7.4/10
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36 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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Writers:

(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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Parents Guide:

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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)
 »

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

Ichigo Shirayuri: Hey, Momoko. Women shouldn't cry in public.
Momoko Ryugasaki: But there's no one here.
See more »

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

 
Clever, Unique and Charming Movie with a Misleading American Title
5 February 2006 | by (Honolulu, HI) – See all my reviews

Nakashima Tetsuya's wonderful "Shimotsuma Monogatari" (Shimotsuma Story) is quite a unique and charming film. I had my doubts at first but the film turned out to be a refreshing surprise. Mixing anime, quirky narrative, inventive storytelling, outrageous comedy and Japanese Pop Culture charm this movie is a really endearing movie.

Stylistically, as others have noted, it does recall movies like "Trainspotting" and "Run, Lola, Run" but I think "Shimotsuma Monogatari" is much closer in style to Yaguchi Shinobu's "Swing Girls" and "Waterboys", both of which are also really wonderful.

J-Pop singer/actress Fukuda Kyoko is infectiously cute as Momoko, the "Lolita" fashion obsessed girl with a naive yet surprising take on life. Her French 17th Century (Rocco) styled fashions are at times oddball and avant-garde and yet surprisingly cool looking that it's little wonder why American Pop Singer Gwen Stefani has drawn inspiration from this fashion trend for her L.A.M.B. fashion line and to dress her Harajuku Girls.

Anna Tsuchiya is also a wonderful surprise as Ichiko/Ichigo, the tough talking "Yanki" Sukeban with a heart of gold. She has most of the best lines in the movie and is also quite a cutie (behind the Sukeban makeup).

The only criticism I have for the film is the stupid American title "Kamikaze Girls". It really doesn't do justice to the film at all and is a real turnoff as it brings to mind a "Yakuza" film or perhaps a war picture in a stereotyping tongue-and-cheek way. Why not just call it simply "Momoko and Ichigo" (i.e. Peaches and Strawberry) or some other title that is a bit more relevant.

Other than that this film is a pure joy and delight and a welcomed change to Japanese cinema.


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