Samurai Flamenco: Episode 9 – “Predetermined Quota”

Samurai Flamenco is an anime that focuses on two characters: Hidenori Goto and Masayoshi Hazama. Hidenori is a police officer who takes his job seriously, while Masayoshi is a male model who has wanted to be a superhero for years and has taken on the identity of Samurai Flamenco. Unfortunately, Masayoshi doesn’t have any superhero abilities, and all he can do is lecture people about public nuisances. In episode four, a girl named Mari who is the lead singer for an idol group becomes Flamenco Girl. She deduces that Masayoshi is Samurai Flamenco, and she blackmails him into letting her work with him. After Masayoshi parts ways with Mari in episode five, she brings in her two cohorts from the idol group to be Samurai Ruby and Samurai Sapphire. The three girls are collectively known as The Flamenco Girls.

Episode nine opens with Samurai Flamenco going against another monster; this one is named Burning Piranha, and he’s trying to distribute poisoned tissues. I found myself thinking, “Oh, no, this going to be another episode focusing on the monsters of the week and be just as bad as last week’s.” However, it turns out that while a couple of the monsters of the week appear in this episode, they aren’t the central focus.

A lot of the episode focuses on Masayoshi, and he seems to have developed a bit of an ego and an attitude in regards to his Samurai Flamenco persona. At the same time, his regular career is taking off.  Masayoshi gets upset if Hidenori arrives late to the battles, and then he gets on Mari’s case about the fact that the Flamenco Girls haven’t been helping. Mari explains these villains have the same patterns, and in the end, they blow themselves up. She finds it to be boring, and has her sights set on something bigger.

Later, Flamenco Girl (who is now known as Flamenco Diamond) grants an interview with HIGH ROLLERS HI, where she calls out King Torture and says she wants to fight with him personally. After the interview, Hidenori goes to see Mari and tells her not to go around saying things like that, and that she’s getting in over her head. Mari, however, doesn’t want to listen, and insists that she needs to defeat him at some point.

Hidenori’s meeting with Mari makes him late for Samurai Flamenco’s most recent fight, and Masayoshi berates him for it. After Hidenori explains that he went to talk to Mari about her interview, Masayoshi accuses Hidenori of taking her side. Hidenori becomes rather upset during this exchange, and he finally blurts out, “That’s enough! What’s wrong with you heroes? You’re all self-centered whiners! Have you ever considered how hard it is for the rest of us?! As long as you have your weapons, you can beat anything? Then go ahead! I’m done providing you guys with support!” When Masayoshi asks about the cleanup and paperwork, Hidenori just rides off on his bicycle.

Near the end of the episode, Masayoshi receives a picture on his phone from Mari’s phone; the photo is of Flamenco Diamond laying on the ground, beaten up. Then, he receives a call from Mari’s phone from King Torture, inviting him to a final battle between the two of them. The episode ends with Samurai Flamenco heading out to face King Torture.

After seeing this episode, I have a feeling that this whole “monsters of the week” thing is only going to be in this particular story arc. It looks like the battle between Samurai Flamenco and King Torture will be taking place in episode 10, so this particular story arc may be just about over.

Episode nine puts a lot of emphasis on the effects this whole “monster of the week” thing is having on the various characters. The most obvious is Hidenori, who’s feeling the stress of being stuck between Masayoshi and Mari. I honestly can’t blame Hidenori for snapping like he did; in fact, I found myself cheering internally and thinking, “Good! Someone needed to tell them they’re acting like idiots!” And I also found myself thinking that Masayoshi’s grandfather would probably be disappointed if he saw how Masayoshi has been acting in regards to the Samurai Flamenco persona; to me, I think Masayoshi has kind of lost sight of what Samurai Flamenco was intended to be. Hopefully he’ll re-learn this as the series goes on.

We learn in this episode that King Torture had made a deal with somebody, and it’s a character we know. To be honest, I was guessing back in episode eight that this particular character had a connection to what was going on, but I wasn’t sure exactly what the connection was.

I’m really hoping that the next episode will not only conclude this story arc, but also reveal who King Torture is and explain what exactly has been happening recently in Samurai Flamenco.

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