iSugio

HK: Forbidden Super Hero – Review

by Miguel Douglas

@isugoi

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High school student Kyosuke Shikijo is the most talented member of the school’s martial arts of the fist club. His late father was detective and Kyosuke share his father’s strong sense of justice. Kyosuke also has a secret. Kyosuke likes to wear female underwear and transforms himself into the alter ego “Pervert Mask,” wearing female underwear and gaining superhuman powers. This unusual interest also comes from his parents, with his father a masochist and his mother a sadist.

Never one to truly shy away from the ridiculously outrageous, director and screenwriter Yuichi Fukuda has slowly started to proceed to the forefront when it comes to delivering films that are creatively absurd as they are enjoyable to watch. Whether this is seen in his wacky film adaptation of Kazune Kawahara’s manga High School Debut (2011), to his silly parody Kids Police (2013), Fukuda is starting to establish himself as a memorable director and screenwriter unafraid to venture into “interesting” genre-bending films. Based on the hysterically bizarre manga of the same name, HK: Forbidden Super Hero is the latest film from Fukuda that once again places the seemingly inane with the norm, delivering a film that is surprisingly humorous throughout despite its awkwardness.

Not surprisingly, many will viewers will probably be completely unaware of what the film has to offer based solely on its title alone. For the uninitiated, the “HK” in the film’s title stands for “Hentai Kamen”, which should be more than enough for individuals to understand that HK: Forbidden Super Hero is not a film dealing exactly with the conventional. Some people will probably bypass the film for that simple fact alone, but while that is completely understandable, for those willing to take the plunge into offbeat territory, HK: Forbidden Super Hero presents an oddly amusing take on the superhero genre as a whole.

Opening with a comical look into how Kyosuke’s parents first met, the film uses elements of Kyosuke’s past to elicit his rather perverted behavior as a contemporary high school student. This provides the film with a somewhat plausible vibe considering that the past experiences by Kyosuke has influenced his perspective regarding himself as well as the opposite sex, all in a rather laughable fashion nonetheless. Kyosuke is played quite well here by Ryohei Suzuki, who does a great job in providing his character with some much needed sympathy as he struggles between being a pervert and a common teenager, going through the process of understanding his desires and unawarely, his fetishes as well. Going along with the outlook of the film though, Suzuki looks entirely too old for the part, but then again, it kind of plays into the overall absurd nature of the film as we as an audience can not take its concept too seriously to begin with. As one will find out though, the warped philosophy of Kyosuke is not really the highlight of the film nor does it really have that much depth, but it does give Kyosuke some emotional resonance as a conflicted individual.

Ironically, HK: Forbidden Super Hero never completely fixates itself on being totally perverted for the sake of being perverted. The overall film is very aware of itself, with Fukuda never presenting the material as anything that should be taken seriously, easing us into a strange world where super heroes and villains are in equal measure in their perverseness. From the rather lackluster – and intentionally so – character costumes, to the preposterous villains that Pervert Mask must combat, the look and feel of HK: Forbidden Super Hero brings about the vibe of the manga exceptionally well. Those looking to find anything too thoughtful within HK: Forbidden Super Hero will be sadly disappointed, but those who don’t mind a crazy, perverted, and action-packed journey will perhaps enjoy what the film has to offer. Fukuda certainly knows how to entertain, with this film further showcasing his adeptness in combining comedy with that of the utmost bizarre to present an unconventional cinematic experience.

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Author: Miguel Douglas

As an avid viewer of both Japanese animation and cinema for more than a decade now, Miguel is primarily concerned with establishing a critical look into both mediums as legitimate forms of artistic, cultural, and societal understanding. Never one to simply look at a film or series based solely on superficiality, Miguel has dedicated himself towards bringing awareness to Asian entertainment and its various facets.

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