Animini: Samurai Flamenco – Final Episode – Naked Samurai Flamenco!

Steam Salutations .. and this time the steam is from a little bit of an unexpected ending! For a moment there my face went red as we concluded Samurai Flamenco. Last episode I was super hopeful.. the week before that I felt utter despair. I felt episode 18 was the perfect ending to a show.. and in a way it was.. but the ending in episode 22 is a lot more satisfying. Though also a bit less perfect. Goodbye Samurai Flamenco.. let’s review you one last time!

The Summary

The episode begins with an origin story for Goto, which is not a good sign considering he just had a gun pointed at him and the trigger being pulled.  We see how he got his Girlfriends phone and slowly lost his mind trying to offer himself solace.  One message in particular highlighted the last message she truely sent him. In retrospect it is kind of weird that so many years have passed and no one notices how old of a flip phone he was using..and the fact that a telephone survived for that lone.. but oh well. The shot misses and we see Hajii reveal his real plan. He wants to transform Samurai Flamenco into a Dark Hero, by seeing his best friend kill his rival. Causing him trauma he can not forget.  So that means Goto has to kill Hajii to make this happen.. Hajii angers him by deleting all of Goto’s girlfriends messages including the final message she sent him.  This causes the poor man to properly lose his marbles and he swears to kill the young boy and then Masayoshi steps in.

Hajii tries to force him into his Samurai Flamenco costume but Masayoshi refuses.. he instead gets naked! Saying the two have to find love together and he will fight Hajii as Masayoshi not as Samurai Flamenco!  During their scuffle Goto gets the keys to his handcuffs and the gun and he wants to kill Hajii but Masayoshi stands in his way.. trying to talk him out of this. He does this by….proposing to Goto, still very naked. Goto calls Masayoshi stupid.. but doesn’t turn down the proposal, and the two call each other Baka and Aho for about 4 minutes or so.  Masayoshi realises he truly loves Goto and can not allow him to be corrupted and the end their standoff. Goto lowers the run. Masayoshi goes to Goto but what happens then is blocked by Mari who pops into the screen and beats Hajii up! Goto and Masyoshi talk and we see the criminal boy get kicked in the balls by Mari. A timeskip later and we see everyone being happy again. A sentai museum is opening and the flamengers are all there, Mari and Moe and Mizuki are having concerts again and Masayoshi visits Hajii in jail.. saying he wants to see him change. When he exits Goto is waiting for him and the two walk to the museum together.. Goto has a new phone and when someone litters, Masayoshi transforms into Samurai Flamenco once more.. chasing the litterer leaving a smiling Goto behind

The Positives

So apparently there is a manga that is set after this where Goto and Masayoshi live together, there is also a card game that shows their wedding. I am not sure if it is canon but my does that make this twist ending delightful. Those two would make a great couple.. and it does give Goto some peace of mind. That smile he has at the end.. that is great! And YAY Hajii was real! Thank Arceus for that.. I would have cried if he wasn’t.. Goto and Masayoshi becoming an item at the end was not what I had expected for an ending.. but last week I already expected an ending I would not expect.. and BOY did that deliver.  This really might be one of my favourite endings of a show.  Which admittedly also might seem so amazing because I was kind  expecting a trainwreck. But the ending is just so sweet and adorable.. and it is kind of neat that the final battle had to be fought as Masayoshi not as Samurai Flamenco it really was a nice turn that was properly set up.

The epilogue also delivered on the satisfaction. The opening to the museum works great as a visual callback , the walk of Goto and Masayoshi is super cute and a little bit loaded.. you want them to spill the beans and see if we can find out what happened to the proposal but it wisely never does. Even if Bromance.. with the B potentially between brackets  is not for you, you can take the ending anyway you like. They could just be palls! The extended universe makes them more.. but it is totally up to you if that counts yay or nay! Smart! We see everyone happy, and that whole World President stuff is also conveniently dropped which makes it a lot more airy and digestible.. it keeps Masayoshi as an innocent young man who hasn’t changed all that much yet realised something very important in his life. While he hasn’t changed he has become a much more complete man and that is enough.. that is what makes this show great in the end.  I still think episode 18 would have been a good enough place to end as Samurai Flamenco.. yet episode 22 is a much better place to end as Masayoshi.. and I like that there is a difference.

The Negatives

For me, Masayoshi did not have to go naked. The scene would have worked just as well in his boxers or even his underwear.  Metaphorically naked would have worked as well. It would not have weirded Hajii out as much maybe.. but I am not sure if him being weirded out mattered that much. Was it just so Goto got to see him naked? Am I missing something here?! To be fair I do not get weirded out or shocked from a naked person because I don’t really believe in that Taboo. A naked person doesn’t go much for me let alone a drawn one.. and we don’t even get to see anything.. it’s more like the Austin Powers implied Naked that is cleverly covered up in each shot. Somewhere I get it.. as it is pure Masayoshi.. no hiding behind anything.. but again underwear would have been enough.

That stupid random adoption scene from ther last episode has no impact here, we do see the Flamengers, but mostly it’s just Lady Axe calling Pink a sow other than that they are just impressed with the Museum.. also Black’s Grandpa is fine which is nice but I can not help that because of that random episode this felt like the least conclusive and satisying endings.. the rest got all closed up nicely but there was a bit of unfinished buisness left.  Like I said last week the parents of Haji indeed helped him fake his death as it turns out which makes sense enough.. but Kono only NOW finds out they are kind of worried about what he has been doing with this?! The boy has been dead for a year you know.  It seems kind of weird that his parents would not have any idea. Where does he store his explosives, can they never hear any phone calls he makes, how does he learn to infiltrate an apartment.  You can do a lot in a year but making the parents completely oblivious makes them horrible people in my eyes. Just allow him to do this or something because they are just as crazy obsessed with him as he is with Masayoshi or something. Now it is kinda hokey?!

The Score

I can rest at ease now and leave this series with a huge smile on my face. The twist ending was lovably weird but also quite in line with the show! A bromance moving into a romance….. which is how I take that ending is a great way to break up the stale trope of the hero being alone. Not only do we get closure, Goto get’s closure.. and while his behaviour in episode 20 still kind of disgusts me he has suffered enough. The fact that he doesn’t completely let go.. shows he is crazy enough to be with Masayoshi as well and the fact that almost all other people except for Goto have been using smartphones did kind make the scene better.. but still it kind of feels like someone is playing on their Iphone 10 next to someone with an iPhone 4…Mari, as shallow as she is would be bound to notice!

It’s a great final episode that has a few logic leaps that make the pay off not AS strong as it could have been.. but it’s one of those ending.. where you do not care about that. Is it perfect no!  Have I seen shows with stronger endings.. I most certainly did… yet I have said this before.. I do distinguish BEST and favourite. If someone asks me for the best anime I have ever seen, I would struggle to find an answer and probably end up with Spirited Away or one of the Ghibli movies.. if they ask for my favourite I say Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.  From what I have heard Cowboy Bebop has one of the best endings in anime.. though tragic, (I have yet to see it myself)  but my favourite ending… it might very well be this one! So this end gets one heck of a subjective Star Fruit! Thank you for existing Samurai Flamenco! And Moe.. my sweet summer flower, I am glad you are okay!

Animini: Flip Flappers -Episode 13- Pure Audio

Konichi-WAAAAAAAAH , my favourite magical girl show is over and I am sad now! My sweet island guests! I had such a great ride with this show and it quickly worked it’s way into my heart!  I loved this show so much and while I had a few episodes I did not like as much.. due to the chosen themes and the constant infighting.. what I had in the end was beautiful.  Could this final episode deliver a proper ending?! The answer is YES! In True Flip Flappers fashion it did it in a rather unconventional way..but I really loved this show.. and I really loved the ending as well.

The Summary

There is a lot to unpack here and words may not tell what happend properly.. but what we see is the final battle between the evil side of Mimi.. the broken part that clinged to Cocona as the only light in her life. That wanted to protect her from everything bad… however it doesn’t take long in this episode for her to abandon that goal and want to give Cocona a proper spanking.  Mimi Conjures, Snake Like Golems  that are immortal to beat the powered up Cocona and Papika. When they manage to hold her own Mimi starts to attack Yayaka as well who has been stripped of her powers. Luckily.. this super magical girl transformation Cocona and Papika have undergone cause their Impedance to go super unstable..  which caused breaches into Pure Illusion everywhere.. why is this lucky? Because Uexkull , Cocona’s Rabbit manages to enter Pure Illusion and in his warrior rabbit mode he saves Yayaka. Dr Salt uses the Elpsis to enter Pure Illusion and create another layer of it to hopefully keep Mimi at bay…This doesn’t work to well but it draws the good Mimi out! .. Sensing she is now losing ground Evil Mimi says “Flip Flapping”  and transforms into a Dark Magical Girl.. who is also a black hole.. planning to undo everything and recreate.

Flip Flapping Mimi overpowers the group and first but Cocona flys over to Papika.. they confess how font they are of each other one more time.. and reaffirm that whatever selfish desires they seem to have had.. to go on an adventure.. to let life just take them away.. all got redfined by meeting each other.. now whatever they do.. it only matters because they do it with each other. This realisation gives the girls the power of light ..and that destroys the black hole.. Evil Mimi realises she was wrong and is fished out of a pond by good Mimi.. fusing into a more complete being afterwards. .It seems Cocona wants to stay in pure Illusion to save her mother but Papika uses a bubble to send her trough a portal.. and we see Cocona return to a world.. but without Papika! A world that seems a lot more sterile than before.. she refuses to accept this reality.. and rightfully so.. it turns out that this grim reality is yet another figment of Pure Illusion.. almost as if a final test for Cocona.. she won’t leave without Papika… together the pair Flip Flaps one final time and flies among giant Butterflies back into reality again… where there friends… old and new are waiting for them to arrive… together.

The Positives

Sometimes you encounter one of those show that over time becomes.. “whatever they do you’ll think it’s cool”. I will admit that Flip Flappers has become one of those types of shows for me. While the final battle isn’t particularly epic and the final attack is kind of selfish.. justifying the villians belief.. it is pretty in it’s own way. A simple attack so filled with friendship and love .. and a desire to go beyond this obstacle that even a black hole could not assume it.. A love so fast.. it can not be consumed by that what consumes everything.  That doesn’t need to be a pink colourful spiral flying with sparks that if you look closer is a galaxy… No it’s litterally just two girls in cosplay being sucked into a black hole together.. with a light bloom effect on them..This not only stopping that final attack but also completely vanquishing the foe was  great.. because that is what this show is about. Friendship and love overcoming any limit.  That is what we got! The Epilogue is weird.. but fits so hard in the style of this show.. when we suddenly see Uexkull depicted as a regular bunny. Was he so weird from the start because of Cocona’s power?!  I did not see the twist coming and I was choking up.. fearing I would not get the end I wanted to see… yet when Papika popped up in that old concrete pipe .. my heart jumped with joy! Seeing Yayaka just start at the sky and grin when her two friends breach back into reality it all feels like carefully placed buttons that the end of the show pushes for you to leave you as content as possible and assure you  that there is no longer any doubt in these girls hearts on what they mean to one another.

Everything seemed even more crips in this episode.. they chose for some extremely close close-ups and it works so well. We can see every twinkle in Papika’s eyes, we can see how broken dark Mimi really is.. and we even get a lovely moment between Mimi and Salt.. where their sizes do not match up anymore.. even though they were both mature..Salt is painted very much bigger… he has grown older.. he has grown…while Mimi stayed her in pure Illusion, it helps convey the tragic truth that these once lovers are from different worlds that can no longer co-exists.. Salts form of Pure Illusion being more dead.. while Mimi’s is more alive and colourful. Their final embrace and Mimi’s request to Salt to always be his number one are a very touching sentiment and deep care for one another. The makers pulled out one heck of a ribbon box for this episode because everything gets so nicely wrapped up.. and pulls out all the stops in the visual department to make clear this is a finale too.

The Negatives

I do not believe in a flawless final episode, no matter how much you try , if we love a show there is always something we want to know as well. Will Yayaka ever go exploring Pure Illusion with Cocona and Papika again.. will Salt ever tell Cocona she is his daughter? (Probably not)  Where will Papika stay now that her evil robotic auntie/grandmother has been slain and her house has been blown up? It’s all kind of left unanswered.. perhaps what we saw in Pure Illusion can be an indication of what happens next but that is never confirmed. I would like to think so though. Would I have loved to see Salt hug Cocona and tell her the truth.. I think I do.. I am not sure?! So while the ending offers no closure on all things except for what Papika and Cocona mean to each other, I am not sure if I mind. On the one hand I really would have loved to see a bit of a fleshed out epilogue to see she is alright.. afteralll in reality she still is in pretty deep doodoo! I would love to see some resolve.. on the other hand.. now I can imagine what happend at the end.. and choose what happens. If in my headcanon Salt becomes a loving father.. he can.. if I want Papika and Cocona to live in a concrete pipe for the rest of their lives together.. eventually moving into a couple .. I can.  Flip Flappers is a show about making choices and it gives you the ultimate choice in the end. 

Like I mentioned earlier the episode might be a bit too oddball  to officially be called a good final episode. There is some odd pacing.. such as the final fight being resolved in the first half of the episode with half an episode epilogue.. could the show have been stronger if both things have gotten an episode? Yes quite possibly! There was so much that needed to be told… did they succeed in telling it all?! Yes! I am content.. could it have been told better.. Yes.. one more episode might have left it even more Ironclad. However could an additional episode have made it resonate with me more? If I had given all the answers I wanted would the show be as much on my head as it is now?! Possibly not. In the end it comes down to this show making a stylistic choice of ending that ..like the rest of the show isn’t made for everyone. I do think they could have done a better job with the final episode.. in some ways.. but no matter how I change it , I might like it less.  The flaws on display give this a character of sorts.. I am being made a participant.. instead of just being spoonfed things.. It might not be as satisying to pick my own grapes.. compared to being fed them by skimpily clad ladies and a Enuch with a palm leaf fanning me… but because I touched it.. I do feel more of a connection with what I experienced.

The Score

So do we end it on a perfect score?!  No.. the episode is just a bit to oddly paced, the fake out in the middle, while fitting denies us closure and instead of slowly ramping down the insanity that is this show we keep on revelling in it  in the end. That might not seem bad.. but compare it to a rollercoaster, that goes up a hill slowly then it picks up speed down hill… some crazy loops, crokscrews and what not..  usually right before the end you break and are hauled into the little station.. a moment to catch your breath… this ride stops full speed at the station and as a result .. you are not full ready to disembark yet, you haven’t wrapped your head around the fact that a guy now shoos you out of the cart. 

It’s a ride that I have found truely unique and delightful and it surprised me to the very end. Reality and imagination became interwoven and I get to decide if they live a happy ever after. I do like that idea.  The final episode has been structured to give people who loved this show one final trip. One more JOB! Everything that made this show great is crammed in this single episode and we even get a dark magical girl transformation to complete the entire trope thing as well! I did not know I needed that but when it happend I went .. .OH MY ARCEUS!  I NEEDED THAT! So in a way this show knows me better than me.. with this show I felt like it was made FOR me.. and this final episode could have almost have my nametag written all over it.. wrapped up in a pretty pink box and delivered by a jolly fat man or maybe by a Delibird. It isn’t flawless.. it isn’t a perfect final episode and it will not get the perfect final score.. but that makes this show better. A show that gets the perfect ending is a show you want to stop watching something that leaves you truely content… With Flip Flappers I might have not gotten everything I want.. but now I ‘ll forever want more.. and I love love LOVE that!

And that concludes the series! What magical girl show should take it’s place on the Animini slot?! Should I do an article where I gush on the entire series?! Let me know in the comments! Also this must be said! Yayaka rules!