I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sukeban Deka 『スケバン刑事』.

Thanks again to J-Canuck for letting me start up this new and hopefully regular feature entitled - 「テレビ 主題歌 テーマソング 特殊」 where I will be posting about various TV shows and their theme songs and/or soundtracks. For this posting I'd like to cover one of my favorite idol shows from the 80s, the cult adventure, idol drama series - 『スケバン刑事』.

With its outrageous stories, over-the-top plots, fetching heroines, melodramatic dialog, and campy Tokusatsu-like action "Sukeban Deka" would not only captivate Japanese teen audiences in the mid 80s but would also encourage production company 東映/Toei to produce a number of other similar idol action shows such as 花のあすか組!』 (1988) and 少女コマンドーIZUMI』 (1987) as well as inspire copycat shows like 『セーラー服反逆同盟』 (1986) and 『ポニーテールはふり向かない』 (1985).  While taking a page from rival 大映/Daiei's hugely popular 大映テレビドラマ series like 「スチュワーデス物語」 (1983) and 「不良少女とよばれて」 (1984) with regards to making the story almost like a teen "Soap Opera", Toei would do them one better and incorporate trendy fashion, keen pop-culture references and a "Chart Topping" pop music soundtrack to the mix, making a winning formula that Daiei would ironically copy from Toei for their subsequent idol dramas such as 「ヤヌスの鏡」 (1985) and 「アリエスの乙女たち」 (1987). "Sukeban Deka" was also wickedly humorous in a very "tongue in cheek" way, from the gruff 関西/Kansai street-lingo catch phrases that heroine Asamiya Saki spouted out like - 「おまんら、許さんぜよ」 and 「せからしか! きさんら許さんわい! 」 to the flamboyant way she would display her 「桜 の ダイヤモンド」 police badge (contained in her Yo-Yo Weapon which she would reveal in an obvious homage to iconic classic series 水戸黄門), to the often times outrageous ways Asamiya Saki would take down her various opponents with her Yo-Yo, this series was definitely not for the overly serious. 
Weapon of Choice - Sukeban Deka's Yo-Yo

『スケバン刑事』 "Sukeban Deka" began as a serialized manga series by 和田慎二/Wada Shinji which debuted in 白泉社/Hakusensha's 『花とゆめ』 a girl's anthology comic series in 1976. The idea for the series was suggested to Iwamoto by editors at Hakusensha who published a comment asking whether Iwamoto was interested in writing a story involving a "police woman".

From that simple idea, Wada crafted the premise for what would become "Sukeban Deka", a story about teen heroine 麻宮サキ/Asamiya Saki, a tough-as-nails "Sukeban" (Juvenile Delinquent) with a troubled past. Her mother had been imprisoned and sentenced to death for the murder of Saki's abusive biological father. Saki was desperate to free her mother from prison and was soon approached by the mysterious government official known only as 暗闇警視/Dark Inspector who offered Saki the opportunity to win her mother's freedom but only if she agreed to become "a secret police agent" for the Japanese government. With no other options left for her she agrees and is teamed up with private detective 神恭一郎/Jinkyo Ichiro to infiltrate Japanese high schools across the nation to solve various high profile youth crimes.

Image courtesy of Opus Magnum blog
The first volume of the series lasted only one year after which Wada went on to write the boy hero fantasy manga 『ピグマリオ』. However editors wanted him to continue the "Sukeban Deka" series which had since generated a large and vocal loyal fan following. Wada is said to have replied that he would be willing to revisit "Sukeban Deka" only if his current series flopped. Sure enough as fate would have it, the "Pig Mario" series only lasted a year and true to his word Wada returned to do "Sukeban Deka" again.  This time however Wada deviated from the standard crime-solving format of the first volume and instead weaved an even more elaborate plot for this "Second Volume". Saki would return to her former alma mater 鷹の羽高校/Washinoma High School to reinvestigate one of her very first cases which would ultimately lead her to encounter her greatest enemy and former friend 海槌麗巳/Mizuchi Remi who has since become a ruthless and sadistic criminal mastermind. Saki would also face against a renegade "Sukeban Deka" as well as a sinister phantom school government/student body organization known only as 青狼会/Seiroukai (Blue Wolf League).

When the "Sukeban Deka" manga series ended its run in 1983, 東映/Toei studios soon set about plans on adapting the manga into a TV drama series. Toei was not new to the seedy world of "スケバン" having practically invented a film sub-genre on the subject matter with its numerous sexploitation/teen violence movies collectively known in the West as "Pinky Violence" films. Such films such as the 『ズベ公番長』 series (1970-1971), 『女番長ゲリラ』 (1972), 『女番長』 series (1973-1974), 『恐怖女子高校』 series (1972-1973) and 『女番長ブルース』 series (1971-1972) among others focused on strong willed, steely and tough female protagonists who would make attempts of leading normal lives but who would ultimately be drawn back into their criminal pasts (generally by force or personal tragedy) only to be arrested again and/or have friends or lovers die in often violent clashes with other gangs, Yakuza organizations or the Police. Producing "Sukeban Deka" seemed like a natural fit for Toei. However since this would be adapted for TV, Toei opted to adjust the story to be more acceptable to family audiences catering especially towards younger teens. 

Initially teen idol and singer 宇沙美ゆかり/Usami Yukari was offered the part of heroine Asamiya Saki but decided to pass on the role opting instead to star in the hyper-violence cult movie 「V.マドンナ大戦争」 (1985) which oddly enough also featured a story involving Sukebans.

Burgeoning young singing idol 斉藤由貴/Saito Yuki was next offered the role. Yuki had just released her debut single 「卒業」 that same year (1985) just four months earlier and it became an instant hit for her. The story was modified a bit from Iwamoto's orignal manga - Asamiya Saki (Saito Yuki) was the ruling Sukeban (Female Gang Leader) of Takanoha Gakuen High School where she caused no end of trouble (getting into fights, skipping classes and damaging property). Frustrated, her teachers soon had her arrested and incarcerated in Juvenile Detention. Ironically, her mother Natsu was also incarcerated on death row, charged with the murder of Saki's father, Asamiya Junya.  Learning of her exploits, Saki was approached by the mysterious Kurayami Shirei/Dark Director (長門裕之/Nagato Hiroyuki) with a unique deal. If she would use her skills and talents and work for "The Cabinet" as an undercover juvenile agent, she would be pardoned of all her past crimes. She would also win her mother's freedom. Given no real choice, Saki grudgingly accepts the offer, although she doesn't fully trust Kurayami Shirei. Assigned a handler by the name of Jin Kyoichiro (中康次/Naka Koji), Saki would become the first recruit for the government's "Sukeban Deka Project". Her only weapon against the various juvenile gangs, Yakuza criminals and government subversives that she was assigned to stop, was a specially designed steel compound "Yo-Yo" which she would use as a throwing and grappling weapon. After a number of dangerous missions, Asamiya Saki seemingly perishes in a burning building while battling the beautiful but sinister Mizuchi Remi (高橋ひとみ/Takahashi Hitomi).

Cover for Sukeban Deka Vol. . 2 DVD courtesy of Supra70
While relatively short (only 22 episodes), the series was a huge hit for Toei and フジテレビ/Fuji TV (which broadcasted the series Thursday evenings at 7:30 PM).

Producers quickly set into motion plans for continuing the series.Yuki decided not to return to the role of Asamiya Saki opting to instead focus on her growing singing career. Another new young idol 南野陽子/Minamino Yoko (ナンノ) was selected to portay Asamiya Saki. Entitled 『スケバン刑事II 少女鉄仮面伝説』 "Sukeban Deka 2 -Shojo Tetsukamen Densetsu" - the Second Season begins a year later and focuses on a totally different girl, the reclusive Godai Yoko (ナンノ). Her tragic childhood began with the loss of her mother (she does not know who her father is). Since childhood, she was forced to wear an "Iron Mask" which made her life in the Kansai region of Japan, a virtual nightmare. A severely troubled student, she was constantly involved in fights at school and caused no end of trouble for her teachers. She was soon rescued by Nishiwaki (蟹江敬三/Kanie Keizou), Assistant Director of the "Sukeban Deka Project". He released Godai Yoko from her Iron Mask and offers her the opportunity to become the next "Sukeban Deka". She refuses at first but is given an offer she can't refuse when Nishiwaki offers to help her find her father in exchange for her services. In tribute to the first "Sukeban Deka", Godai would soon be given the alias "Asamiya Saki". Armed with Asamiya Saki's trademark steel "Yo-Yo", Godai Yoko begins her role as "Sukeban Deka" No. 2. Along the way Godai would meet and recruit two additional agents, the street-wise Osaka born Nakamura Kyoko AKA "Okyo" (相楽晴/子Sagara Haruko) and the refined Kyoto socialite Yajima Yukino (吉沢秋絵/Yoshizawa Akie). Together they would battle an assortment of evil subversives, youth gangs and other eccentric criminals.

Image courtesy of the Houkagou AKB48 Time Ameba Blog
L-R - Yoshizawa, Nanno and Sagara - Image courtesy of the Toei Channel website

Season Two would prove to be just as popular (if not more so) as the First Season and ナンノ's idol career would receive a tremendous boost with her starring role in this series. The series would prove so popular that Toei released a movie version of "Sukeban Deka" starring ナンノ in which she would battle the corrupt headmaster of a remote private school who in reality turned out to be a "Terminator"-like cyborg despot committed to bringing down the Japanese government. The movie also introduced us to another "Sukeban Deka" in training who would headline the Third Season.

As with Yuki, ナンノ opted to not return to "Sukeban Deka" after 42 episodes and instead went off to pursue other TV roles and continue her growing music career. Yet another newbie idol singer was recruited for the Third Season, this time in the way of petite 浅香唯/Asaka Yui. For the third series, producers decided to move away from the urban crime drama formula of the previous two seasons and instead go with a slightly more fantastical approach with the Third Series.

Inspired by the success of ショー・コスギ/Sho Kosugi's "Ninja" films like "Enter The Ninja" (1981), "Revenge of the Ninja" (1984), "Pray For Death" (1985) abroad, producers decided to include elments of "Ninjitsu" into the story (which also oddly enough contained elements inspired by George Lucas' "Star Wars" as well).  Originally set to be called 『スケバン忍法帖』, the title was eventually simplified to just 『スケバン刑事III 少女忍法帖伝奇』 "Sukeban Deka III - Shojo Ninboucho Densetsu".  After the events of 『スケバン刑事』"Sukeban Deka The Movie" (1987), Godai Yoko retires from the "Sukeban Deka Project" for a normal life. However a new and powerful threat emerges in the form of "The Emperor" who seemingly possess mystical and supernatural powers. Kurayami once again recruits another girl to join his "Sukeban Deka Project". He finds her in the form of Kyushu native and rural tough girl Kazama Yui (浅香唯) a tiny but spunky "Sukeban". She soon becames the "San Dai Me" (Number 3) Asamiya Saki. Yui is sent to Tokyo to meet up with her long lost sisters, Yuma (中村由真/Nakamura Yuma) whose weapon of choice were crochet needles and Yuka (大西結花/Onishi Yuka), whose weapons of choice was razor sharp metal 'Orizuru'. Together they form the 風間三姉妹 "Kazama San Shimai" (Three Kazama Sisters) and utilize Ninjitsu techniques in their battles with criminals. They soon discover that the "Emperor" is really their own father (who had mysteriously disappeared when they were born) and who had abducted Yui's twin sister who he has corrupted and whose psychic powers he has manipulated.

The Kazama San Shimai - Onishi, Yui and Nakamura.  Image courtesy of the Toei Channel website.
Whether it was because of the fantastical 特撮/Tokusatsu elements, the bizarre and often confusing "Star Wars" influenced storyline or audiences finally tiring of the series, "Sukeban Deka III" didn't do as well as the previous seasons and producers ended the series for good in late 1987.

As a final hurrah, a second movie 『スケバン刑事 風間三姉妹の逆襲』 was released in early 1988. Distancing itself from the TV series, the movie took elements from the original "Sukeban Deka" manga and had the Kazama Sisters pitted against a corrupt police inspector and government bureaucrat (the always flamboyant 京本政樹/Kyomoto Masaki) and his personal army of teenage enforcers called the "学生刑事".

Interestingly elements from FAMICOM's/ファミリーコンピュータ tie-in video game 『スケバン刑事 風間三姉妹の逆襲』 also made their way into the storyline.  Yet this wasn't the last we'd see of heroine Asamiya Saki. 

In 1991, director ひろたたけし/Hirota Takeshi produced a three volume Anime OVA series called simply 『スケバン刑事』 which faithfully adapted parts of Wada's original manga series. Seiyu actress 伊倉一恵 who was the voice for 槇村香 in the 『シティーハンター』 series provided the voice for Asamiya
The Many Faces of Asamiya Saki 

It would not be until eighteen years later that we would again see a live action version of the series this time with 深作健太's 2006 feature film release of 『スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ』. While plans for another 『スケバン刑事』 had been rumored since the 1988 film, Toei producers were never quite able to come up with a good enough story. In fact, 『スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ』 was originally planned as a TV special, until producers opted to do a big screen movie adaptation instead in order to handle all the storyline elements and SFX requirements. Producers nearly shelved the project entirely as they didn't think they would be able to find someone good enough to follow in the footsteps of 斉藤由貴, 南野陽子 and 浅香唯, that was until someone suggested ハロー!プロジェクト pop idol 松浦亜弥/Matsuura Aya. あやや would prove to be an unusual choice but not only did she have the acting talent to pull off the role but her musical credentials gave her a bit of a nod and connection with her singing idol predecessors. In fact, Director Fukasaku would include a number of  homages to the original TV series in his movie including a brilliant cameo by 斉藤由貴 who portrayed あやや's incarcerated mother character.  With it's grittier storyline, Maurice Binder "James Bond" -inspired opening title sequence and more serious tone, the movie did very well and introduced a new generation of fans to the 80s series including foreign audiences as 『スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ』 was released on DVD in the U.S. by Magnolia Films in 2007 under the very campy title "Yo Yo Girl Cop" (the first two movies were also released in the U.S. by Tokyo Shock in 2008).
Ayaya as Asamiya Saki in full battle suit mode. Courtesy of BluePhobo Image Gallery
The soundtrack for the 『スケバン刑事』 TV series was absolutely terrific with each of the three stars contributing songs to serve as the ending theme song their respective season shows.

My personal favorite of the bunch is 斉藤由貴's 「白い炎」 which was the ED song to Season One. The song was written/composed by singer/songwriter and 安全地帶 frontman 玉置浩二/Tamaki Koji, with arrangements by producer and "Kōkua" member 武部聡志/Takabe Satoshi (who also produced Yuki's debut single "Sotsugyo") with lyrics by 森雪之丞/Mori Yukinojou of the rock group ピカソ. It took all but two week to debut in the Top 5 オリコン charts and was another big hit for Yuki. With its melancholy lyrics and somewhat edgier rock sound it proved to be the ideal song for the series.

 ナンノ would contribute a number of songs to serve as ED songs for her season starting with 「悲しみモニュメント」. Written by 来生えつこ/Kisugi Etsuko and composed by 鈴木キサブロー/Suzuki Kisaburo with additional arrangements by 新川博/Shinkawa Hiroshi, this song was ナンノ's third single release and was her very first Top 10 オリコン hit. Songwriter Kisugi originally wrote the as a 'graduation' song marking the turning point in a teenager's life where they would leave friends and family to go off into the world. ナンノ would name this as her personal favorite and would include it in her "Best Hits" collections as well as perform the song at most of her concerts.
「風のマドリガル」 was ナンノ's 4th single release and was another Top Ten オリコン hit for her (reaching No. 5 on the charts). The song was written by prolific songwriter 湯川 れい子 (who would also compose such great songs as 小林明子's 「恋におちて -Fall in love-」 and 中森明菜 's 「SOLITUDE」) with lyrics by 井上大輔 and arrangements by the legendary 萩田光雄  who also contributed his talents on such hits as あみん's 「待つわ」, 中森明菜's 「 飾りじゃないのよ涙は」 and 「少女A」  中山美穂's 「BE-BOP-HIGHSCHOOL」 and 「C」 and 山口百恵's 「 横須賀ストーリー」 and 「イミテイション・ゴールド」. By the way, the マドリガル/madrigal in the title refers to a medieval short lyrical poem

Other notable songs used within the various episodes include ナンノ's 2nd single 「さよならのめまい」, cast mates 吉沢秋絵's 「季節はずれの恋」 and 相楽ハル子's 「ヴァージン・ハート」.

ナンノ's 6th single 「楽園のDoor」 would be featured prominently in the first 『スケバン刑事』 movie which debuted on Valentine's Day 1987.  It eventually went on to become a  No. 1 オリコン hit for her. The song was composed by 小倉めぐみ with lyrics by 来生たかお and arranged by 萩田光雄.

(Sorry, but the above is a karaoke version.)

Former おニャン子クラブ/Onyanko Club member 福永恵規/Fukunaga Satomi's 「ハートのIgnition」 "Heart No Ignition" was initially used for Season 3's ED song before Asaka Yui's 6th single release 「STAR」 was chosen as the ED for the series starting from Ep. 8. "Star" would be Yui's first Top Ten オリコン hit since her debut in 1985. The song was composed by 有川正沙子/Arikawa Masako (who also wrote 1986 Omega Tribe's hit "Kimi Wa Sen Percent") with lyrics by タケカワユキヒデ/Takekawa Yukihide and arrangements by 鷺巣詩郎/Sagisu Shiro.

Asaka Yui also contribute two additional songs to the soundtrack - her 7th single 「瞳にSTORM」 "Hitomi Ni Storm" (which would be the ED song for the "Sukeban Deka" Special - Ep. 31) and her 8th single 「虹のDreamer」 "Niji No Dreamer" (which would be the ED song for Ep. 32-37).

While "Hitomi Ni Storm" would be another hit for Yui, reaching No. 4 on the Oricon charts, she would finally get her first No. 1 Oricon hit with "Niji No Dreamer".  "Niji No Dreamer" was another great song composed by 湯川れい子/Yukawa Reiko with lyrics by 井上大輔/Inoue Daisuke and arrangments by 新川博/Shinkawa Hiroshi (who worked on such hits such as ラ・ムー's - 「少年は天使を殺す」, 本田美奈子's 「1986年のマリリン」, 早見優's 「PASSION」, 小林麻美's 「雨音はショパンの調べ」, 荻野目洋子's 「六本木純情派」, 刀根麻理子's 「デリンジャー」 and 中原めいこ's 「君たちキウイ・パパイヤ・マンゴーだね」.
Yui and co-stars Nishino Yuka and Nakamura Yuma would collaborate on the song 「Remember」 which was the ED for the final few episodes of the series (Ep. 38-42). Releasing the song under their "Sukban Deka" alias - 風間三姉妹/Kazama San Shimai, the single would reach No. 1 on the オリコン charts for October 1987. It would be a another career highlight for Yui but would particularly be a vindication for Yuka and Yuma (being their first No.1 hit). The song was composed by 湯川れい子/Yukawa Reiko with lyrics by 来生たかお/Kisugi Takao with arrangement by 中村哲/Nakamura Satoshi.

(cover version)

Yuma and Yuka would contribute some of their other songs to various episodes of Season 3 included Yuma's 「ジレンマ」 "Dilemma", 「シビアー」 "Severe" and 「パニック〜I'm in Panic〜」"Panic-I'm In Panic" and Yuka's 「シャドウハンター」 "Shadow Hunter", 「チャンスは一度だけ」 "Chance Wa Ichido Dake" and 「哀しみのシャングリラ」"Kanashimi No Shangri-La".

For the 2nd "Sukeban Deka" movie, all three would contribute songs to its soundtrack.  Yui's contribution would be her 9th single 「Believe Again」 was written by 麻生圭子/Aso Keiko (whose credits include 小比類巻かほる's signature hit 「Hold On Me」, 中森明菜's 「BLONDE」, and 小泉今日子's 「100%男女交際」 with composition by Nakazaki Hideya (whose credits include AIRMAIL from NAGASAKI's 「メロスのように ~LONELY WAY~」, BaBe's  「I Don't Know」 and 原田知世's 「早春物語」. It would be another オリコン Top Ten hit for her (reaching No. 2 on the charts for January 1988).  Yuma would contribute the song 「ミモザの奇蹟」 "Mimosa No Kiseki" while Yuka's contribution would be 「君の夢に飛びたい」 "Kimi No Yume Ni Tobi Tai".

For the Anime OVA, Rock musician 謝花義哲/Shabana Yoshinori's song 「絆 KIZYNA」 would be used as the theme song.

あやや and fellowハロー!プロジェクト idol singer 藤本美貴/Fujimoto Miki would team-up to sing the theme song 「Thanks!」 for 『スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ』. Under the duo name "GAM" (which was an acronym for Great Aya x Miki) a play on the old English slang for "Pretty Legs", the unit would be yet another invention from the mind of producer, singer and Morning Musume mastermind つんく♂. The song, written and composed by つんく♂ with arrangements by Japanese Heavy Metal band "Earthshaker" vocalist 西田昌史/Nishida Masafumi, would do relatively well reaching No. 5 on the Oricon charts for September 2006.

The B-Side single 「蜃気楼ロマンス」 "Shinkirou Romance" would also be included in the film.  This song would also do reasonably well, reaching No. 5 on the Oricon charts.

Oddly enough Hello! Project group 美勇伝/Vuuden would not contribute a song to the soundtrack for the movie even though its members 石川梨華/Ishikawa Rika, 三好絵梨香/Miyoshi Erika and 岡田唯/Okada Yui feature prominently in the movie.

In 2003, Wada would write a manga sequel to the original series entitled 「スケバン刑事if」 "Sukeban Deak if" which would bring back the character of Asamiya Saki as well as other prominent characters from the orginal series. The manga was released through publisher Media Factory.

Image courtesy of 7NetShopping
In 2011 members from AKB48 and its subgroups SKE48 would form the unit スケバンGirls "Sukeban Girls" in homage to  風間三姉妹 and release a song entitled 「突っ張る理由」 "Tsuboru Riyuu" which would be used for the Pachinko Game 「びっくりぱちんこスケバン刑事」 "Bikuri Pachinki Sukeban Deka".  The unit would be comprised of 大島優子/Oshima Yuuko (from AKB48チームK), 河西智美/Kasai Tomomi (from AKB48チームB) and 松井玲奈/Matsui Reina (from  SKE48チームS).

There are a few CDs available which feature all the songs from the 『スケバン刑事』 series, the best of which is Sony's release 2006 release - 「スケバン刑事 ラスト・メモリアル~麻宮サキよ永遠に~」 which features most of the songs from all three seasons.  Independent label SMD would release individual  BGM soundtracks for each season - 「スケバン刑事 オリジナル・サウンドトラック」, スケバン刑事II 少女鉄仮面伝説 オリジナル・サウンドトラック」, and 「スケバン刑事III 少女忍法帖伝奇 オリジナル・サウンドトラック」, however all three are currently OOP. 

In addition two separate CDs were released for Season 3 - 「スケバン刑事III 完結篇」 and  フォーライフ ミュージックエンタテイメント's  「スケバン刑事III~少女忍法帖伝奇~」 however these are also currently OOP.
An original soundtrack to the first movie was released by 株式会社ソニー・ミュージックレコーズ called 「 『スケバン刑事 』 オリジナル・サウンドトラック」 but this is currently OOP.

A movie soundtrack and BGM CD was also released by independent label ビー!スマイル entitled劇場版・スケバン刑事 YOHKO MINAMINO オリジナル・サウンドトラック 」.  The same company released a companion CD for the second movie entitled 「劇場版・スケバン刑事 風間三姉妹の逆襲 オリジナル・サウンドトラック」. Both are OOP.

Yet another CD was released for the second movie entitled 「スケバン刑事・風間三姉妹の逆襲」.

Lastly a CD omnibus was released by ポニーキャニオン entitled 「女性アイドル主演ドラマ 本人歌唱主題歌スペシャル ~「スケバン刑事(デカ)」から「ポワトリン」まで~」 which not only features song from all three seasons of the TV show but also has songs from other Toei Teen Heroine shows such as 「花のあすか組」, 「美少女仮面ポワトリン」, 「セーラー服と機関銃」 and my personal favorite 「少女コマンドーIZUMI」.

Oddly there's no official soundtrack album for the 『スケバン刑事 コードネーム=麻宮サキ』 movie.

"Sukeban Deka"  is one of those rare gems of a programs that just had that special quality about it that has made it an endearing series years after its debut. While I admit that some of the various individual episodes were a bit uneven, the series as a whole proved to be very entertaining and memorable.  All three movies were great and I was particularly surprised at how much I enjoyed the 2006 reboot with あやや.  It's been six years since we last saw "Sukeban Deka" either on TV or at the movies but I'll bet that this isn't the last we have heard from Asamiya Saki.  As the character has proven both in the manga and in the TV series, she will endure and return again and I for one will be looking forward to seeing what the future will hold for "Sukeban Deka".

L-R - Asamiya Saki #1 - Saito Yuki and Asamiya Saki #2 - Minamino Yoko


  1. Wow, all I ever wanted to know about this series, all in one post. I've never seen this series before but was aware of its existence. I was surprised to learn that a number of great songs (e.g., 風のマドリガル and "Believe Again") that I like came from it. Thanks very much. I look forward to future installments.

  2. Thanks, JTM, for your detailed article on "Sukeban Deka". I never became a fan of the series but I did hear about it a number of times and was aware of the involvement of Saito, Minamino and Asaka. I do recall that one time I think Emi Wakui had also guest-starred or had a recurring role on one of the series.

    Kinda hard to imagine Yuki Saito as a delinquent, but then I only knew her as the aidoru. :)


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