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Crows Zero (2007)

Kurôzu zero (original title)
A transfer student attempts to take over the most violent high school in the country, whose students form factions and battle each other for power.

Director:

Takashi Miike

Writers:

Hiroshi Takahashi (comic), Shôgo Mutô (screenplay)
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shun Oguri ... Genji Takaya
Kyôsuke Yabe Kyôsuke Yabe ... Ken Katagiri
Meisa Kuroki ... Luca Aizawa
Takayuki Yamada ... Tamao Serizawa
Sansei Shiomi Sansei Shiomi ... Yoshinobu Kuroiwa
Ken'ichi Endô ... Joji Yazaki
Gorô Kishitani ... Hideo Takitani
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Buchholz ... George Yazaki (voice)
Shunsuke Daitô Shunsuke Daitô ... Hiromi Kirishima
Mari Devon ... Seiko (voice)
Peter Doyle Peter Doyle ... Ken Katagiri (voice)
Kaname Endô Kaname Endô ... Yuji Tokaji
Doug Erholtz ... Hideto Bando (voice)
Erina Erina ...
Motoki Fukami Motoki Fukami ... Megumi Hayashida
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Storyline

The Suzuran Senior High School for Boys, nicknamed "The School of Crows", is the poorest achieving, most violent school in the country. The students are called "crows" and they band together in factions, battling each other for influence and power. But they all share a common goal, one that has never been reached in the school's history: unification. No one faction has ever reigned supreme. Genji Takiya, a transfer student who attempts to take over Suzuran Boys High School and is mentored by old boy yakuza Katagiri as he faces off against rival Serizawa. Written by Anon

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

There's no such thing as a fair fight.

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

27 October 2007 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Crows Zero See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,036,607
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In most fight scenes having Ogura shun, has the actors in the same scene as him getting punched See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad Dog Express (2019) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Takashi Miike's Rebels with Fight-Club Causes
1 September 2009 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Takashi Miike is an extraordinary filmmaker, even if he works sometimes in circumstances that other directors might find ordinary, such as all of the genres that Miike tackles... which are, by a mild estimation, almost all of them. Name a kind of movie, Miike's probably done it, from family movie to samurai epic to just totally f***ed up way-past X-rated stuff, not to mention all of the Yakuza crime movies that by this time should be coming out of his nose from going over so often. But with Crows: Episode Zero, he found a way to tell a Yakuza story just a little different, by making it about the teenage kids (some of them, anyway) of the Yakuza who enroll in an "extreme" high school where it's basically not about learning anything but fighting and ascending the ranks to become the head of the school's bad-ass fightin' kids. It's the kind of movie that, if you are fourteen and watching it, it's like a near wet-dream of awesomeness. For the rest of us, the movie serves as lots of good fun.

And as this is Miike, even the more conventional things in the movie like the whole 'I'm-doing-this-to-out-impress-my-dad' to the 'my-girl's-been-kidnapped' thing, get twisted just a wee bit. And, thankfully, a great dose of humor is sprinkled throughout with really random moments of hilarity (my favorite was when the teen is just talking to his friends on the roof, and casually takes a gigantic ball of some kind and rolls it away at a set of other kids all lined up like bowling pins who get knocked down in silly CGI style), and little lines and things with the characters (another highlight involves a guy trying to impress two girls in a bar, with some disastrous results). But when it's not being funny, Miike is also an excellent director of young, brawny actors who have a lot of energy and talent to burn. And he casts well enough for its target audience; the movie isn't quite violent enough (i.e. Ichi the Killer level) to make it unwatchable for teen eyes, so all of the guys like Genji and Serizawa are cast for ultimate bad-assitude.

Indeed there are some scenes and moments that come close to being vintage Miike for this kind of tough and gritty action movie. There's a fight scene midway through, for example, that is done with no frills and with total excitement as a guy is fighting against a large group of people, and as it starts to rain and he looks down and out he gets back up and, staggeringly, knocks out almost all of them left. It's visceral things like that that work, but it's also how Miike, taking of course from a comic-book (if it weren't a comic-book one would swear a brilliant and ornery teen had written it), takes material that has originality and pumps it up to the level of an crazy sort of epic. Why this school exists and the parents don't mind sending them away to get the crap kicked out of them in a caste system is beyond me, but why carp? We believe it because Miike does, and gets us into the power struggle and the ascension of Genji, even if it means he might go crazy or if another teen, Tokio, possibly may die from a brain aneurysm.

Then again, the movie also has some problems to it as well. The whole element of the girls being kidnapped could have been cut-out, or at least given with a little more development with the female characters before they're plucked away as a kind of plot convenience (if not contrivance) just so there's something else on the plate of 's***-we-need-to-take-care-of' in the story. And the climax of the film, imbued with a real epic sensibility with Genji and Serizawa fighting in a big battle with nearly a hundred students on each side to fight, stumbles a bit as its moments of raw power and energy are awkwardly cut with images of the one guy getting operated on in the hospital - it lacks tension or focus except that surgery is going on, who cares, lets get back to the wicked action - and as well a ballad sung by a woman (we see her singing on stage too) and the fighting done in slow motion. It's almost as if Miike goes too far in his excesses in this whole sequence, and ultimately half of it is really great and the other half is just... lame.

But for any fan of the director's, or anyone looking for a kooky take on rebellious youth in Japan who are only a couple of steps removed from a Battle Royale scenario, it's a good ticket to take. There's tight acting and (mostly) hard-rocking Japanese punk tunes, and the action is often creative and engaging.


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