Friday, 20 December 2013

Samurai Flamenco - Episode 11

King Torture has been defeated, and Hazama unmasked as Samurai Flamenco.... however, it seems that this whole ordeal was little more than a warm-up act for the real action to start.

Thus, at the same time as news cameras are training themselves upon Hazama, so a new threat pops up right in the middle of Tokyo bay - a mysterious but aggressive object of unknown origin.  This is also the moment where Kaname decides to make his presence felt, whisking Hazama away to show him the real fruits of his labours - a massive, secret organisation dedicated to fighting "From Beyond", the true force of evil that provided King Torture with his abilities.

Thus, Hazama has been picked out to become the leader of Samurai Squad Flamengen, known as Flamen Red.  Except his four squad mates also seem to have designs on being Flamen Red, and in fact were promised such by Kaname.  There's no time to argue however, as a particularly poisonous member of From Beyond has infiltrated the organisation's base and is roaming around killing everyone in reach.  With Kaname seemingly losing his life in an attempt to stop this fiend, it's left to the Flamengen to save the day... oh, and of course they have vehicles which combine into Voltron (let's not beat about the bush - it's bloody Voltron) to aid them in this task.

If it wasn't considered as such already, this week's episode is the moment where Samurai Flamenco utterly embraces its madness and descends into the absurd.  But, it's a beautiful absurdity - it never breaks the fourth wall, but it might as well be winking at it the entire time as it ups the game with its blatant super sentai rip-off pitched into the middle of its imagined world.  If this series were played straight it would be atrocious, but its carefully placed moments of humour and silliness makes it clear that this is both an homage and mocking dissection of the genre it apes, and if only it weren't so incredibly badly animated by this point it would probably be even more worth of high praise as a slice of pure, ridiculous entertainment.

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