Well, we’re finally here! We’ve reached the final episode of Samurai Flamenco, and this time the ride is truly over. This is definitely not a flawless series, but I think it’s safe to say that anyone still watching this series is very happy it exists. There are many ways to look at this series – as a homage to superheroes of all genres, a commentary on the harmfulness of media consumption, a political satire, or just a dumb show by some tripped out writers at Manglobe (though if you /still/ refuse to believe that the writers didn’t do proper planning while writing this series I’m gonna have to punch you). One thing no one can deny is that Samurai Flamenco is incredibly unique, and there just isn’t anything like it out there.
So before I begin with my final impressions of this anime (a proper review will be up of course, but that’ll be a little later in the future once I’ve had some more time to collect and organize my thoughts a bit more), just a little discussion about the final episode ensues.
I’m going to go over the episode real quick – Gotoh gets kidnapped by Sawada who wants Gotoh to try and kill him and does so by driving him to the limits, deleting his girlfriend’s messages. Hazama jumps into the fray, and he knows what he needs to do. He gets naked and becomes just Hazama Masayoshi, and tries to literally ‘love’ his enemy (Sawada) as an attempt to solve his problems. In the heat of things though, Gotoh frees himself and draws his gun to try and kill Sawada…
Only for Hazama to propose to him in a state of confusion, and to use love (platonic or not, I’ll leave that to you to decide) to stop him. In the end of course, it works – and Flamenco Diamond jumps into the fray to save the day. Samurai Flamenco thus returns to his daily life once more, doing his duty and living out his love for justice as the trash-picking, petty crime-stopping Samurai Flamenco with Gotoh as his companion again.
…Yeah, just writing up that recap is a good enough gauge of just how damn weird Samflam is. I’ve always thought about it at the back of my mind while watching Samflam (and I might have even written a bit about it too! But I’m too lazy to check, heh.) that the final missing superhero genre arc we’ve yet to witness is the modern day take on the classic superhero – I’m talking about darker, more ‘adult-oriented’ (so to speak) super hero movies like The Dark Knight and what not. It had a little moment in episode 7 right before the guillotine gorilla with the revelation regarding Hazama’s parents and all, but that was it. This last episode was the final piece being fitted into the puzzle – what Sawada Haiji wants is to see a ‘darker’ Samurai Flamenco, a lone hero scarred by the betrayals of those important to him, a cruel society…and the first step was to destroy his most important friendship with Gotoh.
But of course, as Hazama Masayoshi (aka the biggest living dork) this dark hero stuff isn’t going to be possible. At least, he wouldn’t want that to be possible. So the only way to fight ‘Samurai Flamenco’s biggest enemy’ is to eliminate Samurai Flamenco completely. Y’know by stripping naked and using the power of love, or what Hazama’s understood regarding love, to do this. Hazama could have donned the suit, actually try to fight Sawada, detain him…but would that solve Sawada’s problems? Heck, would that really solve Gotoh’s problems? One of Samurai Flamenco’s core messages, I believe, is that anyone and everyone can be a hero. It’s not the scale of the acts that define you, but the heart you have behind your acts, regardless of whether it’s saving the world, or picking up the trash. For Samurai Flamenco to don the suit would be to go against this key message – Hazama can up the ante with the heroic antics all he wants, defeat ‘EVIL’, but that isn’t really going to save everyone’s day. Gotoh would still be upset over his dead girlfriend, Sawada would still retain his apathy towards everything but Samurai Flamenco. There’s never a clear line between good and evil
between stupidity and justice. You can never create a world devoid of evil, and of sadness – they’re all an integral part of being human. But as Hazama Masayoshi, as a person willing to love and learn about love, he can make a difference. In other words, LOVE IS THE ULTIMATE WEAPON! Cheesetastic, I know. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Expect an overall review on Samurai Flamenco to be up soon! Spoilers: This is my favourite anime of 2013.