The Masked Girl (Japan 2008)

Rating: **
Review Date: 9/18/16
Cast: Yuki Shimizu, Shizuka Nakamura

A criminal organization known as The Jokers is kidnapping athletic high school girls and surgically transforming them into superpowered fighters. When they kidnap a clumsy girl named Ai Hoshino (Yuki Shimizu) by mistake, Ai's gym teacher rescues her from The Joker's clutches. You see, the gym teacher had meant for Ai's best friend, Yumi (Shizuka Nakamura), to be the target instead of her. Shortly afterwards, Yumi is transformed and her memory is erased. She goes after Ai for betraying The Jokers, and they beat each other up. Fortunately, Ai's magical tears are able to return Yumi's memory to her, and then they team up against The Jokers' most feared monster. The girls triumph and go back to their normal lives, while The Jokers continue to plot in the shadows.

It's only forty-five minutes long, which is more than enough time to tell the exceedingly simple story. Amusingly, the "making of" featurette is just as long. It was definitely made on a miniscule budget, but the acting is decent and the production is competent. The action scenes are weak and disappointing, but the girls take it very seriously and look like they're having a great time (despite getting a few cuts, scrapes, and bruises). Yuki Shimizu is utterly adorable and extremely charming, which is especially evident in the behind-the-scenes footage. It's an unambitious and easily forgettable film that's short and sweet, and aimed at genre fans only.