DVD Title
Kamikaze Girls
International Title
Kamikaze Girls
DVD Length Original Length
102 Minutes 102 Minutes
Company Year of Manufacture
Viz 2006
Language Subtitles
Japanese English
Region Number of Discs
1 1
Aspect Ratio Sound
1.75:1 2.0 Stereo, 5.1 Surround
Extras
.
Menus (English)
.
Chapters (16)
.
Trailers: Kamikaze Girls (#1, #2)
.
Sideways Mode
.
Kyoko Fukada & Anna Tsuchiya Interview (7 minutes total)
.
Anna Tsuchiya Music Video (3 minutes)
Captures
Review

It's nice to see US firms continue to branch out with Japanese DVDs that are culled from a more diverse selection of genres, as opposed to simply anime, kaiju, samurai and horror which have been the most popular abroad. Of course, critical acclaim never hurts, and Kamikaze Girls certainly gained a name for itself in the limited release circuit. Unfortunately, Viz's release isn't quite as superb as one would have hoped for a 2004 film. Sadly, the biggest detractor here, and the one that is likely the most important to most people, is the video quality which certainly has some noticeable problems. Thankfully, the audio presentation is fairly good, and the extras are interesting and worth looking over, if nothing more.


 Video:

While not bad, there are certainly some problems in regards to the video presentation on this release. Leading the way in this regard is the contrast level, which has been bumped to a lethal setting. Yes, the colors are distinct, but they are also washed out a lot of the the time due to the over saturation present. Beyond this, there is also some noticeable grain while the movie definitely doesn't look as sharp as it could have, although on the bright side no edge enhancement was utilized. In fact the disc fares very well in terms of digital inconsistencies as a whole, without signs of shimmering or artifacting, although the reds do bleed a little but I would assume this to be another byproduct of the high contrast.

Kamikaze Girls is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.75:1.


 Audio: Star Rating

Audio quality is solid all around, with not many complaints to be had. In total there are two tracks present, both of which are in Japanese, sorry dubbed fans. One of them is a 2.0 stereo mix, while the other is a 5.1 surround mix. The two tracks are both presented well, with crystal clear dialogue and pretty good speaker distinction when the film allows.

Unfortunately, the English subtitles present on this disc have been burned onto the print. This means they can't be removed, and nor will they appear as sharp as removable text would have.


 Extras:

A slim selection of extras, but of better quality than what are often packed with region 1 Toho discs. It's also kind of refreshing to see a disc that contains only trailers for the movie being sold, without any cross promotion for other titles from the company. In a odd twist, there is also a feature on here called "Sideways Mode", which is really just an encyclopedia for Japanese references, such as Yakuza and Yanki, that pops up during the movie and can be selected to see a page long definition that is then read. Of course, the main attraction in the supplemental material is the interview with the movie's two stars: Kyoko Fukada and Anna Tsuchiya. The interview is pretty brisk in its runtime, but more than worth looking over if anyone is interested in either actress. Finally, the last extra to round out the disc is a music video from Anna Tsuchiya, one which is unrelated to Kamikaze Girls but not a bad feature regardless.


 Overview:

Bottom line, this is a decent release, although the video presentation could certainly have been better. Regardless, those interested in checking out this fairly unique film should be more than able to enjoy the movie with this DVD.

- Anthony Romero  
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