Manga: Sukeban Deka


A manga by Shinji Wada first published in 1976, Sukeban Deka subsequently entered the Popcultural Osmosis. It was adapted as a live-action series in 1985, two subsequent feature films, and a 1992 OAV. A third feature film came out in 2006 (released stateside as Yo-Yo Girl Cop).

Our heroine, subsequently called "Saki Asamiya," is an incarcerated juvenile delinquent whose mother (in said OAV) is an incarcerated criminal herself. One day, "Saki" is recruited from prison by the government and is allowed freedom if she agrees to become an undercover cop for them. She complies, and with her Killer Yo-Yo, is sent to curb crime activity in high schools across the country.

This work features examples of:

  • Action Girl: Saki
  • Animal Motif: The Mizuchi sisters are heavily associated with snakes.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Mizuchis, notably Ayumi and especially Remi.
  • Bad Ass: Saki, considering she was/is a sukeban (delinquent girl) and many other delinquent students see her as their leader.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Remi Mizuchi; she seems to be The Ojou in Ojou Ringlets, and seems like the White Sheep of the family compared to her Obviously Evil siblings. Then, in the OVA she suddenly leaps into full-fledged terrorism, and she becomes a major recurring villain in the manga.
  • Boxed Crook
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: One of Remi's plans was to brainwash the students of Takanoha High. One of them is programmed to murder Emi and Gozo, and then shoots herself in the head.
  • Break the Cutie: Junko. Good God, Junko.
  • Butt Monkey: Sampei.
  • The Chessmaster: Gozo Mizuchi tries to be this, but Remi far outshines him in that category.
  • Darker and Edgier: Zigzagged regarding the OVA and the manga. The OVA softens some areas of the struggle between Saki and the Mizuchis but makes some areas much worse.
    • The G-Plan discussed in the manga where the sisters orchestrate the deaths of many of their classmates is limited to two buses of students in the OVA, but the bus crash is deliberately shown, as is the horror in most of the students as they plummet to their deaths.
    • Junko's mother is still alive in the manga and she has the support of the art teacher at Takanoha. Her mother is murdered by the Mizuchis to keep her quiet, the art teacher is forced to destroy Junko's esteem at the cost of his daughter's health, Junko loses everything and is called a horrible person when she calls fraud upon seeing Emi Mizuchi win with a painting Junko created, and is then murdered when one of Ayumi's snakes bites her on the neck and she plummets to her death. And before that, because she had no money but wanted to repay Saki's kindness, made money by allowing a man to sleep with her. In the OVA her mother is already dead and the art teacher is still supportive. Emi has her paintings stolen, and it is implied Remi specifically orchestrated Junko's abduction, where she was then drugged, tortured, and possibly raped for over a week before she was finally killed.
    • Emi and Gozo are killed by Remi's masked subordinates in the manga, whereas the OVA has Remi using one of her brainwashed followers, who then shoots herself in the head right in front of Saki and the others.
  • Delinquents
  • Designated Victim: Junko. However, in the beginning, when she's attacked by a group of thugs and Saki shows up, Junko actually screams at Saki to get away while she can instead of begging for help. After she's kidnapped and tortured for over a week, she's weakly wondering when Saki will come to save her. Saki is too late, however.
  • Disc One Final Boss: Ayumi Mizuchi in the OVA. The primary conflict was, at first, Saki against Ayumi and her hold on the school. However, Saki soon realizes that Remi herself was the main threat after Saki witnesses Ayumi die from a rigged shotgun, then the deaths of Emi and Gozo at the hands of a brainwashed young woman who then kills herself.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: "Saki Asamiya" is her codename; her name before that wasn't given.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Remi, who in the beginning is shown as a rich but nice girl who gives roses to her adoring female fans.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Reimi in contrast to her already messed-up siblings and father.
  • The Family That Slays Together: The Mizuchi family.
  • The Film of the Series: Three of them.
  • For the Evulz: The Mizuchi Family are never given a reason as to how they became so twisted or why, they just are.
  • Fragile Flower: Junko Yuina.
  • Game Face: When Remi gets into a battle with Saki in the OVA, any prettiness she may have had is replaced with a sheer Ax-Crazy Cheshire Cat Grin.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: The main villainess' pupils usually completely fill out her eyes (because, you know, she's beautiful and this is a shojo manga). But when her pupils narrow down to small little dots you know you should run for your life.
  • Greed: Ayumi Mizuchi's motivation is her love of money.
  • Heroic Lineage: A bit averted. Sure in the third movie, there is a delinquent Saki. But this time, her origins lie with her mom who is the first Saki Asamiya.
  • Honour Among Thieves: Ayumi turns to her sisters for help in dealing with Saki. Emi blows her off and Remi gives her a shotgun. Which blows up in her face and kills her.
  • Honour Before Reason: In the OVA, Remi suggests that Ayumi hire someone to take care of Saki. Ayumi refuses to use her money on "that bitch." So Remi gives her a shotgun to use on Saki. Which she rigged to blow up in Ayumi's face, blowing off her fingers and killing her.
  • Important Haircut: In the OVA, Saki rejects the advances of a classmate by saying that she hates guys with long hair. In response, the boy whips out a set of clippers and shaves himself bald right there in front of her. He doesn't graduate to love interest, but he does become one of Saki's allies.
  • In the Name of the Moon
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Saki.
  • Killer Yo-Yo: "Saki"'s trademark weapon; it's also her badge.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Saki.
  • Legacy Character: Ultimately, "Saki" is this in the TV series.
  • Live-Action Adaptation
  • Mad Artist: Emi Mizuchi. More in the case that, while her artwork is nothing extreme, Emi herself is a psychopath who suffers from delusions of grandeur.
  • Missing Mom: For a few characters, but not Saki Asamiya IV.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Saki receives one from Ayumi's Four Kings early in the OVA, but only because she held back due to the realization that Remi Mizuchi was analyzing her moves from afar. During their second bout, Saki easily hands the Four Kings their respective asses and almost kills Ayumi, humiliating her in front of her followers and shattering Ayumi's hold on them.
  • Not So Different: In the OVA, during the battle between Saki and Remi, Saki screams "You're Insane!" to Remi. Remi admits Saki is right, but espouses a Hannibal Lecture about Saki's mother having killed her father, meaning that Saki herself has "crazy" blood in her.
    Remi: Insane? Maybe so, but you're a fine one to talk about madness!
  • Only in It for the Money: Ayumi Mizuchi's motivation to do anything is to get more money.
  • Psycho Lesbian: Remi. She's both a psycho and a lesbian, to the point where her sisters call her a lesbo and state that Remi's apparent ultimate goal is to become the headmaster of their highschool so she can prey on the innocent highschool girls, year after year after year.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Ayumi Mizuchi's Four Kings.
  • Raised by Wolves: Subverted. In the manga the Mizuchi sisters were raised around snakes since they were little, which is why they have such an affinity for them and vice versa.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Vice Principal Numa is not swayed by the money or prestige that his students come from. Also, despite his feelings of animosity with Saki, he didn't want to have her sent to a reformatory but felt she left him no choice, and sides with her to bring the Mizuchi sisters down because he considers them far worse.
  • Revenge: Ayumi's motivation against Saki Asamiya, for disrupting her cash flow and humiliating her in front of her followers.
  • Shout-Out: The recipient of so many in the years since its debut. Most recognizable is perhaps Kill la Kill, which begins with a similar premise - heroic delinquent bringing a corrupt academy to justice through gratuitous violence.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Emi Mizuchi.
  • Smug Snake: The Mizuchi Sister's take turns outdoing one another in who can be the smuggest. Remi wins.
  • Teen Super Cop
  • Terrible Trio: The Mizuchi Sisters. Until Reimi murders Emi and Ayumi by proxy in the OVA.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: "Saki's" catchphrase is "Omaera, Yurusansezore!" (You Won't Be Forgiven!)
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Junko.
  • Whip It Good: In the OVA Reimi uses a whip in her battle against Saki.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the manga, Remi blackmails the art teacher at Takanoha High to stop encouraging Junko by threatening his young daughter's well being.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Saki in the manga is a tall, lithe, 17 year old with pink hair and anime “European” features. Saki in the live action is shorter, younger, wider, with Japanese features and has black hair. When seen side by side they look nothing alike. The one you like more is YMMV.

Alternative Title(s):

Yo Yo Girl Cop