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Genre: Action
Starring: Shun Oguri, Kyosuke Yabe, Takayuki Yamada, Shunsuke Daito, Meisa Kuroki, Tsutomu Takahashi, Goro Kishitani
Director: Takashi Miike
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence)
Year Made: 2007




- Trailer
- Interviews




Languages: Japanese & Mandarin
Subtitles: Chinese & English
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Sound: Dolby Digital/DTS Surround
Running Time: 2 hrs 10 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Simply Fun




The mega-hit comic, CROWS, about feuding high school tough guys, has sold over 32 million copies in its eight-plus years. This feature length movie version of "CROWS" depicts the never-before-told origins of the story as "Episode Zero".

Genji Takiya is a transfer student who attempts to take over Suzuran Boys HIgh School. With the mentoring by old boy yakuza Katagiri, he faces off against rival Serizawa, the most powerful gang leader.


If you know director Takashi Miike well enough, you should know his movies aren’t that easy to stomach. The creative Japanese filmmaker’s works are known for their explicit and inviolable depictions of violence and sex, and definitely aren’t made for the squeamish. We still remember the discomfort when we watched the bloodily violent Ichi the Killer (2001) and the devilishly wicked segment “Box” in the pan Asian collaboration Three… Extremes (2004). So when we finished viewing his latest work based on a best selling manga, we thought we missed something when there was no indication of uneasiness at all.

In fact, we felt that the characters in the movie are so cool; we wanted to be like them: A group of high school guys rough it out to become the ultimate gang leader. That is what the whole movie is about in one simple line. There are feuds, betrayals and heated arguments along the way. And being the prolific director he is, Miike did not forget to include stylized violence too.

Expect lots of “too cool to be true” fight sequences starring “too cool to be true” Japanese guys dressed in “too cool to be true” outfits (jackets, trench coats, shirts et al.) – How can anyone put up a good fight in those designer outfits? Remember, this movie is based on Hiro Takahashi’s comic series about delinquent high school students who fight for the place in the hierarchy – so anything is possible.

And it takes an auteur like Miike to translate this on screen. Sure, the movie may feel a little stretched with a 130 minute runtime, but every minute of the picture is oozing with coolness and style, you will find yourself enjoying every bit of the been there done that plot. The initial meetings at the karaoke bar, the fights in the rain and the blazing sun accompanying the climatic showdown are perfect examples of how the Japanese seem to beautify everything they produce for the screen. It may just make you want to go out there and join in the brawl as well.

Casting is spot on with good lookers Shun Oguri (Reincarnation, Gigolo Wannabe) and Takayuki Yamada (Train Man) headlining this movie. It doesn’t matter if these tough looking actors are playing delinquents, the heartthrobs will charm girls off their feet – it pays to be a bad boy. And these bad boys will be back in 2009 with a sequel. Girls, mark your calendars.


This Code 3 disc includes Interviews with Miike and the lead actors at what looks like a promotional road show. During 13 minutes, we hear the host gleefully ask the guys who they will date if they were girls, and the actors trying their best to look interested at the frivolous question. There is also a Trailer included in the disc.


There are Japanese and Mandarin audio tracks available, and the visual transfer makes sure you can properly see what is going on in the scenes where there is heavy rain.



Review by John Li



. Crows Zero (Movie Review)

Other titles from Simply Fun:

. L Change the World

. Hero

. 3:10 To Yuma

. My DNA Says I Love You

. The Last Breath

This review is made possible with the kind support from Simply Fun



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