Finally had a chance to watch the film, Kamikaze Girls, with some girlfriends. Kamikaze Girls centers around 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 a Yankī. The story showcases their special bond. The movie was filmed in the town of Shimotsuma, in the Ibaraki Prefecture in Eastern Japan. The movie was produced in 2004. Movie Trailer. Official Site and news.
There are lots of reviews online so I'm not going to do a formal review just share some of my reactions.
The movie is delightful and beautiful. Loved the narrative style and the occasional animation. Lots of things borrowed from Japanese sub-culture. Quite an interesting portrayal of teenage girls and their friendships.
Momoko, who was born near Kobe, wishes that she had been born in Rococo-era France. Her depiction of the Rococo era is one of the most humorous parts of the movie. Momoko is a sweet lolita. At some level I found myself identifying with her.
Momoko has to go to Tokyo to shop for clothes. Her challenge is that she is always short of money for the trip and the pretty clothes she wants to buy. We see her in Tokyo at the Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, the shop where she buys her frilly Lolita dresses.
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 motorcycle gang. The major thread of the movie is seeing how their relationship evolves from one of total dysfunction to mutual respect and friendship.
Momoko is an island unto herself. Not needing people or friends. Quite a little philosopher who knows it all by age 16.
"Fashion became my teacher," Momoko says. "It taught me how to live. When I see clothes, they speak to me. They make me want to be worthy of them." In the end, friendship does the same for her, freeing her from her own rules just enough to connect with others.
The movie is rather frivolous and like a girl's comic book. But it is actually touching. You really feel warmth and personality from the two girls. Well worth a couple hours of entertainment.
Andrea Nicole Baker