May 21, 2018
Tyumace (All reviews)
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 story border 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 fight scenes 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 idiot 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.