Kamikaze Girls, originally released in Japan as Shimotsuma Story–Yankee Girl & Lolita Girl (下妻物語――ヤンキーちゃんとロリータちゃん Shimotsuma Monogatari-Yanki-chan to Rorita-chan), is a 2002 light novel written by Novala Takemoto. It has been adapted into a manga and film.
Cover from the English paperback version of the Kamikaze Girls novel
|Written by||Novala Takemoto|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Directed by||Tetsuya Nakashima|
|Written by||Tetsuya Nakashima|
|Music by||Yoko Kanno|
|Written by||Yukio Kanesada |
|English publisher||Viz Media|
|Original run||June 11, 2004 – present|
Kamikaze Girls centers on two students, Momoko Ryugasaki (Kyoko Fukada) and Ichigo "Ichiko" Shirayuri (Anna Tsuchiya), who are from completely different backgrounds: one is a Lolita-fashioned girl, the other, her antithesis, a Yankī. The story showcases their friendship.
The movie was released on DVD in the United States in January 2006 under the title Kamikaze Girls. The movie was filmed in the town of Shimotsuma, in the Ibaraki Prefecture in Eastern Japan. The movie premiered in 2004. The U.S. DVD has English subtitles hardcoded and the original Japanese vocals and musical score. The DVD extras include the original Japanese movie trailers, an interview with each of the movie's two stars, along with a music video by Anna Tsuchiya. A Blu-ray Disc of the film with optional English subtitles, the same extras and the short film Birth of Unicorn Ryuji was released in the United Kingdom by Third Window Films in February 2010.
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The book begins with Momoko talking about her life as a Lolita living in a small town in the Japanese countryside. She is the only Lolita in her town and has no friends, but she doesn't care and believes that her Lolita clothes are all she needs to make her happy. When she runs out of money though she becomes obsessed with getting clothes from Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, her favorite clothing boutique. She decides to sell some of her father's old bootleg clothes. When Ichigo, a member of an all-girl biker gang finds out about the bootleg apparel, she decides to take a look and is easily impressed with them. She soon shows up at Momoko's house almost daily to buy stuff for the members of her gang. They become closer friends, and embark on a journey to Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, where Momoko meets the brand's designer. Because of her skill with embroidery, she is recruited to embroider a dress. At a Pachinko parlour, Ichigo meets a gangster with a pompadour and falls in love. However, she soon discovers that he is the fiancee of her gang leader.
Heartbroken by the loss of her first love and inspired by Momoko's independence, Ichigo plans to leave her gang. In order to do this, she accepts their "challenge", which involves being ritualistically beat up. Momoko finds out about the challenge and goes to Ichigo's aid. After scaring the gang by pretending to be the daughter of a famous gangster, Momoko is considered the winner and the two girls ride off laughing.
When it comes time for Momoko to show the designer her embroidery, she arrives on time and everyone loves her work. Ultimately, she decides she is happier wearing the clothing than making it. As for Ichigo, she is offered to work as a model for Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, after she impresses a cameraman. On her first day of work, she leaves bruises on five of the crew members, but nonetheless becomes sought after by other brands. The movie ends with an image of Momoko and Ichigo riding along the road and laughing.
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- Kyoko Fukada as Momoko Ryugasaki
- Anna Tsuchiya as Ichigo "Ichiko" Shirayuki
- Hiroyuki Miyasako as Dame Oyaji, Momoko's father
- Ryoko Shinohara as Saionji Midori, Momoko's mother
- Kirin Kiki as Momoko's grandmother
- Sadawo Abe as "Unicorn" Ryuji
- Yoshinori Okada as Akinori Isobe
- Eiko Koike as Akimi, gang member
- Shin Yazawa as Miko, gang member
- Yoshiyoshi Arakawa as Grocery store manager
- Katsuhisa Namase as Pachinko parlor manager
- Hirotaro Honda as Yakuza boss
- Director - Tetsuya Nakashima
- Director of Photography - Shoichi Ato
- Production Designer - Towako Kuwashima
- Animation - Yojiro Nishimura (Studio 4°C)
- Music - Yoko Kanno
The manga version of Kamikaze Girls comprises only one volume and is a condensed version of the novel. The main part of the manga only takes up about half of the book, and afterward is a bonus story where Ichigo falls in love with the twin brother of the guy she fell in love with in the novel. Viz Media licensed the manga for an English-language release in North America and published it on February 7, 2006.
Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 62%, based on 29 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. Kamikaze Girls also received "Mixed or average" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.
- "The Official Website for Kamikaze Girls". Viz Media. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "下妻物語―ヤンキーちゃんとロリータちゃん: 嶽本 野ばら: 本". Amazon.co.jp. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- "Kamikaze Girls". Third Window Films. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- "Shimotsuma monogatari (2004) release dates". IMDb. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- Takemoto, Novala. "Shimotsuma Story". novala2.quilala.jp. Shogakukan. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Novala". novala2.quilala.jp. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
- "Kamikaze Girls". Viz Media. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
- "Kamikaze Girls". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- "Kamikaze Girls Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2017.