Live-action: Sukeban Deka Movie 1

April 2nd, 2007

Today’s review (and the letter “H”) is brought to you by the most magnificent munificence of Chet at Media Blasters, one of the greatest guys *ever.* And not just ’cause he gives me wacky movies…he’s just really great. ^_^

You may remember that back in February, I was pleased as punch to review the most recent Sukeban Deka live action movie. For today’s review, I will be backtracking some years in order to review the very first Sukeban Deka movie. About 20 years or so.

There was a TV series based on the manga Sukeban Deka which starred Saito Yuki as tough chick Asamiya Saki who was blackmailed by the police into functioning as an undercover agent for them. (Here is the review of the manga for that whole story.) After the first TV series ended, the name Asamiya Saki became a pseudonym that was given to two other girls in order to enable them to fight for justice, etc, etc.

This movie takes place after the second “Saki,” whose real name is Youko, has retired from the life of a sukeban deka, a delinquent cop. I am feeling mightily overworked this evening, so instead of telling you anything about the plot, I am going to throw you at the pretty darn comprehensive Sukeban Deka encyclopedia website. Here is a detailed synopsis for the first movie. As you can see from the picture at the top of the page, there’s a whole herd of sukeban deka by the time this movie got made. ^_^

There’s a couple of things to enjoy about this movie, other than the random violence and super psycho-with-a-fake-hand bad guy. One – every red shirt character dies in Saki’s arms, which I start finding pretty funny after then third or so death in a 80 minute movie. Second – the reunited sukeban group planning their strategy over dinner was a masterpiece. As Yukino serves up the dinner she has cooked from behind her frilly apron, she calmly discussed taking out guards at the island they are going to invade. It’s freakishly cute. If you turn off the sound, the girls all look like they are planning to get their hair done, but they are actually cheerfully discussing blowing the place up. ^_^ The super powered up yo-yo Saki gets from her handler that would destroy her arm if she used it too much was pretty awesome, as well. ;-)

I wouldn’t be reviewing it on Okazu, though, if there wasn’t at least *some* Yuri interest. At the beginning of the movie, Saki II has retired to a normal life of frilly pink sweaters and studying for the college examination. When she falls headlong into the mystery of evil Headmaster Hattori’s sadistic paramilitary island school, she immediately gathers up her comrades to face the conflict. One of them, Yukino, has left a message with Youko that she’s leaving Japan to go overseas. There’s a definite, immediate, tension there, as Youko contemplates her and Yukino’s choices. When Yukino does join them, the tension does not go away. There is a fraught scene between the two of them after the aforementioned dinner scene. If it had been a straight couple in a western movie, there is no doubt in my mind that a kiss would have been attempted, although it would have been aborted by Okyo’s appearance as, indeed, Yukino’s and Youko’s heavily charged moment was.

So, not Yuri sexxors or anything, but for an old school girl-gang live action movie…yeah.

The disk comes with an actual extra – the “making of” the movie, which was kind of cool. You get to see how insipid the actresses actually are and how silly the stunts and scenes are before they are all cut up and reattached. Defintely worth watching. For the price of the disk, you get plenty of entertainment.

Ratings:

Cinematography – Better than you think at first – 7
Story – 7
Characters – 8
Yuri – 4
Service – hard to judge, let’s call it – 4

Overall – 7

Think Enter the Dragon with a lower budget and schoolgirls and you’re not far off.^_^

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