Shimotsuma Monogatari (2004)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Fantasy Comedy, Teen Movie, Adventure Comedy  |   Release Date - Sep 9, 2005 (USA - Limited)  |   Run Time - 102 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Josh Ralske

Japanese pop stars Ky├┤ko Fukada (of Takeshi Kitano's Dolls) and Anna Tsuchiya star as the titular hellraisers of writer/director Tetsuya Nakashima's coming-of-age fantasy comedy Kamikaze Girls. The film opens with an animated segment, then switches to live action as Momoko (Fukada), wearing a frilly white dress, is sent flying from her scooter by a high-speed collision with a cabbage truck. Flying through the air in slow motion, Momoko reflects on her life, as the film flashes back to the Rococo era in France, the time and place in which the spacy teen wishes she'd lived. Soon we're back in more recent times, as Momoko recounts her parents' first meeting in a back alley, her birth, and her mother's subsequent abandonment of her failed yakuza father for the obstetrician who delivered Momoko. As a teen, Momoko dresses in the girly Lolita style, carries a parasol, and lives in the country, pining for Tokyo and her favorite clothing store, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright. Disgusted by the slovenly, unfashionable bumpkins that surround her, who buy all their clothing from the local Walmart-style superstore, Momoko retreats into herself and her fantasies. While trying to raise money to support her expensive tastes, she encounters Ichigo (Tsuchiya), a "Yanki" roughneck biker gang member, who expresses herself through spitting and violent headbutting. Momoko is naturally repulsed at first, but the two girls gradually form an unlikely friendship and make a wealth of discoveries about themselves as they travel to Tokyo together in search of a legendary tailor to make Ichigo a special jacket to honor her gang leader's retirement. Kamikaze Girls was shown at Subway Cinema's New York Asian Film Festival in 2005.



biker, fantasy-world, friendship, road-trip, search, teenagers