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...its strengths lie with its plethora of beautiful, topless women, and Kei Mizutani. What more do you need?
Review By: Anime Boy
Live Action Movie
Asia Pulp Cinema
Running Time: 74 minutes
Rated: NC-17 (soft core sex, nudity, drug use)
THE FOLLOWING REVIEW IS ONE OF AN ADULT NATURE. PARENTAL DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Szenjirou Arakauma has just been released from prison. Teaming up with his old partner Tonpatchi, he wants to get laid, and start a new life. Problem is, being an ex-yakuza member makes it hard to go straight.
All that changes when the lovely Ruriko enters his life. It seems that her aunt Kimiyo used to be a female sumo wrestler. Despite winning the championship, she is about to loose her home to the Yakuza. Knowing that Arakauma used to be a sumo wrestler before joining the Yakuza, she asks him to help train her so she can earn enough money to pay off the bad guys.
Totally in love with Ruriko, Arakauma decides to help. Problem is, the women that join his team can't fight their way out of a paper bag. With Mr. Domino of the Yakzua putting on the screws, it seem that their chances of saving the homestead are nil.
That is until the arrival of Komasa Akagi, a bad-ass vixen from the streets. It seems that she is the secret weapon Arakauma needs to help save Ruriko's home.
Now, the Yakuza has their own team of female sumos, and they have a secret weapon of their own, One Eye Oryu. It seems that she and Komasa have quite a history, and she is familiar with all of Komasa's moves, both in a fight and in bed.
In the ring, only one can be left standing. Can Ruriko and her team defeat One Eye Oryu and keep her home?
Hey, who cares. It's topless women wrestling!
DVD VISION TEST
VIDEO: The video quality is fine, considering that this was a pretty low budget film. There is quite a bit of wrinkling in the video, which, at times, detracts from your enjoyment. Other than that, no real problems noted.
AUDIO: The audio for both the English and Japanese are standard 2.0. Neither track is all that impressive, although the English 2.0 does have some directionality, and a fuller sound.
EDITS: None what so ever. This is exactly as presented on VHS in Japan.
EXTRAS: Well, I don't really call them extras or "Special Features". The Kei Mizutani retrospect is a collection of her films, and the info about the Kei Mizutani web site is just a page with a link. The only real special feature is a video FAQ on sumo wrestling, that uses scenes from the film.
The DVD ROM features include a gallery promotional material and scenes from the movie. The original script, links, and cast and crew credits.
STORY: This is another take on the whole "girls fight the odds to be victorious" stories we have seen before. Screenwriter and Director Takao Nakano does not bother with trying to make this anything more than what it is---a B-Movie with hot babes.
ACTING: Well, the best way to watch this movie is with the original Japanese audio track. While the acting is not brilliant, it is pretty solid, and it just sounds better in Japanese. Of course, there is Kei Mizutani. Her voice, presence and beauty makes everything seem right.
It's not to say that the English voice acting is bad. One of my favorite voice actors, John Smallberries (Uchimada from GTO) does a great job at matching the Japanese actor. While I like Wendee Lee, her voice is just not strong enough for the ass kicking Komasa.
FAN SERVICE: Are you kidding? If you haven't figured out by now that there is nudity and panty shots galore, then you obviously should not be watching this movie. Oh, and there is some lesbian action too! You can also check out our exclusive English Language Interview with her at this link.
While I was living in Japan, I found myself watching Japanese Television. One of the shows I used to watch was Gingaman, the source material for "Power Rangers Lost Galaxy". In "Gingaman" was a blue hair, bad ass villain played by a very beautiful woman named Kei Mizutani. Enraptured with this very "hot" sentai babe, I began a search to find out what she had been in before "Gingaman".
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that she the star of "Weather woman"! Never in a million years would you ever see a B-Movie queen appear in a kids show here in the United States. If Traci Lords appeared on "Sesame Street", every parent group in America would pitch a fit! Yet in Japan, it's not unusual for ex-porn stars or B-movie queens to appear in all sorts of "family programming". It just goes to show that maybe we are bigger prudes than the Japanese, but I digress.
So, here we have Sumo Vixens. Right from the start, you learn three things. One, there is going to be a lot of nudity. Two, there will be a lot of topless women fighting. Three, no one really takes this movie seriously.
The plot is nothing new. It's a typical "sports" movie, with a down on his luck dude, looking to do some good. While others have found redemption in baseball or volleyball, he finds his in female sumo wrestling. Hey I could easily find redemption in a sport with athletic women, wearing nothing but a loin cloth, bitch slapping each other until one gets knocked out of the ring. I can easily find it in the eyes of Kei Mizutani! I defy any man reading this review to tell me that if Kei Mizutani asked you to teach her how to wrestle, you would say no.
The acting is decent, considering that this is a low budget film with no real "stars" save Kei Mizutani and Shouko Kudou. I do like Arase as Arakuma. While his acting ability is equal to that of early "Ah-nold", he knows that this movie is supposed to be fun and he goes with it. Eba is well cast as the cute and timid Ruriko Sakura, and Shouko Kudou has got to be one of the toughest, bad ass women ever to grace Japanese cinema.
The real star truly is Kei Mizutani. It's her voice, her looks, and her attitude that pull you in, and keep you watching. Despite her third billing status, she charges in, and takes over. Okay, so she can't really fight, but who cares. If you want to see real ass kicking, rent a Michelle Yeoh film.
The dialogue is also typical for this movie, with some "filthy mouth" talk tossed in to show how tough these women and men are. Again, since no one takes it seriously, they deliver cheesy lines like "I see you are wet down there!" with plenty of gusto.
As far as fan service goes, you are going to see a lot of low, and I do mean low, camera angels. The purpose is, obviously, to capture as many crotch shots as they can. Mind you, this is Japan, so no pubic hair will be shown. You also have a 5 minute lesbian scene between Kei's and Shouko's character. It's very hot, so make sure you have a towel near by.
Sumo Vixens is cheep thrill entertainment. While it does have a story, and half way decent acting, its strengths lie with its plethora of beautiful, topless women, and Kei Mizutani. What more do you need?
ŠAll information protected by DVD Vision Japan copyright unless otherwise noted.