Mezzo Forte (Japan 2001)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/31/08

Another sleazy "girls with guns" romp from Yasuomi Umetsu, the creator and writer of "Kite" (1998). In fact, I think Sawa even makes a brief cameo for a split second. Kurokawa, Harada, and Mikura make up the Danger Services Agency (DSA), which specializes in dangerous and questionably legal activities. They're kind of like a wacky Japanese sci-fi version of The A-Team. Their latest job involves kidnapping the owner of an awful baseball team called the Peach Twisters. He's a cruel and sadistic man, with an exceptionally violent and sadistic daughter named Momomi. The job naturally goes haywire, which invokes the wrath of the psycho daughter and puts everyone's lives at risk. A dash of intrigue gets thrown into the mix as Mikura experiences flashes of the future and has an unspoken connection to Momomi.

The character design is very reminiscent of "Kite," and while Mikura is cute, she's much more endearing in the sequel. The action scenes are excellently staged and very violent, and it's a joy to see the super-powered Mikura in action. Unfortunately, the show treads into adult territory with the inclusion of two completely unnecessary and extremely explicit hardcore rape scenes that compromise the sweet Mikura. They literally come out of nowhere and have no relevance to the plot whatsoever. How sad. Other than that, "Mezzo Forte" is a fun, albeit brief, action outing.