I still have high hopes that both seasons as well as the films and spin-offs within the HiGH&LOW action franchise make their way overseas, and of course it could take years at the very least. The premise of its entirety reads like something I can totally get into, dealing with boyhood drama and high octane action platformed on a gangster saga, and all led by an ensemble talent roster of actors and J-pop actors.
It’s been nearly two years since the LDH, Inc’s HiGH&LOW project, shepherded by producer Exile Hiro, with two shows and a slate of films that will now culminate with a two-part finale this year. For that, I reckon it’ll be another few years thereafter until we hear more on overseas distribution should we be so lucky, and I can only hope this is at least the case as much as I’ve been following this particular franchise.
That’s a two-season drama and a five-film run with two of those being spin-offs therein, featuring a stellar line-up of actors and notables of J-pop supergroup Exile Tribe as the franchise chronicles the events within a town fractured by gangs and the interwoven politics of its leaders. For this, we now have Kubo Shigeaki (HiGH&LOW: The Movie) and Nakakuki Tsuyoshi (HiGH&LOW: Season Two) at the chair for the latest chapter in the saga, HiGH&LOW The Movie 2: End Of Sky, featuring actors Iwata Takanori, Kubota Masataka, Nakamura Aoi and Naoto among those leading the cast, and action sequences by Ouchi Takahito (Kamui, Rurouni Kenshin Trilogy).
Members of SWORD win against Wangan Rengogun, which is led by Kohaku. The city becomes peaceful again.
Nevertheless, the most brutal gangs appear. The gangs are Doubt, led by Hayashi Ranmaru, and Prison Gang, led by Jeshi. These gangs try to dominate the area controlled by SWORD. The new gangs also go up against other gangs in the area. Finally, Doubt, with the help from Prison Gang, challenges White Rascals to fight.
The new film opens this Saturday in Japan and the newest trailer is live in the player below with title track, “Break Into The Dark”, performed by Valentine with Rui and Afrojack.
Writer and director Nishikori Yoshinari’s latest, Tatara Samurai, has had a stellar run in the past year throughout the festival circuit. The film’s course most recently sought several screenings in the U.K. and in the U.S. with a number of wins in Tiburon and Irvine in California, and Cinema On The Bayou in Louisiana before just wrapping up at Ozark Foothills Film Fest in Arkansas in April.
At long last though, a new trailer has already begun making the rounds with a theatrical May 20 release in tow, and with a story set in the Warring States period where an embattled village known for its steel becomes ground zero for a young Blacksmith’s choice in lieu of arms proliferation to either become a soldier, or embrace his samurai spirit. Leading the cast is J-Pop star, actor Aoyagi Sho in reunion with Nishikori’s previous helmer, Konshin; Aoyagi is joined by fellow Exile Tribe members, fellow HiGH&LOW franchise co-star Akira and debut actor Kobayashi Naoki.
Check out the trailer below, as well as the teaser from last year just beneath for added measure.