Sukeban Deka

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Sukeban Deka
Sukeban Deka Manga 1.jpg
Volume 1 from Hakusensha
スケバン刑事
Genre Action, Detective fiction
Manga
Written by Shinji Wada
Published by Hakusensha
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Hana to Yume
Original run January 1976December 1982
Volumes 22
Television drama
Directed by Tarō Sakamoto, Hideo Tanaka, Michio Konishi, Morio Maejima
Written by Noboru Sugimura, Tokio Tsuchiya, Akira Umino, Umihiko Tōno, Ichirō Yamanaka, Izō Hashimoto
Studio Toei
Network Fuji TV
Original run April 11, 1985October 30, 1985
Episodes 24
Television drama
Sukeban Deka II: Shōjo Tekkamen Densetsu
Directed by Hideo Tanaka, Toshio Ōi, Tarō Sakamoto, Morio Maejima
Written by Tokio Tsuchiya, Izō Hashimoto, Noboru Sugimura, Hiroshi Toda, Ichirō Yamanaka
Studio Toei
Network Fuji TV
Original run November 7, 1985October 23, 1986
Episodes 42
Television drama
Sukeban Deka 3: Shōjo Ninpōjō Denki
Directed by Hideo Tanaka, Toshio Ōi, Tarō Sakamoto, Morio Maejima
Written by Tokio Tsuchiya, Izō Hashimoto, Masayoshi Azuma, Junki Takegami, Kazuhiko Gōdo
Studio Toei
Network Fuji TV
Original run October 30, 1986October 29, 1987
Episodes 42
Original video animation
Directed by Hirota Takeshi
Written by Hirota Takeshi
Studio Toei Animation
Licensed by ADV Films
Released April 21, 1991July 21, 1991
Runtime 50 minutes each
Episodes 2
Live-action films
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Sukeban Deka (スケバン刑事?, translated Delinquent Girl Detective) is a Japanese detective action shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Shinji Wada and serialized on Hana to Yume. Sukeban Deka has been adapted into three live-action television series, an original video animation series and three feature films, the latest of which was released in 2006 as Yo-Yo Girl Cop.

Plot[edit]

The series follows a delinquent schoolgirl who is taken in by the government and forced to fight crime to redeem herself. She is given the codename "Saki Asamiya" and a metal yo-yo that doubled as a badge and made to infiltrate high schools around Japan to investigate and stop criminal activities.

Characters[edit]

Saki Asamiya (麻宮サキ Asamiya Saki?)

The bitter heroine of the story. Saki is a natural born fighter who enjoys getting into scuffles with various people. She never backs down and is very stubborn.

Agura (アグラ Agura?)

Saki's rival in prison. Agura is a tough, masculine looking woman who dislikes Saki at first but then begins to respect her. She only appeared in the manga.

Chie (チイ Chii?)

Saki's kind friend in prison. She only appeared in the manga. She has a pleasant demeanor and is less aggressive than the other girls.

Kaoru (カオル Kaoru?)

Saki's hyper friend who is also very vulnerable and ends up being attacked a lot by the other girls in the prison. To help Saki escape from prison, she ends up seducing the prison warden who is a lesbian. She only appeared in the manga.

Mio Kaido (海堂美尾 Kaidō Mio?)

Jin's partner. She only appeared in the manga.

Hikuidori

A scheming, sly cell mate of Saki's. She has a mole under one eye. Hikuidori becomes friends with Saki at first but then betrays her and turns out to be an informant of Remi's. She only appeared in the manga.

Junko Yuina (唯名純子 Yuina Junko?)

Saki's best friend. A shy, quiet girl, Junko is a talented artist and she is seen as a threat by Emi Mizuchi who vows to sabotage her. In the OVA after Emi finds her beautiful painting, she has it stolen. Junko is kidnapped, forcefully drugged and then left dead on train tracks. Her death makes Saki's mission personal.

Gozo Mizuchi (海槌剛三 Mizuchi Gōzō?)

The patriarch of the antagonist Mizuchi crime family. Gozo uses his influence to control his family's power over Takanoah High school.

Remi Mizuchi (海槌麗巳 Mizuchi Remi?)

The eldest daughter, a beautiful blonde who is completely ruthless and sociopathic. When Remi first arrives at the high school, many of the students admire her because of her striking beauty. However, throughout the entire Sukeban Deka manga series, Remi serves as a deadly antagonist to Saki. She seems to be the least dangerous of the three but in fact is the most. She is responsible for Junko's death, setting up Ayumi's death with a malfunctioning shotgun to fight Saki, and a brainwashed assassin to kill her father Gozo and sister Emi.

Throughout the manga series, Remi goes as far to impersonate Saki's sister Miyuki. She even cruelly murders Sampei to get revenge on Saki as well.

Ayumi Mizuchi (海槌亜悠巳 Mizuchi Ayumi?)

The dark haired middle child of the Mizuchi family. She has four hulking bodyguards who follow her around for protection. Ayumi is a drug addict and dealer, and is extremely greedy. However, she is the least evil out of the Mizuchi sisters. Despite her cold demeanor, she is loyal to her father and sisters. In the OVA she is betrayed and killed by Remi, who gives her a malfunctioning shotgun that backfires, and steals all her money. In the manga, Ayumi rides a motorcycle and controls her own biker gang.

Emi Mizuchi (海槌詠巳 Mizuchi Emi?)

The youngest sister who is an artist. Emi is an egomaniac who sees herself as a great artist when at best her talent is borderline, which leads her to use her father's influence to bribe judges and copy the works of other artists. Emi steals Junko's work and copies from it to win an art contest. In the OVA she is killed along with her father by a brainwashed assassin sent by Remi. In the manga, Emi is shot by an assassin sent by Remi but survives and is taken to the hospital.

Four Devas

Ayumi's four bodyguards. Only one does all the talking. He is the tallest and his weapon is a wooden sword. Another bodyguard uses brass knuckles. The third uses a bike chain. And the fourth bodyguard uses a pair of nunchucks. They appear in the OVA only. In the manga, Ayumi's followers are two girls, one named Chibi and the other one's name is not mentioned. Chibi is small and thin with dark hair while the other girl has feathered blonde hair and is obese. These two girls are very skilled fighters.

Sampei Nowaki (野分三平 Nowaki Sanpei?)

Saki's ardent admirer who follows her all over the school campus.

Kyoichiro Jin (神恭一郎 Jin Kyōichirō?)

Saki's mentor. He is half Japanese and half American.

Publication[edit]

The creation of Sukeban Deka was the result of a misunderstanding between the author Shinji Wada and the editors at Hakusensha. Wada was developing a highschool drama, but the publisher expected detective story starring a high school student. At an impasse, Wada decided to combine the two concepts.

Sukeban Deka was published from January 1976 to December 1982, making Shinji Wada a popular manga artist during the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The manga had contributed to the creation of the Sukeban Deka series before it faded into obscurity for a short time from the late 1990s to 2006, when Sukeban Deka: Codename = Asamiya Saki was shown in theaters on September 30, 2006.

As of 2007, the manga has been reprinted by Media Factory, who acquired the rights from Hakusensha. Media Factory collected them into 12 volumes; the original edition was 22 volumes.

Adaptations[edit]

Television series[edit]

The television series, though technically one series made up of three seasons, are essentially self-contained and separate, aside from sharing the same basic themes and premise, and starring popular Japanese idol singers in the main roles, each one replacing the previous as the new Asamiya Saki, taking on her cover identity and yo-yo weapon.

  • Sukeban Deka, the first series from 1985, starred Yuki Saito as the titular character Asamiya Saki. Saito's song Shiroi Honō was used as the theme song.
  • Sukeban Deka II in 1985-1986 starred Yoko Minamino as the second "Sukeban Deka", a mysterious girl with an iron mask named Yoko Godai who takes on the identity of Asamiya Saki after being freed from her mask; She will get the help of two other sukeban: Kyoko "Okyo" Nakamura (Haruko Sagara), and Yukino Yajima (Akie Yoshizawa, from jpop band Onyanko Club which will appear in two episodes).

Original video animation[edit]

Released in 1991.

Saki Asamiya is given a chance to delay her mother's execution by working as an undercover cop and infiltrating Takanoah High School to investigate some mysterious deaths among the student body. Once there, she comes face-to-face with the powerful Mizuchi sisters, who moved in and have taken control after her previous expulsion.

The OVA pertains animation bearing similarities to the style of the 70's manga, particularly in the character designs. One such example is the style of the Mizuchi sisters eyes, an example being Reimi Mizuchi, whose eyes would often shift to show off a more villainous appearance, or would narrow like a snake's.

Feature films[edit]

Three feature films have been produced. The first movie, Sukeban Deka The Movie was released in 1987, and closely follows the TV series. The movie also includes the same actresses, Yoko Minamino and Yui Asaka. However, for the second movie, Sukeban Deka the Movie 2: Counter-Attack from the Kazama Sisters (1988), Minamino didn't return.

The third movie Sukeban Deka III: Asamiya Saki, was released in 2006. It was directed by Kenta Fukasaku and stars Aya Matsuura as the new Saki. Her fellow Hello! Project members Rika Ishikawa, Erika Miyoshi and Yui Okada from Biyuden, and Masae Ootani from Melon Kinenbi also star in the movie. Yuki Saito from the original Sukeban Deka TV series makes a cameo appearance in the film. Out of all three movies, this title is most known and is more accessible, due to it being released on DVD in the U.S. by Magnolia, and in the UK by 4Digital Asia. For its American and UK distribution, the movie was retitled, Yo-Yo Girl Cop.[1][2]

Reception[edit]

Carlos Ross writing for THEM Anime Reviews about the OVA stated that "Sukeban Deka is Asian action drama faithfully translated into the cel medium, and done well, to boot.".[3] Chris Beveridge, writing for Mania Entertainment, felt the OVA was "a middle of the road release".[4] Helen McCarthy in 500 Essential Anime Movies states that the characters "are nicely drawn", the blossoming relationship between Saki and Sanpei "is handled convincingly", and that "teenagers will relate to the story's themes of betrayal, powerlessness, and being an outsider".[5]

References in other media[edit]

Episode 23 of Sket Dance features a fictional anime girl gang-member who fights with yo-yos. Plus, there's a show within the show about a reformed female gang-member working for the police called "Yanki Deka".

In the comic Ninja High School by Ben Dunn, Hitomi and her Girl Commandos are clearly inspired by this series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Amazon US listing: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OU6XVG
  2. ^ Product listing at official company site: http://www.4digitalmedia.com/index.php/details/4
  3. ^ THEM Anime Review
  4. ^ Mania Entertainment review
  5. ^ McCarthy, Helen. 500 Essential Anime Movies: The Ultimate Guide. — Harper Design, 2009. — P. 245. — 528 p. — ISBN 978-0061474507

External links[edit]