Learn more Download now Shop now Browse your favorite restaurants Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop now Learn more

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Kamikaze Girls (2-disc Special Edition) [DVD] [2005]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£5.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 November 2009
Also known as Shimotsuma Monogatari, this is about a sweet kind girl called Momoko who, as a result of her selling her former gangster father's fake Versace and Universal Studios merchandise online meets a punk girl and self-styled 'Yanki' called Ichiko, a member of a bike gang who spits, swears and head-butts and generally couldn't be more different to Momoko but shares her interest in fashion. They strike up something of a relationship which forms the basis of this road movie and buddy comedy, one that is deeply insightful and surprisingly touching with the surreal world only further highlighting the all too real friendship that brings these two unlikely girls together.

Although this is more than just a mad-hat, slap-stick comedy, for humour alone it stands out because so many supposedly funny films from the US or the UK leave me utterly stone-faced throughout, offering nothing at all. Kamikaze Girls offers laughs just about every minute, with its very sharp script and basically crazy visual effects and camerawork. The director Tetsuya Nakashima probably set himself a target of making sure that the audience would laugh every single minute, and if that's the case then he emphatically succeeded. It helps a little if you know something about Japanese urban culture - having lived there for several years I enjoyed these satirical pokes immensely - but even if you know nothing at all about Japan there's such an overload of gags that you'll need to watch it two or three times and still see or hear something new each time. So many 'western' films play out one joke over 90 minutes and barely raise a smile; this one at times offers 90 laughs a minute.

But it's more than a comedy. It examines an age-old chicken-and-egg quandary - does fashion shape the personality, or does the personality shape the fashion? In Japan young people join fashion cliques and wear their clothes like costumes, and they adhere to the strict codes of their caste. The experience of fashion is exaggerated and emphasised, with their style shaping how they behave. As Momoko says, "Fashion was my teacher; it taught me how to live." Ichiko's forthright personality draws Momoko out of her self-imposed slumber. She chides her for her child-like clothing and approach to life. In turn Momoko makes Ichiko break out of her aggressive moods. They each help the other overcome the restrictions of the styles that at first saved them from suffering, but now refuse to let them change.

Watch it and you will see what I mean. It's hilarious! You'll need a heart of stone not to laugh out loud from start to finish.
11 Comment| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
VINE VOICETOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 August 2010
A girl on a moped is hit by a car, as she flies up in the air the film tells us that this is too far on in the plot and 'rewinds' in order to tell of the events leading up to this moment.

Momoko explains directly to the audience that she wishes she had been born in the Rococo-era where society was flamboyant and ornate, where dresses were beautiful and people lived for pleasure. We quickly learn that she has little regard for people and is interesting solely in looking cute, to this end she buys 'Lolita' dresses and is something of an outcast at her college where she sits on her own.

We get a full biography detailing how she was conceived shortly after her parents met, and the following scenes showing her father as a maker and seller of fake branded clothes are genuinely funny. The mis-spelt brand names and his big idea of `double-branding' had me chuckling at the screen as his customers went mad for his rip-off Universal Studios-Versace (or in his case "Universal Stadium-Versach") clothing range.

Her background leads us to empathise with Momoko. It's clear to see how such a strange background and the distant relationship she had with her parents have led to such an introverted and socially awkward teenager. She seems interesting only in acquiring more frilly dresses and makes money by selling her fathers old stock. It's through this venture that she meets biker chick Ichigo.

The two girls are polar opposites with Ichigo's macho attitude and demeanour contrasting with Momoko's babyish style. Although the two clash, Ichigo finds Momoko's lack of fear intriguing and they manage to strike up a relationship which reluctantly blossoms into a friendship. The film focuses on how the two interact and it's apparent that although they sometimes resist it, they actually have more in common than they initially realised. The two enrich the life of the other and their friendship helps them to question their outlook on life and redefine how they view the world.

The film is a bit thin on plot, but the frenetic directing style keeps you watching. Bright imagery and on screen graphics capture the essence of Japanese pop-culture and ensures that Kamikaze Girls makes an impression. It's stylistically very unique and the look of the film makes it stand out. It's often over-acted but it's clearly done on purpose to accentuate the bold style - there's a published Manga series and it looks like the graphic novels have influenced the film and helped it to achieve that great look. The description on Amazon states that this is a certificate 18 film, I can confirm though that this is actually a 12 rated film and perfectly suited for teenage audiences.

In a nutshell: What could have been a pretty boring story about two girls from different backgrounds who find friendship is turned into a humourous and insightful film, the artistic directing style adds a good sense of fun.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 26 November 2009
This film is very different from practically any other film you'll watch. I saw it last night, and I'm still struggling for words that describe it adequately.

The premise is quite familiar - two outsiders with seemingly little else in common find themselves becoming friends and complementing each other with their diametrically opposed personalities. Where this film differs from the usual is in the execution - everything is drawn largely: the main characters are all caricatures, from the extreme over-emphasis of their costumes to their extreme personalities and actions - these two characters are quite surreal by western European standards, although I suspect that the exaggerated characters are quite easily recognised by the Japanese and Asian audiences that have given this film many awards in its home market.

There is a sense of magic realism that runs throughout - a sense of fate that these two outsider girls will come good in the end, and of course they do. But the fun in this film is just watching the mayhem unfold. It's not surprising to learn that the origins of this film lie in a comic book, as the girls share a lot in common with superheroes: they stride around boldly in completely bizarre clothing and no-one really bats an eyelid about it. There's another character who has a quiff that extends about 3 foot from his head, for example. His name is 'The Unicorn'.

So I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to try something different. If you're from the orient there's a strong chance you'll enjoy it more than most of us staid westerners as there's a lot of references in the Japanese that the subtitles just can't express, but it has a kind heart, a lot of good moments, and has many rising stars involved - Anna Tsuchiya, who plays the scooter-riding outsider, is now one of the most popular fashion models in Japan, for example - so it's had an impact over there. It's not going to have you screaming with laughter, but there's so much frenetic activity going on that it's definitely an experience worth having.

3.5 stars - better for a younger, female audience. It's got the aroma of 'cult film in the making', I'd say! I enjoyed it, and could sit through it again.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 August 2007
If Tom Tykwer and Jean-Pierre Jeunet dropped acid in Tokyo, the resulting movie might be something like "Kamikaze Girls."

At heart, this movie is just a story about an unlikely friendship between two unusual, lonely young girls. But it's also wrapped up in quirky characters, astoundingly stylized cinematography, and dabbed with magical realism and bright colour -- in other words, a made-to-order cult flick.

It opens with a shot of Momoko (Kyôko Fukada) being hit by a cabbage truck, and flung into the air from her moped. She bids farewell to all the things in her life... and decides to rewind so people can see a bit more of it.

The product of a short-lived shotgun marriage, Momoko is an oddity in her rural Japanese village -- she's enamoured of Rococo-era France, and dresses only in "Lolita" clothes. To fund her shopping sprees, she decides to use Ver*ace and Uni*ersal knockoffs her dad used to sell, and immediately gets a customer -- a "yanki" biker named Ichiko (Anna Tsuchiya), who's as punky and raw as Momoko is distant.

The girls soon form an odd friendship, based on embroider, pachinko, and Ichiko's short-lived first love. But their paths lead them in new directions -- Momoko is hired to embroider a new model of dress, and Ichiko finds herself dissatisfied with the new gang organizations. And when she decides to leave her gang, Momoko has no choice but to come to her aid.

When you strip it down to the bone, "Kamikaze Girls" is just a story about two odd girls -- one a "girl anachronism," one a punk biker -- who become friends, and how they come of age and gain their independence in their own unique ways. No more, no less.

Except it's also wrapped in Tetsuya Nakashima's colourful, magical style -- blooming embroidery, flying girls, cartoon interludes about legendary thugs, and rapid-paced camerawork. One particularly funny scene features various villagers posing and reciting prices of a Wal-Martish store's cheap clothing, as if they were in a TV commercial. "The people here are... completely TWISTED," Momoko ponders.

The flashbacks to Momoko's birth and childhood are particularly hilarious, especially since they're so exaggerated. And the dialogue is just funny enough without being obviously so ("It was like salivation!" "Did she mean 'salvation'?"). But Nakashima does insert some understatedly poignant scenes, such as when Ichiko cries on a hillside with Momoko watching her.

Kyôko Fukada does a nice job as the Momoko, who can be haughty one minute and a raging dynamo the next -- depending on whether you dirtied her frilly dress or not. And Anna Tsuchiya is absolutely perfect as the lanky, sometimes violent girl with a sensitive heart underneath. The scene where she attacks a man, shouting, "You speak, she falls. Got a breath problem?" is priceless.

"Kamikaze Girls" is a delightful, hilarious little cult comedy, full of delightful little twists and hilarious dialogue. If only Tetsuya Nakashima would produce a few more of these.
0Comment| 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 12 January 2011
This film revolves around two very different girls. Momoko is a self absorbed dreamer who fantasises about leaving her backwater home and living life in 18th century france. she also dresses in frilly dresses and bonnets with a parasol (fancy umbrella) this is based on the fashion called "lolita" (no it's not the pervy sort you might think). Ichiko is a rebellious biker chick who spits and head butts and also wears a lovely long purple coat that is embroidered with japanese fonts these two meet unexpectedly and form a deep friendship and have some strange encounters along the way. The film is done in some really bright lovely "candy floss" colours which give the film some beautiful imaging. Ichigo is actually a very innocent girl who just acts tough but is really very sweet and vulnerable underneath the "tough" exterior and her acting bring this out to perfection. Momoko is very talented with the needle and cotton making lovely embroidery and is very savvy. this film is Japan urban kitsch pop-culture at it's best and will leave you happy/sad/nostalgic in turns. Watch a number of times and you will see much more of the story unfold that you "may" miss first time round. Highly recommended
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 January 2011
The first time you watch this film you will be dazzled at the visual experience. Like an intense pop video that winds on for 90 minutes instead of 3, it leaves you at times struggling to keep up. A brave film for the Japanese cinema, treaching you that you can stand alone and against the group. (Something that is viewed as heroic in the west but rather sad in Japan).

The film is wonderfully made, very very funny in places and never leaves you with a dull moment. I showed this to someone who hates subtitled films and has never seen a Japanese film, she was amazed at the experience. Intense, fast paced and great characters there really is never a dull moment. It's the kind of film you have to watch twice within days. The characters are great, the dialogue witty, the camera work intensly fast and some great show stopping moments.

View it as a message film or just as a fun packed drama or even as a comedy, it will stand up to all three without any problem. Buy it. I promise you will not have seen anything quite like this before. I will be very surprised if you do not like it.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 February 2012
I just can't stop watching this film over and over - it's become my all-time favourite. It's taken me all of my 60 years to find a film that I can understand so completely - I see parts of myself in each of these two lead characters, despite the fact that they are so beautifully and complimentary opposed... Fabulous script and storyline that actually requires the viewer to have some degree of intelligence to interpret it, and performances that are skilled beyond these girls young years. A bright dayglow beam of sunshine that is streets ahead of the grey porridge that drips out of lacklustre Holywood.... I love it - I want more..!!!! (^_^)
11 Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 21 July 2010
My spouse rented this Blu-ray of Kamikaze Girls. I had no idea what to expect but was thoroughly entertained throughout! It's great fun. Unusual, innovative - overall quite different to other Japanese films I've seen recently and a real tangent from contemporary Western 'buddy' flicks or similar.

Meaning no disrespect, it's a kind of Japanese 'Amelie' - although it's got far more character and originality than Amelie of course (which is a film, I like too). But it's the same kind of view inside the mind of someone quirky, slightly off in their own ('magical') world, detached from the greyness and misery of modern life as it's seen in so many films these days.

The cinematography is great - combining vibrant colours, unusual shots, cartoons, special effects and so on. The setting and characters are all great too - with some really likeable people and memorable moments.

From what I could tell from the rental disc, there are practically no extras at all. There are some 'outtakes' of a sort over the closing credits, and that seems to be your lot. Maybe I missed something, but that was all I could see.

Overall, thoroughly recommended and well worth seeing in the Blu-ray version if you can (I'll be watching for price drops to buy this one at some stage). It's one of those films I'd recommend that you go into completely blind, knowing as little about it as possible. You'll be really impressed, I expect. A great transfer of a really great film!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 16 April 2010
Another excellent movie from director Tetsuya Nakashima.
This one is a fun story that will make you laught from start to end.

very good performance from the actress Akira Shoji and Anna Tsuchiya.

If you want a nice time with character out of this world, and funny screen shot, original thinking, this movie is for you.
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 25 May 2017
A crazy Japanese film about two girls and there friendship,one is a loner girlie girl the other a tomboy gang member.both very pretty and very crazy.The film is full of mad ,crazy characters that will make you laugh.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Customers also viewed these items

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)