Atypical Avengers

When your super heroes do not pop out from some Marvel Comics but right from your local combini ! This could be the motto line for one of the weirdest, funniest and totally underrated Japanese comedy in recent years.

A pair of young guys become partners to fight crime in their area, then they are three when some ojisan joins them and eventually they become a fab four with a little help from some nerd-looking girl. They don’t have any superpowers: Ojisan with his cheap hammers is a very low key version of Thor, Toshida simply knows how to kick and fight and uses a few Peter Parker inspired gadgets, Kaori is just a smart girl and Nakatu, their leader, shows absolutely no skills whatsoever.

On the surface, the film might look like a succession of comical situations and dialogues, a series of farcical if not absurd incidents but there’s much more to it. Comedy, action and drama get all mixed to show a side of Japan you don’t find in tourist guides and more importantly there is an interesting political message that is delivered: a group of vigilantes can become a dangerous tool in the hands of ill-intentioned demagogues.

Mark Shilling from The Japan Times (2016):

Based on Shigeyuki Fukumitsu’s alternative manga “Seikatsu” (“Life”), the film is funny in smart off-kilter ways, while making astute observations about Japanese society in particular and human nature in general. Also, though produced by the major Japanese film companies — Nikkatsu and Toei — “Hero Mania” has an indie, even anarchic sensibility.

Acting wise, everyone does a fine job, Masataka Kubota is all punch and nerves and Nana Komatsu is a monument of dry wit. In the film, her character evolves from archive and plan making geek to hyper sexy secretary and that is fun to watch too.

Kaori Phase 1

Official Trailer

Kaori Phase 2

Blu-ray and DVD from CD Japan

Official Pics

The ‘panties incident’ scene

Toshida is a nice guy on top of being an awesome fighter but as everyone has a dark side, his is a fetish on girls’ panties which he steals from balconies. In this particular scene he gives back what he thinks it was. (subbed scene)

Music Clip

This musical sequence (Days of Turusima- If you want love) from the film is also available as a stand alone video on the Bluray edition.

5′ from the making of

Screen Captures

Film Twitter Account

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