Plot byAsian Wiki: Nakatsu (Masahiro Higashide) was laid off at his company and now works part-time at a convenience store. One day, Nakatsu forms a vigilante group to protect his town with Toshida (Masataka Kubota), who has a mysterious physical ability, Kaori (Nana Komatsu), who is a female high school student with excellent information gathering abilities, and Kusaki (Tsurutaro Kataoka), who wields hammers under his sleeves. As they punish evil doers, the group gains popular support…
…but with power comes great responsibility, and a very shady, power-greedy individual with a political agenda is very much interested in the group.
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.
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.