I… I genuinely don’t know where to start with this film. I feel like having written “Sigh.” says it all. It’s been very trying times being an LDH fan, and HiGH&LOW franchise fan this year. Earlier this year, I reviewed the drama “HiGH&LOW THE WORST EPISODE 0”, which is linked. I suggest reading that first to get better context of what this review is about because to be honest; I am tired of attempting to rephrase the series over and over.
Also, this will be incredibly spoiler heavy. So I’m adding in a read more here and line cut.
The film picks up more or less right where the drama left off and that’s about it. I don’t want to get spoiler-y. However, there is so little good in this series that being called ‘the worst of HiGH&LOW’ might be appropriate. Fujio (Kawamura Kazuma) pretty much rolls up to Oya High School and goes ‘aye yo, how’s it going fam?’ and everyone more or less decides to team up with him to unify the school. Completely ignoring and destroying any characterization that they had given Todoroki Yousuke (Maeda Goki) oh I don’t know, since the original series.
It really doesn’t get any better. We get tossed Fujio’s background, sort of. We get handed Fujio’s friends; Masaya and Shinya Oochi (Komori Hayato and Nakatsuka Yuta), Seiji Kirihara, Madoka Ishii, and finally Maekawa Arata. Who are sort of coming together to mourn the loss of their ‘Grandmother’ of their former residence Hope Hill, from ‘The Worst’ manga series. The film makes mention that Hope Hill is more or less abandoned and now is the breeding ground for drugs, and supposedly Arata has been seen there more then once.
We are force fed this shoddily put together story that Housen students have been giving Oya students red rum pills, which is a bit of a throwback to the original HiGH&LOW. Of course, it’s been claimed by Housen that Oya High students are doing it to them, etc. So of course, both sides are screaming that the other one is full of druggies and that they must fight. But oh wait! Fujio magically helps an old lady in front of Sachio Ueda (Shison Jun), who is also the leader of Housen so they don’t think of each other as bad guys and…
This film isn’t salvageable you guys. There I said it. That doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable; I loved watching everyone get in huge brawl scenes defending their honor and such. Those were great, when the camera was stable enough for me to track the action. The level of acting actually went up since they recruited actual actors, not just LDH talents to be new characters. The cinematography was really good too. Still on par with past HiGH&LOW films in my opinion.
Just… the story is set up on the rockiest foundation. I don’t have any emotional investment in any of these characters. Not Housen, not the new crew of Oya High, certainly not Hope Hill’s cast; Why should I care about Fujio? Because he’s a nice delinquent who helps little old ladies? Why should I care about his missing friend, Arata? We only learned about him for three minutes in the first ten minutes of the film, and there wasn’t anything emotionally compelling about his story other then he’s a childhood friend of Fujio.
The story is one cliche after overused cliche. I don’t mind the troupes of delinquent kids solving their problems with violence. That’s what I came to see in Oya High’s spin-off movie; a bunch of delinquents bonding through blood. Give me fight scenes, cussing each other out, a street-fighter style boss battle!
It’s so shoddily set-up that it’s embarrassing. Everything that took the original HiGH&LOW two dramas, and several films to accomplish; they tried to shove in a mini-drama and a single film. Obviously, it fell on it’s face. They set up a single hint about anything, in the most obvious way. Boom, not even five minutes later it’s exactly what you thought it was! I’m not saying everything has to be indirect, or really throw you off guard but come on. Give me something of substance here!
They manage to shove in some lose links to the original HiGH&LOW with the drug plot, but it’s so vague that even Murayama Yoshiyuki (Yamada Yuki), the original leader of Oya High remarks non-fourth wall breaking, how much a stretch it is. The topping on the cake? They manage to make not one, but TWO romances happen for the dumbest reasons by the end. I felt my eyes roll into the back of my head.
About the only thing they did well, as wrap up the arch with a one-on-one between Fujio and Sachio. So we get the whole, ‘you’re tough man’, ‘so are you’, bro-fist conclusion of respect between the duo. They aren’t friends, but aren’t going to try and kill each other on the street for once.
Of course though, much like ‘Prince of Legend’ earlier; they are hinting at that sequel ladies and gents. “The Worst” is related to the earlier “Crows” franchise and just… I don’t think I can take this you guys. LDH is really trying my faith with this. If I had to pick between an unneeded sequel to ‘Prince of Legend’ and ‘HiGH&LOW’ my money is still with ‘HiGH&LOW’ but who knows for how long.
not sure if you’re gonna read this reply. just wondering where do you watch high and low episode 0 series? and is there any english sub?
I currently reside in Japan so I watched Episode 0, on Japanese Hulu. No subtitles. You could potentionally watch with a VPN and Hulu account.
Currently, I don’t know if anyone picked it up for subtitles. You might want to check D-addicts if anyone picked it up.
Ahh okay. How’s japan? Sorry forgot to introduce. I’m Gillan from Malaysia. Anyway, i’ve been itching to watch episode 0 and the movie itself but i can’t find any with english sub. Maybe a few more months needed since it was released in october. Hope someone will do the subtitles.
As for the whole High and Low series, i hope i didn’t stop at “final mission”. Wanna see more of S.W.O.R.D.
No worries! It’s pretty solid just snowy where I live. It’s nice to meet you.
I’m sure someone has picked it up, just not sure where to look. Ngl, Episode 0 completely swerves away from the main S.W.O.R.D. cast aside from a bit of DTC, and Oya High’s cast. It’s still interesting but I’d treat it more as a separate thing personally.
[…] in favor of a ‘more appealing’ yankee homage. I won’t even go to my problems with THE WORST’s MOVIE, but it’s more of the […]
Hey bro, just wondering isn’t High and Low the worst episode one is just the intro to the actual movie? i tried looking thru HULU website in japan but i did not see any high&low movies.
Hey, the Episode 0 series is the intro to the “The Worst” Movie. Unfortunately back in January HiGH&LOW got pulled from Japanese Hulu.
Hi will there be high and low the worst english sub? Cuz I’m hype to see housen and suzuran back, what i heard is they’ll make them fight suzuran after housen.
Honestly, I don’t know. The H&L series hasn’t been official subtitled anywhere. Unofficially/fan subs I haven’t heard anyone picking it up. It was heavily implied that Suzuran was next up… nothing has been announced yet so I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
[…] should have been airing in tandem with HiGH & LOW the Worst Episode. 0. It would have made the subsequent movie a lot more palpable to me since we would have known Fujio’s friends better. It would have […]
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So what do you like. You didn’t enjoy Prince of legend, you didn’t enjoy this both of which were great. This movie is literally one of my favorite movies of all time (until cross) I can’t even watch the older stuff anymore because the non oya characters are so boring compared to these. Also the fact that you called fujio and tsukasa boring is just…..wow. also they didn’t ignore todoroki’s development they actually nicely concluded it in a great way as he’s now a chill guy. And no everyone wasn’t just automatically friends, it took fujio and the conflict with HOUSEN to bring everyone together. And no Like bro do you just want to hate just to hate or do you just not pay attention. This movie literally revitalized the franchise and it did really well in Japan. I will say your “reviews” did do something good and that was it make me watch the prince of legend series because if you hated I’m sure to love it which I did so thanks.