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Kamikaze Girls

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,089 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Momoko is a Lolita, devoted to French Rococo, 18th century fashion, Vivienne Westwood shoes and embroidery. Ichigo is a Yanki whose loyalty to her moped—and her all-girl biker gang—borders on the fanatic. What could possibly bring these two outsiders with incredibly different personalities together amongst the rice paddies of rural Japan? Is it possible for a Yanki and a L ...more
Paperback, 219 pages
Published January 15th 2008 by VIZ Media LLC (first published October 10th 2002)
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Hyalineaquas
Oct 02, 2007 Hyalineaquas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ashlin
Jul 12, 2012 Ashlin rated it liked it
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
Lottie Eve
Jul 26, 2013 Lottie Eve rated it it was amazing
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
Emma
Aug 10, 2014 Emma rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
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
Natalie
Nov 04, 2013 Natalie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: manga
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 it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing
Recommends it for: nonconformists, yankis, lolitas
Shelves: faves, young-adult, series
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
Raisa Alexis
Mar 15, 2016 Raisa Alexis rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Well.
Time to cry again.
This book will have a review soon!
Emily
Nov 15, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sam Schenström
Jun 12, 2015 Sam Schenström rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't expect much from this book, mostly because the only reason I bought it was because I had just got into lolita fashion and everyone was talking about it. And I really wanted to read it before seeing the movie. But the English wasn't exactly easy for a 15-year-old Swede (even one who read Harry Potter in English when they were 12). So, it's been moved around from bookshelf to bookshelf without being read for over six years. However, I recently started wearing lolita again and felt like it ...more
a little faith
Mar 19, 2014 a little faith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Raymond Bright
Feb 26, 2016 Raymond Bright rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great book glad I finally got around to reading this book. It truly didn't disappoint in the least! I have to say that it was a great story about the struggles that we face as we try to discover our purpose in this life and sense of self as we come of age. Also the people that we come along in life and how they can influence us and become a part of our life even when we least expect it. As for the writing I found it very enjoyable and a interesting look at different and somewhat obscure ...more
Marna
Nov 25, 2015 Marna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a lovely book about friendship and living by your own rules. Is it terrible that I couldn't tell if the main character was a Sociopath (or just a Millennial). What's scary is, I live by many of the same rules (and I am early 30's). I have often said if you are not in debt to your parents (with no intention of ever paying them back) then you are not trying hard enough. Remember, nothing says 'I still love and need you' than being utterly dependent on them for spending money, medical bills ...more
Helena
Jan 26, 2009 Helena rated it really liked it
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.....
Jordan Smith
Mar 06, 2016 Jordan Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely love this novel. I love the narrative voice, the characters, the odd-ball friendships. I am completely sold on the Rococo philosophy laid out (not that I follow the fashion, but Novala makes it sound like punk rock meets decadence, kind of the IDGAF mentality with a better fashion sense).

I'm partly thankful that it shows the aesthetics and subcultures associated with "Tokyo" having something more than a capillary relation with suburban/rural space, where those clinging to the spokes
...more
M. A. P.
Feb 21, 2015 M. A. P. rated it liked it
Shelves: novel-novella
Ever after I saw the film adaptation of this novel (after a Lolita fashion loving friend recommended it to me), I've wanted to read the book as well. The movie may not have been a new masterpiece of cinematic history, nor is the original novel a literary masterpiece either, but that is of little matter to me. The simple fact is that for all its randomness, delving into matters I find largely uninteresting (such as the whole subculture of Lolita fashion itself), and caricature-like characterizati ...more
Liza
Apr 01, 2015 Liza rated it it was amazing
Kamikaze girls! :D

So upfront I will say I've been a fan of this. I've seen the movie and the read the manga version a few years back. So happy to finally be able to read the book version!


^The book in a nutshell, haha.

So, the basic story, in its simplest form is the girls the complete opposite of each other end up becoming friends. In this case, a yanki and a lolita.

Of course the story is much more than that.

Anyway,the first thing one needs to know is that Momoko could take some getting used to.


H
...more
Chris Vermeers
Jan 31, 2016 Chris Vermeers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japanese
It is very likely that English-speakers will come to this light novel after having seen the film adaptation. There are some significant differences between the two, so knowledge of one doesn't affect the surprises (much) of the other. Still, the novel adds much of depth and interest to the film, so if you've enjoyed Fukada and Tsuchiya as Momoko and Ichigo, please be sure to read Takemoto's version of the story. I should add here that this may be the first book I have ever read that I literally ...more
Elizabeth Reuter
Loved it. The chick lit, YA book for people who hate chick lit and YA.
Marina Woollven
Jul 18, 2015 Marina Woollven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read Kamikaze girls as a manga when I was in early high school. I was in love with it, and to this day, it's one of my most favorite manga. The contrast between a rough, yanki chick and the delicate, reserved nature of a Lolita is irresistible, and their dedication to each other feels genuine and honest. It's not a surprising to me that this inspired it's own movie. Finally, finally, I was able to read the actual book that started it all, and I'm not disappointed. In fact, I'm thrilled. ...more
Natalie (weneedhunny)
First time reading - summer 2010. Rating: 3 stars.

7/1 - 11/1 2015
I definitely enjoyed Kamikaze Girls more the second time around. For one, it's likely that my taste has changed in a way that I enjoyed the wit to a greater extent. For another - and here's a disclaimer for anyone planning on reading it; I have an interest in lolita fashion, embroidery, and Japan in general. I did have interest for all of these the first time too, but probably not as much as I do now. And it really helps to be inte
...more
Blair Mueller
Jun 04, 2014 Blair Mueller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sean O'Hara
Jul 11, 2011 Sean O'Hara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-lit, slice-o-life
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
Momo
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
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
Oct 10, 2011 Kyle rated it liked it
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
Jul 02, 2012 Gabbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 31, 2011 Ashley rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 29, 2014 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 & centering his stories on clothes brands

The main girl is a gothic lolita: a crazy fashion thats the opposite of whats IN - we're talking alice-bows & head
...more
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Novala Takemoto is a Japanese author (and fashion designer). His real name is Toshiaki Takemoto, however, his pen name is translatable as "The Wild Rose." Takemoto has been one of the most active promoters of the Lolita lifestyle and remains fascinated with the Rococo era in particular.
More about Novala Takemoto...

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“When you find something precious, you have to hold on to it with all your might and never let it go, whatever else you may lose. After all, there are lots of people who die without ever finding something that's really precious to them.” 23 likes
“Snatching happiness takes a lot more courage than enduring unhappiness.” 21 likes
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