Kekko Kamen : Mangriffon's Counterattack
[Kekko Kamen: Mangurifon no gyakushu]
Genre: Butt-Naked Female Superhero Kicks, uh, Butt
review in one breath
When good-natured Mayumi finds herself at the mercy of her sadistic, panty-crazed teachers, only one brave naked soul is capable of confronting her tormentors -- Kekko Kamen! Wearing nothing but knee-high red boots and a red leather mask, this nunchaku wielding superhero gives these perverts a dose of their own medicine. Wildly cornball and completely over the top, this will have you watching with mouth agape in utter disbelief! Two Nipples Up!
Rarely can the complexity of a film be captured in a single line, but I feel quite confident in suggesting to you that the following, taken from one of our heroine's noble condemnations of her enemies, indeed wholly sums up the core of this wonderful cinematic work. And I quote:
- Panties are sacred to a woman. Wearing them on your head is unspeakable! (Major head pounding ensues.)
Behold the sheer indominable power of a naked woman! Following in the footsteps of Lady Godiva, our naked superhero Kekko Kamen knows the power of her naked curvacious body over even the most sinister of villians!
The Kekko Kamen character is the creation of manga artist Nagai Go (who is also responsible for the manga origins of Cutey Honey and Devilman among many others). Kekko Kamen has been a running success since her debut in Nagai's 1991 manga. Since then, there have been four live action movies revolving around the character, of which this is the second.
All four films (including this one) are directed by Nagamine Takafumi. The role of the weapon wielding nudie is played here and in the first film by Saito Shino whose film career ground to a sudden, absolute halt following this film (for some unkown reason...). (Her only other film appearance was in the 2001 Kunoichi Hotaru by director Ishikawa Hitoshi (çŸ³å·å‡) of Shudan Satsujin Kurabu fame.)
The title "Kekko Kamen" literally means "wonderful mask". The "mask" of course is self explanatory due to its being one of two items of clothing our heroine is wearing. The "kekko" ("wonderful"), however, refers not to the mask but to the power of her unabashed nakedness and her enemies' continuous adulation over her nude physique. Thus rather than screaming in fear as their punishment approaches, perpetrators can only blurt out "KEKKO!!" with a mesmerized smile on the soon-to-be-sat-on faces.
In the hope of becoming a TV news announcer, Mayumi (Inahara Juri) enrolls in the renowned Mangriffon Announcer School. Although the faculty are very strict, little does she know that wayward students are ultimately ushered into the basement "torture chamber" to undergo a variety of creative punishments involving panties, teeth cleaning and pools of eels. Being not quite the brightest bulb in the class, however, it is not long until Mayumi is introduced to Mangriffon's dark, sadistic underbelly.
As if hearing her cries from the dungeon of tickling and toothpaste, a shockingly confident heroine suddenly appears wearing nothing but red leather boots and mask. That's right! The infamous Kekko Kamen has come to fight on her behalf using her highly trained skills such as the dreaded (?) "MUFFICATION"!! (yowza!)
Mayumi's continued plight sets off an epic battle between Kekko Kamen and the Mangriffon School faculty in a fight for justice and the proper use of panties.
Well, if you have not yet intuited the value of this "film" ...
The truth is, I think the naked Kekko Kamen character (of both manga and live action film) has as much appeal to females as to males. For guys, this film will appear to be about nothing but the uniquely mesmerizing experience of watching a buxom naked woman actually doing Bruce Lee nunchaku moves. (I mean HOLY COW!!)
But the ENTIRE narrative and current of film seems to be a rather "feminist" expression regarding the TRUE (TRUE) power which women wield over men's mentality should they (the women) cast aside society's conventional requirement that women hide their bodies (lest males go berserk).
The character of Kekko Kamen has already learned how her naked confidence can completely obliterate the thought processes and strategies of men, and here she passes this knowledge on to Mayumi. While the males (in both the film and the audience) are busy gaping at "boobs and muff", the female characters are explicitly sharing and polishing this natural power they wield over testosterone-obedient souls.
It's downright SCARY!
This is definitely a fun albeit mindless film, undoubtedly appreciated by a certain segment of Japanese film lovers.
This film is available on Region 1 DVD via major US venues.
Version reviewed: Region 1 subtitled DVD available via mainstream US venues.
|Despite the very unique demonstration of nude female martial arts...||Plenty of bloodless beatings and implied bullying.||Heh heh.||In the (non)guise of NUDITY it is now absolutely clear that strong-willed women may indeed take control of the ENTIRE WORLD!!!|