Sukeban Deka 1 & 2
I - 1987
High school girls wielding deadly yo-yo's! What more do you need to know.
Sukeban Deka was practically a franchise in Japan from the mid 1970's through
the 1980's. First as a manga, then as a TV series for three years and then
two or three or four films (it is confusing). There was also a rather fun
2006 film titled Yo-Yo girl. The Sukeban Deka story is about high school
girls who work for a government security agency and are trained and armed
with these yo-yos that can be killing machines or bring down helicopters.
In the TV series the Sukeban Deka girl changed from year to year though there
is some continuity and this film was produced the same year in which the
TV series ended.
Yui Asaka who had been in one year of the TV series plays Saki, a former
Sukeban Deka agent who has retired to focus on studies and teddy bears. She
gets entangled in a situation and has to return to the way of the Yo-Yo to
stop a madman from overthrowing the government. So she gathers a few other
retired agents and they invade a fortress with a plethora of brainwashed
killers. Ok - so this is all pretty silly and I expect the target audience
was teenage girls - but it is so unique to Japan culture that I could not
pass it up.
II - 1988
In the second film of this franchise that includes manga and a TV series,
the focus shifts to one of the girls who helped Saki in the previous film.
This is Yui Kazama played by Yui Asaka who also is in the third film. Like
the first this is all rather foolish fun with girls with yoyos battling one
another and tanks and such. Yui has been assigned to the Juvenile Law Enforcement
Division whose task is to bring down crime by delinquents. The group has
a few members of the Sukeban Deka all deadly with their yoyos. Too deadly
as far as Yui is concerned as they don't hesitate to kill anyone bending
the law a bit.
So she hands in her yoyo and heads for the hills but comes back to settle
scores when a friend of hers is killed by this clearly fascist group. They
have plans to take power - all 40 of them - and it falls to Yui and her yoyo
to stop them. Have Yoyo Will Travel. Though I find these films just goofy
fun, they take themselves deadly seriously with a lot of melodrama thrown
in. And a pop song or two of course. And girls in high school uniforms. And
bad guys with evil laughs.