The Skull Man (Sukaru Man)

Just a quick review for right now – today it’s The Skull Man which is a noir-ish science fiction/horror series with a few surprises.

The Skull Man (Sukaru Man)
2007

When I started this, I wasn’t aware that the anime was based on a one-shot manga by the massively influential Shotaro Ishinomori (who was one of Osamu Tezuka’s protégées) and that the series sort of served as a prequel to Cyborg 009.

Due to that, the ending of The Skull Man fell a little flat for me in that it didn’t offer perhaps quite enough in the way of resolutions while at the same time opening up too many new questions.

But aside from that I still enjoyed this, it’s a short series and while the box art might suggest more horror – there are moments of levity and maybe overall, there’s more of an ‘investigative reporter gets in too deep’ feel to everything, even with the science-fiction elements.

(It’s also an interesting look at an alternate reality where a 1970s aesthetic is clear in the costumes and technology).

Throughout, the writers do a great job of keeping you guessing re: the true nature, motivations and identity of the Skull Man and the various villains within, and while I personally wanted a lot more in the way of screen time for the mask’s origins itself, there was still plenty of other aspects like cults and bioweapons to keep me watching.

Worth a look if you stumble across it, I reckon but you might be disappointed by how quickly it wraps up once it gets close to the end.

3.5 Stars