Posts tagged "Noriko Iriyama"

KG Karate Girl (Review)

KG – Karate Girl


2011
Directed by Yoshikatsu Kimura
Written by Fuyuhiko Nishi


KG – Karate Girl is the followup to High Kick Girl!, and once again follows Rina Takeda around as she beats up people and kicks them in the head. This time, the movie is more Rina-centric, and we even get another female fighter in the form of 14 year old Hina Tobimatsu. Much of the creative team is back, High Kick Girl! director, producer, fight choreographer, and cowriter Fuyuhiko Nishi wrote KG, while High-Kick Girl!’s other writer Yoshikatsu Kimura takes the director chair this time out. Tatsuya Naka is also running around, but as he gets killed pretty quickly he isn’t in the film nearly as much as High-Kick Girl!


As a sophomore effort, KG shows signs of improvement, the story is easier to follow, though it is still steeped into the culture of karate and honor. The family dojo is on Okinawa (where karate began), one of the main plot points involves seizing a clan belt, and the evil Shu Tagawa has his own gang of karate thugs who dress in all black and invade dojos. Several of the bigger fighters are semi-famous martial arts champions, such as Richard Heselton and Tatsuya Naka.

A lot of time was spent making sure this was going to be filled with great action, Rina spent a year training for it (in addition to being an Ancient Dogoo Girl, and prepping for a slew of other film roles), and the training shots during the credits show the time that was taken to make sure the choreography was action packed.

Ayaka Kurenai (Rina Takeda) – Ayaka Kurenai’s father was killed and sister kidnapped when she was but a wee child. She’s now just become an adult, working at a movie theater and living her life, until her past returns to haunt her.
Sakura/Natsuke (Hina Tobimatsu) – Sakura is actually Ayaka’s kidnapped sister Natsuke, raised for a decade by the evil Shu Tagawa to be one of his karate goons. She doesn’t talk for most of the film, just intensely staring at everyone when she isn’t kicking them. Hina Tobimatsu was around 14 when this was filmed, and shows great promise as a martial arts star.
Shu Tagawa (Keisuke Horibe) – The evil Shu Tagawa likes to kill people and steal their belts. For honor. He has a gang of karate thugs that we don’t see do evil things, but it is implied they do evil things because they have evil mantras.
Ayaka’s friend (Noriko Iriyama) – I am not sure if she is just her friend or also an adoptive sister, but in either case she joins Ayaka for some of her adventures in the first half of the film before disappearing forever.
Ayaka and Natsuke’s Dad (Tatsuya Naka) – The father of the girls taught them karate and stances, but also is killed. So he mostly appears in flashback mode. Tatsuya Naka is yet another High-Kick Girl! refugee.


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 8, 2011 at 12:56 am

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