It’s the start of another new tokusatsu series! We’re covering one of the more famous shows from a not so well known franchise. The series is written by Gekisou Sentai Carranger’s head writer, Urasawa Yoshio, so there’s plenty of his trademark wackiness to be found here. (and some surprisingly down to earth stuff too!)
[神様の贈り物] Kami-sama no Oukurimono
A Gift from God
Writer: Urasawa Yoshio

It’s the first day of the new school year and the Murakami kids, Yuko and Takuto, are excited to be heading back and catch up with their friends. Takuto makes it to school with all his friends and has a normal day. Yuko? She’s about to have one of the strangest days of her life.

Yuko stops by a shrine that doesn’t get too many visitors these days to pray for the new school year. At the shrine Yuko accidentally breaks the bell and drops it on top of the head of a god. Luckily, this is just what the god has been waiting for! You see, the guy’s been the guardian of this town for a while, but he’s also had a gnarly sinus infection he needs to remedy with a nice trip to the hot springs in Italy. Yeah. The only reason our heroine gets her powers is because she’s the only person that stopped by the shrine in who knows how long. Also if she tells anyone about her powers, she’ll turn into a frog. Oh this is going to be a good show.

Yuko is given the power to become Poitrine, based on another ancient goddess. It’s her job to protect her neighborhood from the threats it faces. With the transformation phrase “Cosmic Magic, Metamorphosis!” she transforms into Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine. (TL Note: Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine means Pretty Kamen Poitrine  Pretty Mask Poitrine) The outfit she wears when transformed is much more magical girl than anything else you would typically find in tokusatsu, more so if you want to compare it to other female tokusatsu fighters.

Takuto returns home later that day and rushes to get his wallet, realizing he finally has enough money to buy a video game he’s been after for some time, Dragonballz 3. (I’m sticking to that name!) The shop owner tells the kid that playing the game leads to the appearance of a thief who will stun players and steal the cartridge. This eventually leads to Takuto getting in a fight with his friends over the identity of the thief and after he runs them out…bam! The thief appears, trying to stun him and steal the game.

Takuto books it and when Yuko gets home, she has some inkling that something might be up. The Phantom Video Game Collector myth is popular around town and even one of her classmates has fallen victim to him. Knowing her brother might be in trouble, Yuko transforms and goes off to defend him. She discovers that the shop owner who sold Takuto the game is the phantom. He steals the game from people who buy it by stunning them and then resells it. What a fiend!

Seeing this mysterious heroine save him leaves quite an impression on Takuto, he even asks for her autograph. And thus ends the first of many odd adventures from Poitrine.

Bishoujo Kamen Poitrine is the 12th series in Toei’s Fushigi Comedy line of tokusatsu. This was a line that focused less on action and more on comedy and down to earth stories. Also they liked to be really weird, as this first episode proves. Though the weirdness isn’t as over the top as you might expect. Every now and then something weird, but vital to the story, happens, but I never got the impression that the show was trying to go out of its way to tell me how weird it is.

The series focuses on the Murakami family, specially their two oldest kids, Yuko, a high school girl, and Takuto, her elementary aged younger brother. They’ve also got a younger sister, Momoko, and two…quirky parents. A really amusing and kind of absentminded father and a mother who just wishes the guy would come home for dinner more often rather than staying late at work.

As I watched the show, I really couldn’t help notice that it doesn’t play like any tokusatsu I’ve ever seen. Like I said earlier, it feels much more down to earth…in a sense. The acting strikes me as less dramatic than what you would typically find in tokusatsu and there just isn’t a lot of action to be found here. Really the only choreographed action happens when Poitrinne is battling the baddie of the episode, Phantom Video Game Collector. And there isn’t really fighting here, this is where the show becomes a bit more theatrical. Poitrine’s battling involves swirling her cape around in this grand fashion to confuse her enemy and using her magic wand to trap him. So, like I said, if you want a lot of action in your tokusatsu, this probably isn’t for you.

The cast here are all fine as well, pretty down to earth and interesting to watch. It’s kind of a bummer that Takuto’s actor seemingly never acted again, he’s a pretty good actor as far as kids are concerned. The star herself is great, she stands out as a teenage girl who doesn’t rely on cliches to prop up her character. (and let’s watch as next week I eat my words…) The dad is pretty wacky without being over the top and is genuinely funny.

There’s something about this show that leaves me wondering if this is essentially a J-Drama for kids. The stories aren’t super outlandish, basically friends getting into arguments over their parents reputation and whatnot, all done in a lighthearted manner of sorts. It’s odd because they go for the bizarre comedy aspects, but I feel like the human drama in this show is much more toned down and the kind of stuff you could find in real life. I almost want to say this is the sort of show that lead to the creation of Zyuranger. This show supposedly has higher ratings than any other of the Fushigi Comedy stuff and if the first episode is any indication, those down to earth stories that deal with problems real kids can relate to might have been an influence on Zyuranger a few years later.