Samurai Flamenco – 02

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The police get several complaints about a man in a red costume harassing them. Goto warns Hazama to give his act a rest. Ishihara gets Hazama an extra role in the idol group Mineral Miracle Muse’s music video. He hums the Red Axe theme in order to stay calm, and MMM’s center Maya Mari notices. After meeting Hazama for dinner, Goto finds that his umbrella (belonging to his girlfriend) is missing. Hazama races after the man who stole it, and video of his peaceful confrontation goes viral.

At first, Hazama’s nightime “superheroism” is portrayed as nothing more than antics and petty scolding, which people are taking the wrong way. They’re so comfortable with the insignificant crimes they commit, that his unusual appearance and extreme moral stance lead them to report him to the cops as a deranged freak. It’s a hard, thankless job, but you get the feeling Hazama feels he’s making more of a difference sitting in the rain waiting for people to put out their garbage to early than he is appearing in music videos as a pretty man-prop.

Like the heroes he adores, he has Life Event That Set Him On This Path, which he reveals when Goto tells him the petty crimes he bothers people about will never end, but are simply a part of society. Goto is right, but only 90-99% of the time. Hazama fights for that 1% of cases where stealing someone else’s umbrella leads to the owner catching a cold…or the umbrella belongs to the owner’s long-distance girlfriend; not only Goto’s responsibility, but a valued reminder of her. That rare occurrence of anything other than the minor inconvenience of a stolen umbrella – that’s everything to Kazama.

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Rating: 9 (Superior)

Stray Observations:

  • We finally meet MMM…thankfully they’re not your usual idol group that is all smiles and rainbows on camera but complete bitches and tormentors to their underlings in real life. They’re actually quite pleasant.
  • Hazama “singing” the Red Axe theme over the idol song…that was ingenious. Not that MMM is bad; we maintain that the ED is very nice. Catchy; but not annoyingly so.
  • It’s also pretty cool when Hazama unknowingly attracts the attention of a fellow Red Axe fanatic, who just happens to be the idol he worked with. Something tells us he’ll be asked to worth with MMM again.
  • That chase was awesome, but we’re somewhat doubtful Hazama could keep pace with a monorail on a bike in the rain while obeying all red lights.
  • Hazama identifying his superhero persona on a tv quiz show…brilliant.
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Nagi no Asukara – 03

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Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki and Kaname visit their old abandoned school. Hikari vows to punch the guy who kissed Akari. When he returns home, Akari acts normally, but he hears her crying in bed. The next day Hikari chases Akari’s boyfriend to Tsumugu’s house. Tsumugu tells them both that the offspring of a sea and earth dweller won’t be able to live in the sea. Back at home, Akari tells him she’s decided to end it. Tsumugu builds a watering hole for his new friends. Afterwards, Hikari follows Akari’s boyfriend to his workplace and is ambushed by two girls, one of whom asks Hikari to help her break up her dad his sister.

This was an episode full of characters faced with complications on the paths they’d hoped to take through life, and must choose to either stay on the path or change course in order to avoid further trouble and anguish. One such character is Akari, who is portrayed in both flashback and the present as a selfless, loving older sister who decided she had to mature quickly and be strong for Hikari after their mother died. Hikari has always admired that strength, but also felt bad that she never thought of herself, to the point where he’s a little relieved when he learns of her boyfriend. He may be form the surface, but at least she’s thinking about herself for once.

By the end of the episode, she seems to be back to sacrificing her happiness for others; it would be unthinkable for the daughter of the high priest to be with a surface dweller and be banished, after all. Hikari doesn’t like how quickly she gives in. In fact, this whole episode redeems Hikari to an extent and develops his character, as he accepts not only that Tsumugu is a nice guy and Manaka may like him, but also sees a selflessness similar to his sister’s in Chisaki. His scenes with his sister are very affecting, too – especially when he notices how she trembles when she tries to keep things in. Still, while everyone is well aware of who likes whom, no one has verbalized anything to their respective subjects of affection, and so a tense impasse continues that could grow wearisome if it drags on.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)