Teiichi: The Battle of Supreme High (2017)

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Masaki Suda, one of the go-to guys for live action adaptations, churns out one of his zaniest performances in this adaptation of a Usumaru Furuya manga.

Since sustaining a bump on the head as a child during an argument, Teiichi Akaba has only one thing in mind. He wishes to own his own country and become that country’s leader. The only thing? Teiichi is in high school. A student at Kaitei High, Akaba has a longtime rivalry with Kikuma Togo due to the fact their fathers are hated ministers within the government. When the election to replace the next Student Council President is set to begin, Teiichi decides to go with the candidate he seeks fit and will do whatever it takes to ensure his eventual place with the high ranks of Kaitei High.

Teiichi decides to join the team of Roland Himuro, the most popular candidate who seeks as a means to gain more popularity by giving more attention to the sports and other clubs he feels needs attention. His opponent for the presidency is Okuto Morizono, who wishes to give everyone at the school a fair shot and being a more democratic process to the school. Despite his friendships with fellow students Dan Otaka and Komei Sakakibara, Teeichi learns a shocking secret about the student he is following and must decide who the best one for the school is, putting his own potential career in jeopardy.

The original manga Teiichi no Kuni, translated to Teiichi’s Country, by Usumary Furuya takes the topic of high school politics and amps it up with the titular character being that of a power-driven high schooler who is hellbound to rise through the ranks to eventually become the leader of his own country. Think of the film as an amped-up Japanese version of the hilarious 1999 indie comedy Election. And if there is one reason to see this film, it can be summed up in two words: Masaki Suda.

Suda has become a staple in live-action adaptations of manga/anime as of late, from playing Karma Akabane in the Assassination Classroom films to Shimpachi Shimura in the Gintama films, Suda brings out one of his funniest and most brilliant performances as the titular Teiichi Akaba. Throughout the film, Suda brings such hilarious facial expressions that it can be said that Suda himself is a live-action anime character. Suda’s over the top reactions really help as well, from berating his assistant for admiring a fellow student to flipping out during his studying for tests.

The supporting cast in the film is also wonderful. Shuhei Nomura, as Kikuma Togo, spends most of the film doing everything in his power to make Teiichi’s life a living hell. Ryoma Takeuchi’s Dan Otaka is the sympathetic character who plays more of a neutrality, becoming friends with Teiichi and having no qualms about his decision as to who he feels is the rightful nominee. Jun Shison’s Komei brings that effeminatelook and mannerism as Teiichi’s assistant while Shotaro Mamiya’s Roland Himuro sports the long blond hair and mannerisms that make him a strong candidate for the student council presidency. The only small flaw is Mei Nagano’s Mimiko, who is only there for the most part to put up with Teiichi’s antics and to listen to him, only helping him out in the direst of situations.

Teiichi: The Battle of Supreme High takes high school politics and amps up the level of hysterics, thanks in part to the funniest laugh out loud performance of lead actor Masaki Suda as the titular character.

WFG RATING: A-

A Toho Company production in association with Fuji Television Network, Aoi Promotion, and Shueisha. Director: Akira Nagai. Producers: Hiroki Wakamatsu, Ken Murase, and Yuho Tadano. Writer: Yoshihiro Izumi; based on the manga Teiichi no Kuni by Usumaru Furuya. Cinematography: Keisuke Imamura.

Cast: Masaki Suda, Shuhei Nomura, Ryoma Takeuchi, Jun Shison, Shotaro Mamiya, Yudai Chiba, Mei Nagano, Riku Hagiwara, Yugo Mikawa, Ryo Kimura, Amane Okayama, Kotaro Yoshida.

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