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Sukeban Deka: Kodo Nemu = Asamiya Saki

Yo-Yo Girl Cop

Japan 2006
produced by
Masatake Kondo, Tatsuya Kunimatsu, Mitsuru Kurosawa (executive), Naoki Yamazaki (executive) for Toei, Fukasaku-gumi
directed by Kenta Fukasaku
starring Aya Matsuura, Shunsuke Kubozuka, Riki Takeuchi, Rika Ishikawa, Yui Okada, Erika Miyoshi, Yuki Saito, Hiroyuki Nagato, Makoto Sakamoto, Mark Musashi, Tak Skaguchi, Takashi Nishina
screenplay by Shoichi Maruyama, based on the manga by Shinji Wada, music by Goro Yasukawa

Sukeban Deka

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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To save her mother (Yuki Saito) from deportation, problem child Saki (Aya Matsuura) is forced to become the student of a posh high school that's supposed to be the headquarters of a terrorist organisation that reaches out to bullied highschool students via a website that gives advice on building bombs and committing suicide. Saki soon gains the trust of Tae (Yui Okada), the school's prime bully victim, and finds out that she and a hospitalized friend (Erika Miyoshi) have actually started what has become the dangerous website a year ago as a mere self-help site for bullied kids, but it has since been hi-jacked and altered into something more sinister by someone named Romeo (Shunsuke Kubozuka). And Romeo seems to love fitting out students with bomb vests ...

Eventually, Saki learns the ultimate goal of the terrorist organisation is mass suicide with Tae delivering the bomb to do so as involuntary guest of honour. Saki can prevent that - but meanwhile Romeo and gang rob the first national bank in a daring heist, as the mass suicide was only a distraction for the police.

Ultimately, Saki manages to track down Romeo and gang, and after fighting and defeating his henchmen and his right-hand-woman Reika (Rika Ishikawa), the high school beauty queen who is actually a secret policewoman gone rogue, she engages in an extended fight with Romeo, armed only with a yo-yo, at the end of which Romeo blows himself up thanking her for the fun she gave him.

Riki Takeuchi plays aki's mentor who unbeknowest to her is also her dad.

 

A film that features a cute schoolgirl (who dresses up in spandex for the finale) fighting crime ared with a yo-yo, just can't be all bad, and thanks to a very fast-paced directorial effort and to Aya Matsuura in the lead, who balances the cute and the tough-as-nails aspects of her character very well, this film isn't. Yet, it's far from perfect, too: Somehow the film takes itself way too seriously to acknowledge the campy aspects of the material, Kenta Fukasaku's direction tries a bit too much to be hip to be fully effective, the plot makes little to no sense at all, with most plottwists straining credibility past breaking point, and the many references to earlier incarnations of the Sukeban Deka series are actually not only unnecessary, they distract from the main plot.

All that said, the film is still good (if a tad mindless) entertainment, it's just nowhere near what it could have been.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD