|This article is about a/an special in the Tokusatsu Super Hero subgenre.|
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|The Skull Man: Prologue of Darkness|
|A special for The Skull Man|
|Air date April 21, 2007|
The Skull Man: Prolouge of Darkness is a 2007 live-action TV special. It serves as a prequel to the 13 episode anime TV series The Skull Man.
The story revolves around a woman named Michiko and her fiance Hiroshi Kozumi. Michiko is having nightmares about a vengeful Shikigami (death god) that chases her and kills her. She briefly narrates that she does not understand why her parents committed suicide when she was a child and that she was all alone all her life until she met Hiroshi. She works in the office of a pharmaceutical company where her fiance also works, who is conducting unusual experiments on mice that mutate them into monsters before exploding.
One day, her fiance asks her to get a file from a vault by deactivating the security systems in the control room so he can get into the safe. At first she is reluctant to do so but then agrees after Hiroshi states that it is for their sake as he needs it for a laboratory that needs the data from that file. Michiko slips a white powder in some tea and gives it to the security guards, who then black out hours later. She steals the key from a guard and then deactivates the security system. Hiroshi goes into the safe and takes the documents, while Michiko briefly sees the Shikigami on the rooftop. (who is actually The Skull Man observing from a distance)
Hiroshi runs out of the building and tells Michiko to get in his car and speeds away from the lab. He then uses a 2-way radio to tell an unnamed contact that he has the documents on something called "Project Gagou", which includes a picture of Skull Man's armor amongst its contents. The contact says that he will pick up Hiroshi at the drop point at an abandoned factory with a helicopter, but it is revealed that it was a set up and Hiroshi finds himself surrounded by armed men in masks and their leader who tells him to surrender the documents and he will spare him. He then tells his men not to shoot because Michiko is "Gagou". Hiroshi at first tries to slowly get in his car but then decides to surrender, before the men can apprehend him though, a sniper shoots him through the heart and Hiroshi is killed.
Before he dies, he pulls off Michiko's pendant, this combined with the grief of her lover's death causes her to transform into a lizard monster. She goes on a rampage, killing all the armed gumen and their leader and setting the factory ablaze. The Skull Man appears and the two fight, ending with Skull Man stabbing the lizard monster's third eye with a dagger and then using a pole weapon to impale her. Before drifting off into death, Michiko sees Hiroshi and tells him she had the nightmare again, Hiroshi tells her it's alright and that her nightmares are finally over and she dies. The episode ends with the Skull Man taking the blade of the pole weapon out of her chest, pausing for a moment and then silently walking away through the flames.
|The Skull Man|
- Hiroshi Kozumi-Shigeki Hosokawa
- Michiko-Ami Suzuki
- Man-Masaomi Hiraga
- This episode was not included on the Region 1 DVD release of the Skull Man anime series.
- For more information on the character the special is based upon, see Skull Man
- The visual style of the special can be comapred to that of the film version of Sin City, with some of the enviroments being cel shaded and computer animation used in certain parts. The notable exeption between the two is that the special is in color while Sin City was in black and white.