Well it has been a long time since I have reviewed something that was not Toku related on this site, but I did say I am going to do more posts like these to help my writing in general. Also I guess since this is not a professional site and just a blog, I can let drafts and such through. Now if some are bothered by that, please tell me, but for me I like finding my own mistakes and learning from them. When I just delete when I am just typing, the mistake just vanishes from my thought and I can easily do it again. I have to notice it to make one hundred percent sure that I don’t do it again. Anyways for this review I actually got back into anime which is a shocker for me since it has been rather hard to get into it for myself. My problem was I kept looking for what was new and did not look back. Then I remember the video game, Tatsunoko VS Capcom and looked into Tatsunoko shows. First I watched Tekkaman Blade and while not one of my favorites, it did make me remember why I loved watching anime in the first place. Tekkaman Blade is a perfect representation of 90’s anime along with the classics during that era. I can say the show was strong and I did have a blast, but there were problems I had with it. That will be for a later review though because I jumped back even further and watched a show from 1974 and wow this show amazed me.
Hurricane Polymar was indeed made in 1974 and I think that year is really important because I did try to get what Polymar was about. The year 1974 is quite an interesting one for Japan because of what was happening before the show’s creation. 1966 had Ultraman which easily created a boom for transforming superheroes, but the big focus here is Kamen Rider. The franchises started in 1971 and then in 1973 we had V3. Polymar to me feels like it is a parody of the first two Kamen Rider shows, but it doesn’t say it is crap or anything, it is just showing how silly things actually look. Remember for the 70’s the effects were different and the costumes can range from great to “What the hell am I looking at?” Polymar clearly holds that idea and just keeps a silly tone to the whole thing along with the fact that people are getting murdered and crime is running all around the world. There are also some other observations I made with Polymar as I will get to that within the plot.
Polymar has twenty-six episodes to its run and the series is heavily episodic which does remind me of old school Kamen Rider or even old school Toku in general. There is the villain of the week and the heroes fight that villain and then it is rinse and repeat. With this show, it follows the three characters of the Kuruma Detective Agency as they constantly spy on the International Police to find out about possible cases. Joe Kuruma who calls himself the next Sherlock Holmes always tries to get to the case first, but he is not the brightest of detectives as he just gets in the way. Then there is Teru who owns the apartment for the agency and for some reason still keeps them around even with Joe’s three year debt! Teru is hot blooded and even though she knows how much of a goof Joe is, she still decides to work with him to solve some cases. Then there is Takeshi who is a boy who helps Joe with spying on the International Police, but whenever trouble comes around or even when his father, the chief of the International Police, he makes a run for it. So what these people deal with are deadly gangs that dress in silly suits based on animals and each different gang has their own grunts and such. Pretty much every episode deals with a new Shocker. With the detective and police completely useless who can possibly stand up and fight off these evil crime lords, Takeshi can... wait what?! It seems the young boy has been hiding a secret as he wears a special helmet called the Polymet that lets him transform into Hurricane Polymar! Takeshi even has a completely different attitude when he is not around the agency as he is rather serious and sharp. He knows where to find the gangs and knows how to vanish while keeping his identity a complete secret. With Polymar around the evil gangs that steal from the city and murder the innocent cannot stand against his fists of justice! The question is, what exactly is Polymar and why does Takeshi have it? More importantly why does he keep it a secret?
This is where a majority of the parody comes from is that the hero himself pretends to be a fool and does not keep his stoic attitude. The thing is that when Takeshi is serious he does remind me of the first Kamen Riders and what is funny is Polymar and V3 share a similar laugh before going into battle. Also with the fact there are villain gangs for each episode and how silly they can be is pointing to Shocker. The thing is that the serious tone is still around which really makes this interesting mix. I can still laugh at some of these villains and how they fight, but this is how they murder officers and innocent people which can create a terrifying image for them. Some of the villains do amp things up as well like the Butterfly Gang that flew in the air and spread poisonous powder on the city. Again hearing about men dressed as butterflies sound silly and then there is the fact they are causing chemical warfare! There is also how the police and detective can be complete buffoons is a joke on how police are useless in Toku shows even if they had two shows to base that off of. It is also funny how the show has a detective agency with a detective that is not clearly the best at his job, a lady who owns the place and tries to kick out the two, and the hero who hides his true potential from others and has to keep his identity a secret... did Double have any inspiration from this?
So from this point you can probably tell that I am in love with this show since I made a connection to Double. First of all... the Double part has nothing to do with it. Secondly, yea I do love this show. Hurricane Polymar is like Tekkaman Blade in the sort of way that I got interested in Toku, but with the old school ones. Sure the effects have not dated perfectly and can look quite silly, but there was a strong presentation value and some ground breaking development for superheroes for the time. Hurricane Polymar easily has the older style of animation and I miss those days of hand drawn animation. Then there is that Polymar excepts the silliness as reality. There is also the fact that this show is easily my cup of tea which cannot be for everyone I know, but things can get weird. Like for one of the eavesdropping scenes, they put a bug on a cat and then the cat gets distracted by a female cat... yes there was implied cat sex in this show, perfect! Even with the formulaic episodes the show had, I was always surprised by each one which is thanks to strange moments like that. The villains are creative as well as some of the best ones would have to be the White Wolf with mecha wolves, the Helmed Crickets, the Robo-Birdmen, the Doberman Assassins, and my favorite goes to the Butterfly Gang. All of these villains were silly as concepts and yet in action they are dangerous foes as the show really amps up with them. At first the gangs simply seem like common humans with some weaponry and then we get to people like the Butterfly Gang that caused chemical warfare as previously mentioned.
Also an honorable mention to the Cobramen!
To add onto the silliness there is even a dog that is highly intelligent and thinks for himself and yet cannot talk to the others. Also he is only one who knows of Polymar’s identity. The dog is called Baron… I can think of so many jokes right now. Anyways I love this dog he can seem quite old and he does play dead a whole lot and yet he adds so much to the show. Joe is by far my favorite as he can be a bumbling detective at many times and yet he can have his moments as well. He even comes with some of the best comedic moments in the show like a whole episode where he dreams he becomes Holymar and rivals Polymar. Teru even shows off her combat skills and then even the police can actually get the villains by surprise, not all the time, but sometimes.
Now I am heading into some spoilers so if you want to skip them, go right ahead this will be the only warning. I lied there are two warnings, no really skip this paragraph if you don’t want spoilers. Really you are still here? I thought I locked the door, get out! Alright now onto the spoilers! The secret behind Polymar is what you expect mostly because of the Kamen Rider connections. Takeshi acquires the helmet from a scientist that was being attacked by a gang of villains who wanted to use his research for evil! Takeshi argues with his father about how he should be protected, but his father wanted to use him as bait to catch the gang. Takeshi disagrees with his father and storms into the building to save the professor, sadly he has been terribly injured and so with only a few moments in his life left, he entrusts Polymar to Takeshi. The man tells Takeshi to train and become strong so that he can fight the evil of this world. Keeping the Polymet a secret from his father he is scolded by him because he is blamed for the death of the scientist and for letting the gang get away and on that day Takeshi vanishes and trains to become the hero that man wanted him to be. Also in that episode we do learn of what Polymar is and I love his concept. He is based around the idea of polyatomic compounds which causes Polymar to not only be incredibly strong, but also have the ability of transformation. Again this is after the cyborg heroes known as Kamen Rider and this show goes even further with a scientific theme. I am amazed a concept like this was not worked with more because you can do so much with that idea of compounds and molecules. Polymar is still a surprising take on superheroes, well at least to me because I don't know many heroes that mess around with molecules.
Now for the action of the show as I am a complete gushing fan boy over it. This was when people had to be hand drawing for all of the animations and to my surprise the animation is excellent. There are some flubs here and there, but this was the 70’s I remind you. The animation is full of life and what really shows that is that Polymar has a unique way of fighting. A friend of mine told me he has a Palm Strike style which could also work with his name when I think about it. Polymar though focuses on big attacks all the time or repeating attacks. So he can easily bash someone’s head in, repeat strikes to the neck, or do both. The animation really helps with showing his strength as well as there will be many times Polymar will hit someone so hard, their suits start to tear apart. Polymar is strong with grapples as he can literally create tornado throws and slam people into walls and ceilings. Polymar is simply one of my favorite heroes for simply how he fights. What is also strange and yet awesome is that he can transform into vehicles like a jet, drill, submarine, or even a roller. Polymar does come with some weaknesses as well and it can be fun to see him overcome them.
Overall, Polymar became one of my favorite shows in general. It is a highly creative show not only for its time, but I still think it stands up today. The animation is some of the best I have seen for an action show thanks to the high amount of details it can have. Then the show is just a constant surprise which keeps making watching it so much fun. The characters are all likeable and how the villains vary really keeps things fresh. I am so glad I looked into an older anime series because this gave me more fun than for over six or seven years of anime.