Lonely dreamer Momoko finds herself stuck in the paddy fields of rural Ibaraki prefecture when her petty criminal of a father has to skip town after his latest scam went wrong. She yearns of escaping back into the opulent world of the 18th century court of Versailles, when the aristocracy idled their days away in an ecstasy of sleep, embroidery and country walks. Her appetite for the lavish doll-like fashion known to its disciples as the Lolita look, is insatiable. Fortunately salvation arrives just in time in the form of foul-mouthed Ichiko, a member of the notorious nomen- allowed biker pack The Ponytails. Asses are kicked and garments embroidered as these two outsiders strike up an unusual friendship that will forever transform their lives. The nail that sticks out, gets hammered down, as a Japanese saying goes. Anything but true for Momoko and Ichiko, played by hot young talents Kyoko Fukada and Anna Tsuchiya, in the superbly kitschy pop-cultural extravaganza that is called Kamikaze Girls. With vibrant colors, infectious humor and fast editing, director Tetsuya Nakashima (Beautiful Sunday) creates the desexualized bubblegum world of the “shojo manga” or girls comic strip. Just think of Amélie remade by Takashi Miike and Quentin Tarantino and you get something like Kamikaze Girls.

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