Samurai Flamenco: Episode 1 – “Debut of the Samurai Flamenco!”

Samurai Flamenco is an anime series produced by Manglobe and directed by Takahiro Omori. As of this writing, Samurai Flamenco is being simulcast on Crunchyroll on Thursdays.

The focus of the series falls on two characters: Hidenori Goto and Masayoshi Hazama. Hidenori is a police officer who takes his job very seriously, and one day, he finds Masayoshi in an alleyway. Hidenori thinks he looks suspicious, but Masayoshi insists that he’s a superhero. When Hidenori declares that Masayoshi is under arrest, he throws his lit cigarette to the ground; unfortunately, it falls on top of the superhero costume Masayoshi had laying around, and the suit gets damaged.

Hidenori accompanies Masayoshi to his home, which is located in a rather posh-looking high rise. While Masayoshi changes clothes, Hidenori flips through a magazine that’s on a nearby table and discovers that Masayoshi is a male model. During the time Hidenori spends at Masayoshi’s place, he learns that Masayoshi has always dreamed of being a superhero, even after being told by a teacher that there’s no career track for a superhero. Even though Hidenori ultimately ended up going into modeling, he has never given up on his dream. Hidenori points that Masayoshi could have become a police officer or a lawyer in order to fight the bad guys, but Masayoshi insists that’s not good enough.

Hidenori finds out that the evil that Masayoshi was trying to fight was a drunk businessman who was jaywalking and smoking in a non-smoking zone. Hidenori tells him that he’s getting carried away; however, after a brief questioning about what led up to Hidenori finding him, Hidenori decides to let him off this time, as long as Masayoshi agrees not to play vigilante again. Masayoshi agrees.

One night at work, Masayoshi calls Hidenori and says he really screwed up. He found a spare suit in another color in his closet and he decided to try it out. He told some middle schoolers who were hanging out to go home, and now they’re chasing after him. Hidenori takes it upon himself to try to find Masayoshi and help him out.

When I first saw that the premise had to do with superheroes, I admit that I immediately thought of Tiger & Bunny. However, after watching the first episode of Samurai Flamenco, I can say that while both shows may feature the superhero concept, the story and tone is drastically different between the two series.

The first thing that really stood out to me about the first episode of Samurai Flamenco is the quality of the animation; it’s visually pleasing and really stands out in comparison to other series that I’ve been watching during the Fall 2013 season. The animation looks crisp, the background looks rather realistic, and it’s obvious that the studio had a pretty decent animation budget to work with on this episode. Hopefully the quality of the animation will continue to be this high as the series progresses.

Admittedly, there’s a lot of exposition that takes place during this episode, but it’s done in such a way that the viewer doesn’t feel bored or too terribly bogged down by it. The serious Hidenori and the hapless Masayoshi make for an interesting duo, and I think these polar opposite characters will provide for some interesting stories as the series progresses.

Overall, between the animation and the storytelling, there seems to be enough here to keep my interest and make me want to come back next week to watch more of Samurai Flamenco. And it probably also helps that Hidenori is actually pretty good looking for an anime character, so this “eye candy” is probably also a good motivator for me to keep watching.

Additional posts about Samurai Flamenco:

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