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Samurai Flamenco Needed Guillotine Gorilla

November 26, 2013

guillotinegorillaUpdatedude and I both watched the seventh episode of Samurai Flamenco. We both dug it. We both felt it was something that had to happen, if for different reasons. So we’re gonna blab about it and stuff. Update’s take comes first, followed by mine. Read and stuff

Updatedude’s Spiel

I, for one, welcome our new Showa Overlords.

So here’s the deal, I had no idea that Samurai Flamenco episode 7 was causing a stir. I saw Landon’s tweet and thought that other bloggers/anime fans were just over reacting over… something, of which I knew not what. Then Landon spoiled everything to me in chat, but it did make me rush to watch the episode. So, here’s my take:

I dig it, but probably not for the same reasons as Landon. From a story telling perspective, I think it’s pretty solid. The first 6 eps of Samenco was pretty much the “Kick Ass” Arc (although one could say it was more the main dude getting his ass kicked). And you know what? It pretty much ran its course. Escalating the threats or dragging out the character RELATIONSHIPS would have resulted in a lackluster series beloved by anime fans who were not yet tired and nasty and twisted like we Mecha Guinoloids. It was time for Kick Ass to die.

The whole “realistic” angle even got a nice send off with Samenco admitting that he doesn’t feel anything despite being handed the perfect origin story, aka the “my parents are DEEEEEEEEAD! *slap*” origin. This is something I really appreciated, as I’ve always found the idea of being driven by dead (biological) parents you never knew to be, well, retarded. I appreciated that the last bit of “realism” in Samenco was a realistic response to a scenario that usually garners an unbelievable one.

Samenco’s dead, long live Samenco!

Which brings us to episode 7, which is presumably the “Showa Rider” Arc. When Landon told me there was a gorilla with a guillotine in its gut, I hoped fervently that it would be named Guillotine Gorilla, and indeed, that’s its name! Thus cementing that it is indeed a Showa style Kaijin. And that’s why I love this new direction Samenco’s going.

Don’t get me wrong, I think the show is cool for shifting gears and pulling a hard turn. It’s gone from Moyashimon to Psycho Pass, and I dig that. But if you’ve got a passing affection for Kamen Rider from the Showa period, this episode was pretty much a love letter to it. Where Astro Fighter Sunred was an affectionate parody of Super Sentai/Power Rangers and Tiger & Bunny explored the Silver Age/Xtreme Age/Modern Movie Age of comics; Samurai Flamenco seems to be going in the direction of Showa Era Kamen Riders, complete with monsters killing innocent civilians in ludicrously horrible ways. Which yes, was a thing back then. Still is. Innocent people die a lot in the Kamen Rider franchise.

Long story short, I hope Samenco continues down this path. Masking a tribute to the Showa Riders in a shroud of supposed realism. We need more outrageous monsters, murders, and Nazis.

Landon’s Spiel

This was bound to happen, dudes. There was no way Samurai Flamenco was gonna stick with this “people pretending to be super heroes in real life” angle for the entire 20-whatever episode run. It was a slow boil, but it was inevitable that they’d break the Kick Ass mold and go full-on villain organizations and henchmen and stuff.

But yeah, Guillotine Gorilla? Didn’t see that coming.

The thing is, Samurai Flamenco was already playing by a lot of the rules you see in super hero stories. Do you really think no one would be able to figure out who Samurai Flamenco and Flamenco Girl were based on all the readily available audio and visual evidence? They aren’t doing anything to distort their voices, and Flamenco Girl is just slapping on some magical girl styled granny glasses as her “disguise”. Given the fact that she’s some idol singer, some fan should easily recognize her face and put it all together. Those dudes are obsessive about that sort of thing. There should have been some hikkikomori dude who deduced her identity within a few days of her hero debut.

But in a super hero story, a pair of glasses or some other inconsequential thing works. Superman puts on a pair of glasses and suddenly no one suspects him for being Clark Kent. It’s one of those rules of genre that fans of said genre buy into– one of those narrative tricks that breaks all normal rules of logic and common sense, but you don’t mind it because it’s written into the genre’s DNA.

Samurai Flamenco was already playing by the rules of the super hero story. Just because we weren’t seeing laser beam eyes and drug dealers morphing into murderous monkeys doesn’t mean this wasn’t a super hero universe. All of the other little details already told us this was that sort of world. So yeah, this sort of big reveal had to happen in order for these other little quirks to work. If we remained in the real world and all we got was character drama and shit, stuff like “glasses are a perfect disguise” doesn’t make sense. Knowing that King Terror or whatever his name is exists in this world, those glasses work.

So yeah man, this was kinda like that episode of Occult Academy where Japanese Velma was looking for her glasses. This plot twist was always there, right on top of your head. You just didn’t realize it.

Granted, none of us realized that pair of plot glasses were also bloodied by decapitated cop heads and stinking of gorilla hair.

Of course, this is all assuming this little twist sticks. The dudes were around a bunch of drugs in that joint. This could be some LSD trip, and our leads just shoved some cameraman out the window while tripping.

One Comment leave one →
  1. gedata permalink
    November 27, 2013 6:30 PM

    “This could be some LSD trip, and our leads just shoved some cameraman out the window while tripping”
    Ehh, but then this scene would’ve only happened from the point of view of people who we’re actually high. Look at the scene in which people outside of the building were reacting to seeing Gorillatine chuck bodies out of the window, their reaction couldn’t have been perceived as a part of an LSD trip since no one in the building was looking directly at them (unless we the viewers are high). It couldn’t have been an acid trip since that would make no sense. A dream maybe, but that would be pointless trolling probably. I’ll bet my foot that that was all legit. King Torture FTMFW

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