Disclaimer: Contains spoilers and is the best review ever!
Plot Summary: A troubled girl is coerced into working for a clandestine agency in order to stop a series of mysterious bombings.
Review: What better way to close out the month than with one of my favorite movies of all time, "Yo-Yo Girl Cop." You're probably thinking, "Really, dude, this again?!" Yes, really! It stars my goddess, Rika Ishikawa, and an entire slew of gorgeous babes...how could I not love it? I mean, just look at the movie poster for god's sake! They had me at konichiwa. I'm going to do things a little different than usual though as this will probably be my most visual review I'll ever do. I mean, come on, we need some visual cues to understand the glory of this film after all.
First off, let's get a few technical details out of the way. This is another one of the films to feature ladies from the "Hello! Project" which is the all girl, idol division of a company called "Up-Front Agency." If it sounds like you've heard this all before from me, it's because you have; I've covered a few movies similarly to this...and, well, I've already covered this movie once. Anyway, the main character, Saki Asamiya, is played by Aya Matsuura. One of the main villains, and my dear goddess, Reika, is played by Rika. There are two bullied girls, Tae and Kotomi, which are played by Yui Okada and Erika Miyoshi respectively. Essentially, Aya is a solo singer for the most part, and Rika was a member of the legendary group, Morning Musume, while also forming a trio group, V-u-den, with Yui and Erika. Hopefully that's not too much all at once. The other thing worth noting is that this film is based on the "Sukeban Deka" franchise. While I have not watched the other incarnations, this movie is meant to be, at the very least, a continuation of the original TV show. The character, Saki Asamiya, is actually a code name that is picked up by whoever fills the role. As it turns out, this newest version is meant to be the daughter of the first Saki Asamiya, who is played by the original actress, Yuki Saito. Another cast member, who plays the chief here, also returns, so I thought this was a nice connection rather than a flat out reboot.
Aya as Saki:
V-u-den from, what I feel was, their best music video. Erika on the left, Rika in the middle, and Yui on the right.
As you might recall from my original review, this movie is soooooo fucking corny, but in the best of ways. Sure, it's no "The Machine Girl" in the over the top department, but it's entertaining nonetheless. The film actually begins with another idol singer getting blown up. It would appear she was also a member of this secret group--working within the police I guess--that calls themselves special K or something. The cereal? Hell if I know. This leads us to the introduction of Saki after she has been captured by the police in the USA and deported back to Japan. I have to say, they have some fat chick from the CIA, and I think she's speaking English deliberately slow to space out the subtitles or something; way to represent USA, hun! Don't ask me how Saki is so tough, but she's supposed to be like an incredible martial artist or whatever. I guess it was all from living on the mean streets of New York. Right. I do like that the very first thing Saki says in the movie is "fuck." Well, I guess if you come to the USA you might as well learn the curse words, right? After a failed escape attempt, an agent working for special K, named Kira, tells Saki that she must help them with this bombing case and in exchange they will help her mom get out of a prison sentence in the USA for alleged spying. Of course Saki goes along with this despite having mommy issues.
Even though Saki was covered in bruises, beat to hell, and even bleeding from one eye, the next day she is back to looking like a movie star. I will hand it to Ms. Matsuura though, she did perform her own stunts in the film so maybe she is a true badass. Special K gives Saki a special schoolgirl outfit (now we're talking!) and the weapon of all secret agents: a fucking yo-yo. Well, I suppose it is technically better than nothing, but there is that saying about bringing a knife to a gunfight--what do we say to someone who brings a yo-yo to a gunfight? Of course Saki has to assert her prowess the moment she shows up by doing cliched Japanese tough-guy stuff. It's at this time that we see Tae is bullied by the classmates and Saki is confronted by Reika who is the popular girl of the school. Once Saki realizes how brutally Tae is bullied by Reika and her flunkies, she decides to beat up a number of Reika's goons to make a point.
I wish you had your natural hair color though my dear Rika.
Easy ladies, there's enough of me for both of you!
In an effort to uncover the mystery surrounding the bombings, Saki talks to Tae, but she doesn't spill the beans just yet. It doesn't matter, because Saki comes across two dorks trying to blow themselves up. This leads Saki on a pursuit around town and to a mall where she must stop the one dork from blowing everyone up. This is where we see Saki has not mastered her yo-yo abilities and actually knocks herself out momentarily. This sheer buffoonery brings the dork to his senses and he decides not to blow himself up anymore. Later on, special K cereal interrogates the dork and they realize he was given parts for the bomb by some mysterious "Romeo" character. It would appear this Romeo guy also captured the second dork that had a bomb as Romeo is being aided by a gang of flunkies.
Saki slowly starts to gain an appreciation for Kira who acts somewhat like a father-figure to her. While riding a bus home--to what home, I don't know--Saki is confronted by the Romeo bitch who tries to flirt lamely. I can't believe this shit works. Then we see Romeo's pathetic operation of flunkies who are arming themselves up with guns. They try to make the flunkies feel distinct, but none of them really do anything in the movie besides get their asses kicked. Then we see Reika nearby Romeo's operation as she has called in police backup to bust the criminals...or so it would seem. Oh noooess, my dear Rika is a villain! The cops are killed as the execution is broadcast. To my great annoyance, they make my beloved Rika also like this Romeo bitch boy. This is simply unacceptable.
Look at that angel face:
Saki realizes that this gang of losers wants kids to blow themselves up for a specific reason and warns that they will come to reclaim the other dork that had a bomb...which they do. This part is painfully stupid, because one guy could have killed Saki but chooses not to. Then literally seconds later they are trying to shoot her. Ugh. Good lord. There are contrivances and then there are fucking contrivances! The next day, Saki looks for Tae, but she's off playing hard to get and text-tag with Saki. Tae discloses that she and her friend, Kotomi, were the original Romeo and Juliet for a website that tried to help bullied kids since the two of them were tired of the bullying. But, over time, Kotomi's mind was warped by a mysterious man, whom she had a crush on, and he inspired her to blow herself up. Magically, Kotomi survived the explosion with all her movie star looks intact. Some time later, Tae realized their website had been hijacked by a gang calling themselves "Enola Gay" and featuring a new Romeo and Juliet who had a dangerous message. Considering how lighthearted the action in this movie has been, all this bullying, cutting, suicide bombing, and Enola Gay are kind of fucked up themes to tackle; the Enola Gay was the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. Saki and Tae visit Kotomi at the hospital where Saki realizes the guy that gave Kotomi the bomb is more than likely the same guy that Saki likes. Aaarrrrggghhh! So this douchbag, bitch boy won over Rika, Erika, AND Aya? Oh no...OH HELL NO!
What's that...give you my heart? Oh Aya...what would Rika think?
Saki bonds with Kira a bit as she learns his history with her mom. Despite saying that Saki's father was some random dude, they give the implication that Kira is probably Saki's dad. He cares about Saki for no particular reason, he has a photo of her as a baby that he hides when Saki shows up, he has Saki's mom's original yo-yo, and Saki's mom seems to care deeply about Kira. Maybe I'm reading in too much or they had hoped to have a sequel touch on it, but it's ambiguous as of now. Moving along, Saki confronts that dumb bitch boy as she realizes he is the mastermind of all these shenanigans as well as being the same guy that tricked Kotomi. Saki ends up getting captured followed by Tae being tricked by the bitch boy into trying to blow herself up the next morning at school. Of course Saki breaks free and gets to the school to try and stop the bad guys; Tae also saw through the trick and tried to stop the bombing. While Saki fights some flunkies, Reika captures Tae as this loser gang reveals their grand scheme: to rob a bank. Oh for fuck's sake. You did not just pull a "Die Hard?!" So the point of all this bullshit was to get the police so distracted by shenanigans that they would be unable to stop these idiots from robbing a little ol' bank. Instead of all the police teaming up to stop this gang and end the ridiculous scheme, they simply allow Saki to take on the entire legion of flunkies by herself. Psh that's a good one. It's okay though, they gave her some kind of bulletproof bodysuit, and I'm loving it!
Since Reika couldn't let Saki steal the show, she is also decked out in a new, sexy outfit as the two come face to face for a yo-yo showdown. To Ms. Ishikawa's credit, she did learn to use a yo-yo in reality, but most of the final battle scenes are CGI. I know it is probably hard to imagine making yo-yo fighting feel epic, but I think they pulled it off well enough. Looked damn sexy that's for sure! Stereotypically, Reika is kicking Saki's sweet ass all over the place before a last minute move finishes my precious Reika off by dropping a bunch of pipes on her. Hey, she could have survived!
After beating Reika, Saki comes across the gang of flunkies as Romeo gives her three minutes to beat his minions or else the two dorks from earlier and Tae will be blown up. Despite being shot like a hundred times, Saki manages to beat or kill all the flunkies until only Romeo is left who busts out a sword; they just had to add that extra layer of cheesiness. As you may easily guess, Saki defeats the bitch boy and stops the bombs from going off. Thankfully for me and the audience, the bitch boy wired himself with a bomb that blows up and takes him to hell with his stupid troll-doll-looking hair. Though, why did he give off a shock wave? I see someone went to the Lucas school of explosions. With everything wrapped up, Saki magically heals again to regain those movie star looks as she checks on her mom who had the charges against her dropped. Kira offers Saki the chance to continue being a secret agent which she accepts. The film then ends with Saki hanging out with Tae and Kotomi who seem to be dealing with these traumatic events quite easily. Well, until next time...which will more than likely never happen since this movie is already 8 years old. Damn it!
What can I say? This movie is ridiculous through and through, but I can't help but love it. I know it's corny, the effects are subpar, the acting is flimsy, it needed more action, and the story is farfetched and stupid. None of these things deter me however. The ladies are too beautiful, there is a certain charm to everything, and it's simply a fun little movie. I don't think I can necessarily recommend it for everyone, but I think you will know ahead of time if this is going to be a movie for you. Of course it has my goddess Rika, so it was a must-see for me, but I still believe there is enough so-bad-it's-good going on that it may appeal to more audiences than you'd expect. I also want to mention that the behind the scenes featurette is worth a view for sure as it sheds interesting insight on a few things. And finally, Ms. Matsuura sings a few songs on the soundtrack with her partner from a duo she had called "GAM." That partner is another sexy girl named Miki Fujimoto and is worth looking into as well--not sure why she wasn't in the movie to be honest.
Here's one of Morning Musume's more popular songs that actually made fun of the girls themselves. The first person they talk about in the song is Rika and the second is Ms. Fujimoto so you can see her. Also, this is Rika at her best look:
Notable Moment: Too hard to pick. I love every moment.
Final Rating: Screw it, 11/10, I don't care!
I almost forgot...there's actually a rare, alternate ending to the film almost no one has seen. In this ending, I show up and save the day. And Rika's all like, "Aishiteru, Ryan!" and I play it cool and say, "I know." They should have stuck with that ending...