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||Novala Takemoto|
|English publisher||Viz Media|
Kamikaze Girls, originally released in Japan as Shimotsuma Story: Yankee Girl and Lolita Girl (下妻物語 ヤンキーちゃんとロリータちゃん, Shimotsuma Monogatari: Yankī-chan to Rorīta-chan), is a 2002 light novel written by Novala Takemoto. The story centers on the friendship between two students, Momoko Ryugasaki and Ichigo "Ichiko" Shirayuri, who are from completely different backgrounds: one is a Lolita-fashioned girl and the other, her antithesis, is a yankī (juvenile delinquent). Viz Media licensed the novel for an English-language release in North America in 2006.
A live-action film adaptation of the novel premiered in Japan in May 2004. It starred Kyoko Fukada as Momoko and Anna Tsuchiya as Ichigo. It was filmed in the town of Shimotsuma in Ibaraki Prefecture in Eastern Japan. The film was released on DVD in the United States in January 2006 under the title Kamikaze Girls. The U.S. DVD has English subtitles hardcoded with the original Japanese vocals and musical score. The DVD extras include the original Japanese movie trailers, an interview with the lead actors, and a music video featuring Anna Tsuchiya. The film was also released on Blu-ray in the United Kingdom by Third Window Films in February 2010. The Blu-ray contains optional English subtitles, the same extras as the DVD, and the short film Birth of Unicorn Ryuji.
A manga series based on the novel was illustrated by Yukio Kanesada and serialized in Shogakukan's Betsucomi magazine in 2004. The chapters were later collected into a single tankōbon (bound volume) under the Flower Comics imprint. Viz Media licensed the manga for an English-language release in North America in 2006.
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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 parlor, 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 a ritualistic beating. 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, a gang member
- Shin Yazawa as Miko, a gang member
- Yoshiyoshi Arakawa as the grocery store manager
- Katsuhisa Namase as the pachinko parlor manager
- Hirotaro Honda as a 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 was illustrated by Yukio Kanesada and serialized in Shogakukan's Betsucomi magazine in 2004. Shogakukan collected the chapters into a single tankōbon (bound volume) in June of that year. The manga's storyline is a condensed version of the original novel and only takes up about half of the volume; the latter half contains a bonus story in which Ichigo falls in love with the twin brother of the boy she loved in the novel. Viz Media licensed the manga for an English-language release in North America. A preview first appeared in the November 2005 issue of their Shojo Beat magazine. Viz published the full volume 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 Japan. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
- "Kamikaze Girls". Third Window Films. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
- "Shimotsuma Monogatari (2004) Release Dates". IMDb. Archived from the original on October 24, 2012. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
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- "Kamikaze Girls Novel". Viz Media. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- [かねさだ雪緒]まんが家Web Talk. Betsucomi (in Japanese). April 13, 2004. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- 下妻物語 (フラワーコミックス). Amazon Japan (in Japanese). Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Kamikaze Girls Manga". Viz Media. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
- "Kamikaze Girls". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 19, 2017.
- "Kamikaze Girls Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 19, 2017.