The movie Karate Girl, starring Rina Takeda, is a must-see martial arts inspired movie. Rina Takeda plays a strong lead role as a woman martial artist. She is absolutely inspiring and isn’t over sexualized which makes this film even more endearing.The story-line is electrifying and keeps you in suspense and wanting more. I was really impressed at how real the martial arts moves were portrayed and not overly ridiculous. To start the movie off young Ayaka (Rina Takeda’s younger version of the character) is attacked and brought back from nearly dying by her father Tatsuya Kurenai (Played by Tatsuya Naka) who ultimately dies shortly after, only to gain superior fighting skills. Her sister, Natsuki Kurenai (Played by Hina Tobimatsu) is also kidnapped in the process by the antagonist henchman who works for Shu Tagawa (Played by Keisuke Horibe). She is then thrust into a world of secrecy making sure not to reveal her families legacy.
Ten years pass by and Ayaka is doing well hiding her families legacy and this is when her karate power is revealed. She is shown as the last descendant of Tatsuya Kurenai and his reknowned karate skills. Since her terrible childhood, Ayaka has been adopted to a new family that isn’t aware of her special power. She is the sole protector of the black belt that the ‘bad man’ Tagawa was after in the first place when he attacked her family. Her karate legacy is so powerful that only one move can kill a person, which is why Shu is set on destroying and honing in on her legacy. It all comes to a head when Ayaka has to use her power to stop some thieves who have stolen a woman’s purse. She reveals her skill by beating the thieves and ultimately winning the action packed fight. Only she did not expect for bystanders to be filming her fight with the ‘bad guys’. Of course the video goes viral and blows up on the internet, watched by millions and leading to her character being ‘found out’ by Shu and his henchmen. He immediately sends his men out to get rid of Ayaka and to retrieve the black belt and finish his job of ridding the world of the Kurenai legacy.
Right from the go, this story began with a bang! The whole beginning of the movie was action and became a story of fight or die as the Karate Girl gets discovered by the gang that took her sister and was responsible for killing her father. The antagonist is set on destroying the karate girl to finish what he started in the beginning by destroying her entire family and legacy. The plot thickens as the movie goes on, and ultimately leads into a face off between Ayaka and Natsuki, now named Sakura. Sakura has been brainwashed and trained to believe that she is on the right side of the fight.
Throughout the entire film there is also a powerful message of responsibility when it comes to karate. Over and over it is drilled throughout the film that a karate master should never antagonize a fight and should only use their skills defensively. You can see that the skills used by the ‘good’ side of the spectrum (meaning Ayaka) are much more pure and well-thought out. It makes you realize that karate is not only about training but about much more. Karate is a lifestyle and there is almost a wisdom about it. You can see the theme written between the lines that patience and thinking about each move is what is important when it comes to Ayaka’s family legacy of karate.
If you are dying to see an awesome action packed movie that’s true to martial arts while also including some top Japanese fighters this is definitely the movie for you! Especially if you love a strong female leading character that you can only describe as “Bad Ass”. Also note that there is no CGI enhancements or stunt doubles throughout the entire film. All of the action and fighting is real and the movements are true to karate moves. This movie laughs at the Karate Kid and proves to be an epic tale of protecting one’s family legacy and fighting to survive.