Having spent time at a juvenile corrections facility, teenage delinquent Saki Asamiya is given a chance to redeem herself and delay her mother's possible death sentence by working as an undercover cop. Armed with nothing but a special yo-yo, Saki's assignment is to return to her high school and investigate on the corruption and mysterious deaths among the students. But in order to find the answers to the condition of her school, she must confront the wealthy and powerful Mizuchi sisters, who moved in and have taken control after her previous expulsion.
It's a one shot OVA as far as I know. There were manga but you can't find them in the United States. You get a little backdrop as to why the main character is in jail, but not much, then the story progresses into her taking back her old school from three evil sisters. Everything wraps up well for it being two episodes long, I just with there was more in genral. Saki Asamiya is a great character. If dropped into the right hands there could have been an awesome TV series. Its short, cheap, and worth the watch. I reccomend it to everyone, including
my non-otaku friends, and they love it.
Sukeban Deka is perhaps mostly known nowadays in the west as one of the biggest influences to the show Kill la Kill. In particular the live action tv show and movies were quite popular and Kill la Kill even directly copied the ED of that show. The OVA, though lesser known, is nothing to sniff at either, even if it has it’s problems.
Sukeban Deka started out as a manga in 1975 and would have been considered a classic by the time this OVA came out. It was inspired by the rise of Sukeban, gangs of violent highschool girls that tried to defy gender expectations and
were by some viewed with loathing and disgust and by others admired. Just like the Gyaru from the early 2000’s, cultural interest in in the Sukeban was longer lived than the Sukeban themselves and so the media started romanticizing them.
By 1991 Sukeban Deka was already a major multi media franchise, so it´s odd that the anime adaptation is rather cheaply made. If you know enough about the history of anime, however, you’d know that the anime industry was in a rough state in the early 90’s and as a result all the OVA’s that came out looked like garbage in comparison to the ones that came out just a few years earlier.
Luckily that leads us to the first strong point of this OVA: the directing by Hitoshi Nanba. Nanba seems to have a strong visual style, even if not a very personal one. His directing seems to take a lot of influence from that of Osamu Dezaki, with whom he worked as a storyborder and episode director on Ace wo Nerae! 2, just a few years earlier. This is good, because Dezaki’s directing has a lot of style and has a tendency of looking really good despite a low budget. Rarely does a shot in this OVA look flat or uninteresting, even if few of them look super cinematic. The fightscenes look cool and fun, even if the animation rarely impresses you, and they never outstay their welcome.
I’d say the strongest aspect of this OVA is the story, which revolves around delinquent girl Saki Asamiya, who’s been blackmailed by the police to help them fight three rich, criminal sisters, who’ve come to rule Saki’s school in her absence. She befriends an impoverished girl who aspires to be a painter and a lovable idot named Sanpei. Oh, btw, did I mention her fighting style involves her beating up her enemies with her trusty yoyo! If that’s not enough to make you watch this anime, then I don’t know what is.
Other than that, I’d say the characters are pretty okay. None of them are super stand out or well developed, but all the good guys are really endearing and all the bad guys are really menacing and crazy. Whenever the good guys and bad guys interact there is an appropriate amount of tension and some characters even have a little more going on with them than first meets the eye.
Overall I’d say Sukeban deka is a fun, exciting and sometimes dramatic action OVA, that you should definitely watch if you’re into over the top action. Other than that you should check out Kill la Kill if you haven’t already, as it takes a lot of influence from this story and also has a lot of Dezaki-esque directing.
Organized crime has risen and a group of students are killed in a bus crash which is said to be an accident. The police trace the source to Takanoha High School. The people under suspicion are three ruthless sisters named the Mizuchi Sisters. These girls rule the high school and they're lead by their wealthy father Gozo Mizuchi. Lacking the evidence to put them behind bars due to Gozo's financial influence. The police black mail Saki Asamiya to infiltrate the high school, with the mission being to provide evidence to bring them down. Saki was a student at the school who ruled with an iron
fist, and is currently serving a prison term. Her mission soon becomes personal, when one of the sisters see her as a threat and decide to get rid of her.
Sukeban Deka throughout the years has been considered a cult classic and has developed quite a rabid fan base. Besides this OVA, there have been numerous live action movies and a TV series. Based upon this evidence it must have done something right, but I never found out what that was.
Sukeban Deka is your average good vs. evil story, which features the super strong girl Saki putting the beats on everyone with her weapon of choice being an unbreakable yo-yo. Saki fights like a demon with this thing and although it can be kind of fun to watch at times, it never ceases from being too corny for me and just not in a good way either. In all honesty, this weak premise is clearly what has kept me away from the live action movies.
The OVA is an action series at heart with a revenge theme that attempts a bit of drama. I cannot stress the word "attempt" enough. The couple of dramatic scenes that are present contains most of the clichés you can think of. You can actually predict the sudden rainfall that must always appear when a character whom is suppose to be a somewhat tragic figure or so gets dusted off. The little scenes with the pep talks on reminding the main character who she is and her mission... It rains during those moments too (symbolism... without it life itself would be impossible).
This series delivers a great deal of fast paced action. There are numerous fight scenes, but I found most of them very boring especially by early 90's standards. At least they become slightly better later on. The violence and brutality really does escalate and there's a good dose of blood. The characters to me were uninteresting for the most part. This also includes Saki despite her character development; and if there is one thing I can't stand, is a comic relief whom doesn't get the job done, that bald dick-head is not funny. However, the Mizuchi sisters for me are no doubt the show stealers. They have a very wicked charm that plays on humanity's greedy and self preserving nature. Each sister has her own single goal and will take any measures necessary to achieve it. I feel they were well used overall but the metaphor is forever beat on, and it gives away the inevitable outcome involving them. The snake motif is not cleverly used at all, and I feel it's too in your face.
The animation is ok at best and that's pushing it. The fight scenes are energetic, however they do contain a bit of reused cels and stills at times; but I just can't get over the lack of choreography here. The action scenes didn't do too much for me. At least the OVA has a solid soundtrack that never really gets old and is fun to listen to.
Sukeban Deka is a less than average watch overall. This is something even action fans should come into only if they're very curious, because there are tons of better action-filled anime to choose from.
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