Baunsu ko gaurusu   1997   Japan Bounce KO Gals
Bounce KO Gals Image Cover
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Director:Masato Harada
Studio:Shochiku Kinema Kenkyû-jo
Writer:Masato Harada
IMDb Rating:7.0 (444 votes)
Awards:10 wins
Genre:Drama
Duration:110 min
Languages:Japanese
IMDb:0122393
Amazon:B0000B1A11
Search:NetflixYouTube
Masato Harada  ...  (Director)
Masato Harada  ...  (Writer)
 
Hitomi Satô  ...  Jonko
Yasue Satô  ...  Raku
Yukiko Okamoto  ...  Lisa
Jun Murakami  ...  Sap
Shin Yazawa  ...  Maru
Kaori Momoi  ...  Saki
Kôji Yakusho  ...  Oshima
Mickey Curtis  ...  Bura-san
Shuzo Daemon  ...  
Jun Etô  ...  
Eugene  ...  
Kumiko Hara  ...  
Ken Hirose  ...  
Hiroshige Ikeda  ...  
Masao Imafuku  ...  
Yoshitaka Sakamoto  ...  Cinematographer
Masahiro Kawasaki  ...  Composer
Comments: This movie was a great big surprise. A film about the world of compensated dating in Japan, made in Japan, could easily be exploitatively cheap or cheaply titillating, but Bounce Ko Gals is neither, and much to many people's chagrin, considering its subject matter, it turns out to be a sweet, sort of melodramatic film about friendship. There is no sex or nudity in the film but it is pretty insightful and blunt about such things. It's not a kids film by any means and as much as some adults might like to think its subject matter inappropriate for teens, it's pretty spot on in its portrayal of youth culture, particularly that of contemporary Tokyo.

The three teenage girls who play the leads are fantastic—all feature film debut performances. Hitomi Satô, as the tough and cynical one, owns the film every moment she's on screen. She's a leader who blasts her clients with a stun gun and robs them instead of sleeping with them. She banks on the fact that no one will ever report to the police they were robbed by an underage, would-be prostitute. Yasue Satô (no relation) is the free spirit, setting up “dates” for high school friends but never going on them herself. She street dances and suffers from "straight-line-itis", becoming nauseous if she ever finds herself walking a straight line in life, literally or figuratively. It's a hilarious schtick. And finally, Yukiko Okamoto plays the innocent one who stumbles into the world of ko girls because of a dire need to finance her education in America. She assists the film in a half-hearted attempt at finding a moral center and eventually brings things to a touching resolve.

The great Kôji Yakusho joins the three girls in the film and offers some old school perspective, adding color to the film's main theme. He plays a veteran sex trade yakusa boss who sees the teenage girls as a threat to his business but he can't help admiring their resourcefulness so a tenuous friendship ensues. He threatens the girls, because his position demands it, but he also assists them when they target the wrong people and get into trouble.

Bounce Ko Gals is a hip, fun, frank, and furious look at the, some would say uniquely Japanese, phenomenon of teenage girls who have discovered their sexual power and find very little reason not to use it even though the endgame of designer handbags and other assorted accessories might seem superficial—not to mention mind-boggling to those of a more mature bent. A straightforward approach to this subject matter results from the director's documentary style of filming, and it's got a great soundtrack. Highly recommended.

★★★★★

Summary: Lisa is 16. She is leaving for New York tommorow at 11 a.m. She saved some money but she would like to get some more - just in case. As she tries to make money by shooting a video for girls-in-school-uniforms-demanding men she loses everything except her ticket. She meets two highschool girls, Raku and Jonko, professional call-girls, and spends the last night with them trying to make up the money that was stolen from her.

"Vending machines selling soiled schoolgirl panties; employees hired to squeeze commuters onto their awaiting trains on a daily basis; the Sadean spectacle of the 'Endurance' game show, where contestants are subjected to a host of physical and psychological tortures designed to push their tolerance to their absolute limits in pursuit of a hefty cash prize - Portrayals of Japan over on this side of the world have misleadingly tended to focus on the more outlandish aspects. The phenomenon of high school girls (ko gyaru) pimping themselves out on paid dates (enjo kosai) therefore proved inevitably irresistible to the vicarious imaginations of similarly consumer-driven societies in the West ("It couldn't possibly happen here!"), as well as sending out serious shock waves back home in Japan."


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