23rd Sep2014

‘HK: Forbidden Superhero’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Ryohei Suzuki, Fumika Shimizu, Ken Yasuda, Shôta Chiyo, Shunsuke Daitô, Narushi Ikeda, Nana Katase, Tsuyoshi Muro, Shun Oguri, Yoshinori Okada, Jirô Satô, Takashi Tsukamoto | Written by Yûichi Fukuda, Shun Oguri | Directed by Yûichi Fukuda

HK-Forbidden-Superhero

I love, nay ADORE, completely-bonkers Far East flicks be they live-action or animation – hell, some of the first films I ever reviewed professionally (if anything I do can be called a profession) were titles like Big Man Japan and 13: Game of Death. So it’s safe to say that I’m part of the target [Western] audience for a film like HK: Forbidden Superhero – even moreso given the ridiculous over-the-top ending that sees one of the films villains emerge in a giant mech that looks like a combination of two of my favourite kids TV shows: a Power Rangers Zord and the combiner Devastator from the original 80s Transformers cartoon.

Which is why I absolutely LOVED this movie!

When it comes to films like HK: Forbidden Superhero you have to ask yourself one question: how much does semi-naked, pantie-wearing, crotch-thrusting hero fighting similarly clad villains sound like your idea of a fun movie?  Maybe not even a fun movie, how much does this sound like an intriguing movie?

OK, so there’s something distinctly disturbing about seeing two grown men fighting it out in mankini’s… but that scene is only the tip of the bizarro iceberg when it comes to this film, and is only the tip of the myriad of reasons for audiences to love this movie too…

Based on the manga Kyukyoku!! Hentai Kamen (translation: Ultimate!! Pervert Mask) by Keishu Ando and published by manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump from 1992 to 1993, the film – originally titled HK: Hentai Kamen – tells the story of high school student Kyosuke Shikijo (Suzuki) whose father was a well-respected lawman and whose mother is a S&M queen. His destiny was to put knickers on his head and fight for justice…

Teenage martial artist Kyosuke Shikijo wants to be a hero. But when the chance comes to foil a bank robbery and win the heart of the girl he adores, the only way to conceal his identity is to put lady’s knickers on his head. This triggers his transformation into Hentai Kamen, the Pervert Mask, with the discovery that female underwear brings him undreamed-of superpowers. Oh and a costume that consists of fishnet tights; panties – which pulled up, mankini-style, make him even stronger; and high heel shoes!

So is that weird enough for you? No? Well how about if I tell you that Hentai Kamen must battle villains such as  an evil karate club, led by Ogane Tamao (Tsuyoshi) which tries to take over the school, enlisting the help of a teacher turned “Fake Hentai Kamen”, who likes nothing more than lifting women’s skirts and reveling in deviant behaviour?  What if I then tell you that HK: Forbidden Superhero is actually filmed as a quasi-spoof of Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man – right down to the Marvel-style comic “flip book” opening and web-filled credits sequence!

Intrigued yet? You should be.

Now, let me ease some of your concerns. For one, HK: Forbidden Superhero does not feature any nudity or usual sexual deviancy attributed to the hentai genre. In fact, besides some crotch-thrusting face bashing and other strangely sexual fight moves and, of course, the bizarre perversity of the films premise, the film is actually very warm-hearted. At it’s core the film is in fact a sweet love story between the shy, virginal, high school student Kyosuke (Ryohei) and his classmate Aiko (Fumika) – it’s just the backdrop of their story is a perverse superhero tale!

The very epitome of absurdity, HK: Forbidden Superhero is an unmissable superhero spoof. The film is out now on DVD from Manga UK.

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