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 rural Ibaraki prefecture. To escape her humdrum existence, Momoko fanaticizes about French rococo, dreams of living in the palace of Versailles, and buys all her extremely lacy clothes from an expensive Tokyo boutique.
Meet Ichiko, a tough-talking motorcycle grrrl (on a tricked-out moped) who leads a ladies-only biker gang known as the Ponytails. 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. Novala Takemoto's break-though novel Kamikaze Girls, already a cult-classic in Japan, is more than a wry coming-of-age picaresque, it's a new way of life.