NOTE: Posts are a bit late this week since I knocked out after work yesterday, ‘scuse me :p
Alright, time to get down to business. This week’s episode sees the Flamengers realizing the full scale of From Beyond, that they weren’t a pyramid organisation, and that there are more than 65,000 members, meaning it would be impossible for the Flamengers or anyone else to be able to defeat them should they launch and all-out attack. Later on we find out that the Flamengers’ biggest nightmare has come true – there is going to be a all-out attack indeed. Due to political issues the Prime Minister doesn’t allow for public evacuation, only allowing VIPs (political leaders and their families, as well as the Flamengers’, permitted to 5 people per person) to evacuate first before the public announcement.
Being the only one in the group who truly upholds the idea of justice, Hazama is torn at the Prime Minister’s decision, and Hazama himself cannot decide which 5 people to save…and right at the end of the episode we see how Kaname decides to escape from his responsibility, while Hazama takes the opportunity of him being on TV to tell the Japanese public to evacuate.
WOW. What an episode. It’s clear we’re reaching the next point of the story for Samurai Flamenco (of course, what the next point is I’m unsure, since predictions don’t exactly pan out well for this series). So far the general structure of the series after episode 7 has been to escalate the story, have a few full-on comedy episodes before adding real consequences to what has happened. Basically bridging the disconnect between Hazama’s ambition to be a hero and fight villains and the reality of the setting he is in.
This disconnect is usually more obvious in the comedy episodes, but this episode clearly focuses on expanding on the consequences of this new world the series has built instead. Hazama is broken – physically and mentally. He constantly thinks about these consequences – the consequences of him being unable to exercise his responsibility to save the public. That is why he set out to be a hero in the first place, but as of now being Flamen Red has done nothing for these ideals that he has put on a pedestal.
We also get a greater insight into the Flamengers in this episode (finally) – Momoi (Flamen Pink) just wants to be an ordinary girl again, while we see the two extremes being pragmatism and meting out justice and saving the people. Kuroki and Souichi seem to be on the two sides of the spectrum. Souichi is clearly on the same train of thought as Hazama – he wants to save the public, while Kuroki understands the Prime Minister’s decision better (well, as long as they agree to disagree). This internal conflict between the Flamengers has definitely been expanded on for the past few episodes, and I’m sure we’ll get to see the consequences of this conflict in the next few episodes.
Back to Hazama, he finally finds out that Goto is allowing Mari to stay at his place, and that his girlfriend was surprisingly OK with it (seriously by now I would think she would have dumped him). Once again we see how Goto continues to be Hazama’s biggest and strongest pillar of support, although in this episode the two meeting turned out to make Hazama even more torn on his decision of whether to get Goto and the MMM to evacuate (although he would probably disagree).
I’m really looking forward to how this evacuation will pan out. Will the consequences of Hazama’s request to the public be greater than not having announced public evacuation? How will the Flamengers react to this? How will the Prime Minister respond? So many questions to be answered.