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Samurai Flamenco: Episodes 21-22

Words cannot express just how dumbfounded I was by the conclusion of this series. While I was watching these episodes I was just at a complete loss for words or thoughts other than, “well this is really awkward.” Samurai Flamenco has proven itself to be a show with several layers. However, the topmost layer consistently seems to be one that could only be described as some kind of lunacy.

Recap

Sawada continues his attacks on Samurai Flamenco’s comrades but, fortunately, no one is fatally injured. Hazama consults his mentor about the situation in order to try to find a way to defeat Sawada. He is comforted to learn that his mentor can confirm Sawada’s actual existence (which means he isn’t crazy) but is confused when he tells him that the key to defeating Sawada is love. Hazama openly admits that he has little experience with love and consults some people to try to get his head around the concept (and ultimately fails). We also are shown some more details about Goto’s failure to cope with his girlfriends death. We see how he came to have the phone and how those around him seemed to pity him even though there was little to be done to help or comfort him.

The point of this is to let us know how bad things are going to get when Sawada kidnaps Goto and deletes the emails and contacts from his phone, essentially erasing his “girlfriend.” Sawada reveals that he wants to turn Samurai Flamenco into a dark hero by giving him a tortured back story. In Sawada’s mind the way to accomplish this is by having Goto kill him. Of course this plan completely falls apart when he tries to have Hazama transform into Samurai Flamenco. As soon as Hazama has removed all of his clothes, he takes the opportunity to “love” Sawada. This results in an incredibly awkward display of Hazama trying to tell Sawada that he loves him and then telling Goto that he loves him and that he’ll “do all the things his girlfriend would”. Obviously, this is all a big play on Hazama not really understanding the concept of “love” but the whole scene proves to be enough to disarm Sawada before Diamond show up and promptly punches and kicks the kid for poisoning her other MMM members.

At the end of the show we see that a superhero museum has been constructed with memorabilia from several superheros that we’ve encountered through the course of the series. We see  that the whole Flamenco team is safe and sound and that Sawada has been committed to an institution with Hazama still showing up to check on him. Goto is back to his text-messaging weirdness but, otherwise it’s hard to really tell what they’re doing with their lives at this point (I mean Hazama was running for president of the world earlier). As the two are walking down the street someone throws some litter out of a car and we see Hazama reveal the Samurai Flamenco outfit under his clothes, presumably about to chase the litter bug down.

Commentary

First off, that whole scene with Naked Flamenco was, hands down, one of the most awkward and uncomfortable things I’ve seen in an anime. At that moment I just couldn’t understand how a show where I was watching this:

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had suddenly become this:

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The series final villain really didn’t really leave them with a grandiose finale. It is true that he did turn out to fit into the Joker/Batman relationship category but he didn’t really represent the same amount of malice that the Clown Prince shared with the Dark Knight. In the end all he really managed to do was delete some messages off of a phone and even those could be replaced. I know that the show works on a lot of different levels and has a lot of references to super hero culture and archetypes, but this one just seemed kind of weak compared to the other short story arcs. I also don’t really get why the show spent so much time expounding on Goto’s tragic back story. It seemed a little unnecessary to go through such a sad affair in the last episode just to get us to the ridiculous scene that ended up being the final confrontation.

After the series started off with so much to talk about I feel like there’s really not much left to say about the end of the series. It’s like watching a football game where all the action happens and then the last few minutes is just watching one team run out the clock and take a knee. It doesn’t mean the game wasn’t good, it just means that the end wasn’t exciting.

 

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