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Kamikaze Girls Paperback – January 15, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This charming example of shojo (manga for adolescent girls) adapts a popular novel/movie and adds two original stories dealing with the same characters and/or set in the same commercial milieu. Momoko is ultra-sensitive and feminine, picturing herself as a pampered French princess while meticulously embroidering frilly clothes. Ichigo is a member of a girls' biker gang who hides softer emotions and dresses like a feisty boy. When the two young people are thrown together, each helps the other develop new skills for survival—and for living as a whole woman. Artist Kanesada continues Takemoto's story by writing and drawing an additional episode in Ichigo's maturation, then concludes with a tale about a schoolgirl who falls in love with an older man in the garment industry. The book is more character-driven than much manga, and the page layouts do an unusually good job of weaving together different levels of the action, as readers can simultaneously see what the characters are doing, saying and thinking. There's something creepy about young girls calling themselves "Lolitas" and imagining that having sex with a grownup will transform them into grownups, too. Still, there's also a genuine sweetness about these stories as the characters grope uncertainly with new roles and take chances that can pay off wonderfully. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Born January 26, in Uji City, Kyoto. Aquarius.
Debuted with the novel "missin'" in 2000. Was a candidate for the Yukio Mishima Prize for literature two years in a row with "Emily" in 2003, and "Lolita" in 2004. Other novels include "uloko hime," "twins," "A Child Abandoned by Deus," and "calps alpis." His sequel to "Kamikaze Girls" was published in June of 2005.
Official website: http://www.novala.net/
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media LLC; 1st edition (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1421513951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1421513959
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.6 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am in love with this book. The story of Momoko and Ichigo's friendship is unbelievable, Takemoto's writing was beautiful. I originally was introduced to the book Kamikaze girls from the Baby the Stars Shine Bright website. I had to settle for the movie though, seeing as the book was written in Japanese (which, no matter how hard i pretend, I cannot read!). It was well worth the wait though. Along with this book being cute and smart it was incredibly funny, I laughed extremely hard on several occasions. I could not put this book down, so on my bed, ironically clad in my own BABY frills, I laughed and was greatly impressed by this sweet coming of age story.
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A Kid's Review on January 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
...becuase you've heard it before. Two girls, though they are complete opposites, manage to form a friendship that no one can break. So if you've heard the story already, why bother with this book?

....because you haven't read it before. I know that what I have just said makes no sense, but it's true--Kamikaze Girls is not the most original story, but that's what makes it the most ravishing, well-written female bonding story a girl (or boy)can read. Momoko is a girl that feels she was born in the wrong time. She dresses, acts, and spends her time like she was born in 18th century France--a lolita, in other owrds. She walks the streets of her rural country town in frills, bows, petticoats, and bonnets, all for the sake of her fashion identity. Ichigo (prefers to be called 'Ichiko')is her, if not complete, opposite--a thug that gets into fights, rides a tripped out MoPed, and spends her tiem dressing like a Yanki (girl gangster). The only thing that these two girls have in common is their love of clothes, no matter how different their tastes are, and they use this knowledge to become best friends...if only Ichiko would stop head-butting Momoko! Anyone looking for a rainy Sunday morning book should look no further than Kamikaze girls--the writing style is different, the characters are relateable, and though the difficulties Momko and Ichiko go through aren't very easy to relate to for American girls, the problems the characters face because of their personalities are universal--friendship, love, and (most importantly) an identity created by fashion.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on the cult-classic novel by Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls is a story about two girls on different ends of a fashion/culture spectrum: a yanki, (slang for a bad boy or girl, often members of a gang) and a Lolita (a.k.a. Gothic Lolita because the style comes from Gothic, Victorian era). Ichigo, the yanki, is an impulsive member of a local yanki girl’s-only biker gang. Momoko, the Lolita, will stick to her “Gothic Lolita” code of conduct even if it means walking everywhere, and travelling three hours by train to get to Tokyo instead of by motor bike, which only takes one hour, because the wind might mess up her headdress or clothes. These two girls form a friendship based, at first, on a common ground for most girls their age: clothes, or rather, their passion for fashion. They later discover that they want to be friends because they really like the person inside the clothes. They are soon comforting, supporting, and saving one another as they start to spend all their time together as best friends. These girls protect their friendship to one another so recklessly, some might say they’re suicidal!

The continuation of Ichigo and Momoko’s misadventures, written by the manga artist, Yukio Kanesada (with Novala Takemoto’s approval), are sweet, romantic, and fun! There are two other extra stories, “Pinky Ring Princess” and “Middle Finger Princess” that are also a treat to read (although due to some adult/sexual situations in them, they're not for anyone younger than 16—which is the rating VIZ Media gives this manga, anyway).

It was through this manga that I really got to see the non-stereotypical aspects of being a yanki and Gothic Lolita, and where I got to learn more about their culture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
but fourtunately i was unable to. the book is better than the movie, because the characters are clearer. in the end of the movie, i didn't really understand momoko's desicion not to (thing she decided not to do because i don't want to spoil it for others)but in the book i understood it better.

like another reviewer said: it would help you to know a bit about japanese pop culture, but most of the time important things are explained pretty clearly.

so read the book, even if you aren't interested in lolita fashion, you'll laugh, worry, feel sad, w00t... and come away feeling good about being different, which is not something i can say for a lot of books written for brokemold teengirls these days.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a thoroughly entertaining book. After reading this for the first time, I loved all the characters and re-read it, equally loving it the second time. I would, however, let you know that the number of swearwords in this book are numerous. About halfway through the book, I counted more than 150 swears, all by Miss Ichigo there.

Nonetheless, this is a very good classic book.
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