Kessen! Joshiryou tai Danshiryou
1988 / 90m - Japan
Decisive Match! Girls Dorm against Boys Dorm poster


February 20, 2016


A very early Sono, to the point where you may wonder whether it was actually a smart idea to release this film commercially. The premise is kinda fun, but the execution is incredibly amateurish. I'm sure most directors had to make films like these to get where they are today, I'm just not sure if the public needs to see them. Of course, nobody is forced to watch anything, just be aware this is not your typical Sono film.

The plot is pretty simple and the title is quite self-explanatory. There is a feud between an all-male and an all-female dorm, and they like to make each other's lives difficult. A local marathon is fuelling the conflict between the two. The girls have hired outside help to help them win, whereas the boys are recruiting some old members to make sure they have the edge.

The premise leaves ample room for a pleasant comedy, but the quality just isn't there. The film looks like a home video, the performances are weak, and the editing is almost random. There are some interesting ideas, some stylistic elements that made me think of Gakuryu Ishii's early work, and some moments where you could see signs of Sono's later brilliance. But none of it adds up to an enjoyable experience.