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Kamikaze Girls (2004)
"Shimotsuma monogatari" (original title)

 |  Comedy  |  29 May 2004 (Japan)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 5,335 users   Metascore: 56/100
Reviews: 34 user | 54 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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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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

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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)

Gross:

$101,447 (Hong Kong) (1 July 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The fashion company featured in the film, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT, is an actual Lolita dress company based in the Shibuya neighborhood of Tokyo. See more »

Quotes

Ichigo Shirayuri: What's aristocratic about this forest?
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

 
Shimotsuma Fairy Tale - A coming of age tale
22 January 2006 | by (Kingman, Arizona) – See all my reviews

This a well-done girls' coming-of-age tale, like a Japanese 21st-century Alice in Wonderland - one Lewis Carroll would probably have liked. And I presume whoever gave the Kamikaze Girls title to the American edition would have titled the Alice work Kamikaze Alice. The underlying themes are independent thinking, the value of friendship, and the need to pursue one's creative impulses while critically evaluating surrounding people and opportunities.

Most the adult figures in the film are - in one way or another - failures. Though seen in an exaggerated, humorous, or empathetic light, they serve as guideposts to the two girls who come to realize that salvation (or "sallvation" as Ichigo misspells it for emphasis) lies not in following the crowd, not in seeking leaders' approval, but in following one's own dreams - as much as they can be realized in this limited, 3-dimensional, mortal world.

Early in the film, I feared it was headed to be too sweet, especially with the main characters being Momoko (Peaches) and Ichigo (Strawberries). But this sweetness is quickly counterbalanced with the challenges and adventures they face.

This is a fun and very unique film, good for people of all ages. In ways, it's set in a society that seems closer to the U.S. of the 1950's

  • around the "beat" and the James Dean eras, when youth could be wild


without police being called, and yet neighborhoods could leave front doors unlocked without fear and kids could even hitch-hike - an age of greater homogeneity when America had some cultural unity and - with exception of its black-white scar - was not afraid of itself.

I obtained this film, by the way, in VCD format (not the best, but adequate), I believe, from HKFlix. I couldn't find it anywhere in DVD format.


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