“Oh, look: their tops have come off…”
It’s important to realize that you need to be familiar with the pinky violence genre that this lovingly replicated and parodies, in order to get the most from it. If not, this will seem over-wrought, incredibly over-acted and more than slightly ridiculous, not least in the way that bras are apparently an unknown item in Japan. But, if you’ve seen enough of the movies that inspired it, you will appreciate from where it’s coming.
“I make my formal greeting. I was born and raised in Chicken Valley. My father was a poultry farmer. From age seven, I slaughtered chickens, 444 in total. By name I am Red Malice, Yumi the Cockscomb.”
Yeah, it’s like that. The heroine, Midori – a.k.a. Invincible Midori, the Wild Chrysanthemum – used to be a big shot, but now just wants the quiet life for her and her friends at her school, even though she could run it if she wanted. “It’s a mess, what’s the point? This way, I can do what I want,” Midori says. But, as you can imagine, she isn’t left in piece. For instance, there’s Maki, who has been trying to defeat Midori since they were both children. But worse still is Ranko and her Demon Gang, who operate as the strong arm of the principal and pimp unwilling members of this fine educational establishment out to his lecherous friends. There’s an uneasy truce between Ranko and Midori, but that is shattered after Harue seeks protection from the former, and her plight reminds Midori of exactly why she dropped out of the gang business.
From there, things escalate in the way they usually do, with Midori honey-potting a politician and the principal, then using the photographs to foment rebellion among the other students. However, the principal retaliates by turning to his brother, head of the Inagaki Gang, who retake the school while Midori is busy dealing with Maki, setting up the final, explosive battle. In other words, it’s basically a pastiche, gluing together the tropes familiar from just about any example in the field, and turning the dial on them all, just a little bit higher. Most obviously, it’s almost de rigeur in the originals for the heroine’s top to be ripped open when she fights. Here, with refreshing honesty, that’s virtually the opening move. The main weakness is probably the lead (Hoshimi, I think – though since this doesn’t appear to have an IMDb entry, I’m kinda guessing), who is kinda bland and colourless, especially beside the actresses playing Maki and Ranko. This is the kind of thing where the performers need to throw all inhibition out the window: when that happens, you can certainly see where they’re going. However, it only happens intermittently, rather than with the consistency necessary to be truly successful.
Dir: Toshiya Kominami
Star: Rika Hoshimi, Asuka Misugi, Saya Kobayashi, Yoko Fujimura