Chances are if you are a fan of the manga that you would already be waiting in line to watch this live-action adaptation, which also of course means that you know what you are in for. But for the uninitiated, consider this fair warning that 'HK Forbidden Super Hero' isn't your typical superhero movie; rather, the 'HK' in the title stands for 'Hentai Kamen', literally translated as 'masked pervert', which is an apt description for our titular superhero, whose powers are derived from the smell of a pair of used panties pulled over his face. That's not all - no thanks to the source of his superpowers, most of his killer moves revolve around stuffing his crotch into the face of his enemies, them "golden balls" shielded from view only by skimpy white Speedos. Besides the pair of panties, some facial makeup and the Speedos, our hero wears nothing else while in the line of duty - but really, we're quite sure when the ladies in the audience get sight of his ripped body that they will wholeheartedly agree that he is better off with as little cloth as possible. You should know better than to take such a superhero seriously, so there's hardly any point criticising how shallow the premise is; rather, if you're going to watch a movie about a ordinary person who transforms himself into a superhero by his perversion, then you should jolly well know what you are in for. Indeed, the only way you are going to enjoy this parody if you like is if you are prepared in the first instance to accept it on its own terms - and for a start, that means being prepared for countless in-your-face crotch shots that are designed precisely to elicit a reaction out of you, no matter delight or disgust. To match his signature over-the-top move, there are also a bunch of equally caricatured baddies - including one that calls himself Very Serious Mask, another that goes by the nickname Cool Guy, another with the moniker Gay Mask and yet another with an equally baffling name of Skinny Macho Mask. Still, all serve little purpose than throwaway comic relief before Hentai Kamen meets his match in an impersonator, who proves to be an even bigger pervert than he is and is most importantly not ashamed about it. Yes, despite his abilities, our hero is really a sweet-natured and kind- hearted high-school student called Kyosuke Shikijo; in fact, he discovers his powers inadvertently while rescuing the object of his affection, Aiko Himeno (Fumika Shimizu). Afraid of what Aiko would think of him if he discovers his perversion, Kyosuke keeps his identity a secret from her, despite turning up time and time again to rescue her from the brink of danger. It is in his ultimate battle with his evil twin that Kyosuke will overcome his own insecurities and be enlightened about the true nature of his superpowers. That's some self-realisation for you, no matter how unlikely such a theme might seem in a movie like this. Nonetheless, besides giving manga fans some twisted fun, director Yuichi Fukuda wants to tell both an unusual high-school love story as well as an even more bizarre coming- of-age tale - and for what it is worth, we can say that it is fortunate that his movie is much more than just about face-fulls of crotches, sexual poses and BDSM techniques. Fukuda also has his cast to thank for gamely stepping up to the challenge of such an outlandish movie. Shimizu is suitably sweet and demure, while Ken Yamada is befittingly off-putting as Hentai Kamen's antagonist. But truly amazing here is Suzuki Ryohei, who plays our titular superhero; more than just his physique, what impresses is how he manages to switch between his shy awkward persona and that of his decidedly showy superhero alter-ego - panties, crotch-thrusting and all. Still, despite Ryohei's best efforts, we're sure this will be a movie you either love or hate. It's weird to say the least, the humour mostly in-your-face (pardon the pun) and largely vulgar. Yet there is something undeniably engrossing about it, its mixture of teenage romance and disturbing perversion within the superhero genre making it a captivating watch. Don't say we didn't warn you about what you should be prepared for, so don't get your panties in a wad when you find them pulled over the face of our superhero.
HK: Forbidden Super Hero
HK: Forbidden Super Hero
A high school boy receives mysterious superpowers from panties.
September 26, 2020