Starring Zhan Yu Hao (as Pan Da), Devon Song (as Chi Nan Jie), Jessie Chiang (as Xiao Yu) and Tiffany Tang (as Liya), Pandamen was Taiwan”s first attempt at producing a superhero TV series. Popular singer/director/actor Jay Chou who was the director of this series also had a role as a police officer named Sheriff Leo. Several big name celebrities also made cameos as the series went along.
Set in a fictional City of Brightness, the story revolves around Pan Da who tries to solve the his father”s murder while taking on the villainous Violent Group, led by businessman Wang Hu (played by Tang Jing Quan). Fate and destiny brought Leo, Liya, Xiao Yu and Lu Shi Qing (played by Wang Jing) together as they try to piece together the past events and collect evidence in attempt to bring Wang Hu to justice.
The show was broadcasted on CTS from 5 February 2010 to 18 June 2010 with a total of 29 episodes and received mix reviews from fans of Chinese dramas with most criticisms lamenting on lack of intelligence in the story. While many of the action scenes were undeniably disappointing due to abrupt switches from live action to animation, one can also choose to go easy on Jay Chou for his first and probably last attempt at a superhero series. When the fighting scenes did not turn into animation, they were actually done quite well, which adds to the confusion as to why the producers chose to go animation mode so many times in the series.
On a brighter side, acting and music were decent and the second version of Pandaman”s suit had a strong homage to Kamen Rider as you can see from the image above.
In all fairness, if you like Chinese Idol Dramas and Jay Chou, this series is worth a try. Not perfect, but not at all horrible. Just don’t watch it expecting it to be of Tsuburaya/Toei quality.