“Matsu Soup / Virgin Hero”
The members of F6 enjoy another day of… whatever it is that they do. When Choromatsu happens upon a group of college students having fun at a BBQ, it looks like a job for the VIRGIN HERO SQUAD!!!
This extra episode has the tall order of making up for the loss of the infamously banned (and amazing) first episode, while also filling the fan service quota expected of from a home video bonus. That’s pretty much an impossible task so I can’t say my expectations were high, but even so I came away slightly disappointed.
The first segment, “Matsu Soup”, kind of tries to meet their goals right off the bat. They at least succeed in the fan service department as the hot idol versions of the boys are naked for most of the segment. As for the rest, not so much. They do attempt to put the boys in vague, general anime-esque situations as opposed to the outright parody we saw in episode 1. I’d be fine with the off-brand references if there was something tying everything together, but the entire skit seems to be random, unrelated events that never amount to anything interesting. There is some attempt to frame it as some kind of infomercial but it still feels like a complete after thought, with only the sheer absurdity of the boys’ situations to carry it.
Fortunately the second segment is much better. Creating a super sentai show focused on a group of spiteful, friendless losers is much better entertainment. The fake commericals are a particularly nice touch. More importantly, it taps into the themes of lonliness and wanting to connect with others that we’ve seen before, but in a completely absurd, not serious way. I mean yes, the topic comes up, but it also ends with Ichimatsu turning into something that looks like a purple Buddha holding a tenga cup so… basically the most shocking, Osomatu-style thing to do.
So as a replacement for episode 1, this episode is a failure. It’s strange because anyone getting into the show now is not going to get a proper introduction, which I thought would be touched on in some way here but really wasn’t. The original intro connecting the old series and setting the incredibly irreverent tone was so vital to starting the show right that it’s a huge loss not having it. Beyond that context, one good segment and one bad one add up to an OK episode overall. Let’s just be glad the main series continues to be amazing.