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Recently seen movies #134

June 2, 2009

Sukeban Deka: Code Name = Asamiya Saki (Japan, 2006) – 2/5

The original Sukeban Deka was made in a time when idols could act and sing. Kenta Fukasaku’s new film stars Aya Matsuura, who does act and sing – and has released a great foot massage video – but doesn’t convince as Asamiya Saki one bit. Rather, her performance is unintentionally funny and enjoyable. The same applies to some extent to director Fukasaku, who hasn’t improved since his earlier achievement Battle Royale 2. Fukasaku’s ‘million cuts with slowmotion, flashbacks and a random black and white image’ –directing at times reaches some minor trash value, at others gives you a headache. The action scenes are mostly gci, falling far behind Yui Asaka’s genuine yo-yo art in excitement.

However, the new film is not entirely without merits. Against all odds the great Hiroyuki Nagato is not dead but back and looking exactly the same as he did 20 years ago. The original Sukeban Deka Yuki Saito also pays a brief visit at the end of the movie. Riki Takeuchi isn’t too bad either, although he’s helped by the fact that most actors surrounding him make even small acting talent shine. This refers to wooden man Shunsuke Kubozuka, zombie killer Tak Sakaguchi, and Hello! Project escapees Rika Ishikawa, Erika Miyoshi and Yui Okada, creating a poor man’s Onyanko upgrade. The soundtrack – with two songs from Matsuura and Miki Fujimoto – isn’t much to write home about but does feature one good tune that is played in the scene where Saki puts on her new new leather battle suit. An enjoyable scene, as out of place in the Sukeban Deka universe as it might be.

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