Shinesman (of 1) (Mania.com)

By:Chris Beveridge
Review Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000
Release Date: Tuesday, October 31, 2000



What They Say
Hiroya Matsumoto, hoping to become a great employee as his late father, has just been hired at Raito, a top trading company. Little does he know that he’s been recruited for a very mysterious department within the company: Special Duty Combat Unit: Shinesman…which faces a terrible alien menace unbeknownst to Earthlings.

Like most corporate employees, Hiroya still has meetings to attend and deadlines to meet, but when the Shinesman rage war against the alien race from Planet Voice, Hiroya and his co-workers don their office-colored combat unit suits: sepia, gray, moss green, and salmon pink. If you thought you’d seen it all in Power Rangers, Kamen Rider or even Dynaman, wait until you take a look at the zany, but corporate world of Shinesman!

The Review!
Prior to the discs release, there was a lot of anticipation for it, especially from the usual subtitle fans who insist that this is a great and hilarious dub and must be watched that way. Some even went so far to say that the Japanese language version is pretty flat compared to the English.

I think they're both pretty bad actually!

Audio:
The Japanese and English tracks for the show are pretty good with no noticeable issues. We watched the English track for our primary review and didn't notice any audio dropouts or other kinds of distortion. The shows isn't primarily dialogue, but most of that and the special effects sounds came through the center channel while the music made use of the left and right speakers.

Video:
The biggest offender in terms of video is the dreaded rainbows. Depending on how much these bother you will determine what you think of the video quality. While they were very strong on our HDTV, a quick look in the low grade Apex player tended to mute them a bit. There's a decent bit of line noise during camera panning sequences, but there's also a decent amount of it during static scenes. Combined with the edge rainbows, characters standing still, such as Red Shinesman, look like they're still moving with the shimmer.

Packaging:
This is a pretty straightforward package without too much in the way of flair. The front cover has the "go team" kind of image with all the Shinesman on it while the back has a good summary of the shows concept along with the technical information. The insert is pretty minimal in just listing the chapters on one side and box art advertisement for other shows on the reverse side.

Menus:
Simple and effective is the key here. The menus play with some music, but no animations. As there isn't a lot of selections, the menus are laid out pretty simply and access times are fast. No issues at all.

Extras:
The only extra included is the image gallery with about a half dozen or so images, mostly artwork and manga covers. After watching the show, I'd hoped for creditless openings and endings since those were hard subbed in the opening and overlaid in the ending.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The premise of the show is pretty simple. There's five characters who by day work for the Right Trading company. By night and by request, they transform into the Special Duty Combat Unit Shinesman team, each with bad colors other than red. One of them is Salmon Pink, another is Sepia... you get the picture.

The Earth is slowly but surely being conquered by forces from the Planet Voice. The prince and another are working by day at Science Electronics and use their cover as a way of destroying other companies and fighting the Shinesman team. The prince is fairly ill tempered but the other, who through some small flashbacks here and there, may be on Earth against his will.

Rounding out the cast of the good guys is the main characters little brother, the human resources manager (who actually runs the team) and another woman who is actually from Planet Voice and is on Earth looking for her missing brother.

Not only a traditional set up, but you can essentially see years worth of stories, especially if you've ever seen any sentai shows. The difference is in the approach though. The Japanese language version, while definitely a parody of things, is much more subtle in its style than you'd expect for a parody. While watching it, you could almost see it being a regular thing.

The English language version though is a much more straightforward comedy/parody. The inflection in the characters voices are much more humorous and less serious than the Japanese actors and elicit a feeling of "well, we're here, lets record this thing for a few bucks". That's not said in a mean way either, as it fits entirely with the way it was being recorded.

Unfortunately, as I am closely approaching the old age of 30, I seem to be finding less and less things funny. First I hated Hyperdoll, another parody of super heroes, and now Shinesman. Watching this with my wife, I think between the two of us we cracked maybe two or three smiles, no laughs and a ton of "title time left" checks. We both found it seriously unfunny and basically couldn't wait for it to be over.

With all the praise of the English track, we watched that first, but it just didn't cut it. After both episodes, the show became pretty much forgettable. I was already not much of a fan of sentai shows (and yes, I've seen my share of them), but this didn't work for me at all.

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery

Review Equipment
Toshiba TW40X81 40" HDTV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster component cable and Sony speakers.



Mania Grade: D
Audio Rating: B+
Video Rating: C+
Packaging Rating: B
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: C
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Media Blasters
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 60
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Shinesman