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Bounce Ko Gals (1998)

Cast: Hitomi Sato, Hitomi Sato, Yasue Sato, more...
Director: Masato Harada, Masato Harada
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Tokyo Shock
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Japan, Crime
Running Time: 109 min.
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Ripped straight from the headlines of 1990s Japan, this film directed by Masato Harada explores the ticklish issue of enjo kosai -- a much-hyped phenomenon in which Tokyo schoolgirls (kogyaru) go on paid dates with lecherous middle-aged men. Set in the ultra-fashionable neighborhood of Shibuya, this film details a day in the lives of such freewheeling young women. Bounce Ko Gals opens with Raku (Yasue Sato) accompanying her round-faced friend Maru (Shin Yazawa) to an after-school abortion. After that minor medical inconvenience, Maru meets up with a prospective john -- a suavely dressed cat named Oshima (played by the ubiquitous Koji Yakusho). Unfortunately, Oshima proves to be a yakuza running a brothel out of a date club, and he regards Maru and her cohorts as unwanted competition. When one of Maru's pals, Jonko (Hitomi Sato) -- a street-smart, stun gun-wielding enjo kosai who prefers to swipe the cash from her clients instead of exchanging fluids with them -- tries to negotiate with the mobster on her friend's behalf, she finds herself unwittingly forced into Oshima's stable of whores. At the same time, while parading around town in a naughtily tailored schoolgirl uniform for a porn-flick guerrilla shoot, Raku runs into Risa (Yukiko Okamoto), a young lass who finally scraped together enough money for a long-planned trip to New York by selling her panties and consorting with perverts. When Raku's shoot is busted by a couple of punks and Risa's savings are stolen, the two flee into a nearby park. As Risa grows ever more despondent, Raku hatches a scheme to recoup her new friend's 100,000- yen savings before her departure the following day. Not surprisingly, this plan involves enjo kosai . Bounce was screened at the 1998 Rotterdam Film Festival. ~ Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Good film by GodEmperorAyato November 6, 2005 - 10:31 PM PST
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Pretty interesting film on enjo-kosai (compensated dating) in Japan. If you liked Bounce Ko Gals I highly recommend also checking out "Love and Pop", another great film on the same subject matter directed by Hideaki Anno.

A very different life. by rpmfla September 23, 2005 - 11:09 AM PDT
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
This could have been made in many different ways. It could have been explotive. It could have been gritty melodrama. It could have been a psuedo-documentary. And (only in Japan) it could have been a comedy. It was instead made with elements from all of these genres and the result is a mature, thought provoking little gem.

If you can get your mind around their bizarre existance, the girls in this film are really interesting characters. I thought the three leads where fantastic and carried the film. The quiet "good girl", the tall doe-eyed hippy, and the tough/tender leader, were all portrayed as very real people having no one to care for them but each other. This bond is what made me care and is the main reason this film works so well.

This is a delicate subject to deal with (high school aged girls treated as consumer products), but it is a good illustration of how friendship can allow us to endure whatever life gives us.

Oh, and if you are renting this to fulfill some sort of school girl fetish, don't bother. It is not a sexploitation film.

An amazing film, very good! by larbeck December 31, 2003 - 1:49 PM PST
13 out of 14 members found this review helpful
An amazing film, as good as indy film I have seen in English but with a very modern Japanese outlook. There is this one scene while a Yakuza confronts a ko GAL...

Yakuza: How come you gals do so well? Every yakuza in Japan wants to know...but there's no one to ask.

Ko GAL: There's nothing special about us. Even in elementary school men are offering you 10,000 yen for a kiss. 20,000 to watch them masturbate... I don't know a girl who hasn't been groped on the train. That's what this country's like.

Yakuza: Perverted men treating women as objects?

Ko GAL: Trolling for us with money.

Yakuza: But why? Well? Why can you get 100,000 yen just for karaoke?

Ko GAL: Adults these days don't have any sense. They're like children, so real children have power.

Yakuza: And they take advantage of the grown-ups.

Ko GAL: Money is everything in this world. I won't kiss you for 10,000 yen, but for a million yen, I might. If a man had any sense, it would stop there. But there are guys who'll say "sure!" It's a pretty scary place, this world of ours.

No nudity, a bit of violence and language, no sex really but a great story and some fair acting by some young Japanese girls and you will be amazing at....well, I don't wanna give it any.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.95)
122 Votes
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