Wasting no opportunities to spread jiggling flesh across the screen, is Sukeban Boy a blazingly funny parody of the schoolgirl fetish film, or simply one of the most memorable fetish films ever made? By the time the nipple clamps and machine gun boobs make an appearance, you simply won't care. Bizarre, hysterical and horribly wrong in absolutely all the right ways, Sukeban Boy is an unmissable guilty pleasure.
What They Say
Sukeban has a problem. This foul-mouthed, hard-fighting son of a biker has been cursed with the looks of a pop princess. The looks lead to teasing, the teasing leads to fighting, and the fighting leads to expulsions - expulsions from every boy's high school in the region. What's a biker who's nurturing conflicted feelings for his gender-confused child to do in such a situation? Simple! Dress the boy up as a girl and enroll him in an all-girls high school.
But girls' schools are strange, disturbing places and, within a day of arriving, Sukeban has been signed up for humiliation classes and forced to do battle with the various school gangs: the Pantyhose Club, the No Bra Club, and of course, the Full Frontal League.
The film only contains one audio track for the feature and it is Japanese stereo. It is an average track and while distortions and dropouts were not noticed even for stereo it is not at the top of the class. The film often feels like they had the mikes as close as they could to the actors and had little to no post recording of the dialogue. Sounds and dialogue can be soft or background noise noticeable depending on the environment.
The feature was made in 2006 and filmed in three days on the cheap according to the director's commentary and it looks it. The film used to shoot is clearly not top of the line and different motions or effects can cause the softness of the picture to stand out more. The colors seem a tad muted, but the director says he was going for a 70's action film feel and the video seems to live up to (or down to) that goal. Add in a below average encode with a lot of aliasing and line crawl and the sensitive videophile will be climbing the walls.
The packaging consists of Sukeban and Mochiko Ishii in various poses (and in Mochiko's case states of dress) in comic inspired panels with different colored stripes behind them which is fairly appropriate for a story based off a manga. The right portion is dominated by a picture of Full Frontal in her generous sized thong and covering her breasts and as such not living up to her moniker. The back features a 3/4 of the case picture of Mochiko hiding behind Sukeban who is in a fighting pose and it also has 4 stills from the film on the bottom.
The main menu reflects the cover as all the pictures present there are also on the main menu screen though the striped backgrounds move almost kaleidoscope like while Full Frontal has 3 different stills that take her from her covered pose on the front to giving the full frontal treatment...except for a strategically placed film title over the nether regions. The menu is rather basic and quick to respond
The extras on this feature consist of a special Sukeban WTF ReMix! video where the edit together different scenes from the film in a repetitive fashion, photos used to create the cover and menu as well as an audio commentary from director Noboru Iguchi and actor Demo Tanaka. The commentary is an interesting piece in which the two talk a bit about about the making of the film, various memories of different cast members and occasionally the film itself.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The film opens with a tight shot of a young man and woman looking they are enjoying a view of the river when he collapses and spits blood while she is cleaning a pair of brass knuckles. The young woman is Sukeban...except she is actually a young man cursed with a woman's face and frame. To make up for this Sukeban has become a brawler and no sooner has she cleaned the knuckles than three stereotypical high school gang members (though clearly well out if high school given their age) attempt to attack "her." Sukeban then corrects them with her rough male speech and by first displaying she is wearing guy's briefs and then with the camera to her back pulling them down so the gang can confirm for the viewers Sukeban is really a he. Sukeban dispatches them and heads home as someone in a school uniform sees it all from a distance. A flashback explains Sukeban was always getting grief for his looks and getting into fights...and agreed with her father's suggestion he wear a school girl uniform to surprise those he fights. His father then barges in when Sukeban is in the bathtub and climbs in fully dressed in biker gear to tell his son that he should go to a girls school, as well as relate in an internal dialogue that he finds his son attractive.
Things then proceed with Sukeban being followed to school and forced to go in by his dad as he tries to ditch out (while being watched again by the same back from before) and discovering that a girl's school can be different. One of the girls throwing knives at him during the introduction and when a girl named Mochiko introduces herself to him and him to the club she belongs to. She has joined the humility club where the members practice being shy in various states of undress or embarrassing clothing. It turns out the club is a front for the Half Naked Women gang who wear primary colored pantyhose over thongs and challenge Sukeban. From this point out the film descends into a mass of shirtless girls, over the top gangs and no small amount of violence and blood as it works through an odd story that shifts gear into full of desire, fighting and Go Nagai bizarre twists and a villain named Full Frontal who oddly isn't as she wear a generous sized thong.
The film scores points for actually having a story and starting off almost on a believable front and not throwing the viewer off the ledge of credibility all at one. It also scores some points for inventiveness with a few scenes. It however losses point with the wooden acting, cheesy effect and poor fight scenes. It is clearly was aiming to be a film showing lots of breasts and blood and the hows of getting to that point (and credibility of the blood) took a back seat to the end result.
Sukeban Boy is a live action film based of a Go Nagai work and those don't always translate from manga to anime well. Manga to live action is even harder to pull off and the film doesn't accomplish it very well at all. While some of the scenes may work well illustrated when acted out in a hurried manner with a number of cheap effects the end result is for the people who love looking at breasts, like very over the top cheesy films or are the obsessive type of fan who needs all of Go Nagai's work. Anyone else venturing in should have some form of alcoholic beverage on hand to get maximum enjoyment out of the film.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Samsung 50" Plasma HDTV, Denon AVR-790 Reciever with 5.1 Sony Surround Sound Speakers, JVC DVD player XV-FA95GD