Usually when people think about tokusatsu, they think about either Kamen Rider or Super Sentai, with the occasional person remembering Ultraman. But there was once another series, called Metal Heroes, which ran from 1982 to 1998. It slowly faded into obscurity, but recently Toei has been trying to relaunch the series with both theatrical movies, direct-to-video films and some appearances of old Metal Heroes in some of their regular shows. I recently reviewed the Kikaider Reboot, here’s my take on the “next generation” of Sharivan.When it looks like the Makuu, Madou and Fuuma crime organizations organizations have returned, the Space Sheriffs are called into action and Sharivan is sent to meet up with Space Sheriff Estivan to stop the deadly new drug called Hyper-M, which can turn anyone that takes it into a crazed super soldier, but this drug comes with a downside, it kills everyone that takes it. And to make matters worse, there seems to be a traitor in their midst. Can Sharivan and Estivan and their partners save the day?
The movie begins with both Space Sheriff Gavan and Shaider, I was honestly thinking I was watching the wrong movie because it took at least ten minutes before we got the credits and got to see Sharivan at all. Gavan and Shaider acted as exposition machines to bring everyone up to speed but it was kind of confusing.
Estivan’s partner, Aileen, almost immediately looks like the traitor and she ends up being shot by Estivan, apparently trying to save Sharivan’s life. However, he was just trying to keep her quiet because, in reality, Estivan was the traitor. In retrospect, everything that Estivan does ought to have shown him to be untrustworthy, he rushes out to to “save a victim” while observing bad guys using Hyper-M on someone, but instead just reveals the presence of the Space Sheriffs, among others. All in all, they did a good job of not making the actual traitor too painfully obvious.
So, is this a good movie? Yes, if you’re an old school tokusatsu fan. There’s very little buildup for the new Space Sheriffs, you have to hit the ground running, but if you know what’s going on, at least in general, then you should have no problem. It is short, clocking in at just 60 minutes, so there isn’t much of a time commitment, the effects are good for a tokusatsu film, the action is well done and the conclusion is satisfying. After having seen a number of these reboot movies, I wouldn’t mind seeing these series back on the small screen. I complain a lot about how bad a lot of these modern Kamen Rider and Super Sentai are. Maybe what we need is some actual competition and Metal Heroes could be that competition. Who knows if that will happen, but I can keep my fingers crossed.