Movie Follow-up to the Anime Series
Organized crime has risen and a group of students are killed in a bus crash which is said to be an accident. The police trace the source to Takanoha High School. The people under suspicion are three ruthless sisters named the Mizuchi Sisters. These girls rule the high school, and they're lead by their wealthy father Gozo Mizuchi. Lacking the evidence to put them behind bars due to Gozo's financial influence. The police black mail Saki Asamiya to infiltrate the high school, with the mission being to provide evidence to bring them down. Saki was a student at the school who ruled with an iron fist, and was currently serving a prison term. Her mission soon becomes personal, when one of the sisters see her as a threat and decide to get rid of her.-summary
Sukeban Deka throughout the years has been considered a cult classic and has developed quite a rabid fan base. It's based off the manga by Shinji Wada which enjoyed a six year run. Besides this OVA, there have been numerous live action movies and a TV series. Based upon this evidence it must have done something right, but I never bought into the hype.
Sukeban Deka is your average good vs. evil story, which features the super strong girl putting the boots to everyone, with an ultra thin appearance, as if she hasn't eaten in a year. This is an all too familiar trend that forever haunts Japanese animation, but her choice of weapon seems to be the appeal for some. Saki fights like a demon using an unbreakable yo-yo. Personally, I always found the concept corny and whenever I look back at this series, or anything else I feel to be a waste of time. I always get the urge to renege on my goal, which is to see every anime ever made. There's absolutely nothing I like about the premise at all, and this is the reason I had avoided all of the live action movies for a very long time.
The OVA is an action series at heart with a revenge theme that attempts a bit of drama. I cannot emphasize the word "attempt" enough. The couple of dramatic scenes that are present contains most of the cliches you can think of. You can actually predict the sudden rainfall, that must always appear when a character who is suppose to be a somewhat tragic figure or so gets dusted off. The little scenes with the pep talks on reminding the main character who she is and her mission... It rains then too.
The OVA delivers a great deal of fast paced action. There are numerous fight scenes, but I found most of them very boring even for early 90's standards. At least they become slightly better later on. The violence and brutality really does escalate and there's a good dose of blood. The characters to me were uninteresting for the most part. This also includes Saki despite her character development, and if there is one thing I can't stand, is a comic relief who doesn't get the job done. However, the Mizuchi sisters for me, are no doubt the show stealers. They have a very wicked charm that plays on humanity's greedy and self preserving nature. Each sister has her own single goal and will take any measures necessary to achieve it. I feel they were well used overall, but the metaphor is forever beat on, and it gives away the inevitable outcome. The snake motif is not cleverly used at all, and I feel it's too in your face.
The animation is ok at best and that's pushing it. The fight scenes are energetic, however, they do contain a bit of reused cels and stills at times, but I just can't get over the lack of choreography here. The action scenes didn't do too much for me. At least the OVA has a solid soundtrack that never really gets old and is fun to listen to.
Sukeban Deka is still a decent watch for action fans who aren't searching for anything serious. Now to the fans out there, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's the worst thing out there. It just isn't for me. The super tough chick genre is something I take with a grain of salt every time I watch it, but toss in a yo-yo being the weapon of choice, with some incredibly cheesy moments, just doesn't get the job done for me at all. If you're already a fan of the live action movies, then this may appeal to you as well. The OVA is two episodes clocking in at 50 minutes each.
-Interesting villains. somewhat decent fight scenes
-Metaphor is overkill, annoying comedy relief, unintentionally funny during dramatic moments
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Movie Follow-up to the Anime Series
Director: Hayao Miyazaki; Release Date: April 15, 2003