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Sukeban Deka II - Yukino, a Tearful Tale of Young Love

episode 2.10

Japan 1986
produced by
Toei/Fuji Television
starring Yoko Minamino, Akie Yoshizawa, Haruko Sagara, Keizo Kanie, Genta Nagakura
based on the manga by Shinji Wada

TV series
Sukeban Deka, Sukeban Deka (Yoko Minamino)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

On their way home from school, Yukino's (Akie Yoshizawa) driver accidently runs over Machiko. In the hospital, the first thing she wants to do is to reunite with her lover, Takao, to leave Japan. Takao just happens to be Yukino's ex whom she has never stopped to love, and still she agrees to fetch Takao, as she feels responsible for Machiko's disposition. But once she and Takao return to the hospital, Machiko is gone, and they receive a phonecall from her kidnappers, who actually want Takao's head. Takao comes clean and tells Yukino that after they split up he joined a gang intent on taking over Japan by taking in only the best, both physically and mentally, and this way creating a natural elite - with very ruthless methods. Initially, Takao was just happy to be part of the elite and gradually rose in rank - but eventually he was trained as a hitman and ordered to kill Machiko, an gangmember but alleged traitor to the cause. Instead, he fell in love with her. Yukino decides she has to help Takao free Machiko, and soon her best friends, the yo-yo-armed Sukeban Deka Saki (Yoko Minamino) and Okyo (Haruko Sagara), who uses marbles as weapons, are by their side as well. Of course, the gang makes attempts on Yukino, Saki and Okyo, but basically fail, and so when Takao is to be executed to save Machiko, the three girls save Machiko himself and allow Takao to make mince meat out of his would-be executioner. Then they provide Takao and Machiko with passports and a plane to leave Japan even, as though they might have won the battle, the gang is all but defeated ...

 

It sure is fun to see a rather run-of-the-mill Sukeban Deka basic plot blended with of all movies Casablanca (gender-swapped though) - with several very obvious references including a rendition of As Times Go By playing time and again throughout. Now admittedly, the blend is at times a bit jarring, but really, these jarring moments are also the most fun ones. Other than that, this is your routine episode, even if some of the attempts on the girls' lives, one involving trying to hang Yukino and Okyo by their necks, are actually quite spirited - all of which is making this one a fun watch.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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