Crows Zero (2007)

 “I bet the view atop Suzuran is breathtaking. Let’s go get it”

Released in 2007, Crows Zero is the movie adaptation of the cult Manga of the same name; a highly popular series which gained notoriety for its graphic violence and highly appealing characters. The film itself follows the same frenetic pace, and does not waste any time in getting to the meat and bones of the action.

Crows Zero follows the exploits of Genji Takaya (Shun Oguri), a recently transferred third year, with aspirations to make his mark in history by taking down the fighters of Suzuran high school aka “The School of Crows”. Suzuran is famous throughout all of Japan as a school for fighters, and there is an epic power struggle (almost always solved by fists) to reach the top of the school and attain the title of King of Suzuran. An extremely capable fighter (at one point he takes on 50+ other fighters) he slowly but surely gains allies and makes plans to take the top. Unfortunately for him, Takao Serizawa (Takayuki Yamada) aka “The King of Beasts” is the current student closest to conquering Suzuran, and has no plans on letting young upstart Genji impede his claim to the throne. Cue a highly predictable, yet thoroughly entertaining build up to a final rumble between Genji and Serizawa’s ‘armies’. In short…it doesn’t disappoint.

In terms of action, as I said, it really doesn’t disappoint at all. But this only bears fruit if you suspend all disbelief, as these supposed 16-18 year olds take a ridiculous amount of damage, take on countless other fighters, and seem to recover from being beaten half to death overnight.

Surprisingly, there aren’t any textbook shocks you’d expect from a film by [Takashi] Miike, but it still has that underlying feel to it. The violence isn’t overly shocking, but there’s plenty of it. Throw into it the standard comedy elements (who doesn’t like seeing a guy who can’t so much as talk to a girl without shooting his load…right?) you’d expect from a Japanese film with such a young cast. Hell, if Battle Royale can add a little humour in places, then why can’t a Miike Film?

In terms of the soundtrack, it’s filled (unsurprisingly) with J-Rock. We’re even lucky enough to see a few performances in the opening and ending by a charming, albeit aged Japanese Billy Idol. The guitar solos throughout add to the frenetic pace of the fighting well, and in general, the music fits the pace of the movie.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a switch-off-your-brain and enjoy-the-fighting kind of film, then this is for you. Throw in some great characters, plenty of laughs, and a fairly sturdy storyline, then this definitely fits the bill. If you’re looking for something along the same lines, but a little more serious, check out Blue Spring; an almost identical movie, just taken a lot more seriously. I personally have a soft spot for these kinds of movies, but I think Crows Zero has wider appeal, and certainly is one of the more mild creations from the mind of Miike

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.