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J-Drama Review: Hero Yoshihiko and the Key of Evil Spirits (2012) - Cephus' Corner

J-Drama Review: Hero Yoshihiko and the Key of Evil Spirits (2012)

April 29th, 2014

y3tWV08When last we left our band of intrepid adventurers, they had defeated the Demon King, sealed the monsters away forever and were planning on a long, well-earned retirement.

Some things don’t work out as expected.

Following the success of Hero Yoshihiko and the Demon King’s Castle, the crew just had to come back for another adventure and this series delivers in spades.  Read on to see where this most recent series takes us.

We pick up 100 years after the end of the previous series.  All of our heroes have long since died, especially Mereb who was killed almost immediately after he left the group by a cow.  Peace reigned throughout the land, but all good things must come to an end and someone stole the Key of Evil Spirits and monsters were unleashed upon the land once again.  After failing to find a new Hero to save the day, even a descendant of Yoshihiko’s wouldn’t do it, but granted, he was like 8, the town elder begs Lord Buddha to bring Yoshihiko and his stalwart companions back to life so they could save the world once again.  Yeah, not so much.  See, apparently Lord Buddha forgot to save his game and everyone comes back at Level 0 and have to go through the same silly shenanigans over, completely with ridiculous bandits in the woods, fighting fake demons on the roads, etc.  We see Mereb and Murasaki learning whole new lists of mostly useless spells (like the one that makes an ice cube appear in your enemy’s mouth).  The team tries desperately to find the Key of Evil Spirits, coming up with fake keys time and time again until Buddha informs them that they are too late, the God of Darkness, Destark has already acquired the key and he’s planning on ruling the world of man with his army of demons.  Oh no, the horror!

KenshiroYoshihiko’s sister Hisa even comes back for more of her ending appearances.  This time, she’s learned to fight so she can help Yoshihiko, each episode she appears in an ever-increasingly absurd fighting or martial arts motif, proclaiming that she can defend her brother, only to have a guy come out while she’s talking, whack her in the back of the head and drag her off screen.  How silly does it get?  In one scene she’s Rocky Balboa and in another, pictured to the right, she’s Kenshiro, complete with bushy painted-on eyebrows.  It’s just silly stuff and it’s good to see her back.

I’ve already covered the casting in my previous review so I won’t do it again.  I will say that there’s a bit where a group of demons copies the identities of our heroes and those actors were actually quite good.  Therefore, I’ll talk about them a little.  Hamada Gaku, who played fake Yoshihiko, has been in 33pun Tantei.  Arimura Kasumi, fake Murasaki, was in a couple of episodes of Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri and Yamanaka Takashi, who played the part of fake Mereb, was part of the cast of Densha OtokoDensha Otoko Deluxe and Nodame Cantabile.

If anything, this second season was more crazy than the first and had a lot more geeky references.  One episode had a battle between Yoshihiko and Jackie Pyon, a takeoff of Jackie Chun from Dragonball.  In another, with the team on a boat heading across the sea, the gang from One Piece pulls up beside them and invites them to join the crew. I probably missed quite a few references and would have to go back and re-watch the series, which honestly, I’d be more than happy to do.  It was a fantastic romp and I really hope they get a movie or another series, I want these characters back!

If you’re in the mood for something utterly silly and proudly low-budget, this is a great series (starting with the first one) to watch.  It’s not a huge time commitment but it’ll leave you laughing and that’s the whole point, isn’t it?  Great show, go see it.

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Cephus' Corner

A Place to Share my Geeky Side With the World. Comics, movies, TV, collecting, you name it, I indulge in it.