Call me insular, but there is so much about contemporary Japanese culture that I find just plain sinister. Take, for, instance, the fashion sub-culture in which grown woman dress up as Victorian children, complete with frilly, embroidered caps, parasols and hooped skirts. KAMIKAZE GIRLS goes some way to explaining why a young country girl, daughter to a small-time crook, craves such luxurious escapism, scheming her way into enough money to make it to Tokyo and the real-life boutique, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. Events become even more bizarre when the "Lolita" girl hooks up with another girl who's a member of a "Yanki" biker gang. This involves looking like a goth crossed with a biker and generally being bad-ass. The two girls go shopping together and then there's a bust up at the end. The exaggerated, cartoonish style of the movie and the colourful costumes are amusing for about half an hour and then becomes hard-going. Also, am I imagining things or are the pseudo-toddler and butch biker a gay couple?
KAMIKAZE GIRLS was released in Japan in 2004, in South Korea in 2005, in France in 2006 and the UK in 2008.