7.3/10
5,823
35 user 54 critic

Shimotsuma monogatari (2004)

Momoko, a strange and seemingly emotionless girl obsessed with 18th century France, befriends a Yanki biker and the two experience the ups and downs of their unusual lives in a rural Japanese town.

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(novel), (screenplay)

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14 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kyoko Fukada ...
Momoko Ryugasaki
Anna Tsuchiya ...
Ichigo Shirayuri
Hiroyuki Miyasako ...
Momoko's Father
Sadao Abe ...
Ryuji 'the Unicorn' / Doctor
Eiko Koike ...
Akimi
Shin Yazawa ...
Miko
Hirotarô Honda ...
Yakuza Boss
...
Momoko's Grandmother
Yoshiyoshi Arakawa ...
Grocery Store Manager
Katsuhisa Namase ...
Pachinko Parlor Manager
Ryôko Shinohara ...
Momoko's Mother
Yoshinori Okada ...
Baby, 'The Stars Shine Bright' Owner
Kanako Irie
Haruo Mizuno ...
Himself
Yûichi Kimura ...
Yakuza
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Storyline

Momoko Ryugasaki is the daughter of a smalltime gangster that forges Versace brand and a lowlife woman. Momoko is smitten by the Rococo period and dresses in a Lolita style, with frilly dresses and embroidery bonnet. She is raised by her father since her mother divorced him to marry her gynecologist, and he has taught her how to perfectly embroider. When Mr. Ryugasaki includes the Universal Studios brand in his products, he is forced to move to the rural Shimotsuma with Momoko to live in the house of her grandmother. Momoko decides to sell her collection of forged Versace and Universal Studios to make money to buy her expensive clothing. The rebel "yanki" Ichigo Shirayuri visits Momoko to buy clothes and soon they begin the most unlikely friendship. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

29 May 2004 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Kamikaze Girls  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$42,813 (Hong Kong) (10 June 2005)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Himiko" is the name of Japan's first "historical" Empress. Himeko was reported in Chinese histories as the ruler of Japan during their Wei dynasty, dying in 248 AD. Being a woman ruler and priestess (as reported by the Chinese), she is something of a feminist icon in Japan. Also, like the Himiko in the film, she is believed by some to be mythical. See more »

Quotes

Momoko Ryugasaki: [Repeated line] She spat!
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the film, Momoko and Ichigo pose together in a photo booth. See more »

Connections

References Battles Without Honor and Humanity (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Divine Sisterhood of Kamikaze Girls
23 May 2005 | by (Oriental State of Mind) – See all my reviews

After a series of well crafted and highly imaginative features, strangely initiating their collective march, the year 2004 became easily recognizable as a strong starting point for the genre that fuses real life situations with surreal imagery, fantasy sequences and eccentric music.

Although it has been done before, I think lately directors have grown more keen to devoting more time and money into creating something that is as unconventional to the mind as it is hard for people to even categorize or describe to one another.

Kamikaze Girls tells a story of Momoko, young student infatuated with the 18th century life style and beliefs, perfectly enduring a life without any friends and sharing interest in designing summery clothes. Her time of tranquility and virtue are disrupted by the newly acquainted female biker named Ichigo, who looks just as tough as she sounds. At first glance both characters seem very vulnerable to overplaying their roles and coming off pretentious and forced, but they manage not only to avoid such frailties but also provide good comical sense and delivery without tiring clichés. A then debuting actress Anna Tsuchiya is remarkable and effortlessly showcases her talent by diving into her character's past and portraying someone very different from who she has become now. In some ways she reminded me of Cecilia Cheung and her wonderful debut in King Of Comedy.

The conflict of the story is rather light and its resolution is equally fitting without overindulging itself with melodrama and tragedy. It was time well spent and even though I didn't acquire a great piece of mind, I know that I enjoyed every minute of this film.

Within such genre of limitless possibilities and with these similar yet unique films like Mind Game, Survive Style 5+ and Otakus in Love, the future of visionary cinema is looking exceptionally promising and I hope that some of these first time directors only grow stronger and dive deeper into the realm of their richly ambient senses to express even the simplest tales of life.


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