Crows Zero 2
|Crows Zero 2|
|Directed by||Takashi Miike|
|Produced by||Mataichiro Yamamoto|
|Screenplay by||Shogo Muto|
by Hiroshi Takahashi
|Running time||133 minutes|
Crows Zero 2 (クローズZERO II Kurōzu Zero 2?) is a 2009 Japanese action film directed by Takashi Miike with a screenplay by Shogo Muto. It is the second film based on the manga Crows by Hiroshi Takahashi, and a direct sequel to 2007's Crows Zero. The film stars much of the cast from the first film, including Shun Oguri, Kyōsuke Yabe, Meisa Kuroki, and Takayuki Yamada reprising their roles. It was released in Japan on April 11, 2009.
8 months after triumphing over Serizawa Tamao (Takayuki Yamada), Takiya Genji (Shun Oguri) still struggles to attain supremacy at Suzuran All-Boys High School. Following a decisive defeat at the hands of the legendary Rindaman, and on the verge of graduating without fulfilling his goal, Genji grows quietly desperate. He begins challenging Rindaman daily, but consistently fails to beat him. His situation escalates when he unwittingly breaks a non-aggression pact between Suzuran and a rival school, Housen Academy, by coming to the aid of Kawanishi Noboru (Shinnosuke Abe) during a heated confrontation. Genji learns that the agreement between the two schools was established two years prior when, during a skirmish, Noboru violated a gang law and used a weapon to fatally wound Housen's former leader, Bitō Makio. Suzuran had subsequently sworn not to interfere with Housen's retribution upon Noboru's release from prison. Genji's protection of Kawanishi provokes Housen's current leader, Narumi Taiga (Nobuaki Kaneko), to declare war against Suzuran. Genji and his allies go on the defensive, engaging in several violent conflicts with Housen's "Army of Killers".
- Shun Oguri - Takiya Genji
- Takayuki Yamada - Serizawa Tamao
- Kuroki Meisa - Aizawa Ruka
- Kyōsuke Yabe - Katagiri Ken
- Kenta Kiritani - Tatsukawa Tokio
- Suzunosuke Tanaka - Tamura Chūta
- Sōsuke Takaoka - Izaki Shun
- Goro Kishitani - Takiya Hideo
- Motoki Fukami - Rindaman / Hayashida Megumi
- Shunsuke Daitō - Kirishima Hiromi
- Tsutomu Takahashi - Makise Takashi
- Yusuke Kamiji - Tsutsumoto Shōji
- Yusuke Izaki - Mikami Manabu
- Hisato Izaki - Mikami Takeshi
- Ryō Hashizume - Honjō Toshiaki
- Yu Koyanagi - Sugihara Makoto
- Dai Watanabe - Bandō Hideto
- Kaname Endō - Tokaji Yūji
- Shinnosuke Abe - Kawanishi Noboru
- Nobuaki Kaneko - Narumi Taiga
- Kengo Oguchi - Kumagiri Rikiya
- Tomoya Warabino - Shibayama Hayato
- Gō Ayano - Urushibara Ryō
- Kazuki Namioka - Washio Gōta
- Haruma Miura - Bitō Tatsuya
The film was released in Japan on April 11, 2009. It was also screened internationally in Singapore, Russia, and Hong Kong throughout 2009, and in the United States at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 6, 2010.
Reviews of the film were generally positive. Niels Matthijs of Twitch Film gave it a positive review, saying, "Visually Crows Zero II is still looking incredibly slick. Maybe not as many landmark shots, but the dense and graffiti-laden backgrounds make for a tasty looking film alright. The fighting scenes are still a blast to behold too, with strong, intense and action-driven camera work and some tight editing to keep the adrenaline flowing." Likewise, Mark Schilling of The Japan Times gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars, saying, "Miike directs with an energy, velocity and cheeky bravado that are pure punk. He also understands why his Suzuran toughs fight as easily as they breathe - it’s not just a release for their raging hormones, but a way of being with their friends and telling the world they exist." The film currently holds a 77% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Sequels & Adaptations
The film was followed by a sequel, Crows Explode, in 2014. It was also adapted into a manga entitled Crows Zero II: Suzuran x Housen by Crows author Hiroshi Takahashi, with individual chapters published in Bessatsu Shonen Champion magazine.