Friday, 28 March 2014

Samurai Flamenco - Episode 22 (Completed)

Sawada seems to have Samurai Flamenco on the rails, but can he break Goto to fully realise his plan?

After flashing through Goto's experiences immediately following the disappearance of his girlfriend to explain why he messages himself as her and - more importantly - why he cherishes one particular message of hers, we reach the crux of Sawada's plot.  Put simply, he wants either Goto or Hazama to kill him in the hope of creating a new, "dark" back story for Samurai Flamenco.  Y'know, like Batman.  Although Goto is initially having none of this insane idea that he might shoot Sawada, his tune soon changes once that precious message is deleted from his phone.

Right on cue, this is also where Hazama puts in appearance, and it seems that he too has a plan - to combat Sawada as himself rather than his superhero alter-ego.  A naked Hazama grappling with him certainly undermines Haiji's plan, and once Goto frees himself it seems that our star has a similarly unorthodox method of talking Goto out of shooting Sawada.  With a little help from Flamenco Girl, this menace is apprehended, and all is well again... but is Hazama going to make good on his proposed plan to marry Goto?

After the bonkers majesty of its earlier story arcs this finale was never going to live up to those lofty heights, but it still made for a suitably silly and entertaining way to close out the series at least.  On a wider note, Samurai Flamenco was a show that started out as a lot of fun, and just as it threatened to turn repetitive suddenly seemed to imbibe a whole lot of illicit substances, locked itself in a room with nothing but a TV and a pile of tokusatsu DVDs, and then started churning out its rather unique form of genius.  Here is a show that was dumb, knew it was dumb, and poked fun at both its own dumbness and that of its influences and parodies, all while keeping an utterly straight face from beginning to end.  In that sense, it's the delivery of Samurai Flamenco that is the key to its success - it never let on that it was being knowingly stupid in the assumption that if you really had to ask what it was doing then you weren't in on the joke in the first place.  Of course, that served to alienate those who didn't get the jokes, or wanted a return to its earlier, more sedate episodes, but for those who embraced the series and came along for the ride (and what an utterly terribly animated ride it was too), the rewards were rich and many.  Not many other recent shows have made me laugh as long and hard (and more importantly, as consistently) as Samurai Flamenco, and that alone marks it out as something worthy of praise.

No comments: