Kids Return (キッズ・リターン, Kizzu Ritān) is a 1996 Japanese film written, edited and directed by Takeshi Kitano. The film was made directly after Kitano recovered from a motorcycle wreck that left one side of his body paralyzed. After undergoing extensive surgery and physical therapy, he quickly went about making Kids Return amidst speculation that he might never be able to work again. The movie is about two high school dropouts, Masaru (Ken Kaneko) and Shinji (Masanobu Andō), who try to find a direction and meaning in their lives—one by becoming a yakuza lieutenant, the other by becoming a boxer.
|Directed by||Takeshi Kitano|
|Produced by||Masayuki Mori|
|Written by||Takeshi Kitano|
|Music by||Joe Hisaishi|
|Edited by||Takeshi Kitano|
|Distributed by||Office Kitano|
Shinji and Masaru are high school delinquents, terrifying their classmates, stealing money, and setting their teacher's car on fire. After some of their victims hire a boxer to beat up Masaru, he decides to get revenge, and takes his shy friend Shinji along with him to a boxing gym. To their trainers' surprise, Shinji is naturally-talented at boxing and easily defeats Masaru in a sparring session. Masaru encourages his friend to keep going at it, and quits boxing, opting instead to join the yakuza. As Shinji focuses on becoming a successful boxer, Masaru aims to become a gang leader, and their paths diverge.
While the two of them climb to the top in their respective areas, Shinji looks for guidance from someone else after being left by Masaru, and this leads him into an unhealthy lifestyle that results in the end of his boxing career. Masaru's self-confidence and lack of respect for his yakuza boss also end his time with the yakuza, getting him kicked out. In the end, they are left with nothing, and as they ride their bike together in the schoolyard, Shinji asks if it is the end, to which Masaru replies that it is only the beginning.
Cast and rolesEdit
- Ken Kaneko as Masaru
- Masanobu Andō as Shinji
- Leo Morimoto as Teacher
- Hatsuo Yamatani as boxing club manager (credited as Hatsuo Yamaya)
- Michisuke Kashiwaya as Hiroshi
- Mitsuko Oka as coffee-shop owner, Sachiko's mother
- Yūko Daike as Sachiko
- Ryo Ishibashi as local Yakuza chief
- Susumu Terajima as No. 2 in local gang
- Moro Morooka as Hayashi
- Peking Genji
- Atsuki Ueda as Reiko
- Kotaro Yoshida
- Koichi Shigehisa as Trainer
- Kyōsuke Yabe
- Yoshitaka Ōtsuka as delinquent
- Masami Shimojō as Yakuza godfather
- Kazuki Oh
- Shintarō Hasegawa
- Kanji Tsuda
- Yojin Hino as taxi office worker (credited as Yōjin Hino)
- Ren Osugi as taxi passenger
- Takashi Hagino
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||26 June 1996|
All compositions by Joe Hisaishi.
- "Meet Again" − 5:02
- "Graduation" − 1:07
- "Angel Doll" − 2:21
- "Alone" − 1:15
- "As a Rival" − 1:29
- "Promise... for Us" − 5:08
- "Next Round" − 1:28
- "Destiny" − 3:31
- "I Don't Care" − 2:18
- "High Spirits" − 2:03
- "Defeat" − 2:29
- "Break Down" − 3:46
- "No Way Out" − 2:51
- "The Day After" − 0:44
- "Kids Return" − 4:40
At the time of its release Kids Return was Takeshi Kitano's most successful film yet in his native Japan, which until then had been notedly much less enthusiastic about his films than international viewers. Rotten Tomatoes gives this film a 100% rating based on review from five critics, with an average 7.8 out of 10. David Wood, writing for the BBC, described it as "a tender, funny and melancholy affair which will come as a delight to ardent admirers after the recent Kikujiro." He gave the film 4 out of 5 stars.
|Japanese Academy Awards|
|Newcomer of the Year||Masanobu Andō||Won|
|Best Music Score||Joe Hisaishi||Nominated|
|Blue Ribbon Awards|
|Best New Actor||Masanobu Andō||Won|
|Yokohama Film Festival|
|Best Film||Takeshi Kitano||Won|
|Best New Talent||Masanobu Andō||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Ryo Ishibashi||Won|
|Best Cinematography||Katsumi Yanagishima||Won|
In 2013 a sequel to the film titled Kids Return: The Reunion was released, directed by the assistant director of the original, Hiroshi Shimizu. It is set ten years after the original and follows an older Shinji (Yuta Hiraoka) and Masaru (Takahiro Miura). The two of them meet after their failures in boxing and crime, respectively, and they work together to improve their situation. The new film was created with minimal input from Kitano.
- Schilling, Mark (10 October 2013). ‘Kids Return: Saikai no Toki (Kids Return: The Reunion)’. The Japan Times. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Kids Return (1996). Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Wood, David (23 October 2000). Kids Return, BBC. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009, on Archive.org. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Kids Return (1996) Awards. IMDb. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
- Kids Return on IMDb
- Kids Return at AllMovie
- Ｋｉｄｓ Ｒｅｔｕｒｎ (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-19.