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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Shimotsuma monogatari" or "Kamikaze Girls")

 

directed by Tetsuya Nakashima
Japan 2004

 

Product Description
Meet Momoko (Kyoko Fukada from The Ring 2 and Dolls), a self-absorbed dreamer who fantasizes about fleeing her backcountry home and living life in 18th century Versailles. When she unexpectedly meets the rebellious Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya from Dororo and Sakuran ), a rough-and-tumble biker chick, the two misfits form a unique friendship together, nothing can stop them! Born from the pages of favourite cult author Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls is a frenetic roller-coaster ride brimming with day-glo visuals and wild hilarity that you will never forget! Special Features: anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 sound, true HD 1080 and removable subtitles
Synopsis
Based on the hit Japanese novel SHIMOTSUMA STORY by Novala Takemoto, KAMIKAZE GIRLS is a charming, unique, and very funny film. Pop star Kyoko Fukada stars as Momoko, a 17-year-old girl so obsessed with everything rococo that she wears old-fashioned frilly white clothing and carries a parasol. After her mother (Ryoko Shinohara) leaves and her would-be yakuza father (Hiroyuki Miyasako) gets kicked out of the big city for selling the wrong kind of designer knock-offs, Momoko and her dad move to the country, living with Momoko's somewhat offbeat grandmother (Kirin Kiki). Desperate for money, Momoko starts selling the remainder of her father's counterfeit clothing, but her only customer is a tough-talking young biker chick, Ichigo (Anna Tsuchiya), who belongs to an all-girl gang. Against all probability, the two very different teenagers become best friends, even though neither will admit it. And when Ichigo faces serious danger, Momoko must decide whether she can save the day. Writer-director Tetsuya Nakashima infuses the delightful KAMIKAZE GIRLS with fast-paced scenes, goofy flashbacks, playful sets, bright colors, and an endearing and infectious sense of fun in every shot.

***

Momoko is an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life. Ordinary, that is, if you define ordinary as wearing elaborate lolita dresses from the Rococo period in 18th Century France. A complete fish out of water in her rural and sleepy Japanese town, where everyone buys their clothes (and everything else) at the same store and no one understands her, Momoko's life is one of sugared sweets and frilly treats. Desperate to make some money to pay for her expensive indulgence, Momoko tries selling bootleg Ver*ace and Uni*ersal Studios clothes left over from her Dad's yakuza (gangster) days. However, when punk girl and self-styled 'Yanki' Ichiko comes calling, her days as 'ordinary' are most certainly numbered... Road movie, buddy comedy, deeply insightful and surprisingly touching, the surreal world only further highlights the all too real friendship that brings these two unlikely girls together.

****

A frenetic, candy-colored odyssey through the netherworlds of Japanese popular culture, Kamikaze Girls opens with a dazzlingly inventive sequence in which the heroine, a frilly-dressed "Lolita" played by Ky˘ko Fukada, introduces herself. Through a blistering montage sequence—replete with freeze-frames, fourth-wall asides, sudden splashes of animation, and a decorous flashback to 18th-century France—Fukada reveals the following information: She was conceived the night her father, a failed yakuza wannabe, met her mother, who was projectile-vomiting outside a nightclub; she adores the carefree, decadent rococo style of 18th-century Versailles and dresses accordingly; and she's woefully out of place in a backwater village where the residents all shop for bargain fashions at a Costco-like behemoth department store. Within 10 minutes, director Tetsuya Nakashima reveals all that needs to be said about Fukada—her peculiar obsessions, her dysfunctional family life, and her painful isolation from mainstream culture—yet the movie keeps spinning its stylistic wheels anyway.

Excerpt of Scott Tobias' review at the Onion AV Club located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 13th, 2004 - Cannes Film Market

Reviews        More Reviews       DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC vs. CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC vs. Third Window (2-disc) - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Jani Kauppila for the DVDScreen Caps!

1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

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Distribution

Viz Video

Region 1 - NTSC

CJ Entertainment
Region 3 - NTSC
Third Window
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:42:20 1:42:07 1:42:13.460
Video

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.71 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,289,089,631 bytes

Feature: 20,058,230,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Viz Video

 

Bitrate:

 

CJ Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

lu-ray

 

Audio Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0), Japanese (5.1)

Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)

Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 448 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Subtitles English (I could not remove them) Korean, English, None English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Viz Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• Ky˘ko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya interview (6:58)
• Trailers
• Music promotions
• 16-page liner notes booklet - preview of Viz Media's Maga productions

DVD Release Date: January 10th, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 16
 

Release Information:
Studio: CJ Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• Making of (38:57)
• Deleted Scenes (4:50)
• Press Conference (3:45)
• Trailers
 

DVD Release Date: January 16th, 2006
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio:
Third Window

 

1080P / 23.976 fps Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 21,289,089,631 bytes

Feature: 20,058,230,784 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

(2nd disc DVD)
• Making of (38:57)

• Japanese Trailer (1:57)

• Interview with Director Tetsuya Nakashima (3:51)

• Workprint Footage (4:50)

• Unicorn - Ryuji Short (11:00)

• Kyko Fukada + Anna Tsuchiya Interviews (6:59)

• Anna Tsuchiya Music Video promo (3:19)

• 16 Third Window Trailers
 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 8th, 2010
Thick Blu-ray Case

Chapters 16

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Third Window - Region 'FREE' - Blu-ray - October 2010: This was shot in HD (Sony CineAlta HDW-F900) and while the 1080P image retains the plastic, waxy, look with occasional contrast flares - the colors are the standout for the film. The higher resolution brings out some depth and advances the presentation. It's a pretty noticeable improvement in-motion with no impinging artifacts. Like the other two 1.75:1 DVD transfer it has a border on the side edges.

Audio doesn't go lossless but sounds solid with minor separations - but plenty of effects. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

The 2-disc package has the feature film on a single-layered Blu-ray with no extras but there is a, relatively, stacked second disc, single-layered DVD. It has the 40-minute Making of found on the CJ Entertainment and the Kyko Fukada + Anna Tsuchiya Interviews found on the Viz Video edition. Third Window adds  Unicorn - a 11-minute Ryuji Short, a quick interview with Director Tetsuya Nakashima, 5-minutes of 'Workprint Footage', the Anna Tsuchiya Music Video promo (also found on the Viz). There are also a whopping 13 fun trailers of other Third Windows releases.

Kamikaze Girls is lots of fun and films the room with eye-candy. It's pretty cool to have on Blu-ray - definitely a film to stick on when friends are over. I've never felt the need to follow the film too closely - but there is a convenient storyline with our young Japanese gal-friend. The second disc extras and being region free should make for some happy owners - besides the CJ Entertainment anamorphic is OOP. Recommended!    

Gary W. Tooze

***

ADDITION - CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - August 2007 - Transfer on this Korean DVD is anamorphic and progressive, but there is still a black border circumventing the frame. The picture is clearly sharper than the R1, but contrast and colors seem about the same. I was expecting a more striking difference (although it is definitely superior we expect the Japanese editions - standard HERE and 2-disc SE HERE - to be best but they don't have English subtitles to our knowledge - ed.). Extras are subtitled in Korean only.

 - Jani Kauppila  

The image quality is a mitigated disaster considering the film was released in 2004. Non-anamorphic, but possibly progressive (a lot of static camera so I'm not 100% convinced either way), thick border around the image limiting horizontal resolution - its a pretty poor production quite possibly from analog. Colors are blown out, super contrasted and much detail is lost. It kind of looks like someone messed with the colors on an old Sony tube.  I understand the Hong Kong version (Region 3) available HERE is superior (and cheaper).

About the film: Its almost impossible not to get caught up in this exotic ride of style and humor... albeit with form trampling over function. The film deserves some credit for its imaginative structure and eclectic humor but a pristine DVD transfer would really have helped with the eye-candy that the film exudes and relies upon. I'd like to see it again in a much-improved digital image.

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus
(Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT vs. CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - RIGHT)
 

 

Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

Subtitle sample

 


1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Viz Video - Region 1 - NTSC - TOP

2) CJ Entertainment - Region 3 - NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Third Window - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Viz Video

Extras: Blu-ray
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DVD Box Covers

Thinking of buying from YesAsia? CLICK HERE and use THIS UPDATED BEAVER PAGE to source their very best...

 

Distribution

Viz Video

Region 1 - NTSC

CJ Entertainment
Region 3 - NTSC
Third Window
Region FREE -
Blu-ray




 

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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!