Matsumoto Hiroya has just started working at the “Right Trading Company” as a simple sales agent… or so it would seem. Beyond his commercial duties, he’s one of the five Special Defense Combat Units “Shinesman”: Red, Moss Green, Gray, Sepia and… uh… Salmon Pink. Together they fight to stop the alien invasion from Planet Voice in search of the Earth’s resources. Now they’re facing their greatest threat ever as a new, rather unorthodox enemy has arrived to put an end to the Shinesman once and for all. Will the Shinesman be able to save the earth while managing to report profits for the company?
summary by Griveton
Highs: Hilarious; fitting cast of characters
Lows: Underdeveloped story; uninspired art; love it or hate it anime
Parodies are a very tricky proposition: well-done ones become some of the most hilarious anime out there, but, even the slightest mistake can turn them into painful, boring experiences. It’s very sad that most parodies tend to be the latter. Because of this, my approach to Shinesman was very cautious, without expecting anything. Instead, I ended up with a very enjoyable experience.
The characters in Shinesman are the main driving force for this comedy: their personalities, actions and motivations poke so much as fun at the sub genre popularized by in the short span of two OVAs. Cheesy lines, ridiculous costumes, oversimplified, bubblegum drama… it’s all in here, lightheartedly mocked. Occasionally, unfunny jokes rear their ugly heads, but they are few and far between. It’s good that the comedy works, because the story suffers a lot in order to provide the opportunity for laughs; characters are really underdeveloped, and the plot is overly simple and vanilla.
Graphically, this series is acceptable. While Shinesman is by no means near the top of the line for its time, the visuals are decent and the art is clear, if a little generic and without much to set it apart. Even if it was made that way intentionally, it could have fulfilled its purpose and still felt fresh. The voice acting is good, hamming up the lines at the right times to complement the comical moments and then promptly returning to a more serious style after the joke.
As with most comedies, it’s a safe bet to assume there will be people who won’t like this; what might be funny for some is probably dumb for others, and Shinesman is no exception. If the idea of a parody of shows in the vein of Kamen Rider or Dynaman doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, it’s better to pass on this one. On the other hand, those who appreciate that kind of comedy will be treated to a very, very fun hour.
Shinesman can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.