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|
|Released||13 May 2004|
|Written by||Yukio Kanesada
|English publisher||VIZ Media|
|Original run||June 11, 2004 – ongoing|
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.
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 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.
|This section may be confusing or unclear to readers. (May 2011)|
The novel Shimotsuma Story has more or less the same plot of the movie, but with much more detail.
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. But when she runs out of money, she needs to find a way to get her fix of Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, her favorite clothing boutique. She decides to sell some of her father's old bootleg 'Versace' clothes. When Ichiko, 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. Soon she shows up at Momoko's house almost daily to buy stuff for the members of her gang.
The rest of the book goes with the movie fairly well until it comes time for Momoko to show Isobe, the designer for Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, the work she did on the dress he needed embroidered. She arrives on time and everyone loves her work, but when it comes time for the photo shoot, there is an accident and the model can not do the shoot. Being the only person there the right size to wear the dress, Ichigo hesitantly agrees to model even though she hates Lolita fashion.
When the members of Ichigo's biker gang find out about her modeling, they are enraged and decide to throw her out of the gang. They plan to challenge her, which means beating her up very badly. Momoko finds out about the challenge and goes to Ichigo's aid. After accidentally scaring the gang out of their minds, Momoko is considered the winner and saves Ichigo, who she secretly believes to be the best friend she could ever have.
The movie begins with a flash forward of Momoko getting hit by a car while driving a scooter, then shifts to the past to introduce her background and early life.
Momoko, who was born near Kobe, wishes that she had been born in Rococo-era France. Her father, a former small-time gangster, was involved in selling fake brand name clothing. After making a fake "double-brand" he finds himself in trouble with Universal Studios, Versace, and the mob, and so he and Momoko move to his mother's house in the rural town of Shimotsuma.
Momoko must go to Tokyo to shop for her clothes, but constantly finds herself short of money for the expensive trip and the pricey clothes she wants to buy. She decides to sell some of her father's fake Versace products, and meets Ichigo, who answers an advertisement she has placed about selling the clothes. Ichigo is a racy, boyish type who belongs to an all-girl bōsōzoku (motorcycle gang). Gradually, the unlikely pair become friends.
Soon Ichigo needs Momoko's help. Akimi, the leader of Ichigo's gang, is leaving, and as a tribute Ichigo plans to have her coat embroidered. She has heard that there is a legendary embroiderer in Tokyo named Emma (sometimes translated as M.R.) and she persuades Momoko to go there with her.
Although they never find the embroiderer, they do stop at Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, the shop where Momoko buys her frilly Lolita dresses. An assistant notices the beautiful embroidery Momoko has stitched on her bonnet and calls the designer himself to come to look at it. Later in the film, the designer asks Momoko to embroider a sample garment which accidentally came back plain.
Back in Shimotsuma, after an argument, Momoko offers to stitch the embroidery on Ichigo's coat, which she does with great skill.
The final scenes of the film concern a fight between Ichigo and the members of several all-girl motorbike gangs. It is revealed that the crash at the start of the movie occurred when Momoko was rushing to help Ichigo. Momoko does not die, but instead challenges the entire motorbike gang and wins, rescuing Ichigo.
- Momoko Ryugasaki (竜ヶ崎桃子 Ryūgasaki Momoko?) - Kyoko Fukada (Young Momoko Ryugasaki: Mayuko Fukuda)
- Ichigo Shirayuri (白百合イチゴ Shirayuri Ichigo?) - Anna Tsuchiya
- Dame Oyaji (Momoko's father) - Hiroyuki Miyasako
- Momoko's mother (Saionji Midori) - Ryoko Shinohara
- "Unicorn" Ryuji (一角獣の龍二 Ikkakujū no Ryūji?) - Sadao Abe
- Momoko's grandmother - Kirin Kiki
- Akimi (亜樹美?) - Eiko Koike
- Miko (ミコ?) - Shin Yazawa
- Akinori Isobe (磯部明徳 Isobe Akinori?) - Yoshinori Okada
- Yakuza boss - Hirotaro Honda
- Grocery store manager - Yoshiyoshi Arakawa
- Pachinko Parlor manager - Katsuhisa Namase
- 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.
The art for the Kamikaze Girls manga was done by Yukio Kanesada.
- There is a sequel to the original Shimotsuma Monogatari novel, titled Shimotsuma Story End – Yanki-chan and Lolita-chan and the Murder Case (下妻物語・完―ヤンキーちゃんとロリータちゃんと殺人事件 Shimotsuma Monogatari Kan – Yankii-chan to Lolita-chan to Satsujinjiken?).
- The movie's soundtrack was composed by Yoko Kanno, more famous for her scores of anime series and movies.
- The opening and ending theme songs of the movie were the A- and B-sides of Tommy heavenly6's first single "Hey My Friend".
- Ichigo's scooter is a customized 1985–86 Honda Lead 50 cc, most likely the SS or R version. This scooter line was briefly available in the USA as the Aero, of which the Aero 80 bears the closest resemblance. The Lead line of scooters has changed over time and is still widely ridden worldwide.
- "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.