13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Jett, romance and shojo fan
- Published on Amazon.com
Based on the cult-classic novel by Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls is a story about two girls on different ends of a fashion/culture spectrum: a yanki, (slang for a bad boy or girl, often members of a gang) and a Lolita (a.k.a. Gothic Lolita because the style comes from Gothic, Victorian era). Ichigo, the yanki, is an impulsive member of a local yanki girl’s-only biker gang. Momoko, the Lolita, will stick to her “Gothic Lolita” code of conduct even if it means walking everywhere, and travelling three hours by train to get to Tokyo instead of by motor bike, which only takes one hour, because the wind might mess up her headdress or clothes. These two girls form a friendship based, at first, on a common ground for most girls their age: clothes, or rather, their passion for fashion. They later discover that they want to be friends because they really like the person inside the clothes. They are soon comforting, supporting, and saving one another as they start to spend all their time together as best friends. These girls protect their friendship to one another so recklessly, some might say they’re suicidal!
The continuation of Ichigo and Momoko’s misadventures, written by the manga artist, Yukio Kanesada (with Novala Takemoto’s approval), are sweet, romantic, and fun! There are two other extra stories, “Pinky Ring Princess” and “Middle Finger Princess” that are also a treat to read (although due to some adult/sexual situations in them, they're not for anyone younger than 16—which is the rating VIZ Media gives this manga, anyway).
It was through this manga that I really got to see the non-stereotypical aspects of being a yanki and Gothic Lolita, and where I got to learn more about their culture. While the yanki community often attracts delinquents, Ichigo’s sense of loyalty, honor, and fighting for what you believe in is almost samurai-like. Ichigo shows you don’t even think twice about doing something contrary to your style if your motivation is for love. Momoko teaches that Gothic Lolita isn’t about young girls calling themselves "Lolitas" and behaving like the famous Lolita (having sex with adults to become “adult” yourself). Gothic Lolita according to Momoko is about being frilly, pretty, feminine and going back to a more innocent, romantic time of history: the Victorian era. To Momoko, being a Lolita means being radiant, graceful, elegant, calm and always beautiful. But also Momoko shows that if it’s for a best friend, a Lolita, “must, even if she can’t be elegant, even if it’s a losing fight, must join the battle” and be tough enough to scare the wits out of a gang of yanki biker-chicks! This is a great manga. I recommend it to anyone who thinks the stereotypical things about yankis or Lolitas as a really delightful re-thinking of "those types of people". I plan on buying the novel that the manga was based on as soon as I earn up the funds to do so.