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Dennis A. Amith
- Published on Amazon.com
With the last sentai/tokusatsu release of of "Akiballion Battlemaids of Akihabara!", Switchblade Pictures continues with more sentai goodness with the latest double feature "Female Combatants Battle School/Demonic Heroine in Peril". With the majority of Zen Pictures focusing on the heroines, this time this double feature focuses on the women who fight on the side of evil and showing that sometimes, being on the other side is not all it's cracked up to be.
Female Combatants Battle School
"Female Combatants Battle School" is a 2009 film which manages to capture the sentai badgirls with tight black and red vinyl (and the usual enemy cooing) as these bad girls work for the Bad Mist organization. Their biggest rival in their way of doing crime is the masked heroine known as Asterea (played by Tsugumi).
Bad Mist is a group that recruits troubled young women and brainwashes and trains them to fight against good and to make sure they can literally kick butt in battle. The Under Cover Agency (UCA) knows that they need to bring this organization down, so they bring in their UCA agent Aoi Kono (played by Yuri Higashi) to infiltrate and pose as one of them. She gets in and is given the name of 841.
But 841 is quickly going to learn that to gain the trust of the other soldiers, she's going to have to start from the bottom and fight. On her first day of initiation, she's beaten and ridiculed by the other ladies. They beat on her, they step on her and how much will this agent be able to take. Can 841 manage to gain the trust of the women of the Black Mist? Or will her cover be blown? And what will she do when the masked heroine Asterea is captured by the Black Mist?
Demonic Heroine in Peril
For the second film "Demonic Heroine in Peril", the 2005 film is about a group of aging men who are Triongers (yes, think of Power Rangers). But these old, overweight men can secretly transform into their more athletic ranger counterpart with ease.
As Akira (Trio Blue) comes to visit his young friend named Shota. Shota dreams about becoming a Trionger when he grows up and while the two run and play near the playground, Shota accidentally runs into a woman in tight leather clothing. As she leaves, the other two Triongers come to visit but unbeknownst to them, an evil enemy lurks in the background with his minions waiting for a time to attack.
When Akira goes home, he is attacked by these minions and then suddenly turns into his ranger counterpart - Trio Blue. He eventually beats the bad guys but all of a sudden, the woman he met earlier in the day, the woman in black leather comes to fight. Donning her red, ninja like outfit...the woman turns out to be one of Go-ma's Four Kings a.k.a. "Outsider" (played by gravure model MISAKI).
She easily beats Trio Blue and the minions go to finish him off... but for some reason, she tells them to stop. But the evil antagonist comes and tells her that by orders, the rangers must die and thus he picks up Akira by his neck and squeezes it until he dies. He laughs but she feels disgusted but yet Go-ma gives "Outsider" the credit, angering the evil man who had killed Akira.
The following day, she feels compassion for what happened to Akira, knowing that he was good friends with the boy Shota. So, she goes to visit the boy Shota and learns that he wants to become a Trionger, not telling him that she works for the evil Go-Ma who is trying to kill them off. But Takumi (Trionger Red) and Trionger Yellow shows up and the both of them take on the Outsider and begin to fight. She easily beats them but lets them live. Unknown to her that the evil guy is watching her every move and now knows that she has betrayed them by not killing the Triongers.
Because of her actions, Outsider has been branded as a spy, the woman who was once the evil enemy of the Triongers must now fight alongside with them and try to prevent Go-ma from using a viral weapon that he plans to unleash on Japan.
VIDEO & AUDIO:
"Female Combatants Battle School / Demonic Heroine in Peril" feature two different aspect ratios. The first, "Female Combatants Battle School" is featured in 16:9 and shot digitally. "Demonic Heroine in Peril" is shot in 4:3 and also shot digitally.
Audio is in Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 and for the most part is front channel driven. If you have a home theater receiver capable of stereo on all channels, personally it was my preference for a more immersive soundtrack.
Subtitles are in English.
"Female Combatants Battle School / Demonic Heroine in Peril" comes with no special features but trailers from Switchblade Pictures.
In Japan, Zen Pictures has found a pretty good sized niche with the fans who are into sentai and tokusatsu shows but instead of focusing on the guys, taking bikini/lingerie models and outfitting them in these kinky Power Ranger-esque outfits (or sometimes an outfit that is barely covering much). In the US, there are also a niche of fans who follow sentai and tokusatsu shows like they follow anime series and have been wanting these films here in the US. And fortunately, Switchblade Pictures is bringing these films to the US.
With "Female Combatants Battle School/Demonic Heroine in Peril", you're getting two films for the price of one. With "Female Combatants Battle School", this is more for those who want to see women fighting in very tight outfits, while "Demonic Heroine in Peril" features MISAKI barely wearing anything and in some way, very Mai Shiranui-like (for those familiar with the "King of Fighters" character and her slinky ninja outfit).
As for story, there is a story but it's important to note that people don't exactly watch these Zen Pictures films for the acting because frankly a lot of these women are known for their bodies and wearing hardly any clothing. Acting is not their forte. But for these two films and having seen several Zen Pictures films, these two are among the better ones that have been released in the US thus far. Also, these are low budget independent films and so, you'll see the occasional family far in the background watching the people fight.
My favorite film of the two would have to be "Demonic Heroine in Peril". It's a more Power Rangers-like driven series and quite humorous as the Rangers themselves are old men and when they get into costume, they are slimmer and still can fight. And the young boy in the film, is actually sporting a mask. It's hilarious in some way, whether or not it was intentional or not.
As for the rating of having nudity and violence, there is violence in the film as character are killed off. As for the nudity, there really isn't any. I suppose that because there are a lot of crotch shots (with the women wearing clothing) and in "Demonic Heroine in Peril", main actress/model MISAKI is barely wearing any clothes but by no means is she nude.
For those wanting to begin their Switchblade Pictures collection of Zen Pictures sentai/tokusatsu heroines/bad girls-style of films, "Female Combatants Battle School / Demonic Heroine in Peril" is a good place to start.