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Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls) Standard Edition (Japan Version) DVD Region 2

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Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls) Standard Edition (Japan Version)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (8)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Thelma and Louise meets Cutie Honey in Kamikaze Girls, writer/director Nakashima Tetsuya's winning big screen adaptation of Takemoto Novala's cult classic novel Shimotsuma Monogatari. This quirky tale of teenage rebellion that has gone on to become a surprise hit with audiences not only in Japan, but around the world!

This wildly imaginative film depicts the peculiar friendship between two very different young women. First up, there's Ryugasaki Momoko (Fukada Kyoko from The Ring 2 and Dolls), a frustrated country girl, who finds escape from her dreary existence by fantasizing about 18th century France and dressing up in frilly baby-doll dresses, complete with pink bonnets and matching parasols. However, her prim and proper fantasy world is quickly challenged by the dramatic arrival of a new girl in town, the tough-as-nails biker chick, Shirayuri Ichiko (Tsuchiya Anna). This wild child with a seemingly permanent snarl on her face initially clashes with the girly Momoko, but eventually, this unlikely duo form an uneasy alliance, deciding to head out on a journey in search of a legendary embroiderer. Their daring quest is fraught with danger at every turn, but the two venture onward, braving the surreal, candy-colored bubble gum world that awaits them!

While making the rounds on the festival circuit, Kamikaze Girls has racked up several awards and nominations including Best Picture, Best Director (Nakashima Tetsuya), Best Actress (Fukada Kyoko), and Best Supporting Actress (Tsuchiya Anna) at the Yokohama Movie Awards and numerous other trophies from the Blue Ribbon Awards, Hochi Film Awards, Kinema Jumpo Awards, and Mainichi Film Concours. Clearly, this film is something special and definitely has to be seen to be believed, so be sure to check out one of the most irreverent examples of girl power every brought to the silver screen!

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Technical Information

Product Title: Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls) Standard Edition (Japan Version) 下妻物語 Standard Edition (日本版) 下妻物语 Standard Edition (日本版) 下妻物語_しもつま☆ものがたり_スタンダード☆エディション スタンダード・エディション Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls) Standard Edition (Japan Version)
Artist Name(s): Fukada Kyoko | Shinohara Ryoko | Koike Eiko | Okada Yoshinori | Namase Katsuhisa | Abe Sadao | Kiki Kirin | Arakawa Yoshiyoshi | Honda Hirotaro | Yazawa Shin | Tsuchiya Anna | Miyasako Hiroyuki 深田恭子 | 篠原涼子 | 小池榮子 | 岡田義德 | 生瀨勝久 | 阿部貞夫 | 樹木希林 | 荒川良良 | 本田博太郎 | 矢澤心 | 土屋安娜 | 宮迫博之 深田恭子 | 篠原凉子 | 小池荣子 | 冈田义德 | 生濑胜久 | 阿部贞夫 | 树木希林 | 荒川良良 | 本田博太郎 | 矢泽心 | Tsuchiya Anna | 宫迫博之 深田恭子 | 篠原涼子 | 小池栄子 | 岡田義徳 | 生瀬勝久 | 阿部サダヲ | きき きりん | 荒川良々 | 本田博太郎 | 矢沢心 | 土屋アンナ | 宮迫博之 Fukada Kyoko | Shinohara Ryoko | Koike Eiko | 요시노리 오카다 | Namase Katsuhisa | Abe Sadao | Kiki Kirin | Arakawa Yoshiyoshi | Honda Hirotaro | Yazawa Shin | Tsuchiya Anna | Miyasako Hiroyuki
Director: Nakashima Tetsuya 中島 哲也 中岛哲也 中島哲也 Nakashima Tetsuya
Release Date: 2004-11-26
Publisher Product Code: SDV-3247D
Language: Japanese
Country of Origin: Japan
Disc Format(s): DVD
Region Code: 2 - Japan, Europe, South Africa, Greenland and the Middle East (including Egypt) What is it?
Publisher: Xiao Xue Guan
Other Information: DVD
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1003799574

Product Information

タイトル:下妻物語_しもつま☆ものがたり_スタンダード☆エディション

テクニカル・インフォメーション

その他の情報
備考:1枚組
ピクチャーレーベル
映像特典:特報、予告編、TVスポット、他
日本小売価格:¥3800

Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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Awards

This film has won 1 award(s) and received 2 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls) Standard Edition (Japan Version)"

August 18, 2005

Sometimes animated, sometimes strange, but always entertaining, Kamikaze Girls belongs with recent Japanese fare such as Swing Girls, Waterboys, and Ping Pong, and considering the international success of those three films, it's not bad company at all. Like its two leads, Kamikaze Girls is a rather eccentric film, essentially a movie about teens that manages to be surreal, dramatic, and comedic all at the same time, but not necessarily in that order. Without pushing buttons or being overly manipulative, Tetsuya Nakashima's film is funny and touching without ever giving the impression of trying too hard, or trying too much, which might be its one Achilles' Heel.

Kamikaze Girls opens in spectacular fashion, with too-eccentric-for-words high school teen Momoko (Kyoko Fukaka, Onmyoji 2) riding a moped when she is suddenly broad-sided by a delivery truck and goes flying through the air in slow motion. But wait, this scene actually occurs toward the end of the film, so Momoko freezes time and takes us back to the beginning. We learn that she was a strange child who enjoyed being alone, and is the product of a failed gangster father and a hard-drinking mother who quickly dumps her husband to marry the doctor who delivered Momoko, before going on to enter a beauty pageant while in her 40s.

The father is at first successful, selling knock-off Versace products in the streets; that is, until he decides to merge one knock-off product with another, incurring the wrath of the original owners, thus earning his loser tag and getting chased out of town by the Yakuza. Father and daughter end up in Grandma's house in the countryside, where young Momoko learns to love isolation and indulges in frilly dresses in the style of a bygone French era using money she cons from her father. Into Momoko's contented life rides female bike gang member Ichiko (Anna Tsuchiya), a tough talking, cussing, and spitting girl. The two girls become reluctant friends - or actually, Ichiko keeps finding reasons to forcibly conscript Momoko's services.

The rest of the film is just as random in nature, with Momoko breaking through the fourth wall whenever she feels like it, such as to shorten some of Ichiko's gang stories. Meanwhile, Momoko continues to daydream of her beloved Rococo period, from which she has patterned her life (not to mention wardrobe). Such is Kamikaze Girls, a film that can't possibly be taken seriously. How else to explain director Tetsuya Nakashima's many off-the-wall techniques, such as Momoko flying through the air whenever appropriate, or background characters indulging in CGI price checks?

As a comedy, the script works more than it doesn't, offering up plenty of laughs throughout much of the film. And although Momoko's oddball behavior is, well, odd in the beginning, you quickly get used to it, and soon seeing a Japanese girl walking around in strange dresses barely registers. The same for Ichiko, whose tough girl act always manages to be amusing, if only because it provides such a stark contrast to the emotionally unavailable Momoko. One of the film's best scenes is in the beginning when a young Momoko dishes out life advice to her hopeless mother.

Ichiko, on the other hand, is quick-tempered and violent, and sees no harm in head-butting the genteel Momoko on a whim, or abducting her into the city and forcing her to play Pachinko - which, much to her chagrin, Momoko realizes she's a wiz at. Kamikaze Girls does get a bit heavy toward the end, but it's nowhere near the left field melodrama you find in most Korean comedies. On the whole, there's a very good balance to the film, thanks to writer/director Tetsuya Nakashima, who uses CGI sporadically but effectively, and never overdoes the "fourth wall" gags.

What really makes the film work are the excellent performances from its two female leads. Kyoko Fukada is especially good as the off-kilter Momoko, and equaling appealing is Anna Tsuchiya as the faux bad girl. The two young women have excellent chemistry, and their scenes together are what make Kamikaze Girls as good as it is. The only real shortcoming with the film is a noticeable lack of emotional ambition. The film really doesn't have all that much to say, with most of its highlights justified by either its quirks or technical conceits. There are no real truths to be gleaned from Ichiko's quest to thank her gang leader/mentor, or Momoko's sudden realization that she's pretty good at this whole embroidery thing.

Ultimately, Kamikaze Girls is a highly entertaining film with great comedy throughout, but maybe its problem is that it never found much time to say anything more, in-between the laughs. Then again, if the film has no greater ambition than to be light hearted and, on occasions even touching, it certainly succeeds with flying colors.

Movie Grade: 3.5 out of 5 stars

By Nix - BeyondHollywood.com

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This original content has been created by or licensed to YesAsia.com, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of YesAsia.com.

Customer Review of "Shimotsuma Monogatari (Kamikaze Girls) Standard Edition (Japan Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9.2 out of 10 (8)

Fabrizio
See all my reviews


September 17, 2006

This customer review refers to Kamikaze Girls (Hong Kong Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Amelie x T&L x Excel Saga Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
Simply absurd, imaginative, unreal. A naive Kyoko Fukada in Lolita shape, fan of embroidery and Rococò and its fabulous lacy dresses , meets a bad-to-the-bone female thug that will change her life. The story is the quintessence of pop culture's exaltation, a movie so coloured that makes Cutie Honey a faded charcoal, a demential opera as much as Excel Saga, a reflection on the true importance of friends and dears.

Kyoko Fukada's acting is perfect, she makes what she does better: an ingenuous little girl. Anna Tsuchiya is a very talented actress, can't wait to see her on the new Katsushito Ishii..
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Jeff
See all my reviews


March 9, 2006

This customer review refers to Kamikaze Girls (Hong Kong Version)
9 people found this review helpful

GREAT movie, average DVD Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10
I'm writing this review more of the Hong Kong DVD than the film. I had a really hard time finding good reviews of the various DVD options for this film before I bought this, so hopefully I can help some other people in the same boat.

The film itself is surprising, fun and ultimately beautiful. It's shot almost like a live-action anime, and reminds me a lot of FLCL (minus the aliens). It's a story about rural alienation, and the way in which the two main characters find each other and ultimately help each other is both hilarious and uplifting.

I bought the Hong Kong DVD because of the poor quality of the US release by Viz Media, which is not even anamorphic and includes hard-coded subtitles. On the plus side, the Viz release does have several extras, but having seen them on a rental, I wanted better picture quality from an anamorphic release.

In most ways, the HK release is vastly superior to the US release in terms of picture quality. It is anamorphic and much crisper than the US release. The subtitles are not hard-coded (they can be turned off), and there are both simplified and traditional Chinese, as well as English subtitles. On the downside, the English subtitles are a bit buggy in that there's a strange white line at the bottom of the screen whenever there's subtitle text being shown (in other words, nearly all the time) - this is not the case for the Chinese subtitles. You likely won't notice it if your TV overscans like most do, but it is annoying watching on a computer or on a digital TV.

Also, the Hong Kong DVD features the same yucky black border as the US release, which both limits resolution and just looks really bad. I assume this is to compensate for overscan, but they really shouldn't be doing this, as digital displays (both computer-based and otherwise) are becoming more common. The solution to overscan is to get rid of it, not compensate for it - DVD's should use the entire picture area available rather than devoting a significant portion of it to the color black. I am not sure if the Japanese or Korean releases have the same issue - I would like to find out.

There are no extras on this DVD whatsoever. It is the film and that's it. For the price, though, you really can't complain - you are paying for the film and nothing more, so that's what you get. If you want extras, buy the Korean version (which supposedly also has English subtitles) - but you'll pay extra for those extras. Or buy the US release and deal with the non-anamorphic, sub-standard picture quality.

Is the Hong Kong DVD the definitive release of this film? No. The Japanese SE probably is, but then it doesn't have English subs. The Korean version has English subs and has extras, but I can't vouch for the picture quality as I haven't seen it. The Hong Kong version's picture is superior to the US release but it does have a few issues... but then again, it is cheap.

This is a film well worth owning one way or another. Which version is best for you depends on your priorities and how much you want to spend.
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hushicho
See all my reviews


October 23, 2005

This customer review refers to Kamikaze Girls (Hong Kong Version)
3 people found this review helpful

One of the Best Movies I've Ever Seen Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I saw this film's theatrical version and I was absolutely floored. I went in not expecting much, although I had enjoyed the trailer I saw for it, and I left with the film having really changed my life. I don't use that phrase lightly either; it was so well-done and such a perfect mixture of humor, drama, and really really excellent music by Kanno Yoko and the multitalented Kawase Tomoko, otherwise known as Tommy February 6 and Tommy Heavenly. The acting is great and the film is genuinely moving, touching, and also hilarious.Shimotsuma Monogatari is the kind of film that is needed and important not only in Japan, but in the rest of the world as well, especially in the current oppressive, conformist attitudes of the modern US. The film gives a great message of hope to those who find something that they can believe in, which fulfills them and gives their life meaning, and tells them that they need to go with it, to grab onto it with everything they have and not to let go. And it does this not with heavy-handed preaching like many recent films, but by subtly communicating this, and enjoyably communicating it, with a truly fun experience.After a massive and almost interminable string of annoying, meaningless, or just plain stupid series of films recently, Shimotsuma Monogatari is in fact a breath of fresh air. It's intelligent without being pretentious, touching without being a sobfest, funny without being idiotic, and conveys a message without being preachy. That is a miracle in the modern cinema, it seems, and I feel that this film is well worth the perfect score I have given it. If you see no other film this year...or five years!...see Shimotsuma Monogatar (Kamikaze Girls). It is a film that just might change your life.
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Inaki
See all my reviews


September 17, 2005

This customer review refers to Kamikaze Girls (Hong Kong Version)
A bizarre and funny movie Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I watched this movie several times and amuses me like the first time. It's a bizarre film with a lot of laugh. It's really funny listening to Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya) speaking like a tough guy and Kyoko, with her baby dresses, is caring nothing more than herself. Something interesting is seeing as the relation of the two girls is developed. I recommend it to everyone who wants a funny time!
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Oak
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September 14, 2005

This customer review refers to Kamikaze Girls (Hong Kong Version)
"Kamikaze Girls (Hong Kong Version)" is the bomb Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I love this movie.Its very funny and i love the way Anna Tsuchiya talks.I suggest this movie for anyone who likes to laugh.
Did you find this review helpful? Yes (Report This)
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