At the end of Episode Seven, a mysterious figure known as King Torture made his appearance known during the drug bust that Samurai Flamenco accompanied the police on. Together, Samurai Flamenco and Hidenori defeated the guillotine gorilla that had appeared.
Episode Eight opens with Samurai Flamenco, Hidenori, and the Flamenco Girls battling against a villain called Hanging Kite. Through all of their efforts, they are able to bring down Hanging Kite.
We then go back in time three weeks, when King Torture makes his presence known to the people of Japan. He claims to be the source of all evil, and he asks the people of Japan to surrender to him and become his slaves. He later calls out Samurai Flamenco for defeating the guillotine gorilla, and that if he appears before them, he will die.
Over the course of the episode, Samurai Flamenco and the others have to fight against several monsters, who all seem to be doing some rather ridiculous things: Boiling Rhino hijacks a bus and starts acting as a tour director as he’s taking the passengers to the secret base to become slaves, Delta Horse is going to poison the water with bacteria that will make it so people can’t stop gossiping, and Wheel Orochi is buying up all the fruit.
Interspersed with this is a running gag with a meeting of the Prime Minister, where they seem to be a bit clueless as to what’s going on, and the Prime Minister always just nods his head and gives a slight grunt. This got old rather fast.
Right at the end of the episode, Masayoshi says he’s having fun fighting the monsters. Hidenori is aghast when he hears this. Masayoshi says he knows it’s tragic, but Samurai Flamenco is now the real deal. Later, Hidenori receives a message from his girlfriend, who says she just saw Masayoshi on television but that he seems different. The look in his eyes scares her.
All right, I first have to say… what happened to the show that I was enjoying? I kept hoping that this was some kind of dream sequence, but it doesn’t appear to be at this point. It appears that the writers and/or the director wanted to change the direction of the show. If this is the case, then it ended up being rather abrupt and jarring. This whole thing with King Torture felt rather ridiculous and “over the top.” Yes, I will admit to Samurai Flamenco’s weapons being rather silly, but I can at least accept this a bit easier than this whole King Torture business. Hopefully this will lead to something important for Masayoshi’s character development, because I might be able to better accept this part of the story if it does. Hidenori’s girlfriend’s message sounds rather ominous, so this leads me to believe that this story may end up being rather important.
Last week, I’d heard some rumblings on Twitter about this episode of Samurai Flamenco being off-model. Now watching it for myself, I can see where this criticism comes from. Hidenori is definitely the character that I could tell right away was off-model, and he ended up off-model for quite a bit of the episode. The other main characters were also off-model, but Hidenori was definitely the worst one. The overall quality of the animation in this episode was not as good as the previous episodes of Samurai Flamenco, so I’m wondering if they were falling behind schedule and ended up having to do a rush job in order to have Episode Eight done on time for broadcast.
Overall, this has been the most disappointing episode of Samurai Flamenco for me so far, both for the story and the animation. I’m sticking with this show, though, because I’ve made it so far in already, I may as well stick it out to the end.
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