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Kamikaze Girls

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  882 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Meet Momoko, a "Lolita" decked out to the nines in the finest (and frilliest) of Victorian haute couture. The only scion of a drunken interlude between a cowardly yakuza and an inebriated bar-hostess, Momoko's mom has since split the scene, and, after various ill-fated scams that involve imitation brand name merchandise, Momoko's dad relocates them to the boondocks of rura ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published February 14th 2006 by VIZ Media LLC (first published October 10th 2002)
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93rd out of 391 books — 1,807 voters
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21st out of 139 books — 119 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,527)
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Hyalineaquas
This is seriously one of the funniest books I have ever read in my life! I just remember laughing outloud at all the randomness, and feeling really happy. i was extremely impressed that this book is written by a guy, i didnt see that coming..I thought for sure it was a female writer til i noticed it wasnt halfway through the book. There a lot of rambling chatter that just goes on and on sometimes, but i didn't mind it really. Its told from the pov of a lolita that lies her way to get money for h ...more
Lottie Eve
I have to say that I like stories that feature a friendship between two people who are extremely different from each other. So when I found out about Kamikaze Girls, I just knew that I needed the book in my hands. And when I finally got a copy of the novel in my hands and started reading, I couldn't stop laughing!

Kamikaze Girls is a playful and seriously funny book. It's not just the unlikely friendship between Momoko, a Lolita who is completely dedicated to Rococo, and Ichigo, a Yanki who is mo
...more
Ashlin
It was another movie that I had watched first and then discovered that it was a book. It seems to me that most movies I see now of days that interest me turn out to be an adaptation of a novel. I do not know if that is a particularly good or bad thing. As for the book itself, the movie follows it very well and does not stray from it all. It was a fast read, engrossing really, it is considered a light novel.Which I am assuming is equivalent to a young adult novel. But the thing that I do not thin ...more
Natalie
I liked this book, it was rather different. I must say it was a little hard getting into the book, perhaps because some of it didn't translate from Japanese so well. I also was unaccustomed to such great detail given to setting, and the fact that it would go from very little dialogue to pages and pages of nothing but dialogue.

I saw the movie a few years back, and enjoyed that immensely. I am happy to report they keep key elements from the novel in the film, it also made me happy to read direct q
...more
Speedtribes
Dec 03, 2008 Speedtribes rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: females who can't relate to the current popular image of girls in books anywhere
Shelves: translated
Go figure that, after years of being completely unable to relate to almost any female characters in the books I read, I find the perfect girlbonding story that features two clashing, western influenced and dying subcultures in Japan.

For some perspective, as of the writing of this book, both the Yankii/Bosozoku subculture and Lolita subculture were on the fade. Though both have recently had a small resurgence, they are both pretty much the domain of those who are very invested in the lifestyle. A
...more
Caroline
Jun 13, 2009 Caroline rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nonconformists, yankis, lolitas
Shelves: faves, series, young-adult
This book...wow. It's hard to describe. The main characters, Ichigo and Momoko are very in-your-face and very funny. They both take pride in their...ah...maturity, though Momoko is very calm and levelheaded (almost emotionless, really) but Ichigo is very brash and loud. However, despite their differences the girls manage to find common ground in the pachinko parlor and in matters of ordinary life. And throughout this novel, the author places his messages of defying authority and doing what you w ...more
Emmamary
Kamikaze Girls is still one of my favourite books to date. A selfish lolita + a tough-but-not-too-tough biker girl + rice paddies, pachinko parlours, and gang fights = a ridiculous and heart-warming story of true friendship (covered head to foot in lacy frills and motor oil). While the relationship between these two girls is comically unlikely (and often unwanted), it stems from a need within both to belong somewhere other than where circumstance brings them.
The lolita, Momoko, may be greedy, c
...more
Emily
I chose to read "Kamikaze Girls" because I'm very interested in Japanese literature, and I was familiar with the author, Novala Takemoto. This modern novel gives the reader a glimpse into Japanese street fashion and trends, but it also has plenty of substance and humor. It is considered a cult classic in Japan, in fact. I like analyzing multilingual texts or translated novels to better understand how an author's native language influences how their writing is perceived. I enjoyed the glossary of ...more
Sarah
Sep 18, 2012 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of japanese culture, fashionistas, fans of cute friendship centred stories
What an odd, sweet little book. I say odd because firstly the summary of this book, to me, is a little misleading. Particularly this bit:
Together, this unlikeliest of duos strike out on a quest to find a legendary embroiderer, a journey on which they encounter conniving pachinko parlor managers, legendary street-punks, and anemic costumers. Who knows, they might just make it big...if only Ichiko would stop head butting Momoko in the forehead.

It gives the impression that this "quest" is the main
...more
a little faith
What I love about this book is that Novala Takemoto takes a profound message about acceptance - not only yourself but others around you - and clothed it in absurdity. The people are weird but never caricatures because there is reason behind their madness. Each garish persona coupled with personality is rich in detail. It might be hard to equate any of the people and story with reality but still it feels real because you are easily able to follow their train of thought. They do those things that ...more
Helena
Jan 26, 2009 Helena rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lolitas, fashion fans, Japanese lit fans, Japanese pop culture fans
I actually bought and read this one in English because I was very interested in how it was translated. The book, being by my beloved Novala, of course deserves 5 stars, but the translation, while accurate enough and not distractingly bad, was far from artistic. Still, immensely interesting to me, since eventually one day I do want to finish Happiness.....
Elizabeth Reuter
Loved it. The chick lit, YA book for people who hate chick lit and YA.
Blair Mueller
I saw the Kamikaze Girls movie a while ago and found it quite fun. Normally I do not get the novel of movies I already saw I thought it ruin the movie for me. But it did not at all I found it a fun experience I normally do not read books in two weeks Saying that I love it that much. Which an finding to love the work of Novala Takemoto and I started reading Missin'. I hope more people will take notice of his is work and hoping that VIZ or some other company will start publishing more of his novel ...more
Bludhaven
I loved the movie version of this fun look at Japanese youth culture and "traditional" subcultures. In this case a gothic lolita girl with a very unsuccessful yakuza father moves to live with her grandmother from the Kansai era to the country side of Shimotsuma in Ibaraki Prefecture near Tokyo and through complicated circumstances and more or less against her will she befriends a "Yanki" girl. The subcultures are what's interesting here.

It's an interesting friendship between two girls who don't
...more
Sean O'Hara
Well, this is certainly the best novel about embroidery I've ever read. Okay, it's the only one I've ever read. In fact, it might be a genre unto itself.

Momoko is from Amagasaki, which seems to be the Japanese answer to the Jersey Shore. Everyone in town is a wannabe gangsta who thinks track suits are haute couture. Momoko's dad is himself a small-time hustler who peddles fake Versace, which the white trash (or Japanese equivalent thereto) snaps up. He's actually quite a genius at marketing thes
...more
Morgan
This book is amazing. Bringing together two people of different lifestyles is always interesting. I love Momoko, I wish that I could live the Rococo lifestyle, however, it is a little bit too expensive. However, I love how that I recognized Baby, the Stars Shine Bright line. So it was easy to imagine what kind of clothes she would wear, since that store is a sweet lolita line.

The book and I shared some laughs, I wasn't really surprised since the reviews said that it was funny. I love how the aut
...more
Becky
This is a review on the manga. Since this story has 3 different versions, a novel, a manga and a movie book (?)

there is one other book by this name, by Stefan Gesell? But it is a totally different story

I first heard about this story online. On a movie site called 'Flixster'. I really like Lolita fashion and also I love old fashioned French fashion, I think it is really pretty. So I had a look to check out the book. Decided on the manga. The front cover Was really attractive to me

The manga is sp
...more
Mrs. Fujiwara
I could not let this opportunity pass. Everybody knows I truly appreciate and admire Lolita fashion, so as soon as the most famous novel by Takemoto Novala was released in English I bought the book with pleasure. And although he does not figure in my list of favorite authors yet, I have to say that I enjoyed reading the whole story. I see Momoko as what one becomes when starts living the so-called Lolita lifestyle literally. I actually see this character as a critic to those followers who insist ...more
Kyle
Wow. This took much, much longer to read than I intended.

I started flipping through the book in August, but was turned off by the beginning pages. It was so confusing, at first. I couldn't tell whether it was the author's notes or the prologue to Rococo-ism. But no, it was Momoko's narration itself. It was absolutely boring and started to piss me off, how she would mock and sarcastically describe her pitiable life.

Come September, I forced myself to read past the first 50 pages. Then it started
...more
Gabbo
If you love the Japanese culture and you want their version of modern, smart, funny and yet heartbreakingly sensitive comedy, then this is the book to read. I loved the story so much that I bought the film (which does not disappoint). I won't go into the details of the actual story, but suffice it to say that in my opinion, its the perfect little story about an unusual friendship. It has all the right elements, and even if you can't get your head around the cultural side of it (particularly if y ...more
Ashley
This book is definitely something very well respected (or at least acknowledged) within the Lolita community; even Lolitas who hate Momoko have at least familiarized themselves with her, and I'm pretty sure most identify with her, at least in some small way. Lolita itself is something for which many girls are persecuted if only just a small bit, and all have felt that isolation that comes from the fashion. I've heard some call her maliciously apathetic and generally rotten hearted; Momoko hersel ...more
Anna
LOVE the novel, would like to punch in the face whoever at VIZ thought the English title was a good idea. Was Shimotsuma Story really that hard to type? Could they find no good alternatives, no lolita-fashion buzzwords to incorporate instead?

Aside from that nitpick - great story! Novala has a knack of writing rather unlikeable people and centering his stories on clothes brands

The main girl is a gothic lolita: a crazy fashion thats the opposite of whats IN right now - we're talking alice-bows &
...more
Mason Jones
Well, let's try this again since apparently changing the edition while writing a review winds up having your review lost (even though there's a link right there to change the edition) -- beware. Okay, I'll keep this short this time. Kamikaze Girls is a classic, maybe cliched, story about outsiders learning to accept others who are different. In this case, our POV character is a Lolita girl, dressing in frilly rococo outfits; she meets another girl who's a Yanki, the Japanese equivalent of a whit ...more
Marlies
This must have been at least the 5th time I read this book sins buying it in 2006. So the 5 stars can't be much of a surprise. I love Kamikaze Girls! I love how unlikable the main character Momoko is in the beginning of the book, how sweet the tough looking Ichigo is and most of all I love that the book is basically one big advertisement for Baby the Stars Shine Bright. I have no complaints! It's just a fun silly book that I can not put down!
Rini
I had seen the film version of this book first and was perhaps unduly influenced in that way - I kept waiting for things from the movie to show up, and kept being disappointed. Not actually disappointed, but more aware of the differences in style. The film was much more humorous than the book, relying on a lot of visual gags, which I guess is to be expected.

Anyway. This book is adorable. I am biased because I love stories about ~girl friendship~ but even so. Momoko's narration is sweet and has v
...more
Ruth
Very funny and surreal tale of the friendship between an asocial Lolila fashion follower (a style in Japanese fashion based in Rococo dresses with an emphasis in delicate ornaments and accesories) and a violent girl gang biker, both pretty weird themselves.
Mel
Momoko is a Lolita. She lives by the Rococo lifestyle and dresses in frilly little girl clothes. She looks down at the Yanki's or uneducated. Then she meets Ichiko (who's real name is Ichigo/strawberry), and she is a hard-core biker. She may not be as intelligent, but she has the ethics that Momoko doesn't.
They are as different as two girls can be, but this is their story.

I read this book for a book group and I never would have read it on my own. It's geared for teens, but the language is foul
...more
Luca
Kamikaze Girls, in my opinion, is one of the best novels of all time.

The heart of the plot is the relationship between Momoko Ryugasaki, a judgmental if not a bit snobby Rococophile and Lolita, and Ichigo Shirayuri, secretly kindhearted delinquent girl and female biker.

The two butt heads constantly at first, but over time they built a friendship made to last. That's all I'll say here. It seems like a typical friendship story, but Kamikaze Girls comes packed with surprises.

Novala Takemoto capt
...more
Krystle
Our protagonist Momoko isn't entirely endearing—she's self-centered, but straight-forward. Our other main character Ichigo is slow on the uptake, but no pushover.

The odd friendship between these two is the pull here—their getting to know each other while remaining true to themselves to the end.

There were a few bits that slogged—extended descriptions of clothing (as important as they may be to the characters) and embroidery technique.
As well, the tone could be a bit "off" to me, with its mix of h
...more
Joanna Price
High School. Kamikaze Girls is the story of a young Japanese girl who is interested in the lolita lifestyle, which she feels is derived from the French rococo period. The protagonist is witty, intelligent, and caring underneath a hard shell. She befriends a "Yanki" who is part of a girl biker gang. Their wildly different values come together to create a wonderful adventure of style, character and courage as they encounter challenges with their peers and their daily routines. Translated from Japa ...more
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