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Kamikaze Girls (Unrated)

Release Date: September 9th, 2005 (NYC-Village East Cinemas)
The Cast: Kyōko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki, Ryoko Shinohara
Directed by Testuya Nakashima.
In Japanese with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Momoko (Tukada), a shy teenager infatuated with lolita-like clothing of the 18th Century, befriends Ichigo (Tsuchiya), a tough biker chick who changes her life in more ways than one.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This is a very quirky and creative film from the very first frame. Momoko and Ichigo’s costume design is very creative and unique. Momoko really looks like a very young, innocent and shy girl, which is in sharp contrast to the more tough and wild look of Ichigo. It is often funny to watch Momoko walk with an old-fashioned white umbrella while people stare at her. Ichigo is just as refreshing and likeable despite how mean she appears to be—the way she softens up after she meets Momoko is believable. She is played by Anna Tsuchiya, who is a very talented, pretty young actress with a very promising career head of her. The real pleasure, though, is the fun, fast-paced directed style. There are a few freeze-frames and flashbacks. The plot becomes very silly during a bloody fight with a rival gang—but it is consistently entertaining because it is reminiscent of Kill Bill. Thanks to the colorful, well-written, and hilarious characters of Momoko and Ichigo, their energy bounces right off the screen.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: The basic message is that friendship is very powerful and rewarding. There is nothing really heavy or profound to think about, but none is expected nor required.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: The gang fight is too silly at times.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A fast-paced, wildly imaginative film full of energy and colorful characters—both literally and figuratively. It is purely to entertain and it certainly succeeds.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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