Anime Review: Samurai Flamenco


Superheroes. Everyone likes them. Whether they are defenders of the universe or that ordinary guy who becomes amazing over some improbable means, we all somehow relate to superhero (and in some cases, super villain) characters. This is a series about one such superhero: an ordinary guy who grew up loving superheroes he saw on television, only to discover the superhero he would soon become…

With all the plot twists along the way.


Samurai Flamenco and the Flamenco Girls

I’ve mentioned this series several times before on this blog, so there aren’t too many surprises coming from me when it comes to discussing it. Samurai Flamenco (also officially called Samumenco) is an original anime that pays homageto the entire superhero genre; not just in anime, but in all superhero media. At least, that’s the best way I can describe it when it comes to making sense of all the plot twists!

Our protagonist Masayoshi Hazama is an ordinary model and male idol in urban Japan (well it’s a lot more ordinary than other things in this show!), whose “secret” identity is Samurai Flamenco, a character of his own design, inspired by his grandfather. And like any other ordinary guy, he’s not exactly a top-class hero with special abilities. What he does have, however, is a high sense of justice; perhaps too much for his own good.

In the two-season run of this show, Samumenco evolves and follows the journey of many different kinds of heroes we have seen in other works. Over time, he becomes a crime-fighting vigilante, the leader of a sentai group, a space avenger, a politician, even the delusional man who thinks he’s a hero, like Don Quixote!

Flamen Rangers

I wanted to make this pose and catchphrase a thing people did since the show came out.

Speaking of Spanish influences, it comes to no surprise that there are a lot of contributions to Flamenco culture in this series. Not only is the crazy pose shown above somewhat derived from the dance style, at least one song in the score is a Flamenco tune.

At least one possible derivation of Flamenco comes from Andalusian Moors, Muslims who were oppressed for many years in Spain. They had developed Flamenco (which I don’t have an exact reference for this, since I heard it word of mouth) as an expression of the Flame, a concept that brings about anything but serenity in a time of struggle and oppression. The present forms of Flamenco are popular worldwide, but its origins seem to also fit with the hero theme.

Superheroes are, after all, passionate warriors who are idolized in fighting for the meek.

But if you don’t buy into my crazy theory about why Flamenco was chosen as a theme, the series does pay homage to ordinary heroes as well as fictional ones, granted they did so briefly.

Ordinary Heroes

Samumenco pays homage to law enforcement and other agencies, the heroes who help people every day.

Say what you will about police brutality and corruption within authority; these people are ordinary folks we come across on a regular basis; and even Samumenco recognizes that they are the true heroes of our world.

You said it, background character!

You said it, background character!

So if you are a believer who wants a superhero that demands justice where it’s needed, then get ready for the ultimate plot twist series of 2013! Samurai a hero we can count on!


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