The Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman
When Matsumoto Hiroya joined the Right Trading Company, he aimed to honor his deceased father by being an honest salaryman and doing his all for the company. Something happened on the way to corporate mundaneness, however ... as the company is actually home to Earth's defenders, the Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman! Forces from the Planet Voice are on the move, aiming to conquer the Earth from the inside - through business - and the Shinesmen must take their Pro Suits into battle against the devious aliens.
And if you took *any* of that seriously, you will be in for a shock.
Shinesman is the single funniest anime I had never heard of. When Anime Works released this, I never gave it a thought until I picked up a *dubbed* copy at the San Diego Comic Con at the MediaBlasters booth. And yes, I emphasize *dubbed* for a reason.
The original voice-acting was pretty decent, but the simple fact is that satire is a medium best suited for the viewer's native language. And the American dub is, quite simply, perfect. Characterization is wonderful, from the leader, Hiroya, the hopelessly idealistic, yet humble Shinesman Red, to Riko, the "you-go-girl" feminist office lady. Even Princess Sheena, who *should* be an annoying airhead, is actually adorable (despite her complete lack of fashion sense). Not one role is badly played - this is a wonderful job from the reliable folks at Coastal. (And yes, Hiroya's English VA is the same one as Keiichi, which is just too appropriate.) If anything, the only thing wrong with the acting is no fault of the actors themselves. No younger brother should ever be that ... cool! It's just wrong!
Okay, okay, so everyone overacts. Just like the Power Rangers! Or rather, the cast of "Just Shoot Me", in the world of "Dilbert", as the Power Rangers.
In any case, the animation is decent (if not breathtaking), and the music is suitably mock-sentai (especially the overblown opening song from hero-team stalwart Kageyama Hironobu). But the plot and acting are where it shines. The times where the Shinesmen bail out the hapless sentai actors, Greatman, only to be bashed by the kids for their truly mundane colors (Sepia? Gray? Moss Green? Salmon Pink?!?) are priceless. And watch as they pull out their ingenious superhero weapons, then proceed to comment, "Don't you wish you just had a shotgun?" No subtitle could compare to the one-liners in this thing, which fly through the air so fast, you have to watch it three times to catch all the jokes (some of which are *definitely* aimed at anime fandom).
The amazing thing about Shinesman is that, while it's nominally aimed at the younger crowd, who would still enjoy the comedy, the true audience here is the young adult who watched (either consciously or forcibly) sentai shows like Kamen Rider, the Power Rangers, or its multiple clones, and is now stuck in the world of business, trying to make a buck (or yen). Each and every aspect of modern life (including commercials) is utterly skewered. On a personal note, I have yet to find *one* person, non-anime fans included, who didn't think this anime was funny.
I simply can't do this anime justice with a simple review. Just watch this-no, BUY this and see for yourself. If only there were more!!!
And c'mon. Businessmen who transform into pastel superheroes. How could you resist?
Yes, I'm rating the dub as a five-star anime. The subtitled version is just as funny if you are fluent in Japanese, or are (bah humbug) a sub-only purist, but the English dub is nothing short of perfect. Bravo. — Carlos Ross
Recommended Audience: Good for everyone. There's no profanity, nudity, or objectionable material to speak of whatsoever. Power Rangers fans may get a kick out of this. Power Rangers haters, however, will LOVE this.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (2/2)
The Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman © 1996 Tachibana Kaim / Gokushu Kenkyusha / Movic / Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc
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