… I’m not sure how to truly start this review. So let’s start with what I had hoped would happen in this drama. I had hoped that somehow, the story would spin itself into being more related to the original topic at hand. That by the power of an amazing writing that the high school squad would have some reason to be involved with the construction crew, and host clubs. That there would have been a purpose to all the earlier drama of Senior (Daigo) verses Shintaro (Shirahama Alan), and that the night ring bullshit would make sense.
Of course, those are my hopes. Absolutely none of that happened in this series. In fact, I can’t even say that anything really happened in this series. I am, for having watched this series air live, at a loss to even attempt to describe what happened as a plot or character development. The drama was so contrived and so try-hard in it’s “efforts” that it didn’t even result in something digestible. The pretty boy factor couldn’t even salvage this series, nor do I think it was even a saving grace.
About the only smart thing that happened in this series, was that it was cut short. I’m not kidding. I was fully anticipating a 10 episode drama, and I fully believe 10 episodes were shot and filmed but it abruptly ended at episode 6. And even episode 6 was just… a recap of episode 1-5, so really it was a five episode series. Oh and it did the thing I hate where it was like, ‘make sure to watch the film to see how it ends!’.
So, that was a bit “WTF”, because trust me there are a lot of open ended questions that I’m sure a second viewing could answer. I did a brief ‘rewatch” I.e. I played through episode six and… yeah nothing of actual substance happened.
So here’s where we are going to get into spoiler territory, because I can’t not talk about these things. The rest of this post is going to contain spoilers so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
So, two hosts were straight up murdered in this series. Like literally in episode 4 and then 5, they are killed. Which is brand new because one) original Prince of Legend (POL) wasn’t billed as a murder-mystery and two) it made no god damn sense that in this plot for either to occur.
Nobutora (Itagaki Mizuki), literally gets tortured and killed for not sabotaging Senior’s business by the basketball coach for the high school squad, who moonlights as a host. Like, I get it Senior was the ‘bad guy’ of the series, but for real? That shit doesn’t happen at host clubs. This was the most “we’re gonna make this series dark to bring back the fans” and I’m sorry but no. It was needless. There were about 10 thousand other ways to create a dark story within POL and this wasn’t it.
So, because Nobutora had been befriending Shintaro and the construction crew, his body is dumped on their site. Ayumi (Maeda Goki) managed to pull a crinkled up business card, gasp that was a planted, for Senior, and Nobutora dies. Of course, Shintaro and company are like, let’s go beat the shit out of Senior in revenge! Because suddenly this is now HiGH&LOW with eye for an eye shit going on? They should have called the damn cops!!
So they go to Club Texas, have the weird chanting thing for Shintaro verses Senior. Senior due to some mystery illness that is barely mentioned in passing, is a bit weakened and Shintaro wins. All is right in the world right?
Nobutora is dead still. So what does Ayumi do? He straight up kills Senior, stabbing him in the middle of Club Texas.
Senior is literally killed in front of all his underlings from Club Texas, and the entire construction crew. That’s literally where the series kinda trails off, implying that Shintaro took over. Like Ayumi is never mentioned again, and just everyone was like okay Senior and Nobutora are dead time to move along.
Like, I am so blown away. How the fuck did they explain Senior’s death? Like I’m picturing it went something like this; “Oh yeah, a rival host came and stabbed him after he had fisticuffs with his younger brother for revenge?” “Oh yeah, like this other host was tortured and murdered too but nbd we’re all good”.
I do not get how they had two traumatic deaths occur in back to back episodes, and the director and script writer were just like ‘and oop, watch the movie!’. I had to bury my head in my hands.
The absolute illogical nature of this drama is actually getting to me.
So more grievances. First of all, the cuts to and from the different groups. I get cutting from Shintaro’s group to the host club circuit since that’s the main conflict. However, they’re so abrupt and nonlinear that trying to glean a timeline from this series is damn near impossible. Is it a few hours between scenes, days? Who knows! Certainly not me, or writer for this series!
Coupled with this is it’s never explained clearly when the fuck this was happening. Basing it off the first movie, that Shintaro has taken over the night ring before the Prince of Legend competition occurs, or it should have been occurring con-currently to the original Prince of Legend competition itself. I am assuming it should be the former. But given the big ass plot hole that is Koki (Yoshino Hokuto), I have to say it’s actually the latter.
Which still makes no god damn sense with the original timeline because Koki. Literally, Koki is the biggest god damn factor of this series and later Kuon Seiichiro, but we’re gonna focus on Koki here. For the benefit of the doubt and the nature of high school boys, them being Team NEXT as dance squad and now suddenly basketball boys is fine.
But, Koki suddenly becoming a host. Let’s not get this twisted; that’s illegal. Like, big ass, can get Koki in jail, all the night ring shut down, school in the paper and reputation ruined kinda bad, and it’s just… not an issue it seems. Lest we forget, there is no damn indictation in the original series, that Koki has been, hypothetically, leading a double life since season 1. I even rewatched the ending of the movie to be sure, and Koki just wants a younger tsundere, “we met by chance”, girlfriend. Not an inkling of becoming a host in there.
Again, I am doing my best to make sense of this timeline, and the fact I know I am missing some things due to my imperfect Japanese. Because, sure, this season shows how Koki was separated, targeted, and eventually meets Shintaro due to his coach’s grooming. But again, trying to fit first movie Koki with the time he spent with Team NEXT boys, befriending Ryu, and competing in the Prince of Legend and now a host. I am damn confused when the fuck these timelines are coming from.
The only way this would make sense is that Shintaro and squad randomly arriving at the school actually occurs… a few days? Weeks more like it? After the original competition is wrapped, but that just makes me even more confused as to why the fuck Shintaro was at the beginning, before the Prince of Legend competition is finished, and then also the end of the actual movie which I guess, to try and salvage this plot line a few days after the competition. Why though??? Just have him at the end like a normal sequel clue???
The next plot hole is at the end of the Prince of Legend movie, all of Shintaro’s squad lines up behind him. About the only thing is unless you watch the additional footage you don’t know the red haired host opening the door is Koki; they don’t show his face. But still, it’s not that difficult of a mystery to be solved??
So that means in a matter of days (a week or two at most I guess?), Koki and Seiichiro has magically changed sides? Like the movie teaser shows that clearly Seiichiro has abandoned Kaede, and is on the host side but when the fuck it happened, and how the fuck it happened, who knows! Apparently it’s not important enough to tell us how it all happened so they’re gonna give some throw away reason…
Going back to my original questions from my first impression post; The one character’s pregnant girlfriend? We never see her, don’t really hear about it after episode 2. Shintaro’s business being on the verge of failing and the supposed driving force for anything to happen? Forgotten. No one cares. Shintaro and former construction crew magically host club boys now. High Schoolers being involved? Absolute garbage, not explained well enough to matter, and are the main plot holes in this story. Senior’s antagonizing Shintaro? More or less explained, but absolutely trite and forgotten about because guess who just got murdered~!
There are so many issues with this franchise from the moment they decided to include Shintaro at the end of the original film. This whole ‘franchise’ is absolute crap. Prince of Legend as a franchise went to being an okay kinda gimmicky guilty-pleasure/fan service series from LDH, to just being burning garbage.
For the sake of being petty, and for ideally the final roast, I will be going to see in theaters still. I’ve invested too much time to back out now, despite my grievances and big, waving red flags.
I swear to god, I really do, and I don’t even believe in god; If they try to make this into a third drama+movie, or even a third movie…. I might jut have to give up on LDH in-house productions. This is utter bull crap and should’ve been done better.
But I’m gonna call it now. There’s already a third movie, and it will be pushed out by the end of 2020, even if this movie bombs which is absolutely should.
I am… emotionally drained from this review. Truly. I’ll see you guys in a less rant-y and angry review later. Hopefully, my frustration doesn’t tip over into being biased about the movie but… it already has.
Oof LDH, just OOF.