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June 02, 2014

Female Gym Coach: Jump and Straddle

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Onna Taiiku Kyoshi: Tonde hiraite
Koyu Ohara - 1981
Impulse Pictures Region 1 DVD

In comparison to previous Nikkatsu releases by Koyu Ohara, especially those with Junko Asahina, this is a lighter film, both in tone and eroticism. Not so much like the earlier Roman Porno films, but there is a vague attempt at social relevancy with the women displaying some self-determination regarding there sex partners, the wearing of condoms, how women are used as sales and marketing tools, and even a gay male sex scene.

Of course the big advantage to making a movie about women in leotards is that you can shoot the women in various positions that are sexually suggestive without breaking any rules. Sure, there are some bare breasts and backsides, and the usual simulated couplings. The story as such is about several young women who are members of a cosmetics company's gymnastic team. Shortly before a competition, the team is told they are now to do something called rhythmic gymnastics. Their new coach, was the former high school coach to one of the young women, Kei. The two had a falling out following an unsuccessful showing. Kei needs to have sex the night before in order to be her best in competition, while coach Aoki seems to be impotent. The team slut, Ichigo, fails at seducing Aoki, leading to rumors that he might be gay.

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The rumors result in the kind of scene that rarely appears in a film aimed presumably to an audience of straight salarymen. Aoki is attacked by another man in some kind of costume made up of leather straps. It's not entirely clear what the two are doing, and Aoki doesn't do much to fight off this unexpected lover, seeming to surrender under the other man's weight. Aoki is determined to prove himself "normal", finally getting cured by Kei oral ministrations.

Junko Asahina was a graduate of Takarazuka Academy and Musical Theater, and this was put to good use on the gym floor with her dance performances. The film ends with Asahina nude, performing with a bright red streamer. The soundtrack includes some Japanese pop songs that I can only assume are representative of that disco tinged era (and flashbacks of Pink Lady and Jeff). Further research shows that Koyu Ohara probably chose the songs, and that just three years after making this film, he concentrated on making music videos, with one final feature shot in Hong Kong, China Scandal: Exotic Dance. Chroniclers of Japan's pink cinema have already pointed out Ohara's auteurist credentials with recurring themes. While Ohara praised visual style is not significantly shown here, he does make an interesting choice of filming a scene of fellatio in silhouette.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at June 2, 2014 07:40 AM