HiGH&LOW, Crows/Worst Franchises Inspire Crossover Film
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Image Field announced on Tuesday that it is producing HiGH&LOW THE WORST, a crossover film that integrates Hiroshi Takahashi's Crows and Worst manga with the HiGH&LOW franchise, for release in Japanese theaters on October 4. Takahashi drew an illustration of the "New Generation of Hōsen Academy" to celebrate the announcement.
The movie will center on a conflict between the students of Hōsen Academy from Crows and Worst, and the students of Oya High School from HiGH&LOW. Hōsen Academy is often called a "pack of killers," who are all bald except for their leader. Oya High School are one of five in the "SWORD" area where delinquents gather. In the film, the uneasy peace maintained by Hōsen Academy's new generation crumbles, with many gangs now seeking supremacy over one another in a new age of conflict.
The cast of the Oya High School characters includes:
(Left to right in image above): Ryūji Satō, Satoshi Uekiya, Ryū, Takahide Suzuki, Gōki Maeda, Kazumi Kawamura, Hokuto Yoshino, Kōhei Fukuyama
Shigeaki Kubo is directing the film, and EXILE HIRO (Hiroyuki Igarashi) is credited as producer. Takahito Ōuchi is the action director. Takahashi is penning the script alongside Norihisa Hiranuma, Shōichirō Masumoto, and Kei Watanabe.
Takahashi's Crows manga ran for 26 volumes, and inspired a two-episode anime OVA adaptation. The manga also inspired three live-action films, with Takashi Miike directing the first two films, Crows Zero and Crows Zero II. Crows Explode, the third film, opened in Japan in April 2014. Tokyo Shock released the first film on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in North America, and video label MVM released both Crows Zero and Crows Zero II in the United Kingdom.
Takahashi began Worst as a continuation of his earlier Crows series in 2001, and ended it with 33 compiled volumes in 2013. The story follows a delinquent named Hana Tsukishima as he rises to the top of the gangs at the notorious Suzuran Boys' High School. A single-volume side story titled Worst Gaiden ran in Monthly Shōnen Champion in 2009. The franchise launched a new spinoff manga titled Worst Gaiden: Dokuro (Worst Side Story: Skull) on February 12, as well as another spinoff titled Worst Gaiden: Guriko (Worst Side Story: Guriko) that launched on January 17.
The HiGH&LOW live-action entertainment project, launched by Japanese supergroup Exile Tribe, began as a 10-episode drama series titled HiGH&LOW: The Story of S.W.O.R.D. that premiered on television and Hulu in Japan in October 2015. A second drama series titled HiGH&LOW Season 2 ran from April to June 2016. The Road to HiGH&LOW film premiered in theaters in May 2016. A second film titled HiGH&LOW The Movie premiered in theaters in July 2016, followed by the HiGH&LOW The Red Rain film, which opened in Japan in October 2016. A series of live performances titled HiGH&LOW The Live ran from July through October 2016 across Japan. HiGH&LOW The Movie 2: End of Sky opened in theaters in August 2017. The franchise's "final chapter" film, titled HiGH&LOW The Movie 3: Final Mission, opened in November 2017.