You have discovered the Chiaki Kuriyama Fandom. In October 2003, hot new talent Chiaki Kuriyama made her American debut in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Volume 1 as Go Go Yubari, the school girl with perfect hair, impeccable clothes, and a killer personality. Whereas Chiaki is a full-fledged teen idol in her home country of Japan, her name elicits no recognition from mainstream filmgoers in the West. Nevertheless, she is not a complete stranger to the geeks of international cinema, who can't easily dismiss her stirring performance in Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale. Even though Battle Royale was released only three years ago in 2000, it has easily cemented its cult status worldwide with its shocking portrayal of a class of fourteen year old school kids forced to kill each other to survive a government "game" on a remote island. With the plot so disturbing and the depiction so graphic, no wonder it will never see an official release here in the States. In addition to Battle Royale and Kill Bill, Chiaki has an excellent body of work behind her with credits in both film and TV. Her most recent film is Kagen no Tsuki (Last Quarter), which opened in Japan on October 9, 2004. Future projects for Chiaki include Azumi 2: Death or Love, a much anticipated sequel to one of the best samurai films and Y˘kai Daisens˘ (The Big Spook War), a Takashi Miike remake of a classic 1968 fantasy film. With her unique ability to look Hello Kitty cute and dangerously deadly at the same time, Chiaki should have a bright future ahead of her.
Info on Yuki Yubari, Go Go's sister.
Yubari Sisters FAQ
February 27, 2005:
Kagen no Tsuki (Last Quarter) was released on DVD yesterday in Japan. Surprisingly, it has English subtitles. However it's still region-locked so it won't play on American players.
For those in the States, you can get a glimpse of Chiaki in Steven Seagal's Into the Sun. She has a 10-second scene at the beginning of the film. It's a very minor role as the Tokyo Governor's daughter with no lines. Still, it's better than nothing. The DVD has been available in the US since February 15, 2005 and will be released in Europe in the next month or two.
More news can be found in the News page.
The Untold Story of Yuki Yubari
Yubari Sisters incomplete with only Go Go. Where's Yuki? Heavy spoilers. Do not read until you've seen Kill Bill Volume 1.
Go Go's younger sister Yuki Yubari was completely written out of Kill Bill. In the early script of Kill Bill by Quentin Tarantino, there's an entire chapter called Yuki's Revenge. According to this old script, Yuki Yubari partied with the rest of her gang at the House of Blue Leaves but had to turn in early due to a cold. Maybe that's Tarantino's polite way to say it's passed her bedtime. Besides, Good Citizen Tarantino (tm) can never allow warm sake to touch the lips of this underaged kid even though at 16, she's only a year younger than Go Go. She might be a Yubari (and therefore hot as hell), but she still hasn't developed that killer/psychotic edge yet. After kissing Sophie Fatale goodnight, she left just before Uma kickstarted her samurai disco. When she learned the piercing headache Go Go had to suffer thanks to the Bride, Yuki decided to off the miserable blonde lest the world thinks that she lacked the balls (pun intended) that Go Go had. The script called for Yuki to take revenge on the Bride on her home turf in the United States. After a whirlwind tour around LA, Hollywood, and Disneyland armed with her disposable Barbie camera, she decides that a submachine gun would be the perfect accessory for taking down the silly American. When Yuki finally confronts the woman who forced Go Go to drop out of school, the young girl demands revenge (and makeup tips. I kid you not; QT is a genius!). Black Mamba, however, has no time for the brat (two down, three to go, remember?). Now, the Bride's existence offends Yuki and we see her demonstrate that she can chew bubblegum and fire a loaded automatic at the same time while chasing The Bride through the streets of Los Angeles. Strangely, no one in LA is disturbed by a girl with pink fingernails spraying the neighborhood with bullets as long as she's hot. Finally, Yuki Yubari traps the Bride in a suburban home (metaphor on so many levels) and after much struggling on the floor for the ladies (to the much delight of the audience if this were made), Yuki is bested by Uma. Here's hoping there's room in heaven for bad girls who look chic in school uniforms. The Yuki's Revenge chapter never went to the production stage because Kou Shibasaki, the Battle Royale actress Tarantino wanted for the role of Yuki Yubari, could not sign on to Kill Bill due to other commitments. Quentin Tarantino also begrudgingly admitted that the movie is long enough already and therefore he dropped Yuki's Revenge from the final script. The original draft with Yuki Yubari is floating on the Net and is recommended reading for all those who are interested in Kill Bill. Perhaps one day, Tarantino will animate that sequence as a special feature for the ultimate Kill Bill DVD. Please visit my Kou Shibasaki Fandom website for information on the actress who would have been Yuki Yubari.
Even though Chiaki's Go Go Yubari is not a main character in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and does not appear at all in Kill Bill Vol. 2, she nevertheless has one of the most elaborate credit sequences at the end of Vol. 2. In fact, other than Uma, Chiaki had more "face time" in the credits than anyone else.
Uma Thurman and Chiaki Kuriyama won the Best Fight award at the 2004 MTV Movie Awards. Uma and Quentin Tarantino went on stage to accept the award and both praised Chiaki with glowing compliments.
According to the April 16, 2004 issue of Entertainment Weekly, Quentin Tarantino has "a life-sized dead-on wax version of Kill Bill's psychopathic schoolgirl, Gogo" in the foyer of his LA home. The article also mentions that "the bar [in Tarantino's house] is actually part of Kill Bill's Beijing set. This is also confirmed by Japanese sources where Tarantino asked the Kill Bill crew to reconstruct in his California house the "Go Go Bar" where Chiaki's character stabbed the businessman. When questioned why he wanted that set recreated, he said he wanted to invite Chiaki and others there to party.
NECA, the maker of the Kill Bill action figures, initially did not have plans for a Go Go Yubari toy in the first wave. However upon Quentin Tarantino's personal request, NECA designers rushed to include Go Go in the first assortment which should enter stores in April 2004.
More trivia can be found in the Trivia page.
The Next Step
Still hungry for more Chiaki stuff? Can't survive a single day without feeding your Go Go obsession? The Chiaki Kuriyama Fandom (Yahoo) Group is the the perfect solution. As a supplement to this website, the Group has a message board that allows members to post news, reviews, and commentaries faster. Since everyone is friendly, feel free to ask questions on the board. In the Photos and Files areas of the Group, you'll find tons of pictures not on this or any other website including screen captures from her TV shows like Rokubanme No Sayoko and Oyayubihime. Then there's the Links area, home of one of the most comprehensive Chiaki guides on the web. Think of the CK Fandom Website as an introduction and the CK Fandom Group as the place where true fans can informally gather as a community. Of course, everything is free, now and forever. All you need to join is a Yahoo email account. If you don't have a Yahoo account, sign up for one. It's free and takes only a minute. Beyond the Yahoo Group, you might also want to check out the all-new Fandom Forum.
February 27, 2005: Stated that Kagen no Tsuki and Into the Sun are available on DVD.
More site updates history can be found in the Site Updates page.
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