Kamikaze Girls (Novel-Paperback) (Kamikaza Girls) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/1/15
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Life in the boondocks of rural Ibaraki prefecture is anything but glamorous, and to escape her humdrum existence, Momoko, a "Lolita," fanaticizes about French rococo, dreams of living in the palace of Versailles, and decks herself out in the finest (and frilliest) of 18th century haute couture from an expensive Tokyo specialty store. Her dreams of an idyllic existence are rudely interrupted by the appearance of Ichigo, a tough-talking "Yanki" motorcycle-chick (on a tricked-out moped) who's part of a girls-only biker gang known as the Ponytails. Together, this unlikeliest of duos strikes out on a quest to find a legendary embroiderer, a journey that takes them to back-alley pachinko parlors, chic boutiques, and epic bike-punk battles. Novala Takemoto's hit novel [ital.] Kamikaze Girls [ital.], already a cult-classic in Japan and the inspiration for an internationally acclaimed film of the same name, is more than a quirky coming-of-age tale, it's a new way of life.
Born January 26, in Uji City, Kyoto. Aquarius.
Debuted with the novel "missin'" in 2000. Was a candidate for the Yukio Mishima Prize for literature two years in a row with "Emily" in 2003, and "Lolita" in 2004. Other novels include "uloko hime," "twins," "A Child Abandoned by Deus," and "calps alpis." His sequel to "Kamikaze Girls" was published in June of 2005.
Official website: http://www.novala.net/
Momoko, the main protagonist, is a lolita obsessed with the designer Baby, The Stars Shine Bright. She subscribes to the lolita lifestyle 100%, even though she gets weird looks and comments. One can see Momoko's life philosophy in the way she lives her life and the things she says. For example, when Momoko says, "People have different values. I don't think the convictions and philosophies of people who become doctors to save the lives of poor people in developing countries are superior or inferior to those like myself...." p.41.
Many of Momoko's actions and comments (including the one above) remind me of the philosopher Frederich Nietzsche. Momoko's reality does not fit with that of the life that she wants (instead of rows of gorgeous fields she has rice paddies). But while at first she comes off as a romantic idealist, she is very in touch with reality (being more grounded and logical than Ichigo). She creates her own meaning for her life.
Ichigo on the other hand is a yanki, and not as enlightened as Momoko. But, like Momoko, she subscribes to a set of values and has impeccable integrity. She comes off as rough, but she's very loyal to those she cares about. While Momoko doesn't know what to make of Ichigo at the beginning, I think Ichigo's authenticity and integrity draws Momoko in.
The similarities between these two characters become more obvious as their relationship develops. As Momoko notes at one point, both girls celebrate extravagance and individuality in their own ways. Both are true to themselves.
Kamikaze Girls was both entertaining and enlightening. Definitely recommended.
Because, its about the bonds that are the very beginning of any life long friendship. The friendships that actually last and will stand the tests of what ever is thrown at one during life, and what you'll throw back at life to keep that friendship.
Its just a wonderful book, that every girl should read. Even if its about two wildly different Japanese girls and neither is really a 'mainstream underground' in America, everyone LUVS a E.G.L. and who doesn't want to be a big bad Yanki sometimes?
word of warning, there is some cussing. artfully and tastefully done. and yes I apply those types of words to cussing.