Japanese cult TV show thread

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Japanese cult TV show thread

Unread postby HungFist » 29 Nov 2008, 16:29

No, Kinpachi sensei doesn’t count. If you want to talk about the latest jdorama, please start that new thread. Anime goes to their own thread, too... So, this is basically the same as Japanese Cult Cinema thread, but TV version. Zatoichi, Sukeban Deka, Shoujo Commando Izumi etc. are all welcome.

There's an interesting looking Toei TV show called Play Girl (プレイガール) that is partly available on dvd. The show ran from 1969-1974 (287 episodes), and featured actresses like Reiko Oshida, Yumiko Katayama and Bunjaku Han. Described as detective show with strong pinky violence influences. There's a box set available, as well as four idividual dvds. Each dvd features four selected episodes. These dvds are not cheap, but more reasonably priced (5800) than for example Toei’s Sukeban Deka dvds (9800).

Series info:
http://www12.ocn.ne.jp/~nacky/playgirl00.html
http://dribox.g-serve.net/TV/Tvplaygirl/PlayGirl.htm

Youtube preview:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDdgiiKFAmg&NR=1
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Episodes included on the Toei dvds:
Vol. 1: 1, 4, 6, 14
Vol. 2: 51, 69, 75, 111
Vol. 3: 113, 162, 171, 199
Vol. 4: 217, 241, 270, 287

The box set also includes cd and booklet.
Last edited by HungFist on 13 Dec 2009, 10:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Japanese cult TV show thread

Unread postby diceman » 29 Nov 2008, 16:46

HungFist wrote:No, Kinpachi sensei doesn’t count. If you want to talk about the latest jdorama, please start that new thread. Anime goes to their own thread, too... So, this is basically the same as Japanese Cult Cinema thread, but TV version. Zatoichi, Sukeban Deka, Shoujo Commando Izumi etc. are all welcome. [...]


What about my impressions on that "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon" Live-Action TV-Show I've already posted here? :D But I guess it's way to recent for possessing a genuine cult-appeal in your book.

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Re: Japanese cult TV show thread

Unread postby HungFist » 29 Nov 2008, 18:10

diceman wrote:
HungFist wrote:No, Kinpachi sensei doesn’t count. If you want to talk about the latest jdorama, please start that new thread. Anime goes to their own thread, too... So, this is basically the same as Japanese Cult Cinema thread, but TV version. Zatoichi, Sukeban Deka, Shoujo Commando Izumi etc. are all welcome. [...]


What about my impressions on that "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon" Live-Action TV-Show I've already posted here? :D But I guess it's way to recent for possessing a genuine cult-appeal in your book.


Maybe if could have a thread of it's own? Maybe with a general title of some sort that would allow other similar stuff to be posted in the same thread?

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Unread postby diceman » 02 Dec 2008, 22:16

A cute musicvideo I edited some time ago, featuring clips from the 80's "Sukeban Deka" movie (just finished uploading a new high-quality version). The song is new, though, but still fits. Enjoy!

Sukeban Deka vs. AKB48

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Unread postby eddyospina » 13 Dec 2008, 02:00

I've been working through some non-DVD episodes of Playgirl and it's pretty good. The budget (or lack thereof) shows through sometimes and the plots are a little predictable but it's always enjoyable, especially the 'scary' episodes! :D Some of the episodes are directed by Nakagawa Nobuo (Jigoku etc.) so it's pretty interesting to see how he handles them. And of course anything with Ooshida Reiko is worth watching! :wink:

Here hoping for a complete subtitled release!

Otherwise I may just have to shell out for the Premium Box which is out of print now so the price has gone up accordingly on Yahoo Auc... :cry:

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Unread postby HungFist » 01 Jan 2009, 13:51

Sukeban Deka – Season 1 (1985)

Unrelated to the Sukeban exploitation movies, Toei’s landmark TV series stars Yuki Saito as a delinquent girl turned into a special detective. The Japanese secret police arms her with a steel breaking yo-yo that allows her to fight the corruption and criminality in and outside high schools.

A 25 episode definition of coolness Sukeban Deka – Season 1 mixes school girl action with an infinite amount of style and superb soundtrack by Ichiro Nitta (plus a theme song by Saito). The first half of the season consists of rather unrelated episodes, while the second half is more connected in terms of storylines.

As Sukeban Deka has already been discussed several times by people more knowledgable than me (link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4), all I can do is add yet another recommendation for this show that remains one of the greatest things TV has ever produced. Toei has released all three seasons on dvd (and laserdisc and VHS before that) but be prepared to sell your house and take a loan from the yakuza as Toei is charging 9800 yen per volume, or 4500 if it’s a 1 disc release (Vol 3 of season 1, Vol. 5 of season 3). But it’s worth it, I promise.

Season one consists of 26 episodes. Episode 25 is a behind the scenes episode. Episode 26 is a ’best of’ compilation. The story ends with episode 24. Toei has released season 1 in three volumes. Volume 1 and 2 feature 10 episodes each. Vol. 3 features episodes 21-25. Episode 26 can be found on Sukeban Deka compilation dvd (which was released before the actual volumes... mainly to promote the dvd debut of the series). It also features similar compilation episodes from seasons 2&3.

The dvds for season 1 are barebones. Only data file is included. However, each volume comes with an 8 page booklet featuring interview with a crew member (producer Kazuya Maeda, director Hideo Tanaka, and producer Tadashi Oka). The dvds are full screen (original aspect ratio) and looking pretty good considering the origins. Some episodes are progressive (1-3, 6-8, 11-15) but not all. Japanese mono and no subtitles as you’d expect from Toei.

Notice that initial pressing of Vol. 1 comes with thick box set to house all three volumes + the compilation dvd. This is the case also with seasons 2 &3 (minus the compilation dvd of course, as there’s only one of those). If you want to ensure getting the box sets, you should use second hand retailers such as amazon.co.jp private sellers or yahoo auctions. In fact, this would be recommendable anyway due to the street prices... unless you’re a millionaire of course and want to pay the full price.

Season 1 dvds.

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Unread postby HungFist » 01 Jan 2009, 13:53

Screencaps from Sukeban Deka season 1 Toei dvds

Who would think this ordinary looking girl...
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...is actually...
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... a special detective
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Yo-yo power
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Students and teachers welcome Saki to her old school
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Saki switches to white (episode 9)
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Episode 11 comes with some of the best action
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Payback time
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"Student protest" (episode 22)
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Who says a detective isn’t allowed to act cute?
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Behind the scenes (episode 25)
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And finally, a bit of live taste of the show; season 1, episode 1: scene, intro and 30 seconds from the closing.

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Unread postby diceman » 01 Jan 2009, 14:00

Great series, awesome music, and Cute beyond comprehension. Seen both the first and the second season (which I liked even more).
Don't tell me you got subs for this one, Hung-Fist, because I had to do without. :evil:

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Unread postby HungFist » 01 Jan 2009, 14:13

yeah, I know where my student supports (money) are going this spring (don't tell the Finnish government, haha).

And yes, custom scripts exist for the first 90% of season 1.
Last edited by HungFist on 01 Jan 2009, 17:18, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby gasteropod » 01 Jan 2009, 15:43

Haha, those yo-yo sound effects are awesome.

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Unread postby HungFist » 15 Feb 2009, 20:29

There's gonna be a new Hana no asuka gumi (花のあすか組) film:
http://www.asuka-kenzan.com/
http://www.nipponcinema.com/news/yuko_t ... _gumi_neo/

Toei has released the original series on dvd
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Video clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p1k7qSwf4c
Info 1: http://www.idollica.com/hana/Hana.html
Info 2: http://pashac.hp.infoseek.co.jp/can_m.htm

The first film adaptation is also available.
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Trailer that promises shojo violence:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEumhlnrs6A

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Feb 2009, 11:25

If you were wondering what took me so long, it was because I watched the series twice.

Sukeban Deka II – Legend of the Girl in the Iron Mask (Japan, 1985-1986)

Seifuku dressed Yukari Oshima’s nunchuku mayhem. Saki vs ruthless girls’ kung fu club. Evil martial arts masters (specialties include the three section staff) released from prison at noon in a western esque story setting. Simply put, Sukeban Deka II has the best start in the history of television. Although it can’t quite retain that quality throughout its 42 episodes – there’s a couple of filler storylines in the middle - it is one hell of an addictive series that among all other movie and pop culture references even manages to re-tell the story of Casablanca (1942).

The second series stars Yoko Minamino as an orphan girl who was forced to grow up wearing a mysterious iron mask. Now she's released from the mask and given the code name Saki Asamiya. Trying to solve the secrets of her past and fight the evil Seirokai she must face mercenaries, evil monks and school girl vampires in episodes that mix elements from Yojimbo, The Terminator and Female Prisoner 701: Scorpion into an original storyline of epic proportions.

Backing Saki up are a well behaving sukeban Okyo (excellent Haruko Sagara), who uses marbles as weapons, and Yukino, who turns tea ceremonies into deadly martial arts, played by Onyanko Club member Akie Yoshizawa. Each of the three leads have also contributed excellent songs to the series, backing up Ichiro Nitta’s already terrific soundtrack. While not quite as good as the masterful original series, Sukeban Deka II still counts as one the most iconic television shows ever made.

Toei’s dvd set is even more beautiful than before – be sure to hunt down the first press of Vol.1 to ensure getting the gorgeous box set packaging. There are 42 minus 1 episodes (the missing episode, number 29, is a best of compilation with no new footage. It can be found on the Sukeban Deka compilation dvd) split over 8 dvds. A couple of episodes have poor sound quality, otherwise the release is technically great. The transfers are all progressive this time. Aside the booklets and data files there one small extra; a short TV spot for the series, found on disc 8.

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* it should be noted that the claws of steel do not actually appear in the series.
Last edited by HungFist on 25 May 2009, 14:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Feb 2009, 11:25

Screencaptures 1

Sukeban tekkamen
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Asamiya Saki
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She's joined by Yukino...
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...who proves to be a worthy partner
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Oryu the Red Peony... I mean Okyo introduces herself
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These marbles may not seen dangerous, but they will break your kneecap
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Ruthless girls' kung fu club
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Baby sukeban
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Onyanko barricade
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Last edited by HungFist on 19 Feb 2009, 11:53, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Feb 2009, 11:26

Screencaps 2

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Last edited by HungFist on 19 Feb 2009, 11:32, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 19 Feb 2009, 11:27

There’s quite a bit of great music in the second series. Some of the songs used in the series include:

Akie Yoshizawa
- Naze? No arashii (なぜ?の嵐) (closing theme for episodes 1-15)
- Kisetsu hazure no koi (季節はずれの恋)

Yoko Minamino
- Kanashimi no monument (悲しみモニュメント)(closing theme for episodes 16-32)
- Kaze no madrigal (風のマドリガル)(closing theme for episodes 33-42)
- Sayonara no memai (さよならのめまい)
- Hazukashi sugite (恥ずかしすぎて)

Haruko Sagara
- Virgin Heart

Onyanko Club
- Sailor fuku o nugasanai de (セーラー服を脱がさないで)
- Ushiroyubi sasaregumi (うしろゆびさされ組)
- Oyoshininattene teacher (およしになってねTEACHER)
- Jaa ne (じゃあね)
- Barentain kissu (バレンタイン・キッス)

Also notice that the Onyanko TV show Yuyake nyan nyan is featured Sukeban Deka II. The storyline of episode 9 is actually related to it; one of the onyankos has been kidnapped and the live show can't air.

I can’t refuse the temptation to post this clip of Akie Yoshizawa joining her fellow onyankos to perform Ushiroyubi sasaregumi. By far one of my favourite scenes in the second series. It’s from the first onyanko episode (no. 9). Heavenly stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wckw64W7K8I

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Unread postby HungFist » 15 Mar 2009, 20:59

Japanese Spiderman on Marvel Video's:
http://www.marvel.com/news/moviestories ... el~dot~com
http://www.avmaniacs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=40706

Toei released this show on dvd in 2005. The set is now out of print.

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- http://page6.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/f76829823

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Unread postby HungFist » 17 Mar 2009, 11:45

Trailer for the new Hana no Asuka-gumi film:
http://www.nipponcinema.com/trailers/ha ... o_trailer/

Doesn't look any good.

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Unread postby HungFist » 21 Mar 2009, 17:22

A very brief look by a genre noob at

Iron King (26 episodes) (1972)

Gentaro (Shoji Ishibashi) and Goro (Mitsuo Hamada) aka Iron King fight martians and giant monsters in a TBS tokusatsu series that doesn’t hold till the end. The first 10 episodes are quite enjoyable, partly thanks to Chieko Morikawa and the main villain Shinzo Hotta (whom most probably remember as Fumio Watanabe’s right hand man in Female Prisoner Scorpion). Shunsuke Kikuchi’s score works alright, too. Later the show unfortunately stars repeating itself too much and also makes a couple of unwelcome plot turns. Almost every episode follows the exact same patterns; Iron Kingu loses the first fight, but comes back during the second half and finishes the giant monster with the help of Gentaro who doesn’t know that Iron King and Goro are the one and same person.

Ronin’s 4 disc set offers a pretty decent presentation. There’s lots of small scratches and sometimes the colours are a little off but the presentation is still pleasing enough. The sound is a bit weak at times, but nothing that would distract you too much. The only extra is a 20 page booklet with liner notes (by August Ragone), pictures, interviews (Shoji Ishibashi and Mitsuo Hamada) and information about the cast.

Toei has also released this series on dvd, but I think casual viewers will be happy with Ronin's affordable and fully functional set. I haven't seen the Toei transfers, but I would expect them to be a bit cleaner.

Our heroes Shoji Ishibashi...
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...and Mitsuo Hamada
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Chieko Morikawa
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Shinzo Hotta
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AIAN KINGU
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Unread postby HungFist » 26 Mar 2009, 11:10

Zatoichi complete series R1
http://www.hkflix.com/xq/asp/filmID.550 ... etails.htm

It's the previously released volumes in one set, but if you missed those, you'll save tons by buying this set.

Thanks Al

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Unread postby grim_tales » 26 Mar 2009, 11:38

Iron King looks like an early Power Rangers monster/fighter or something :D

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Unread postby HungFist » 01 May 2009, 16:01

Shoujo Commando Izumi (1987-1988)

Originally planned as Sukeban Deka IV but then departing into a series of its own, how could Toei and Fuji TV outdo their previous achievements and overcome the challenges set by their competitors, such as Nippon TV’s Rebellion League of Girls in Sailor Uniform? By raising the caliber, and arming the seifuku warrior Izumi (Izumi Igarashi) with bazooka. Although it must be noted that, to the disappointment of many, the light anti-armor weapon is only used in a couple of episodes, with Izumi’s bracelet and inhuman powers given to her by a mysterious organization that kidnapped her two years ago being her primary weapon.

The series has a dynamite start with more pyrotechnics applied to the first few episodes than most Toei action films of the time. Igarashi also delights with both her singing skills and her willingness to do far more of her own stunts and fighting than you’d expect from an idol. However, one should prepare for the show losing some of its kick after the amazing opening episodes and following rather familiar patterns at the expense of commando action. Overuse of slow motion also hurts the action.

The supporting cast features most notably Takeo Chii, whose clumsy policeman character is quite far cry from his stand out role in Yukihiro Sawada’s nihilistic cop thriller Retreat Through the Wet Wasteland (1973). After working in action and yakuza films throughout the 70’s Chii moved mostly to television. Yumi Tsuchida and Masami Katsuragawa play Izumi’s shoujo sidekicks, without memorable results. The short lived rock band A-Jari, who is responsible for most of the soundtrack, also makes an appearance in one episode. Interestingly their song Fight for Love is also heard in the show, despite it actually being the theme song of the fore mentioned Rebellion League of Girls in Sailor Uniform.

Considering its sky high potential and especially the jaw droppingly great opening episodes Shoujo Commando Izumi turns out slightly under performing entertainment in the long run. However, none of the 15 episodes are bad – except maybe one story that gives too much room for the 80’s women’s fashion – and the ending is almost as good as the show deserves. Obviously, even with its flaws Izumi’s commando adventures are a must for fans of Toei 80’s high school action.

Toei released the entire show on dvd in 2007. The 15 episodes are featured on three discs, all nicely fit into one normal size keep case. Extras are limited to booklet (8 pages) and stills (5 pictures). Video and audio quality are very good considering the origins. Comes with a 15 000 yen price tag.

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Last edited by HungFist on 04 May 2009, 10:31, edited 5 times in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 01 May 2009, 16:02

Screencaptures

In one of the best openings...
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...in television show history...
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Izumi uses a bazooka thay says "Fire and forget"...
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...to escape from a military base
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Izumi has a rough start with sukeban Keiko (Yumi Tsuchida)...
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... and later meets a neko loving seifuku girl Saori (Masami Katsuragawa)...
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...but they soon become good friends
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Izumi spends a lot of time in a cosy bar. Hiroyuki Watanabe is a reqular customer.
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Caught in the shoe shop. ”So, you’re a woman after all”. Takeo Chii.
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Unread postby HungFist » 01 May 2009, 16:02

More caps
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The 9th episode is special episode dedicated to A-JARI.
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Of course Izumi takes the opportunity to play with them
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Prom night.
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Izumi’s main weapon, a deadly bracelet
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Picnic interrupted
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School under fire
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Legend of a warrior in sailor uniform
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Last edited by HungFist on 04 Aug 2009, 15:22, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postby HungFist » 01 May 2009, 16:06

A few more things

Masami Katsuragawa looking just like an onyanko
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Real onyankos in Sukeban Deka II
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After the closing credits Izumi says "You’re the target" and "Bang".
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Unread postby HungFist » 01 May 2009, 16:07

The star of the Shoujo Commando Izumi, Izumi Igarashi (born 1968), made her acting debut in Bee Bop High School: Koko yotaro kyoso-kyoku (1987). Shoujo Commando Izumi, which started late 1987, was her first leading role in a television show. Some months before she had made her pop debut with the hit song スカイバレー. Many of her songs are heard in Shoujo Commando Izumi. Nevertheless only ever released one album, titled Izumi, in late 1987.

Igarashi has appeared in some theatrical movies, such as Shinjuku jun ai monogatari (released on dvd by Toei) by director Hiroyuki Nasu, as well as direct to video productions, but her main career was in the television. She was very active in television dramas until she got married and retired from the show business in 2001.

In the 1980’s Igarashi also released two photobooks, Kiss of Fire in 1988 and 五十嵐いづみ写真集 (Igarashi Izumi Photograph Collection) in 1989.

Below are some pictures I stole from yahoo

Music from Shoujo Commando Izumi
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Igarashi telephone card
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Cover for the single 素直になれなくて (closing theme for ep 11-15)
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Magazine pictures
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Kiss of Fire
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