Samurai Flamenco: Episode 18 – “Flamenco in Space”

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.

Episode 18 opens with a slight backtrack to the end of episode 17, where it was revealed that Mr. Justice is actually Alien Flamenco. Alien Flamenco announces to the people of Japan that he intends to place them under his control. Masayoshi, Hidenori, the Flamenco Girls, Harazuka, and Konno all talk to Alien Flamenco, and Alien Flamenco offers to talk to Masayoshi. Alien Flamenco creates a doorway and then teleports away. They deduce that the door must be a portal to Alien Flamenco’s ship, but that this most likely is a trap. When Masayoshi hesitates, Hidenori gives him the encouragement he needs to take the chance to go through the door. Before he goes, Harazuka gives him a pen that’s a tracer.

When Masayoshi goes through the door, he is indeed transported to the ship. Alien Flamenco creates an illusion of a riverbank, and the two of them talk. It’s revealed that Alien Flamenco was responsible for both King Torture and From Beyond and was able to get them where they were through evolution. Alien Flamenco shows Masayoshi a device that forces organisms to rapidly evolve, and demands that Masayoshi take it and lead the Japanese people and guide them through evolution. Masayoshi refuses, and the two of them battle it out. Masayoshi ends up doing something surprising and turns the tables when it looks like he’s losing.

The others sees Alien Flamenco’s saucer leaving, but Masayoshi doesn’t return. Harazuka looks at his computer to see where the tracer is, but all his computer shows is “no signal.” Meanwhile, the audience sees that Masayoshi is somewhere, talking to the universe’s will. At first, it takes the guise of Harakiri Sunshine, but over the course of their conversation, it changes into King Torture and then into his manager. It’s revealed that Masayoshi has gone through all of what he’s gone through because he wished for it, and now he’s where he’s ended up because he didn’t wish for any enemies after Alien Flamenco.

The universe’s will gives Masayoshi a choice: he can wish for a new enemy or he can return to his regular world and live a relatively peaceful life. Masayoshi gives an answer that the universe’s will doesn’t expect…

While previous episodes of Samurai Flamenco could get rather strange at times, I don’t think strange is the right word here. By the time the episode reaches the scene of Masayoshi talking with the universe’s will, it gets almost downright existential. I have to admit that as this scene played out, I kept thinking that the tone felt like the show was coming to an end; however, I know there’s still four more episodes left, so I knew this wasn’t the end.

I have to admit something here. When I saw that the title of the episode was, “Flamenco in Space,” I heard it in my head like how the “Pigs in Space” segment of The Muppet Show was introduced… “Flamenco in Spaaaace…”

I guess I was wrong about Alien Flamenco being the basis of a final story arc for the series. After what happens at the end of episode 18, I have no idea where this series is going to go next. I’ll just have to watch episode 19 next week in order to find out, I guess.

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