entirely sure about Inushinde, but I know he’s covering Galilei Donna because he made a draft ready for episode 2 post. Not that he’s written anything yet, beyond adding the tag “FUCK THE POLICE”. I guess he figured he might forget the tag and had to quickly make the post to remind himself. Tags are very serious business here at The Cart Driver Dot Com.
What really had me settled on Samurai Flamenco was the manager. The scene that particularly got to me was her reaction to the manager of the young idol group trying to chat her up. She was perfectly happy to take the compliment about her star talent with grace, but as soon as the guy tries to chat her up in a slightly creepy way she just pulls a big “lolwhut” face. I like her because she’s evidently not a bad person, but very focused in her work in trying to cart around this pretty boy to make it big. I mean, you can hardly blame her for having not too much patience with her client. He’s a bit dopey all things considered, even leaving aside his midnight shenanigans.
Normally being a model in anime is just a way to show us how popular and amazing and handsome a character is with basically no focus on the actual being a model part. I figured it would be like that in Samurai Flamenco too, but it’s gone into way more interesting detail. It feels like a much more grounded route to becoming an idol than the shows that are supposedly about idols. The manager carting their product from venue to venue, desperate to get them any exposure that could raise their profile. While keeping the product happy might be important if they had any social cache, when you’re trying to build up one from scratch like this it’s a different ball game. It’s an investment in a pretty face.
In trying to build this idol, they stamp out his personality and freedom. They pay for his incredibly nice apartment, but he doesn’t have any friends. He gets to meet rather popular idol groups but is forced to hide his action figurines when the manager comes around. The manager has as much lying on his success and you can’t doubt her desire to make him popular. If it takes a bit of tough loving then so be it. But in doing all that she’s manage to hide the thing that would make him popular with his silly Samurai Flamenco getup and the attempts to right the little wrongs in the world. Also try hide from the world his potentially homosexual relationship with a sexy policeman. Yeah, girlfriend, yeah we totally believe that. So where is this supposed girlfriend anyway mister policeman? Two episodes you’ve mentioned her yet not one sighting of this mysterious creature? Will you magically break up with her before she ever appears on screen huh?
…I hope we do actually get to see his girlfriend before the end. It’s rare enough that you get an already existing non-married adult couple in an anime. Don’t tease us by keeping her off-screen the entire time.