Japan’s favourite panty-clad superhero is back!

Hentai Kamen: The Abnormal Crisis is a follow up to the 2013 surprise cult hit Hentai Kamen: Forbidden Super Hero, based on the manga by Keishu Ando.

Ryohei Suzuki _ Yuya Yagira, HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore Films

The sequel is set a couple years after the events of the original. Our hero Kyosuke Shikijo (Ryohei Suzuki) is now a seemingly regular college student who part-times as a pizza deliveryman who is often distracted from his work by his alter ego’s need to stop crime when as and when it happens. However, Kyosuke is forced to retire when his prissy girlfriend, Aiko (Fumika Shimizu), demands the return of her panties (which give him his power) and delivers an ultimatum – it’s her or crime-fighting.

Ryohei Suzuki, HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore Films

Amidst his innner turmoil – is he or isn’t he a hentai (変態, pervert) – Kyosuke also has to deal with his seductive new biology teacher (Ayama Misaki), a sudden epidemic of panty-thefts, a new villain and an old enemy.

The movie is a satirical take on the concept of superheroes. It uses many of the usual tropes (hey “Comes Great Responsibility”, “The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life” and “Can’t Stay Normal” I’m looking at you) and brings them to a whole new level of lewdness. But instead of making an outright mockery of a genre, it puts a hilarious spin on the stereotypes by skipping mediocre joke cracking and taking things straight into the deep pits of extreme disbelief…until you have no choice but to believe the story the characters are telling.

Ryohei Suzuki, HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore Films(1)

Suzuki is endearing as Kyosuke, playing his role with a delightful naivety and remarkable confidence. Just like in the first movie, he manages to charm the audience into supporting his wackiness. The film reveals a little more about this family dynamics which gives the audience interesting insights to the whys and hows of his character and why he is the way he is. In Kyosuke’s world, there’s nothing wrong with being hentai, in fact it’d probably be weirder if you weren’t.

It puts an interesting perspective on how people see things and in its own odd way, introspective.

Sarutoki Minagawa, HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore Films

The villains are goofy; transformed into out-of-this-world “monsters” with mechanical parts. They are overly-serious in their roles, which is what’s need to really sell the scenes. The costumes are decently made, somehow managing to balance the out-of-this-worldness with just the right touch of reality (for the in-movie world at least).

Thanks to their unique powers there are plenty of highly entertaining, creative and unconventional fight scenes that revolve around S&M and other funny Japanese puns.

The plot is rather cliche and you can see the twist coming from a mile away, but it doesn’t detract from the entertainment factor – one certainly does not catch a movie like this expecting Murakami-levels of storytelling.

Tsuyoshi Muro _ Fumika Shimizu, HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore FilmsTsuyoshi Muro returns as Tamao Oogane, the expressive expressionless evil mastermind of the show. He has impeccable comedic timing and manages to own every scene that he is in. However to truly appreciate Muro’s comedic genius, you need to have an appreciation for the exaggerated sense of Japanese humor.

HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore Films

The movie takes a lot of its visual inspiration from the original Spider-trilogy – from the poses to action shots – and there are references to famous animes such as Saint Seiya. There is a gratuitous amount of crotch and butt shots but Suzuki’s earnestness as Kyosuke gives the scenes the right amount of confidence without any vulgarity despite the over-the-top-scenes.

Due to its inherent theme and inspiration, there’s an expectation for the one-off, bad-taste gags to fall flat sooner rather than later, but surprisingly it doesn’t. Probably because the gags aren’t tasteless despite their inherently raunchy nature.

Ryohei Suzuki _ Ken Yasuda, HK Forbidden Super Hero_The Abnormal Crisis, Copyright Encore Films

At close to two hours long, the film is a little draggy, especially in the middle. But there are enough funny spots in the middle to carry you through the movie – especially that sub-plot twist reveal at the end. This movie is best appreciated by those who enjoyed the first movie or really love Japanese-style comedy.

This is one movie that doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should you. We give this one 3.5 WAs out of 5. 

Check out the trailer below:

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