May 7, 2022
Kekkou Kamen is a crude parody manga that plays with many of the typical tropes of the era surrounding superhero shows. Specifically, ones targeted at children, which is, in typical Go Nagai style, his attempt at political satire and parodying the overly stiff Japanese culture. Whether you like it, or not, Go Nagai in manga like Kekkou Kamen are what pioneered modern anime. While the God of manga is Tezuka, Nagai is the King of Crazy. Whether in this work, or things like Devilman, his attempt is to break you out of your framework for a given genre. While Kekkou Kamen specifically falls flat due
to the fact it is a hyper specialized satirization of Japanese schools, power abuse, and the hero genre of cartoons, at the time it's easy to understand how this was a much more poignant breakdown of the psychology during the era. It is mostly for that reason I find redeeming qualities in Kekkou Kamen. However, while the manga does break viewers out of the box at the time, it is no longer a ground breaking box by any margin with things like Erotsukidoji and Rapeman, but i understand that these works wouldn't exist without Kekkou Kamen. For that, I am able to supersede some of the more crude, and artistically flawed elements of the work and see something redeeming within the work.
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