Part Spider-Man. Part Pervert. All hero (in his own way). This one-two combo of Japanese Mania comes back to Fantasia Festival 2020 for a victory lap.
From the opening logo moments, you are well aware of how Yuichi Fukuda wants to subvert the superhero genre and specifically the Marvel and Spider-Man films. With a superhero who names himself Hentai Kamen, you better be prepared for some very R-Rated and sexually provocative comedy. These films are definitely for the midnight-set.
Kyosuke (Ryohei Suzuki) is your average Japanese High Schooler. In love with a girl, he’s too shy to talk to. Takes Karate classes at the local Gym. He bore out of a Sadomasochistic Relationship between his Dominatrix Mother and his Police Officer Father. You know… the normal kind of existence. It is only when Aiko (Fumika Shimizu) the girl he loves is held hostage that Kyosuke finds the courage and his superpower. It is through a pair of used painted he wears over his face, I mean doesn’t every superhero find their powers like this, that he becomes Hentai Kamen. HK for short finds his powers through his perverted sexual thoughts. His power … well, there’s a lot of use of his “nutsack” and making super villains uncomfortable. With great perverseness comes … well, I won’t’ finish that sentence.
Between the two films, there is more subversive humor about comic books, manga, superhero movies, and everything in between. There are few films that that will make one laugh out loud at its audacity one minute and be baffled by something the next. Fukuda has created a one-two comedic punch that plays beautifully when watching by yourself but has to bring down the roof with friends.
HK and HK2 follow the story arcs of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man and its sequel to a tee. They even go as far as to have Hentai Kamen’s face as a play on Spider-Man’s mask. HK2 feels like a more overt mimic of Spider-Man 2, even to go as far as to copy the visual style and color palette of that Bill Pope Photographed film. In fact, the film uses most of the story and themes from the sequel it should get story credit.
Yes, the film is about a guy who gets his power from wearing used panties atop his head. If you have a problem with that. You don’t get the joke. If you don’t get the joke Hentai Kamen isn’t going to be your thing.