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Kamikaze Girls (2009)

Kyôko Fukada , Anna Tsuchiya , Tetsuya Nakashima  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

Price: $35.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kyôko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya, Hiroyuki Miyasako, Sadao Abe, Eiko Koike
  • Directors: Tetsuya Nakashima
  • Writers: Tetsuya Nakashima, Nobara Takemoto
  • Producers: Arimasa Okada, Kazuya Hamana, Kunikatsu Kondo, Masayuki Miyashita, Sachiko Sone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dolby, Live, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Japanese (Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: VIZ Pictures, Inc.
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BYA4M4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,156 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kamikaze Girls" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Kooky, kinetic, and colorful, 2004's Kamikaze Girls is a delight, and one that could only have come from Japan. Our principal character and narrator is Momoko (Kyoko Fukada), the 17-year-old product of a highly dysfunctional marriage who wishes she'd lived in 18th Century France, during the Rococo age; instead, she and her bonnets and frilly dresses are stuck in Japan's rural outback, where she abides by a philosophy that claims, "If I can't live independently, I'd rather be a water flea." Enter Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya), a tough-talking, head-butting, scooter-riding thug who doesn't know rococo from rock & roll, and whom the haughty Momoko deplores and mostly ignores--at least until they're brought together by, of all things, embroidery (Momoko's good at it, Ichigo needs some for her biker threads). Suffice it to say that these two oddballs form a union of sorts, and Kamikaze Girls (entitled Shimotsuma Monogatari in Japanese) ultimately delivers a fairly straightforward message about independence, loneliness, and friendship. But getting there is quite a trip. Director and co-writer Tetsuya Nakashima combines live action, animation, special effects, fourth-wall asides, fantasy sequences, and more in a dazzling onslaught of images; in that way, as well as in its overall outlook ("Humans are cowards in the face of happiness," says one character), the film is somewhat reminiscent of Amelie. True, Kamikaze Girls lacks the full measure of that French film's grace, heart, and charm. But for sheer imaginativeness and cinematic virtuosity, this one's hard to beat. --Sam Graham

Product Description

Meet Momoko, a self-absorbed dreamer who fantasizes about fleeing her backcountry home and living life in 18th century Versailles. When she unexpectedly meets the rebellious Ichigo, a rough-and-tumble biker chick, the two misfits form a unique friendship--together, nothing can stop them! Born from the pages of favorite cult author Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls is a frenetic roller-coaster ride brimming with day-glo visuals and wild hilarity that you will never forget!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
`Kamikaze Girls' is a delightful, pop, unique, and utterly sweet tale of the friendship between two Japanese girls Momoko and Ichigo. Sure, some part of the film's very disarming charms can be appreciated more with knowledge of modern Japanese culture, but that doesn't mean the film should be seen only by the small coterie of moviegoers. After all the film's theme is a universal one.

First, remember the film's original title (and its original novel) is called `Shimotsuma Monogatari' (The story of Shimotsuma) because this actual town that is located in the northern suburb of Tokyo City (about 60 km to the north of the metropolis) is the place where we meet our cute heroines.

OK, this rural town is the place where Momoko (meaning literally `peach-child' in Japanese) is living. She loves wearing pretty, girlish (and expensive) clothing (usually referred to `Lolita' or `Lolita Fashion' in Japan) and in order to buy them she goes all the way to Tokyo. One day, she thinks of a brilliant idea to get money. Following the `business' of her ex-yakuza father, Momoko sells counterfeit designer clothing on the net.

Only one customer shows up. It is Ichigo (literally meaning `strawberry'), a teenage girl clad in a long coat (signature of Japanese teenage motorcycle gangs), and riding a ridiculously decorated pink-colored scooter. Somehow this incongruous pair of girls gets friendlier to each other, and Momoko, confirmed loner, finds there is something precious that she cannot buy, more precious than the fancy dress that she is wearing.

[DELIGHTFUL] The incredibly charming film is not so much about the story as the two incredibly charming characters Momoko (Kyoko Fukada) and Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya).
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What great little film... November 29, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw this in Tokyo when it was released and loved it. Got the Japanese DVD here. Sadly, it is ever so slightly hollow a movie, but where the story isn't as lush and gripping as a classic, the visuals make up for it through acting and filming.

"Kamikaze Girls" (why oh why couldn't they have called it SHIMOTSUMA STORY?!??) seems like a Japanese manga brought to live action. It displays and parodies facets of society in Japan, and using humor and design it keeps the viewer engrossed. The two main actresses and their characters are adorably cute and expressive. The lead man, the father, is amazing in his own way as an actor and a character caught in the grimy world of the 'cheap fashion' underground. The anime sections slipped in are maybe the least congruous sections of the film, but provide a splash of visual variety. It's Japan having a laugh at itself, it's stereotypes from within, and mostly poking fun at the earnest ways of young women. The greatest let down of the film to me must be the end scenes of the climax- they were shoddily handled as if the entire crew was worn down and out of cash in the final days, but it tells the story and makes its point well enough.

I knew it was amazing when it began with the lead character flying through the air caused by a road accident, dressed in Rococo/Lolita garb not unlike Little Bo Peep, surrounded by cabbages, pachinko balls slipping from her purse to signify her life slipping away, and she mentally bids farewell to the world... then she backs up to contemplate what caused this, everything rewinds super fast and the story begins. Interesting, crafty, silly, striking, and just pure fun for the family. (No sex or nudity, language seems clean, no serious violence aside from a fight at the end, and some cartoonish head butting)
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
One of the few delightful movies I've seen in recent years is this quirky adaptation of Novala Takemoto's novel. Dreamer Momoko Ryugasaki feels stranded in Shimotsuma in Ibaraki Prefecture, north of Tokyo, i.e. the boonies. She feels more at home in France's opulent Rococo period (1715-1770), cutting quite a figure dressed in her pink Lolita dress, white parasol, and white platforms. She is the main character and narrator, occasionally speaking to the camera.

Momoko lives with her loser father and grandmother in a shabby hut, a far cry from her birthplace, the bustling bargain hunters' paradise of Amagasaki in Hyogo Prefecture--a suburb of Osaka on the northeast shore of Osaka Bay. She has an individualistic approach to life, at one point not hesitating to tell made up stories of a classmate in trouble to get money to buy her expensive Lolita clothes, leading her father to bawl in sympathy and fork over the cash. "So what if I was deceitful? My happiness was at stake. It's not wrong to feel good. But actually my soul is rotten." A retread of that 60's mentality of if it makes you happy, do it.

Enter Ichiko Shiyayuri, a tough-looking, rough-talking, sometimes hot-tempered member of the ladies biker gang The Ponytails who occasionally spits, to the disgust of the more refined Momoko. She is astounded and appreciated at being able to buy a bogus Versace jacket for only 2000 yen ($20), and there starts the beginning of the one of the most unlikely friendships ever. Ichiko's more down-to-earth and more connected to people than Momoko and when the latter makes a comment that really pi**es her off, headbutts her.

Ichiko wants to find a legendary embroiderer named Emma in Tokyo's Daikanyama area.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Was a gift
Published 6 days ago by Judith A. Falout
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great movie
Published 1 month ago by MIchael C. DeMao
5.0 out of 5 stars KAMIKAZEEEEEEE!
I love this story. I love the acting. I love the editing style. Glad I got it on Blu Ray. The cover is super cute too! BUY IT!!!
Published 3 months ago by S. Sugimoto
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wild Ride!
A truly unique film giving fun insight to kwirky Japanese culture. If you love modern-day American art films by Alex Cox and Jim Jarmusch and the Cohen Brothers, you'll love this... Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. Bernardi
2.0 out of 5 stars 1st half of film with the father is funny but 2nd half is boring
I usually love Japanese and foreign movies but this is boring.

Don't waste your time on this movie when there are way better Japanese movies such as:
- Shall We... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Happy r/c
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie about friendship
Great movie about friendship between to others in Japanese society. It is funny, heartwarming, and well dubbed. It you like sailor moon you will like this.
Published 8 months ago by Kmc
5.0 out of 5 stars Adorable, lighthearted fun
This movie is a great pick-me-up and the scene and shooting styles are fun and interesting.
Great for playing in the background, a movie night, and the soundtrack is beautiful
Published 10 months ago by Grace Chang
5.0 out of 5 stars The best movie about embroidery & biker gangs ever?!
A fun and unique movie about growing up and friendship. Fast, quirky, colorful and sometimes a little cynical. Blu-ray transfer is pretty good.
Published 14 months ago by Sangre815
5.0 out of 5 stars love the movie
the main characters are both charming and each one has a distinct personality. the movie is different from the manga, yeah, but its still fun i watch it all the time, i love anna... Read more
Published 20 months ago by J. Horner
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this....
If you love Japanese culture, get this movie. I'm serious. You won't regret it. If you don't buy this, then obviously you aren't a fan of Japanese culture so why are you reading... Read more
Published on July 6, 2012 by Heckler!
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C'mon, Viz....
and Amazon doesn't even list it as such.
Feb 9, 2010 by Amy |  See all 2 posts
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