Samurai Flamenco: Episode 15 – “Imitation Justice”

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. After having the Flamenco Girls joining him on adventures, everything changes with the arrival of King Torture. After Masayoshi and Hidenori are able to defeat King Torture, Masayoshi reveals his true identity to the media that have arrived. Masayoshi is now a member of the Flamengers, and he is Flamen Red.

The episode opens with a lengthy scene of Masayoshi talking with the guy from From Beyond who looks a lot like Masayoshi. He is known as Beyond Flamenco, and he spends a bit of time explaining From Beyond’s purpose and objective. During the conversation, Masayoshi pulls out a gun and points it at Beyond Flamenco. After the conversation, Beyond Flamenco has the gun shoot him, killing From Beyond instantly. When this happens, all the other members of From Beyond suddenly disappear.

The Destruction of Japan device is still active, and the Flamengers go after it with Flamen Robo. As this is going on, Joji gets a call from the prime minister, who tells him to make the Flamengers stop their attack. Joji refuses, and one of the other heroes by him grabs the phone, throws it to the ground, and smashes it.

After the Flamengers save the day, they are given another award and thanked for bringing peace to Japan. The Flamengers are disbanded, and their base is shut down.

One day, as Masayoshi heads to his grandfather’s grave, he is approached by a guy dressed as a superhero, and he says his name is Mister Justice, a hero from America. Before he can get any further, police suddenly show up, looking to arrest Masayoshi. Mister Justice knocks the police over with his attacks, and he and Masayoshi escape. Meanwhile, the other Flamengers and Joji are arrested by the police.

After getting to a secret base, Mister Justice turns on the news. Masayoshi learns that Joji and the Flamengers are being accused of orchestrating the terrorist attacks by From Beyond, and that they had ties to an organization pretending to be From Beyond. Mister Justice tells Masayoshi that he and the others had been tricked, and that From Beyond was under the control of the Japanese government. Their objective was to use crisis to unite the country and build political capital. Over the past few months, their efforts have helped increase the cabinet’s approval ratings, and aided them in passing various bills. Unfortunately, the Flamengers were too good and became celebrities, which made them a thorn in the government’s side that they couldn’t control.

Just then, more police arrive, and Mister Justice fights with them in order to allow Masayoshi to get away. After the prime minister twists information to make Masayoshi look bad during a press conference, Masayoshi becomes a fugitive on the run.

OK, I know this show has become known for the major plot twists, but I had not seen From Beyond being a ploy of the Japanese government coming! And now poor Masayoshi has gone from being the one upholding the law to being pursued by law enforcement. And how will this turn of events affect Hidenori? As a police officer, he would be expected by the department to arrest Masayoshi. However, since Hidenori is friends with him, would he be willing to jeopardize his badge to help him?

When Masayoshi first meets Mister Justice, he comments that he reminds him an awful lot of Joji. At first, I thought it might have been Joji in disguise; however, we clearly see in the news report that Joji has been arrested, so that blew that theory out of the water. However, his voice and mannerisms are just so similar to Joji. Also, it’s interesting to note just how fluent this American superhero was in regards to the Japanese language. It makes me wonder if maybe Mister Justice may be a relative of Joji’s or something. I hope we learn more about Mister Justice in future episodes of the series.

If there’s one word to describe Samurai Flamenco at this point, it would have to be “unpredictable.” Honestly, I don’t know what to expect from this show week to week anymore, but that’s part of what makes the series so interesting to watch. I also think the unpredictability adds to the show’s appeal.

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