Anime

Animini: Samurai Flamenco – Final Episode – Naked Samurai Flamenco!

Steam Salutations .. and this time the steam is from a little bit of an unexpected ending! For a moment there my face went red as we concluded Samurai Flamenco. Last episode I was super hopeful.. the week before that I felt utter despair. I felt episode 18 was the perfect ending to a show.. and in a way it was.. but the ending in episode 22 is a lot more satisfying. Though also a bit less perfect. Goodbye Samurai Flamenco.. let’s review you one last time!

The Summary

The episode begins with an origin story for Goto, which is not a good sign considering he just had a gun pointed at him and the trigger being pulled.  We see how he got his Girlfriends phone and slowly lost his mind trying to offer himself solace.  One message in particular highlighted the last message she truely sent him. In retrospect it is kind of weird that so many years have passed and no one notices how old of a flip phone he was using..and the fact that a telephone survived for that lone.. but oh well. The shot misses and we see Hajii reveal his real plan. He wants to transform Samurai Flamenco into a Dark Hero, by seeing his best friend kill his rival. Causing him trauma he can not forget.  So that means Goto has to kill Hajii to make this happen.. Hajii angers him by deleting all of Goto’s girlfriends messages including the final message she sent him.  This causes the poor man to properly lose his marbles and he swears to kill the young boy and then Masayoshi steps in.

Hajii tries to force him into his Samurai Flamenco costume but Masayoshi refuses.. he instead gets naked! Saying the two have to find love together and he will fight Hajii as Masayoshi not as Samurai Flamenco!  During their scuffle Goto gets the keys to his handcuffs and the gun and he wants to kill Hajii but Masayoshi stands in his way.. trying to talk him out of this. He does this by….proposing to Goto, still very naked. Goto calls Masayoshi stupid.. but doesn’t turn down the proposal, and the two call each other Baka and Aho for about 4 minutes or so.  Masayoshi realises he truly loves Goto and can not allow him to be corrupted and the end their standoff. Goto lowers the run. Masayoshi goes to Goto but what happens then is blocked by Mari who pops into the screen and beats Hajii up! Goto and Masyoshi talk and we see the criminal boy get kicked in the balls by Mari. A timeskip later and we see everyone being happy again. A sentai museum is opening and the flamengers are all there, Mari and Moe and Mizuki are having concerts again and Masayoshi visits Hajii in jail.. saying he wants to see him change. When he exits Goto is waiting for him and the two walk to the museum together.. Goto has a new phone and when someone litters, Masayoshi transforms into Samurai Flamenco once more.. chasing the litterer leaving a smiling Goto behind

The Positives

So apparently there is a manga that is set after this where Goto and Masayoshi live together, there is also a card game that shows their wedding. I am not sure if it is canon but my does that make this twist ending delightful. Those two would make a great couple.. and it does give Goto some peace of mind. That smile he has at the end.. that is great! And YAY Hajii was real! Thank Arceus for that.. I would have cried if he wasn’t.. Goto and Masayoshi becoming an item at the end was not what I had expected for an ending.. but last week I already expected an ending I would not expect.. and BOY did that deliver.  This really might be one of my favourite endings of a show.  Which admittedly also might seem so amazing because I was kind  expecting a trainwreck. But the ending is just so sweet and adorable.. and it is kind of neat that the final battle had to be fought as Masayoshi not as Samurai Flamenco it really was a nice turn that was properly set up.

The epilogue also delivered on the satisfaction. The opening to the museum works great as a visual callback , the walk of Goto and Masayoshi is super cute and a little bit loaded.. you want them to spill the beans and see if we can find out what happened to the proposal but it wisely never does. Even if Bromance.. with the B potentially between brackets  is not for you, you can take the ending anyway you like. They could just be palls! The extended universe makes them more.. but it is totally up to you if that counts yay or nay! Smart! We see everyone happy, and that whole World President stuff is also conveniently dropped which makes it a lot more airy and digestible.. it keeps Masayoshi as an innocent young man who hasn’t changed all that much yet realised something very important in his life. While he hasn’t changed he has become a much more complete man and that is enough.. that is what makes this show great in the end.  I still think episode 18 would have been a good enough place to end as Samurai Flamenco.. yet episode 22 is a much better place to end as Masayoshi.. and I like that there is a difference.

The Negatives

For me, Masayoshi did not have to go naked. The scene would have worked just as well in his boxers or even his underwear.  Metaphorically naked would have worked as well. It would not have weirded Hajii out as much maybe.. but I am not sure if him being weirded out mattered that much. Was it just so Goto got to see him naked? Am I missing something here?! To be fair I do not get weirded out or shocked from a naked person because I don’t really believe in that Taboo. A naked person doesn’t go much for me let alone a drawn one.. and we don’t even get to see anything.. it’s more like the Austin Powers implied Naked that is cleverly covered up in each shot. Somewhere I get it.. as it is pure Masayoshi.. no hiding behind anything.. but again underwear would have been enough.

That stupid random adoption scene from ther last episode has no impact here, we do see the Flamengers, but mostly it’s just Lady Axe calling Pink a sow other than that they are just impressed with the Museum.. also Black’s Grandpa is fine which is nice but I can not help that because of that random episode this felt like the least conclusive and satisying endings.. the rest got all closed up nicely but there was a bit of unfinished buisness left.  Like I said last week the parents of Haji indeed helped him fake his death as it turns out which makes sense enough.. but Kono only NOW finds out they are kind of worried about what he has been doing with this?! The boy has been dead for a year you know.  It seems kind of weird that his parents would not have any idea. Where does he store his explosives, can they never hear any phone calls he makes, how does he learn to infiltrate an apartment.  You can do a lot in a year but making the parents completely oblivious makes them horrible people in my eyes. Just allow him to do this or something because they are just as crazy obsessed with him as he is with Masayoshi or something. Now it is kinda hokey?!

The Score

I can rest at ease now and leave this series with a huge smile on my face. The twist ending was lovably weird but also quite in line with the show! A bromance moving into a romance….. which is how I take that ending is a great way to break up the stale trope of the hero being alone. Not only do we get closure, Goto get’s closure.. and while his behaviour in episode 20 still kind of disgusts me he has suffered enough. The fact that he doesn’t completely let go.. shows he is crazy enough to be with Masayoshi as well and the fact that almost all other people except for Goto have been using smartphones did kind make the scene better.. but still it kind of feels like someone is playing on their Iphone 10 next to someone with an iPhone 4…Mari, as shallow as she is would be bound to notice!

It’s a great final episode that has a few logic leaps that make the pay off not AS strong as it could have been.. but it’s one of those ending.. where you do not care about that. Is it perfect no!  Have I seen shows with stronger endings.. I most certainly did… yet I have said this before.. I do distinguish BEST and favourite. If someone asks me for the best anime I have ever seen, I would struggle to find an answer and probably end up with Spirited Away or one of the Ghibli movies.. if they ask for my favourite I say Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.  From what I have heard Cowboy Bebop has one of the best endings in anime.. though tragic, (I have yet to see it myself)  but my favourite ending… it might very well be this one! So this end gets one heck of a subjective Star Fruit! Thank you for existing Samurai Flamenco! And Moe.. my sweet summer flower, I am glad you are okay!

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