I have to admit that I suspected that somebody had spiked my cup of tea while I was watching last week's Samurai Flamenco but no, apparently all that crazy shit really did happen, and any assumptions that the whole thing was some kind of crazed fever dream on Hazama's part are also quickly vanquished this week.
So, it seems that the Torture organisation and their leader, the cunningly named King Torture, really do exist, and what's more he's willing to send all sorts of monsters to Earth in the hope of conquering and subjugating its people. King Torture's only fear is, for some reason, Samurai Flamenco - not because he's been littering, one assumes - and he's quick to threaten this hero with death should he interfere. Of course, Hazama's sense of justice will allow him to do no such thing, while Mari is (as always) itching for a fight and a new challenge.
Thus, this week's episode is spent fending off a menagerie of weird and wonderful creatures, from a Rhino wearing a cauldron through to a snake on wheels, all of whom refuse to surrender to Samurai Flamenco's growing arsenal of stationery and all of whom explode upon defeat. In fact, most of these individuals are sufficiently weak that even the government and police aren't really all that worried about them, while Mari is also losing interest as Hazama hogs the spotlight. There certainly seems to be more than meets the eye to these monster attacks, but for Goto's part his main concern is Hazama himself, who seems to have abandoned his previous concerns about justice and saving everyone including the monsters he fights in favour of simply enjoying the fruits of his superhero life and his growing success as an actor and model.
I'm still really not too sure what to make of this shift in tone and concept for Samurai Flamenco, and my uncertainly is fueled all the further by the distinct feeling that this current story arc is simply a means to a greater end, whatever that might be. Still, weird though its current situation is, the series certainly hasn't lsot its sharp (and occasionally satirical) sense of humour which really aids in keeping the series moving along quite nicely, even for an episode that was clearly animated during "bring your children to work and make sure they bring crayons" week. In short, I'm still enjoying watching this show, but I still have no idea what its end-game is - a situation which, I have to admit, is kind of becoming part of the fun of watching it.