Anime First Impression: SAMURAI FLAMENCO
By: Von Jared Omo
Admit it, you’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a superhero. You’ve maybe even dreamed of flying through the sky or swinging high above the streets of New York in hopes of saving someone’s day or even some damsel in distress. But then you snap back to reality and realize you have no powers. So, what’s left to do? Well, you can take a page from SAMURAI FLAMENCO and uphold justice instead!
SAMURAI FLAMENCO revolves around 19 year old male model Masayoshi Hazama, who decides to follow his childhood dream of becoming a superhero, despite having no powers at all (hmm, this premise sounds familiar). When he’s not modeling and doing interviews for variety shows during the day, he dons his superhero costume and lets his alter ego Samurai Flamenco take over at night!
So, who or what does a superhero fight if there are no mutants or monsters? Apparently, those who jaywalk, smoke in non-smoking sections, teens who stay up past curfew, and people who steal umbrellas. Basically, anyone who attempts to break the law despite how menial the task may seem, however, to Masayoshi Hazama, upholding the law means everything. One night, after his failed attempt to uphold the law, Masayoshi meets Hidenori Goto, a 20-something policeman who doesn’t really have a strict regiment of enforcing justice, however, works hard at his job. Not only does he encounter Samurai Flamenco, but discovers his true identity and this is where the story picks up.
I wanted to write a first impression article when the 1st episode of this anime was released, but I wanted to wait and watch the 2nd episode to really give it a chance and see where it leads. Let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed! Despite having a similar storyline to the already known comic book and movie KICK ASS here in the US, SAMURAI FLAMENCO is more lighthearted while mixing in humor and drama with shots of action sequences in between. Despite having little action so far, the focus of the first 2 episodes appears to be the development of the characters, specifically Masayoshi and Hidenori, and the friendship between the two. We are also introduced to other characters as well that play a role in each of these 2 characters’ lives, such as Masayoshi’s manager and Hidenori’s long distance girlfriend.
It’s also fun to see Masayoshi fight justice while in the Samurai Flamenco persona. What may seem like no big deal to others, Masayoshi enforces the law to its full extent, even going as far as telling an old woman to put her trash back in her house because she’s a few hours early for the trash pick-up. When the old lady refuses, she wakes up the next day to find that her trash has been brought back to her front door by yours truly. Although, it may seem like Masayoshi is trying to do the right thing, it gets annoying to see that he can’t hold his own when confronted. When running away seems like the logical thing to do, he somewhat gets delusional and envisions his childhood superhero telling him to stand up for himself. It may be uplifting, but then you realize Masayoshi has no fighting skills and you can’t help but wonder what will happen if he goes too far into his Samurai Flamenco persona. And that’s what I’m hoping to find out as the anime progresses!
I won’t spoil the story so far by talking about it too much, but the anime is bound to pick up in the next few episodes. What will happen when people start discovering the actions of Samurai Flamenco? What if someone gets so obsessed with Masayoshi’s alter ego that this person is prepared to do anything to reveal Samurai Flamenco’s true identity? Only time will tell in the future episodes! And trust me, after watching the first 2 episodes, you’ll want to find out, too!
FIRST IMPRESSION: MEDIUM