Cover of the first DVD and Blu-ray of the series
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Takahiro Omori|
|Written by||Hideyuki Kurata|
|Network||Fuji TV (Noitamina)|
|Original run||October 10, 2013 – ongoing|
|Samurai Flamenco Another Days|
|Written by||Seiko Takagi|
|Published by||Square Enix|
|Original run||October 2013 – ongoing|
Samurai Flamenco (サムライフラメンコ Samurai Furamenko?) is a television anime series directed by Takahiro Omori at Manglobe. It started airing on Fuji TV's noitaminA block on October 10, 2013. It focuses on Masayoshi Hazama, a young adult who aspires to become a superhero despite having no superpowers to fight. In doing so, he meets several people who support his cause. The series has been licensed in North America for streaming and home video release by Aniplex of America. A manga series by Seiko Takagi is also being published by Square Enix.
Male model Masayoshi Hazama decides to become a superhero, despite having no superpowers or the technology to create a high-powered suit. He becomes the hero, Samurai Flamenco and begins to fight crime in the name of justice. Police officer Hidenori Gotō finds out about Samurai Flamenco and his real identity by a twist of fate, which leads to him getting involved into lots of trouble, especially when they come across enemies that were not thought to exist outside of fiction. Nonetheless, these two young men will come face to face with hardships of being crime-fighters while discovering what it truly means to be a hero of justice.
- Masayoshi Hazama (羽佐間 正義 Hazama Masayoshi?)
- Voiced by: Toshiki Masuda
- A male model who decides to follow his childhood dream of becoming a superhero known as Samurai Flamenco (サムライフラメンコ Samurai Furamenko?), which is often mockingly shortened to Samumenco. He has a love for tokusatsu shows since he was a child, which came from his grandfather, who invented Samurai Flamenco. Originally confronting regular thugs in his alternate persona, Masayoshi starts fighting real monsters from the "Torture" organization when they start threatening the city. After Torture's defeat, Masayoshi is recruited to lead the "Samurai Sentai Flamenger" (サムライ戦隊フラメンジャー Samurai Sentai Furamenjā?) as Flamen Red (フラメンレッド Furamen Reddo?) against another evil cadre, known as From Beyond. When not fighting, Masayoshi has a shy demeanor thus he is usually dominated by other people such as Mari and Joji. He is 20 years old.
- Hidenori Gotō (後藤 英徳 Gotō Hidenori?)
- Voiced by: Tomokazu Sugita
- A policeman who is diligent in his work, but doesn't have a strong sense of justice. He finds out who Samurai Flamenco is one day, and his daily life has become busy and troublesome since. He has claims to have a long distance relationship with his girlfriend, and routinely refuses jobs centred around Masayoshi's activites. He is 24 years old and collects all the magazines that Masayoshi models in.
Mineral Miracle Muse / Flamenco Girls
- Mari Maya (真野 まり Maya Mari?)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
- One of the members of the female idol group Mineral Miracle Muse (ミネラル★ミラクル★ミューズ Mineraru Mirakuru Myūzu?), who serves as the composer and lyricist. Her talents and bright, energetic personality makes it easier to get along with everybody. She becomes a magical girl called Flamenco Girl (フラメンコガール Furamenko Gāru?), later Flamenco Diamond (フラメンコダイヤ Furamenko Daiya?) of the Flamenco Girls (フラメンコガールズ Furamenko Gāruzu?) and knows that Masayoshi is Samurai Flamenco. As opposed to Masayoshi's traditional sense of justice, Mari uses a more brutal, vengeance-based method of taking down criminals. Mari has a fetish for men in uniform, as she begins to blush whenever she sees Hidenori wearing his police uniform and tries to get him to dress up for her. After being kidnapped and tortured by King Torture, Mari develops a distant, angry personality and a hatred for superheroes, living in hiding with Hidenori. She is 18 years old.
- Mizuki Misawa (三澤 瑞希 Misawa Mizuki?)
- Voiced by: M·A·O
- One of the members of Mineral Miracle Muse, she serves as the leader, taking care of the group and others until she is recruited by Mari to join her superhero team as Flamenco Ruby (フラメンコルビー Furamenko Rubī?). She is 19 years old and is from the Kansai region.
- Moe Morita (森田 萌 Morita Moe?)
- Voiced by: Erii Yamazaki
- One of the members of Mineral Miracle Muse, she later becomes Flamenco Sapphire (フラメンコサファイア Furamenko Safaia?), the third Flamenco Girl. She is a high-school student with a reserved, yet carefree personality. Moe is attracted to Mari, who often kisses her in moments of passion. She is also a native English speaker. She is 17 years old. While kidnapped by King Torture, she offers for him to take her and let Mari go free, getting her finger crushed in the process. After discovering Mari hiding in Gotou's apartment, there is a violent meeting between the three MMM girls which ends after Moe explains her feelings, closing with her and Mari kissing lovingly.
- Anji Kuroki (黒木 闇児 Kuroki Anji?)
- Voiced by: KENN
- Recruited by Joji to be one of the "Flamengers", he joins the team as Flamen Black (フラメンブラック Furamen Burakku?) and acts as the team's weapons specialist. He is 24 years old and cares for his grandfather.
- Sakura Momoi (桃井 桜 Momoi Sakura?)
- Voiced by: Yukari Tamura
- The only female member of the "Flamengers", she joins the team as Flamen Pink (フラメンンピンク Furamen Pinku?), acting as the team's public relations official. She enjoys knitting despite considering it an overly feminine hobby and joined the team because of her crush on her "darling" Joji Kaname. She hails from a rich family, but was disowned because of her obcession with Kaname, who is already married. She is 23 years old.
- Soichi Aoshima (青島 蒼一 Aoshima Sōichi?)
- Voiced by: Showtaro Morikubo
- Joji's friend from 10 years before, he joins the "Flamengers" as Flamen Blue (フラメンンブル Furamen Burū?), acting as the team's second-in-command and strongest fighter. He originally rejected Masayoshi's position as the leader, wanting to be Flamen Red himself due to his friendship and dedication to Joji, but eventually grows to respect Masayoshi. Despite looking very young, he is the oldest member of the team at 28 years old. He has been friends with Kaname for about 10 years and dreams to work with him.
- Hekiru Midorikawa (緑川 碧 Midorikawa Hekiru?)
- Voiced by: Toshiyuki Toyonaga
- The stoic member of the "Flamengers" who becomes Flamen Green (フラメングリーン Furamen Gurīn?), the team's strategist and tactical analyst. He is 22 years old. When he later goes to graduate school, he dislikes being annoyed by women.
- Joji Kaname (要 丈治 Kaname Jōji?)
- Voiced by: Jūrōta Kosugi
- An action actor who was the star of the hero TV show called Red Axe (レッドアックス Reddo Akkusu?), he now likes to travel all around the world visiting his fans. He once claimed that he was Samurai Flamenco, but later becomes Masayoshi's combat trainer after he claims to the media that Samurai Flamenco is his pupil, inspired by Masayoshi's strong sense of justice. Joji is rarely around to train Masayoshi, however, due to his travels. After the fall of King Torture, Joji reveals that he is a member of a secret organization and recruits Masayoshi and four other youngsters to become the "Flamengers," explaining his frequent absences and flighty nature. He also eventually reveals that he actually is Red Axe, and has been really fighting monsters alongside other tokusatsu heroes like "Harakiri Sunshine" in secret for years. He is 43 years old. His wife is also a tokusatsu hero.
- Jun Harazuka (原塚 淳 Harazuka Jun?)
- Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa
- A middle-aged man who works in the development department for the stationery company, Monsters Stationery, who provides Masayoshi with "legal" weapons disguised as stationery to assist in his crimefighting work. He is 48 years old.
- Sumi Ishihara (石原 澄 Ishihara Sumi?)
- Voiced by: Chie Nakamura
- A competent, strict manager for the entertainment production company Caesar Pro. She is Masayoshi's employer and despite suspecting that he is Samurai Flamenco, she works hard to protect his identity until he reveals it to the public. She is 28 years old and dislikes Konno's attentions towards her. After being saved by Samurai Flamenco, she becomes nicer.
- Akira Konno (今野 明 Konno Akira?)
- Voiced by: Satoshi Mikami
- Manages the website High Rollers Hi!, a news website, he takes an interest in Samurai Flamenco and schemes to discover his true identity. He is 31 years old and has an interest in Ishihara. After being tortured by King Torture, he leaves the country to recuperate. He films the video of challenge that Mari sends to King Torture, and also films the battle of the Prime Minister versus Samurai Flamenco.
- Totsuka (戸塚 Totsuka?)
- Voiced by: Masayuki Katou
- First name unknown. Gotō's co-worker at the police box, and the section chief. He prefers to keep his mind on work.
- King Torture (キング・トーチャー Kingu Tōchā?)
- Voiced by: Shō Hayami
- King Torture is a criminal who loves torturing his victims. All of the monsters he sends to Japan are hypnotized by him. He was a boy who was taken with superheroism just like Masayoshi, only in his case he was taken with the evil side instead of the just.
- From Beyond (フロム・ビヨンド Furomu Biyondo?)
- From Beyond is an alien organisation that provided Torture with the power to make monsters. From Beyond often sends monsters to the Earth which are confronted by the Flamengers.
- Shintarō Okuzaki (尾久崎 慎太郎 Okuzaki Shintarō?)
- Voiced by: Kōji Ishii
- Prime Minister of Japan. He wore a suit that raised his power level according to the level of approval ratings he had as a prime minister.
- Haiji Sawada (澤田 灰司 Sawada Haiji?)
- Voiced by: Suzuki Haruhisa
- The grey-haired kid in the group of middle-school delinquents who were advised to return home instead of staying out at night. His friends tried to beat up Samurai Flamenco at the end of episode 1, the next time Sawada appears is episode 19 when he shakes hands with and speaks to Masayoshi. He's memorized the speech that Samurai Flamenco gave them at that time.
The series, directed by Takahiro Omori and written by Hideyuki Kurata, began airing on Fuji TV's noitamina programming block from October 10, 2013 and is being simulcast by Crunchyroll. The episodes are being collected in both DVD and Blu-ray volumes with the first being released on December 25, 2013. The series is licensed by Aniplex of America in North America, Anime Limited in the United Kingdom, and Madman Entertainment in Australia.
For the first part of the series, the opening theme for the anime is "JUST ONE LIFE" performed by Spyair and the ending theme song is "Date TIME" (デートTIME Dēto Taimu?), performed by Haruka Tomatsu, Erii Yamazaki, and M·A·O as their characters' band Mineral Miracle Muse. For the second part, the opening is "Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye" (愛愛愛に撃たれてバイバイバイ Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bai Bai Bai?) by FLOW and the ending is "Flight 23-ji" (フライト23時 Furaito Nijūsanji?) also performed by Mineral Miracle Muse, which will be released on a mini-album titled Koidama Cholesterol (恋玉コレステロール Koidama Koresuterōru?).
A manga of Samurai Flamenco titled Samurai Flamenco Another Days featuring a new story is being written by Seiko Takagi. The series debuted in Square Enix's G Fantasy magazine in October 2013. Its first tankobon volume will be released in Japan on March 27, 2014.
Mobile phone game
The series' early episodes have been notorious for its take on the lead character facing criminals without supernatural abilities and the episodes focused on the introducing the cast which have often been found likeable. Although Carl Kimlinger from Anime News Network found the early episodes underwhelming, he noted the show became more entertaining the more episodes he watched. Otaku USA's Joseph Luster compared these episodes with the films Kick-Ass and James Gunn's Super noting that Samurai Flamenco employed similar elements in its own fashion. David Cabrera from the same site listed it as his favorite series from 2012 due to its transitions that allow for several events to happen across the series.
As noted by Cabrera, ever since episode 7, Samurai Flamenco goes through a genre shift that surprised reviewers. Kimlinger commented that the new story arc "would qualify as a baffling train wreck, if only the arc wasn't so... good" highly praising the execution of its episodes based on the mixture between the character's actions and the sci-fi elements. Luster had a similar reaction, commenting how this transition allowed further character development to Masayoshi and his friends as they had to deal with the new threat. Despite enjoying these episodes, Andy Hanley from UK Anime Network feared the story might take itself too seriously resulting in unappealing episodes. In contrast to this positive reception, the series has often been criticized for its poor animation with Hanley finding episode 11 to be one of worst animated ones.
- "Noitamina Reveals Samurai Flamenco Hero Anime". Anime News Network. July 5, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
- "Aniplex USA to Release Superhero Anime Samurai Flamenco". Anime News Network. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
- "Blu-ray&DVD 1" (in Japanese). Samumenco. Retrieved February 17, 2014.
- "Samurai Flamenco Anime Gets Manga Adapation". Anime News Network. September 23, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
- "サムライフラメンコ Another Days (1)" (in Japanese). Amazon.com. Retrieved February 7, 2014.
- Luster, Joseph (January 30, 2014). "The Dance Goes on with Samurai Flamenco". Otaku USA. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
- Hanley, Andy (December 24, 2013). "ANIME REVIEW: Samurai Flamenco - Eps. 1-11". UK Anime Network. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
- "Samurai Flamenco Episodes 1-6 Streaming". Anime News Network. February 12, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- "Otaku USA's Top Anime of 2013". Otaku USA. January 28, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
- "Samurai Flamenco Episodes 7-10 Streaming". Anime News Network. February 12, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2013.