I’ve seen enough films like this to recognize what it is setting out to do. The film is a showcase for High Kick Girl and Karate champion Rina Takeda, who’s obvious skill impresses. Following on from her 2009 feature debut High Kick Girl! real-life Ryukyu-ryu Karate champion, Takeda, takes on the role of avenging karateka Ayaka Kurenai. The story follows a famous teacher with two daughters. Bandits kill the teacher, take away with them the younger daughter, Natsuki, and leave for dead the eldest daughter Ayaka.
Revenge tale? You betcha. A lot of time was spent making sure this was going to be filled with great action, Rina spent a year training for it and the outcome is very impressive. It’s not long before the siblings go head to head in a fight that could result in the death of either girl. The film wastes very little time getting to that particular theme. Rina is not only a Karate champion, movie star and lovely human being she is also a singer…by which I’m referring to the song at the end of Karate Girl. Definitely a talent to look for in the future.
However, a perfect film this is not…and this is not to take anything away from the sincerity of the actual proficiency of the martial artists featured in the film. Lack of originality and blissful ignorance of all forms of narrative credibility go together in this product which may have been taken verbatim from television programs for children of 30 or 40 years ago and maybe it was meant to be exported to the U.S. market. Takeda is still in the early stages of her career, and so, there is much more to come from this great jill-of-all-trades. Perhaps she should move on from 80 minute fight-driven films though.
As much as I rave about this movie and give it many a high five or perhaps more relevantly, high kicks, there are plot holes and rushed character points that keep this from being a film that is truely enjoyable (in between the awesome fights). There is little to no doubt that Karate Girl will satisfy most fans of the martial arts genre, and should be appreciated for what it is. And what it is is a very short thrill ride that is light in story. It is always nice to watch films like these in between your regular movie watching to remind yourself to have fun from time to time. If any B-Movie similarities were shown it was perhaps in the poor-ish script.