Who says the big, scary monsters always have to take the L? Special-effects action director Kawasaki Minoru disagrees, and in this comedic flick, he sets about telling the tale of a world obsessed with the fictional television heroism of Outer Man. The superhuman giant battles enormous kaiju to save the world from their uncanny evils to the wonderment of adoring tokusatsu fans everywhere, but then something extraordinary happens. Outer Man, who was only a TV character, suddenly appears in the real world. But instead of protecting mankind, he’d rather be a prick and destroy it. The actors of the Outer Man TV show must band together to fight this new menace or die trying. I guess.
This wacky premise that sees the heroes transform into a monster to stop the Ultraman-esque figure from wrecking their Japanese city comes from the delightfully deranged mind of Kawasaki Minoru, who starred in the Ultraman parody series Den Ace before eventually directing for 1996’s Ultraman Tiga. And since then, the floodgates on his brainhole have been thoroughly broken, bringing us one crazy effects-laden absurdathon after another, including The Monster X Strikes Back / Attack the G8 Summit, the 2008 kaiju parody sequel to the very serious 1967 original The X From Outer Space.
This time, Kawasaki flips the script by making the “hero” the villain, putting the wide-eyed children of the piece in the awkward position of cheering for the alien monster, whose name is Sylvie. Because there’s really only so many names for the Destroyer of Worlds besides that of the elementary school kid who singlehandedly brought the Black Space Ranger and friends to their knees. What’s most interesting is that, though Outer Man is merely a TV character in the world of this film, the actors who appear on the program are tasked with fighting the real-world Outer Man… by transforming into Sylvie.
Who else do you call for something like this but a cast of talents abundantly familiar with rubber aliens trashing paper mache cities?! Shioya Shun played HurricaneRed in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricanger. Furuhara Yasushi was Go-OnRed in Engine Sentai Go-Onger. And Tozuka Junki played the hapless sidekick Shunpei in Kamen Rider Wizard. Now, the three new characters must unite and somehow defeat the supervillain wearing the face of their show’s beloved savior.
Also on tap are veteran henshin hero leading men Tsuitsui Takumi of Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya (1988) and Manatsu Ryu of Ultraman Leo (1974). Recording artist Gero also stars in addition to performing the film’s theme song with One Piece anime opening theme musician Maeyemada Kenichi.
The visage of the heroes and villains of the piece come to us from 90s Heisei Era Ultra Series designer Maruyama Hiroshi. His talents are on display throughout the Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, and Ultraman Gaia seasons.
Sadly, this gemstone of strangeness may not yet be viewed with English subtitles, but the Region 2 DVD is available now in the original Japanese for ¥4700 / $43.04.