There's a rumor flying around that Manglobe is about to go broke, to which I can only ask: what's taken so long?
Kosugi Juurouta as Kaname Jouji. Sure, Kosugi-san is a legendary seiyuu who's been a staple of shounen and action anime for decades, and it's always great to hear him - but the real genius comes in the fact that he voiced Legend in Tiger & Bunny. That should tell you both that Samurai Flamenco is well aware of its place in the anime lexicon and what sort of series it intends to be. Legend, of course, was the "first hero" in that series - the one who inspired Kotetsu to use his powers to save people, yet who ended up... Well, I won't spoil in case you haven't seen T & B.
super sentai orthodoxy and that it's set in a cynical world of reduced expectations. Kaname quite simply sees the Samurai Flamenco kerfuffle as something he can cash in on - a way to revive his faltering career and maybe cash in on the ¥1,000,000 yen reward Konno (Mikami Satoshi) has offered largely, one suspects, as a way to get under Ishihara's skin.
The Wow Show!", where he's staged his own revealing (and where both Hazama and Konno are guest panelists) and promptly punches the obnoxious host once he's disposed of the stage enemies that have been prepared for him. The old footage of "Red Axe" and Kaname's films is no less hilarious, with "Six Million Dollar Man" slo-mo and sound effects and preposterous chase scenes in what looks like the American desert. But there could be a darker side to him as well - he promises to give the reward to charity, but also talks about how Japan has declined because young people have lost touch with the old ways, and need to be taught the Bushido. This is loaded talk in modern Japan, often the territory of right-wing extremists, and there have been ugly incidents with celebrities with similar views - most especially writer/actor/director Mishima Yukio, who staged a coup attempt in 1970 and, after it failed, committed seppuku along with one of his followers (who only did so after a gruesome botched attempt to decapitate his master's corpse).
issue a challenge to Kaname and confront him head-on. Kaname reveals his twisted logic here - "I'm stronger than you and I'd make a better Samurai Flamenco, so you must therefore be evil." It's only when Hazama refuses to back down and the threat of the truth coming out becomes real that Kaname changes gears - he sees a new marketing opportunity in making himself the master, and Hazama the apprentice.
don the tights and cape. That ruse fails, however, to fool Maya Mari, who knows her superheroes and her Hazama too. For that matter, of course anyone who looked closely at the viral video would never have believed the brawny Kaname was the same guy to begin with - but Samurai Flamenco is a series that's intentionally playing up its own absurdity to great effect, so that seems very much in character. The tagline in the series description is starting to reveal its meaning, and the first three eps have done a beautiful job setting up a situation that's absolutely overflowing with possibilities both satiric and outright madcap. Whatever direction it goes from here, Samurai Flamenco should be a blast to watch.