Baby Assassins (2021)

Posted in Reviews by - December 29, 2022
Baby Assassins (2021)

Highschool grads Mahiro (Saori Izawa) and Chisato (Akari Takaishi) are at that awkward transitional phase between adolescence and adulthood, negotiating the roles expected of them as two young girls in Japanese society. Both work as coldblooded killers for an unspecified organisation, seemingly hired to kill wrongdoers like Yakuza members and the like. They are made to live together and assume a semblance of normality to act as cover for their day jobs. As the two adapt to being roomies, the film becomes less of an action movie and more a coming-of-age teen comedy about their blossoming, unlikely friendship. Mahiro is the shy, silent type – happy with her head in a book, or training in martial arts. Chisato is more outgoing, sociable, keen to make friends and get a proper job. The delicate tone is punctured by gun battles, fight scenes and violence which show them killing with gleeful abandon; they idly discuss food or their favourite quotations after stabbing a bunch of people to death, showing no signs of remorse or fear of consequence, like proper psychopaths. This complete detachment from the horror is meant to seem quirky – Tarantino does something similar – but because of their age, there is something distinctly uneasy about the film’s balance of dark comedy and violence, and the tone is unsettling. Of course, the whole thing could be read as a satire; a violent retaliation against the way that young women are infantilised, patronised and ostracised in Japanese society. The girls are belittled in job interviews, and forced to perform bizarre juvenile acts for grown men in coffee shops (like when they work as maids in a ‘Moe Moe Kyun’ bar). Then again, much of the film operates purely on the surface-level; it’s deliberately ambiguous, and little is explained beyond their self-contained world. The film’s sporadic moments of action are directed by the great Kensuke Sonomura, and his Hydra-esque tentacles are all over it, particularly during the film’s seemingly scrappy but smart fight choreography.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.


  • brad

    Hello friend,

    Mr Tasaka, does not lead the org(he is also, not unseen), he is the cleanup guy, please correct this error, thank you.

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