"Sukeban Deka (which roughly translates as 'Bad Girl Cop') created by supreme character designer, Nobuteru Yuki of Battle Angel fame, introduces Saki a teenage criminal prodigy, a rare girl brought-up on the streets who graduated straight to prison from high school. A killer plot sees Saki plucked from prison by the FBI to infiltrate a ruthless criminal organisation masquerading as a private secondary school! Saki works undercover, once again leading the day to day life of a misfit schoolgirl surviving on her wits and defending herself with her own unique lethal weapon - an innocent-looking yo-yo. Sukeban Deka contains some astonishing action scenes woven into a storyline that's so far-fetched you could almost believe it! A worthy addition any anime collection."
Creator: Shinji Wada Screenplay: Takeshi Hirota Character Design: Nobuteru Yuki Copyright: Shinji Wada/Hakusensha/J.H Project Volume 1: Language Format: English Language/Japanese Language, English Subtitles Running time: 60 mins Certificate: 15 Label: ADV Films Catalogue no: VHSSK/001D / VHSSK/001E Price: £12.99 Release Date: August 1996 Volume 2: Language Format: English Language Running time: 60 mins Certificate: 15 Label: ADV Films Catalogue nos: VHSSK/001 Price: £12.99 Release Date: 30th November 1996
This is the story of Saki, a streetwise bad girl from a criminal family, who is taken out of juvenile prison and blackmailed into rejoining school to spy on a ruthless criminal organisation that camouflages its activities behind the facade of an exclusive high school. She is given as a weapon a device that just looks like a yo-yo.
The results are certainly exciting, and at one level this black comedy/crime thriller has a lot going for it, with fights, extortion, criminal plottings, cheating, and so forth, as well as some good character designs, and some amusing characterisations. An altogether hellish view of school life.
It's also extremely violent, with frequent vicious fighting - for example, I won't be giving too much of the story away by revealing that two busloads of school students are exterminated in the first few minutes.
More importantly, there are at least two gratuitous scenes in which helpless girls are terrified and sexually abused. Such material shows Japanese tastes in a less than flattering light. As a man, rather than an anime fan, I find such scenes thoroughly objectionable and can see no merit in allowing Western youth to see them. It will be interesting to discover whether British censors agree.
Verdict - for Adults Only. [Geoff Cowie]