- Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman (1996: Production I.G.) 2/2 eps.
Staff and Background
This OAV is based on a manga of the same name by Kaimu Tachibana. Her usual genres are yaoi and fantasy shoujo romances so Shinesman is a bit of a departure as it is a parody of sentai shows. The OAV was directed by Shinya Sadamitsu who also directed Planet Busters and Dragon Half, aka the show with the weirdest fucking ED ever.
Story and Characters
This is the tale of Matsumoto, a young fresh faced man joining the world of the 9-5 grind. But he is caught off guard when he is told his sales job is only a cover for becoming a company sponsored sentai hero: one of the Shinesmen! He and his fellow heroes must do battle against the forces of the planet Voice, who have disguised themselves as businessmen belonging to a different company. Our heroes fight to protect what is most important to them: their car, their dates, their family, their fashion sense, and their little brother who they love just a tad too much. Oh, and one of the Planet Voice dude’s sister also joins in on the action! Yes, this is an absolute piss-take of the sentai genre and it is wonderful. Placing the exciting and brightly coloured world in the dull world of business was a stroke of genius that is hilarious. The contrast between the two as well as how lame they are as sentai heroes all just sings together to make some pitch perfect comedy. It is really hard to talk about comedies without making them sound crap but trust me, this is a good one. There is a plot but as with any sentai show you already know exactly what will happen and it doesn’t really matter. The characters themselves are pretty fun as they all either subvert or take to the extreme the tropes found within the genre. It just works really well, which means it is very hard to talk about…
Audio and Visuals
Now this is important: DO NOT WATCH THE SUB. The subbed version is fine but it plays things a little too straight a lot of the time and so it just isn’t all that funny most of the time. The dubbed version, on the other hand, adds a ton of sarcastic humour into the mix and the result is that it is gut bustingly funny. Script changes aside the dub is just really well acted which is somewhat of a surprise considering this is an old OAV from the ‘90s, I wish more dubs were this well acted to be honest. The music is pretty fun too as it fully plays up that hot blooded hero tone that would fit just as well in any super robot show. As for the visuals, I’m going to start off by praising the character designs. I know I’m a sucker for those types of 90s designs but even so I think these are particularly good ones. In terms of animation it is fairly good for the first episode, though nothing spectacular. In the second episodes things get turned up a notch and there are some really nice looking action scenes that I totally was expecting.
Shinesman is a fucking great parody of sentai shows. If you’ve ever seen an episode of Power Rangers then you’ll be able to get all the jokes going on in this and fully appreciate it. The dub is definitely the option to go for as it adds that sarcastic wit that the show definitely requires, my score will be based on the dub by the way. The only problem is that there isn’t more. We only got 2 episodes and there were 9 volumes of the manga! I could see the joke wearing then if they kept it up too long but 6 or 7 episodes would have been just perfect and would have allowed a full story to be told. As it is we kind of just got an introductory story and that is it. The show is damn good a it is but if it were longer then it could be all time great.
Final score: 8B