REVIEW: Akira No. 2 (2014)

akirano2

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2014, Gosent Co.

Director:
Norihisa Okumura
Producer:
Yoshiharu Katsuki
Writers:
Hiromasu Okushima (original manga)
Sakurako Inoue (screenplay)
Norihisa Okumura (screenplay)

Cast:
Ryota Ozawa (Akira Yazawa)
Yasuhiro Kido (Tsutomu Tonarino)
Maasa Igarashi (Ryoji “Jessy” Fujiharu)
Shota Fukuyama (Masami “Butch” Furuno)

A young delinquent aspires to become the best at his school but faces obstacles in this live-action adaptation of a yankee manga from Hiromasu Okushima.

Welcome to Rikuyama High School, where the delinquents rule the school. Instead of education, it is all about fighting to earn the top spot as the best fighter of the school. If you make the top ten, then you will earn your reputation while you plan to get that #1 spot. And that is what current #2 Akira Yazawa aspires to do. However, he is somewhat loyal to the #1, Tsutomu Tonarino. While the two have an interesting friendship, Akira has long wanted to unseat his friend as the #1.

However, it is not going to be easy for Akira. Jessy, a former number 2, has returned to Rikuyama with his known intentions. He plans to not only take out Akira to regain his number two spot, but plans to go after Tsutomu for the top spot. To make matters worse, another member of the top ten, Butch, plans to take the top spot as well. However, when a new group arrives, they make it clear they plan to wipe out this numbers gang and become the new kings of Rikuyama High School.

Based on the yankee, or delinquent manga from Hiromasu Okushima, this shot-on-video film somehow got a theatrical release, but it seems more of a B-movie level film. However, don’t discount the film as those who may not be familiar with the manga might not get the gist of things and would rather enjoy this as a B-movie action-comedy rather than something epic, which is far from what we see here.

Ryota Ozawa, best known to Super Sentai fans as the Red Ranger of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, plays the titular Akira, who openly supports the number one fighter in Rikuyama High, not only as a sidekick, but more or less a personal assistant as well. This is known when a fellow high schooler challenges Akira to a fight for the number two spot. We even get into Akira’s head when he wants so bad to be the man and when Tsutomu, the number one, gets involved, Akira has a sense of hatred for him, calling him “gorilla” at one point.

K-1 world champion kickboxer Yasuhiro Kido may seem wooden as the number one Tsutomu. But surprisingly, that is how his character is. Knowing he is the man, he brings a sense of cockiness that can only be conveyed through the constant stiff look on his face. The film does allow Kido to show off the skills that rightfully earned him the K-1 Championship and even adds wrestling in the mix to his fight arsenal. Maasa Igarashi and Shota Fukuyama provide ample support as frenemies Jessy and Butch, whose distinct looks allow them to play their characters quite well, as eventually, the group must band together to face a new threat to their school.

Akira No. 2 is not exactly a thrilling adaptation of a manga, but it’s somewhat fun and it’s safe to say not to take this seriously. Just enjoy it for Ryota Ozawa and Yasuhiro Kido’s performances in acting and action respectively.

WFG RATING: C-

This title is available to view with English subtitles on VIKI

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