Final Impressions: Samurai Flamenco


It's over! Wait, what?

Well, the final episode of Samurai Flamenco finally came out (thanks for that delay, guys), so now I can talk about the last installment of this crazy series. It's really hard to write about it, because so much of it feels incomprehensible -- but in the good way! So, how does everything wrap up, you might be wondering? How does this tokusatsu sandwich taste, now that both pieces of bread have bookended it? What silly metaphor will I make next that's just as bizarre as SamuMenco? Let's find out!

So, leading in from last week, obviously Goto isn't shot. Instead Haiji says he'll drive Goto into a berserker rage by deleting all of his fake girlfriend texts. It angers Goto, but he doesn't go over the edge until Haiji deletes the last text Goto received from his girlfriend before she died. That does it. Haiji's plan is to have Goto kill him, thus giving Hazama the "dark origin story" he always needed. This kid is definitely crazy.

Of course, Hazama, armed with his new knowledge of the power of love, arrives and strips down. Wait, did I accidentally stumbled into the Kill la Kill finale?!

Yup, Hazama gets naked to demonstrate the power of love, and embraces Haiji, disarming him. In their struggle, the keys and gun fall by Goto, who unlocks his handcuffs and threatens to shoot Haiji. How do you stop a rampaging police officer? You propose to him. Yes, Hazama proposes to Goto. No, he doesn't accept, but still -- that just happened. Don't deny it, Hazama and Goto are perfect for each other.

All in all, it was a fine final episode. We got closure on Haiji, we saw Goto and Hazama's relationship come to it's logical conclusion, even if Hazama did end up getting cockblocked by Goto's dead girlfriend. It would've been nice if we got solid confirmation Goto and Hazama ended up together too, rather than a wishy-washy "buddy" ending. Yet, everyone ends up happy, and the show concludes about as bizarrely as it began -- with a random dude trying to stop people from littering. In a way, it all makes sense, but it does so by confusing you first. I'm getting mixed up just writing about it!

Despite having a bit of a rough middle segment during the Flamengers arc, Samurai Flamenco did an excellent job of keeping things fresh. Almost every episode pushed the story forward and introduced something new into the mix. The "insane" bits, on retrospect, don't seem quite as crazy now, and just fall into place as obvious and clear steps toward the finale. Perhaps things would've followed a more traditional pace if they'd topped everything off with the Alien Flamenco arc, but I think I prefer finishing with Haiji. The emotional core of the series is strongest there.

I'm glad I chose Samurai Flamenco to follow this season. I'm also glad Takahiro Omori and the rest of his team were able to make a script that held up even under the pressure of poor production and animation. Despite the wonky faces and frequent quality dips, it still maintained a compelling and engaging story, keeping all of us locked in the whole way through for a thrill ride. And what a ride it was.

People keep making jokes about shows that will "save anime." If any show actually "saved anime" in that jokey sense, then it was Samurai Flamenco. Balls-to-the-wall insanity, superheroes, and a legendary script that have done more than most other shows this season. Each arc of Samurai Flamenco could've been its own show, but instead they did it all.

And somehow... it all worked.

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Ben Huber
Ben HuberContributor   gamer profile

I'm the managing editor of Japanator by day, and a roving freelance graphic designer by night! /  more + disclosures



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