Monday, February 06, 2006

Return of the yo-yo! "Sukeban Deka" is back

Toei have recruited director Fukasaku Kenta (33) and idol Matsuura Aya (19) to revive their "Sukeban Deka" series.

"Sukeban Deka" (literally 'Female Delinquent Detective') originated from Wada Shinji's bestselling manga revolving around the adventures of sharp-tongued yo-yo-wielding young ladies in school uniform. The 22-volume comic series has sold over 20 million copies to date and has been adapted into two films, three high-rating live action television series, and an animated version. "Sukeban Deka: Kodonemu = Asamiya Saki," the latest movie version and third in the series, was given the green light after a DVD box set of the original films and TV show released last year sold over 130,000 copies.

"Sukeban Deka: Kodonemu = Asamiya Saki" updates the character from the mid-1980s into the 21st Century, with its protagonist being forcibly repatriated to Japan from New York to take on modern issues such as bullying, terrorism, and internet crime. Most crucially, Toei will be making the film's heroine more relevant to modern audiences by raising her hemline from around the ankle to above the knee. Other new elements to look forward to include combat uniforms, wire action and computer graphics. Matsuura will be joined by her Hello! Project talent agency stablemates Ishikawa Rika (21), Miyoshi Erika (21) and Okada Yui (18).

Here's a rundown of the story:

A police detective working undercover at private school Seisen Gakuen is blown to pieces on the streets of Shibuya. The cop had been investigating students frequenting a popular underground website named "Enola Gay," where information on everything from bullying to bomb-making is exchanged. One week earlier, a strange counter on the website began ticking down to some unmentioned event... Meanwhile, a young girl only known as "K" is brought back to Japan from New York against her will, and is assigned the codename "Asamiya Saki" by the National Police Agency. Her mission: infiltrate Seisen Gakuen...

Matsuura is far and away the most popular of the current batch of old-style idol singers, and is an inescapable small-screen fixture on numerous variety shows and television commercials. She is the most successful single member of Hello! Project, the female equivalent of pretty-boy factory Johnny's Jimusho that has given us amorphous supergroup Morning Musume and endless permutations thereof. Matsuura becomes the fourth incarnation of Asamiya Saki after Saito Yuki, Minamino Yoko, and Asaka Yui. This will be her second film appearance following 2003's "The Blue Light" (Ao no Hono) and her first starring role.

"Codename: Asamiya Saki" will be Fukasaku's third feature-length film after "Battle Royale II" and last year's "Under the Same Moon" (Onaji Tsuki o Mite iru). Principal photography kicks off in mid-February, and a release is set for this autumn.(source: Sanspo)

* As seen on Twitch

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