We sent two of our writers out to get ramen, but they almost ended up with criminal records instead.
Generally, the men and women of RocketNews24 like to bring you tales of our adventures as they happen. Today, though, we taking a few steps back in time.
Specifically, we’re going back to the spring of last year, when he movie Hentai Kamen: Abnormal Crisis was just hitting Japanese theaters. The second live-action adaptation of the popular Hentai Kamen manga series, Abnormal Crisis once again followed protagonist Kyosuke, a high-school student who transforms into a superhero and fights evil while wearing a revealing sling swimsuit and a pair of panties over his face to protect his secret identity.
In celebration of the opening of Abnormal Crisis, Gachi, a ramen restaurant in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood, was offering a special Hentai Kamen ramen, and we sent our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun to try them for himself. “Go eat some ramen” might sound like a simple assignment, but circumstances unfolded in such a way that P.K. almost ended up getting arrested, thanks to some creative flourishes he attempted to add to his article.
▼ Pictured: creative embellishments
Gachi is located near RocketNews24 headquarters, and P.K. figured he could just stroll over whenever he wanted to an order a bowl of Hentai Kamen ramen. Unfortunately, by the time he got to the restaurant, they were sold out of the item. So he figured he’d go back again the next day, and to justify the extra time he was spending on the article, he decided to add an extra wrinkle to it by cosplaying as Hentai Kamen too.
And if one Hentai Kamen would provide visual impact, just think of how much better things would be with two Hentai Kamens!
Under that logic, P.K. asked fellow RocketNews24 columnist Yoshio to come along in a similar outfit. Not surprisingly, Yoshio was initially reluctant, but P.K. insisted it would make a great story, and after a few minutes of P.K. reassuring/browbeating his comrade, the two changed into their almost entirely faithful Hentai Kamen outfits.
We say “almost entirely faithful” because while the pair donned the swimsuit and panty masks worn by the character they made one crucial addition: swaths of packing tape in order to completely conceal their manly bits and masculine below-the-belt hair.
▼ Removing the tape afterwards would likely be extremely painful, but an ability to think ahead isn’t necessarily our team’s forte.
With their costumes ready, our two reporters set off on the brief walk to Gachi, ready to eat some tasty ramen.
But as fate would have it…
…Gachi was closed that day.
P.K. was now in a pinch that rivaled the one his butt cheeks were putting on his mankini. He’d now made two trips to the restaurant, and still had nothing to show for it. Figuring it was time to make lemonade from these lemons, he first decided to snap a few cosplay pictures.
Now P.K.’s article-in-the-making had some eye-catching visuals, but he still needed a story to go with them. So P.K. decided to head on over to the local police box to ask the officers for their take on the legality of walking around town in his Hentai Kamen cosplay outfit. Getting an official statement on something that absurd should be worth a few laughs, right?
P.K. and Yoshio, still dressed in their Hentai Kamen costumes, started making their way to the local koban, or police box, which, like RocketNews24 headquarters and Gachi, is located in Shinjuku District 2. A pair of officers standing outside the structure, and they locked eyes with our reporters as they approached. Seeking to add a little levity to their greeting, P.K. gave the officers a salute, and Yoshio did likewise a moment later, expecting to get a chuckle in response.
Instead, the officers glared and angrily gestured for P.K. and Yoshio to step inside the police box.
As soon as they complied, they were told to park their barely covered butts at a desk, and the officers, who we’ll call Tanaka and Takahashi, began questioning them.
Tanaka: “What the hell do you two think you’re doing?”
P.K.: “Umm…we’re doing cosplay from the movie Hentai Kamen.”
Tanaka: “I can already see that!! I’m asking why in the hell you’re doing this?”
P.K.: “Ah, yeah. You see, there’s this ramen restaurant nearby that’s doing a special promotion for the movie…”
Tanaka: “And you thought it’d be a good idea to go eat ramen dressed like that? Well, did you? Can you dipshits not tell l the difference between right and wrong?”
P.K.: “I didn’t think it would qualify as indecent exposure…”
Tanaka: “Like hell it doesn’t! You’re practically naked!!”
▼ Artist’s rendition of Officers Takahashi and Tanaka
Both officers looked severely pissed off. Takahashi, though, looked just a little calmer than his slightly younger colleague. He also turned out to be surprisingly knowledgeable about Hentai Kamen.
Takahashi: “Hentai Kamen? I remember that series. Just to confirm, you guys didn’t steal those panties like the character in the manga does, did you?”
P.K.: “N-no, of course not. We bought these.”
Takahashi: “But what about the fishnet stockings? You guys aren’t wearing any, but those are part of the character’s costume in the manga, aren’t they?”
This welcome shift in the conversation diffused some of the tension in the room. Maybe P.K. and Yoshio would be let off with just a warning, provided, of course, that they showed adequate contrition. Hoping to convey the necessary repentance, P.K. made sure his expression was somber and humble, and so he was surprised when Tanaka responded by once again bellowing out the command:
“Take those panties off your heads, you dumbasses!”
Everything had happened so suddenly that P.K. and Yoshio had forgotten to remove their underwear masks, and that hadn’t scored them any points with Tanaka. Looking more incensed than ever, Tanaka grabbed the radio transceiver that was clipped to his vest and spoke into it, saying:
“We’ve got two perverts on site. Requesting additional officers.”
A few moments later, four squad cars rolled up, out of which spilled eight policemen. Since that’s far more personnel than Tokyo’s police boxes are designed to accommodate, P.K. began to worry that the extra officers had been summoned to haul him and Yoshio off to a holding cell. Tanaka still had a few more questions, however.
Tanaka: “Why are you dressed like this? Huh?”
P.K.: “Ah, yeah. Like I said before, there’s a Hentai Kamen ramen…”
Tanaka: “I heard you the first time! But why’d you decide to do this? For kicks? For work?”
This was actually a tough question for P.K. to answer, since many of his projects start out as things he’s doing for his own entertainment, and gradually blossom into articles while he’s doing them. As her considered how to answer Tanaka’s question, Yoshio spoke up for the first time, saying “We’re friends who work together, and we decided to do this for fun.”
Technically, it wasn’t a lie. But now that Tanaka knew that P.K. and Yoshio had a professional connection, he saw an opportunity to really turn the screw by getting them in hot water with their workplace superiors. “Oh, I see,” he began. “So you two work together. I see…Well, get your boss on the phone! Call him right now!”
To which Yoshio coolly responded:
“I am the boss.”
See, Yoshio is actually the founder of RocketNews24. Sure, he’s a helpful guy who’s willing to pitch in to make his employees’ articles more interesting, but he’s still the top dog in the company, and not about to look down on one of his employees for wearing a mankini when he himself is wearing one too at that exact moment.
▼ Things Yohsio owns: green mankini, RocketNews24
“You…you’re the boss?” stammered Tanaka. A palpable silence descended over the room, as everyone tried to keep from laughing at the absurd and sudden twist. The other officers obviously didn’t want to undermine their colleague’s authority in front of the Hentai Kamen cosplayers, and P.K. and Yoshio couldn’t laugh, for fear of inviting more of Tanaka’s wrath.
Finally, the silence was broken by the squawk of the officer’s radios. P.K. couldn’t make out what was being said, but the eight officers who’d been summoned by Tanaka quickly piled into their cars and sped off. Even Tanaka disappeared into the back of the police box for a few moments, and when he came back he curtly asked “You two weren’t in Shinjuku District 5 earlier today, were you?” P.K. told him that they hadn’t set foot outside of District 2, which caused Tanaka to mumble “Damn it” and retreat into the back room again.
Straining their ears, P.K. and Yoshio could just barely make out what the person on the other end of the radio was saying:
“Male streaker reported in Shinjuku District 5. Exact location unconfirmed. Thought to be hiding in the area. Additional units please respond to the area.”
So at the same time P.K. and Yoshio were merely cosplaying as sexual deviants, an actual one was on the loose nearby, and he was now the officers’ priority. Takahashi once again sat down at the desk, and told P.K. to call the RocketNews24 office and have someone bring down more extensive clothing for him and Yoshio, at which point they’d be free to go. While their costumes provided just barely enough coverage not to be illegal indecency, Takahashi cautioned them that walking around like that could get them a citation for being a public nuisance, and advised them against making similar wardrobe choices when going out in the future.
And so P.K. and Yoshio avoided spending the night in jail, although they couldn’t escape the withering gaze of coworker Seiji, who’d had to haul their additional clothed down to the police box for them.
▼ “Seriously? I thought you guys were just going out to eat ramen.”
Additional embarrassment comes from the fact that this police box is right down the street from our office, meaning that P.K. and Yoshio have to walk by it almost every day. Takahashi is often standing out front, and he always greets them by saying “You guys aren’t doing Hentai Kamen cosplay anymore, right?”
Because really, this isn’t the sort of thing anyone who was involved is going to forget anytime soon.
[ Read in Japanese ]
Follow Casey on Twitter, where after seeing these pictures, he thinks he may have overdressed by wearing a suit and tie to his RocketNews24 interview.
[ Read in Japanese ]