The Girl in the Iron Mask: ‘Mutant Girls Squad’

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“Rin” (Sugimoto Yumi) is a teen who is bullied by a school full of cute high school girls—I did not recall seeing a single boy—and who learns the hard way, on her sixteenth birthday, that her dad (Tsuda Kanji) is a mutant. This occurs when Rin’s parents surprise her with a cake and some streamers upon returning home from a rough day at school. During this meager celebration, Rin’s dad chooses to reveal to his daughter an important truth about himself and about her true identity. He then disrobes to reveal his “treasures,” which consist of reddish snake-like growths covering his nipples and crotch. It is at this point when Rin’s family is attacked by an anti-mutant squad, killing her mutant father and human mother (Ito Maiko). Rin is then forced to flee for her life, although not without having to fend off a vengeful mob, before she is finally rescued by “Rei” (Takayama Yuko). It is under Rei’s protection that Rin is led to an underground group of mutant girls called “Hiruko,” whose chief is a human hating transvestite named “Kasagari” (Sakaguchi Tak), who reminded me of “Chairman Kaga” of Iron Chef fame and who has a giant tongue protruding from his stomach.

Mutant Girls Squad (2010) is divided into three parts, each with its own director (Iguchi Noboru, Nishimura Yoshihiro, Sakaguchi Tak), in which Rin goes from bullied teen to a member of Hiruko, where she trains with other mutant girls, preparing for their battle against the anti-mutant forces organized by General Koshimizu (Takenaka Naoto). As part of her training, Rin is compelled to don an iron helmet, which she is told will help her to learn how to control her power, or her “treasure,” meaning her mutation, which consists of a Freddy Krueger-style hand that slices through opponents like butter. Other girls’ treasures include one who has a chainsaw that comes raging out of her posterior and another who can brandish katana—or samurai swords—from her breasts. It is during training that Rin meets “Yoshie” (Morita Suzuka), a cosplay nurse with tentacles for hands and an elephantine snout, complete with some pretty impressive, shall we say, vacuuming abilities.

At first, Rin is committed to Kasagari’s ambition of defending the lives of mutants like her and the other girls. However, because of her half-human identity—which elicits the scorn of Kasagari’s right hand officer, Rei—Rin begins to have serious doubts about Hiruko’s final solution. Defeating Koshimizu and protecting mutants from genocide is one thing; pursuing the extermination of all humans and being no better than the anti-Hiruko forces is another. In the end, Mutant Girls Squad is a wild and often humorous romp, complete with memorable but ridiculous fight scenes and a simple but thankfully non-preachy message about acceptance and social harmony. In other words, Mutant Girls Squad is an over-the-top good time to watch! The movie even manages to satirize its predecessors in the extreme mutant action genre, namely The Machine Girl (2008) and Tokyo Gore Police (2008), which is remarkable given that the latter two movies were as self-spoofing as they were brilliant and fun.

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