In Japanese with English & Chinese Subtitles
Director: Takashi Miike
Cast: Shun Oguri, Meisa Kuroki,
Kaneko Nobuaki, Sosuke Takaoka, Takayuki Yamada, Haruma Miura
RunTime: 2 hrs 13 mins
Released By: Encore Films & GV
Rating: NC-16 (Some Violence)
Official Website: http://www.encorefilms.com/
Opening Day: 17 September 2009
Adapted from the outrageous manga by Hiroshi Takahashi, this
sequel to CROWS ZERO continues the story of Takiya Genji (Oguri
Shun), the son of a powerful yakuza boss who had transferred
to the gang-ridden Suzuran All-Boys High School with one goal
in mind: unite the school's many, warring gangs under one
banner, and prove to his father that he can handle the family
several months after the events of CROWS ZERO, trouble brews
again when thugs known as “The Army of Killers,”
from rival high school Hosen Academy threaten Suzuran High
aka the ‘School of Crows.’
ruthless ‘Army of Killers’ is after the blood
of an ex-leader of Suzuran High, who is just released from
reformatory for killing the leader of Hosen H two years back.
Desperate, the wanted man lays low by attempting to join the
local Yakuza. A rejuvenated Hosen decides to revenge their
former leader’s death on the entire Suzuran school instead,
while in-fighting at an increasingly disunited Suzuran High
makes them even more susceptible to the Hosen menace. Can
Genji and the boys stave off this threat from their greatest
by Takashi Miike, the internationally-prolific and highly
controversial Japanese filmmaker, the live-action CROWS franchise
is Miike’s most commercially successful work to date.
CROWS ZERO II was released in Japan earlier this year with
resounding success (the box office for its opening weekend
was an astounding 145% of the first installment)!
There is a revered place in Japanese pop-culture for punks-
the equivalent of our local 'ah bengs' or 'pie kias'- epitomized
in countless mangas and films. Hiroshi Takahashi’s "Crows
Zero" is one such manga, the comic first published in
1981 for eight years in the Shonen Champion magazine and subsequently
sold 42 million editions in paperback editions.
to the rabid fan-base, Takeshi Miike’s "Crows Zero"
easily became the controversial director’s biggest box-office
hit. That success no doubt paved the way for this sequel,
which picks up immediately after the events of the first film.
Having defeated the top man Serizawa (Takayuki Yamada), Genji
Takaya, the quick-fisted son of a yakuza crime boss, however
finds his goal of uniting the disparate factions at Suzuran
High School a tougher task than he imagined.
get even trickier when a Suzuran alum, the lanky Kawanishi
(Shinnosuke Abe), is released from reformatory two years after
fatally stabbing the boss of the rival Hosen gang and stumbles
back into Suzuran territory while fleeing from Hosen punks
thirsty for vengeance. An act of provocation by the volatile
Genji upsets the truce between the Suzurans and the Hosens,
setting the stage once again for a bloody showdown between
the two gangs.
necessary first and foremost to suspend your disbelief to
fully appreciate what goes on in "Crows Zero". There
are no teachers nor classes over at Suzuran, the walls are
filled with graffiti and how well you survive in school or
for that matter graduate, really depends on your natural-born
ability to fight and your determination to win. Over at this
school of punks, honor, dignity and respect are won through
good ol’ fisticuffs.
also best if you have at least a smattering of knowledge of
the characters in the first film and their relationships with
each other, since "Crows Zero 2" is really a continuation
of what has been built up in its prequel. That bit of background
will do you well in understanding the relationships among
the various Suzuran characters- besides Genji and Serizawa,
there’s also the dim-witted yet fiercely loyal Makise
Takashi (Takahashi Tsutomo), the brilliant schemer Izaki Jun
(Takaoka Sousuke), and Genji’s very-beautiful hip-hop
singer girlfriend Aizawa Ruka (Kuroki Meisa).
of what happens before the climactic fight is really filler
that develops from the relationships already established in
"Crows Zero", as well as introducing the Hosen punks-
their explosive goateed leader Narumi (Nobuaki Kaeko), his
laconic Michael Jackson-lookalike fighter Ryo (Go Ayano) and
the blond-haired younger brother of their murdered leader
Tatsuya Bito (Haruma Miura). Still, director Miike deserves
credit for making these new characters instantly distinguishable
from the Suzuran gang and building enough story to avoid relegating
them to mere cardboard opponents.
again, Miike proves his firm grip on the tone of his material.
Taken too literally, it is easy for the fantasy world of manga
to appear too cartoonish even in a live-action adaptation.
But Miike captures perfectly the macho-coolness of his punk
characters, never allowing their ultra-serious posturing to
descend into caricature. He even manages to inject some well-placed
instances of deadpan humour within, and the result is great
of course, the highlight of "Crows Zero 2" is really
the fistfights mano-a-mano. Yet again, Miike doesn’t
disappoint- the brawls come fast and furious and packed with
ferocity. Unlike "Crows Zero" where the action was
more stylized, this sequel keeps the fights realistic to great
bone-crunching effect. The final showdown will especially
please fans of the manga, as individual characters get their
own screen time to show off their unique moves against their
there’s no denying that "Crows Zero 2" is
pure fantasy, an ode to that unruly, rebellious id inside
every one of us. And what better way to indulge in such temptations
and more than "Crows Zero 2", packed with pretty
boys, cool posturing and fun ass-kicking scenes. This is one
manga adaptation that gets the spirit of its source right
and translates it into pure visual energy and velocity.
(Pretty boys, cool posturing and fun ass-kicking scenes-
"Crows Zero 2" is pure manga fantasy done right)
Review by Gabriel Chong