HK Forbidden Super Hero Poster 1

Review: HK: Forbidden Super Hero (2013) – Fantasia

What if, instead of a radioactive spider, Peter Parker got his superpowers from women’s used panties? That’s the basic idea behind the Japanese superhero parody, HK: Forbidden Super Hero. And, just so you know, the HK stands for Hentai Kamen, which translates as Pervert Mask, not Hong Kong.

As HK: Forbidden Super Hero opens, the police track a wanted criminal to a sex club. They find him being flogged by a Dominatrix, who is not happy to be interrupted mid-session. Using her superpowers, she ties the cop up and begins using the flogger on him. As his backup arrives to save him, he tells them “That’s OK, I kind of like it”. And a voice-over tells us, “That’s how Mom met Dad”.

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That was high school student Kyosuke (Ryôhei Suzuki) telling us how his parents met. Dad is dead, but Mom is still alive and disappointed her son didn’t inherit her pervert genes. All that changes when Aiko (Fumika Shimizu, Tokyo Ghoul) is taken hostage. Trying to save her, he ends up with a pair of panties instead of a mask on his face. This unleashes his dormant pervert genes.

He’ll need those powers because Oganetamo (Tsuyoshi Muro, Psychic Kusuo) and his gang want to take over the school to get at the treasure buried under it. But while Hentai Kamen is busy fighting the likes of Very Serious Mask (Jirô Satô) an even more sinister threat lurks within the school itself.

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From its Marvel inspired opening credits to his mother’s ability to shoot rope from her wrists to our hero’s mask, HK: Forbidden Super Hero obviously takes its inspiration from Spiderman. Kyosuke gets to do the Peter Parker wimp who becomes a hero arc quite well. And watching him reluctantly hide his new identity from Mary Jane, I mean Aiko, gave me several chuckles.

I’m not sure if the original manga specifically targeted Spiderman or not, but director Yûichi Fukuda and co-writer Shun Oguri certainly have fun with it. And fun is what HK: Forbidden Super Hero is all about. From Hentai Kamen’s costume of panties, mask, mankini and black stockings to his outrageous finishing moves. Moves that usually involve slamming his crotch into the villain’s face. It’s all silly and slightly smutty fun.

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Yes, only slightly smutty. Despite its plot, HK: Forbidden Super Hero really never gets perverted. The face to groin fight scenes resemble edgy pro-wrestling moves. The closest it gets to any actual sexual content is a gag involving a very noticeable erection. While I’m glad it wasn’t on the level of Japan’s infamous Rapeman, (“Righting wrongs through penetration”) franchise, I do wish HK: Forbidden Super Hero had gotten a bit raunchier. It feels a little too slick and clean for its central idea.

HK: Forbidden Super Hero and its sequel HK2: The Abnormal Crisis are both playing at this year’s Fantasia. I should have a review of the second film shortly.

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