Most of us watch anime as an escape at the end of the day. A nice little piece of fiction to make us dream and take us away from the everyday. But once in a while, we come across a title that is as educational as it is entertaining. And Samurai Flamenco is just such a series. It’s a slightly dramatized retelling of recent Japanese history and sheds some much-needed light on some of the little-known facets of this fascinating nation.

Here with me, to discuss what we can learn from Samurai Flamenco is my great friend and colleague, Scott

Welcome, Scott:

S: Hi Irina, pleasure to be working with you once again to analyze one of the most critical moments in all of recent history. Especially with alien invaders showing up out of nowhere. Remember when that happened 8 years ago? Fun times for sure. I will never forget that myself because it’s such a once in a lifetime event. I remember it being all over the news.

It is such a wonderful thing that we have had all of these records of recent Japanese history from the past 60 or so years ready for us to look at and analyze for our own purposes.That must mean that most historical records are maintained in the same way, but that is hard to know for sure. Maybe we can look at other historical artifacts in some way in the future. 

Most people know that gun laws are considerably more severe in Japan than just about anywhere else in the world. And that does in fact lead to much lower crime rates and of course, almost no gun violence. But it does not eliminate non-lethal altercation and more petty crime completely.

And this makes it a more likely place for common citizens to want to help law enforcement. It’s no surprise that even an aspiring actor and model could be spurred into action in a place like that. 

What do you think Scott was the catalyst for Masayoshi’s initial drive to become a masked crusader? Do you figure the environment played as much a role as upbringing? Or is it simply a question of personal predisposition?

S: If you ask me, I think it has to do with Hazama’s environment and his surroundings around him. Though, I think personal predisposition has something to do with it too.  From the data files presented to us, we see how he was raised by his grandfather and how he felt useless considering that he had no talent besides his great looks. Plus the toku love.

Everyone needs an outlet for something, right? Hazama became yet another member in history to look up to his heroes in order to become one himself for the peace of all. Honestly, that seems quite natural to me considering that we can see this in how Bruce Wayne in Gotham City did something similar. All sorts of backgrounds formed Masayoshi into the Samurai Flamenco of today.

At least that is my perspective. What is your point of view, Irina? 

Those are some excellent points, Scott. And it will explain later events as well. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Despite Japan having some pretty strict laws in general and certainly not endorsing any type of vigilante activities, there was a time not that long ago when police tended to be more lenient on such activities as long as they weren’t causing actual damage. Still, I was quite surprised to find out the direct involvement of an actual police officer.

Of course, this was just an individual choice and not endorsed by the police force in any way. That would be crazy. But still, it was surprising to see just how involved officer Hidenori was. Tell me Scott, were you aware of this previous to the Samurai Flamenco documentary? Do you know if this is common? I mean it makes sense how else would he have gotten that far.

S: An excellent question, Irina. I was not aware of this fact until looking at this documentary. The one who got most of the spotlight was Hazama himself. It feels like Officer Goto was an original character for the documentary because of how understated he felt compared and could have been placed there to get more of Hazama’s thoughts on screen. Learning that Goto was a real character and did all of those things, but never wanted attention for it seems very altruistic and kind. A real nice guy in all of this. I would love to hear your thoughts on this too.

I am also curious about your opinions about idols fighting crime in their time off. We all know that idols are busy, right? They have to come up with new songs, new dances, and wear new costumes all the time to keep an audience invested in them. Do you feel like it’s strange how 3M were able to find some time to fight crime in their busy schedule? Also, do you feel like there might be a natural link to idols wearing costumes to becoming super heroes? 

I’m actually a little afraid that it will set a precedent. 3M’s management has done a terrific job in the intervening years, playing down just how much the girls were implicated in these events. In my opinion, most people consider the bits of news we did get linking 3M with the Flamenco girls as either silly gossip or publicity stunts.  I never imagined those girls were really out there fighting crime.

You do make a point though. There is a lot of crossover between the two. It does seem a good fit. But I still wouldn’t want Black Pink out there risking their lives. Maybe I’m just being fussy. Also, Black Pink is a pretty good fit but imagine, I dunno, Justin Beiber in his little boy idol days…

And I think we can’t ignore the influence of Red Axe. It does seem smart to have super agents acting as action heroes on TV. You know, hiding in plain sight and all that. But it seems that Red Axe had a syndicate well beyond what we can imagine. And frankly, I feel a little safer now!

Please follow the rest of our intricate study in part 2!

Drinking game:

  • Every time Ishihara gets mad – take a sip
  • Every time Samurai Flamenco is skulking in an alley – take a sip
  • Every time Gotou scolds or lectures Masayoshi – go get another drink
  • Every time Masayoshi blishes – awww
  • Every time Masayoshi and Gotou watch something together – raise your glass
  • Every time Joji let’s Masayoshi down – drink
  • Every time someone speaks in random English – say something in Japanese

5 thoughts

  1. I recall enjoying the first half of this series when it spoofed the hero genre but hated the second half when it turned into the very thing it was lampooning. Such a shame…

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