Japanese pop culture sure has an alarming share of fans in the West. Guess its’ sheer oddness undoubtedly explains a large part of this zany appeal. With it’s eye on the eccentricities of Japanese fashion obsessions, Kamikaze Girls fleshes out its bubblegum world with an infectious brand of humor.
Meet Momoko, a ‘Lolita’ (an outlandish brew of pre-pubescent sweet-suckling vamp, Wednesday Addams and fantastical French maiden). Clothed in pristine frilly Bo-Peep dresses, she dreams of getting to Harajuku, metropolitan Lolita shopping wonderland. But she’s way out in the country and a ticket costs a hefty yen. Her petty criminal father scammed his way across the continent hawking fake
Versace handbags. Now stuck amongst the cow shit and paddy fields of rural Ibaraki prefecture, she yearns for adventure and to live like French aristocracy. Introducing Ichiko. A proud ‘Yanki’ (fashionable gangster gal) and member of fierce she-biker pack, The Ponytails, she sports a wild blonde coiff, Elvis snarl lip and some mean eyeliner. Let’s not forget to mention her amazingly rad, tricked-out moped. A real tough cookie, and beautiful as all hell. Her arrival in Ibaraki leads to a very peculiar sort of friendship, one which guarantees that Momoko’s life is about to change forever. Wanting to emblazon her gang jacket as a
gift to her leader, she desperately seeks to find a legendary Harajuku embroiderer.
Together, this unlikely duo strike an amazing punch as they journey through dangerous back-alley pachinko parlors, chic fashion boutiques, and ratty bike-punk infested hoods to each meet their ultimate goals. What follows must be seen to be believed. Will these two lovely ladies,
on opposite sides of the fashion spectrum reach the heavenly gates of Harajuku?It’s a sugary, luridly colored confection shot through with just enough grit, heart and humor to prevent it from ever descending into irritating sweetness. Kamikaze Girls oozes kitsch to undreamt levels, with a lollipop pastel-hued, pop-cultural potpourri pink-knuckle sandwich.