Joyous Salutations , my dear Island Guests, we have entered Steampunk Month on Paradise.. however just because our palm trees have turned into metal and our pool is now heated by coal and steam vents.. doesn’t mean we will stop with providing you our weekly anime! The Animini shall continue.. however I will immediately admit.. that with this first episode within anime Month.. I am not that pleased. I am not that pleased at all. Where I liked the set up of the villain last week, I think it’s current execution is not something I particularly enjoy.
The episode picks up where the last when finished. Masayoshi is greeted by a young boy named Hajii and that explosion we saw last time.. it turns out it was Masayoshi’s apartment. I did not realise it because.. I haven’t really paid much attention to the outside of his apartment building if it even has been shown before. I do try to pay attention to this show so I do feel that explosion at the end of the episode missed a bit of impact. I wanted to see Masayoshi react a bit more. The two have a mexican stand off and the boy tells Masayoshi a tiny bit of his background story before vanishing. He tells Masayoshi he plans to cause misery to Samurai Flamenco. Masayoshi is being taken to a hotel to spend the night where he orders a curry. Hajii calls hims room and tells him he poisoned the curry and will soon treat Masayoshi to a colourful chain of events. Plus offering a lot more backstory. He was the young boy that was part of the group of ruffians.. I even described him there I think.. Apparently he found the word Flamenco to be really funny.. and he decided to be his rival.. long story short he wants to be his complete opposite.. so no justifications he just is pure evil! To offer Samurai Flamenco the best possible foe he can have.
Because of the phone hint Hajii gave Masayoshi the model deduces his first target is the Flamengers.. and this indeed is true. Blue gets his cardboard cutout of Red Axe being torn. Blacks Grandpa gets pushed over, Green gets his book cut to shreds and given to his little sister, Pink gets her hair cut off. and Red Axe gets hit by a truck and put in the hospital. We also see someone get pushed off a stair and ..kind of hurt their ankle I guess. While I do like the power display here.. something feels off in how these are scaled and follow each other up. Masayoshi goes to the police but no one believes a highschool boy can do this. There is no trace of a bomb in Masayoshi’s apartment, no poison in the curry, and the boy is said to have died from a disease over a year ago. Even Goto won’t believe his friend and the two get in a huge fight.. causing Goto to break all ties with Masayoshi and throw him out.. because he found it unfair that Masayoshi called him out for being a hypocrite. Masayoshi sits on a riverbank and waits for Haiji to call who shows up on an island in the river. When Masayoshi swims to him to proof he is real and not a figment of his overworked mind.. he finds no one there.. we see Masayoshi lay there wondering if this villain is hin his head.
I do really like how Hajii is set up as the Joker.. he is evil just because he can and he wants to be the opposite of Samurai Flamenco.. being evil just for evil sake is great. I also love the mind game that is being played here.. if that is the route they are going for.. Samurai Flamenco has very much dependent on all his allies, so the way to fight him.. is indeed by taking his friends away from him.. making him seem like a madman.. It will also reduce his chances to be world president.. which I already found dumb.. so I am all for that. Overall Masayoshi’s struggles in this episode have been done really well. I have so much empathy for him.. from simple things as wasting a perfectly good curry due to a tease.. to slowly losing his sanity.
I also like the fact that Moe did not get killed in this episode.. for some reason I had the feeling that she might be killed off and that would have completely ruined the show for me. While I do not like this episode .. they at least managed to keep it salvagable for me.. but given that I mention this as a positive might give you an idea for what is about to come next. To linger in the positives for a little while longer, I do like the idea that this young kid is just to smart for Masayoshi.. if he is not a figment of his imagination and faked his own death.. and is just playing the man I do think that is a really REALLY cool villain concept and probably something that I would see myself as .. as a villain as well.. that would be how I’d work as well. However I do not think the villain works here.. It works along with Masayoshi but not with the show, not with the universe.. not after that episode I should have kept as my final episode. I do love the concept .. but it’s like a concept car.. they all look really cool but if you look a bit closer it makes no sense at all! Still it does look super cool on a photo so that is still a positive.
I am sorry .. I have a LOT of negatives with this episode! I kind of hated it! Not in terms of flow .. but I just found it to have zero credibility and consistency. Let’s immediately drop in with the scene that utterly ruined this episode for me and that is Masayoshi’s fight with Goto. Goto believes Masayoshi is just overworked and is imagining this guy. Masayoshi tells him he is a hypocrite.. because he wants to cling on the illusion that his girlfriend is still alive and will come back.. but he doesn’t believe Masayoshi saw a real guy. That is hypocritical indeed.. and it would have been a super powerful scene.. had it made any sense.. but let’s look at this closer. Goto saw a guy transform into a Guillotine Gorilla while standing next to Masayoshi… he used a pink Hummer to dislodge a Missile made by a man who turned himself into a giant puppet. He has been saved by his favourite Sentai and he has seen an all American Hero turn into an alien. Had he had a telescope.. he could even see his friends IMPRINT on the moon.There in my mind is just NO way that .. a young boy .. flying under the radar is THAT unbelievable to him.. that it results in a friendship ending fight.
Then there is the attacks on the Flamengers.. which are all super petty and silly. It makes Hajii feel more like Butters from Southpark playing Professor Chaos.. ripping a cardboard sign and a book and cutting of someone’s hair.. tipping a grandpa. Then Joji is hit by a truck?! That just feels super inconsistent.. at least build up in gravitas over a bit of time if you do that.. but no everyone was hit almost at the same time..And they are HIT at the same TIME.. same day within minutes of each other. Yet the police and GOTO!!! Explain this as.. You guys go t some weirdo fans that will do weird shit. NO! Had it happened over days.. I could have seen them going that route but there is no way you can make Masayoshi the boy that cried wolf like this. It doesn’t fit into the world building at all.. the entire world wants this guy to be president for Arceus sake.. Even if I would belief Masayoshi himself is turning into a villian so much things would not make sense. The Flamengers fought monsters.. they are highly trained.. yet Red Axe can’t jump away from a vehicle.. Black doesn’t notice an intruder.. while his father is walking on soft soil.. Pink doesn’t chase the guy that cuts her hair and just screams?! They are basically meant to be like Masayoshi so this passive behaviour also is weird. The next two episode better offer me one Distortion World of an explanation because right now this feels SOOO badly written.
Despite me hating how this episode is written there are a few things going for it that keep it from getting the lowest score in my system. This might still be salvaged..I can see Masayoshi distracting the Flamengers.. to cause the atttack to happen.. if he really is the villain himself.. but then .. Joji makes no sense as he never answered.. So that route is out of the window for me.. I must hope Hajii is at least real.. and he is just tormenting Masayoshi but even if that happens.. everyone else here got the serious short and off the stick. I might be able to justify Goto’s action because he loves his girlfriend so much.. but I still kind of find it bad writing when you know that your friend saved earth from the aliens ..and you fought alongside him twice.. to prevent the end of Japan..that this whole girlfriend thing outweighs that. It doesn’t feel right we always seen Goto as a realist so to weigh this.. THIS heavy.. Eeh..
If you are simply out here to see Masayoshi’s adventures .. this is a good one.. if you are like me and think also from the mindset of the other characters.. this episode made SO little sense to me.. it kind of felt to me as if the show said.. “well this all isn’t relevant anymore lets toss it in the bin shall we” and I do hate this episode for it. For me this is the single most worst episode of the show so far. It doesn’t ruin the show for me but I do feel as if this was very very bad day for the writers. Sometimes a cool concept should just stay a cool concept.. I would have loved this as fan fiction.. but I hate that it’s part of offical Canon.