Teenaged Makoto (Satoshi Tsumabuki) has always been a problem child -
but he has saved the life of Ai (Emi Takei), a rich daughter about his
age, once when she had a skiing accident, and she has instantly fallen in
love with him. So when she learns that he has been arrested, she sees to
it that he's not sent to prison but transferred to her upper class high
school, where she thinks the teachers will make a better man out of him -
much to the dismay of Hiroshi, a co-ed who has fallen hopelessly in love
with her but whose love is never requited ... just like her love to Makoto
is never requited.
Makoto of course runs in trouble at the posh school
almost immediately, much to the dismay of Ai's father, who cuts funding
for him ... and thus, Ai becomes a stripper to pay for Makoto's tuition
out of her own pocket - to no avail, Makoto soon gets kicked out of school
anyways. Desperately in love with him though, Ai quits her school too, and
enters the ghetto school he goes to presently, only to be with him.
Hiroshi soon follows suit.
Eventually, Makoto gets friendly with
delinquent girl Yuka, but later drops her like a fly because somehow Ai's
love touches him. What he doesn't know though is that Yuka is the
delinquent boss of the high school, and she's not one to forgive easily -
so she wants Makoto killed, and when he beats half of her gang to a pulp,
she changes strategy and has Ai and Makoto's crack whore mother (whom he
hates) kidnapped, just to lure him into a trap.
All the narrative
threads eventually find their solutions in numerous finales, many of these
An adaptation of a popular manga from the
1970's that simply starts out great: There's plenty of over-the-top
action, sets and costumes spell 1970's in broad letters but in their
straight-forwardness also betray the film's comicbook roots, and a
combination of musical numbers and schoolgirls getting kicked around just
add up to utter hilarity ... and then the film almost inexplicably loses
steam. The problem here is that after a great set-up, the film tries to
cover way too much ground of the manga series it's based on and at times
just loses its pace and immediacy because it heaps more and more subplots
onto the main storyline, and while some of the subplots are at least
exhilarating, others are simply not worth it - and also the multiple
finales, while they sound great on paper, actually become more annoying
each time the movie hasn't come to a proper ending. The other problem of course
is that despite a running time of no less than 135 minutes, the film still
seems to rush through its story (and subplots), giving many key elements
quite simply too little attention. Plus, while the movie shows much
inventiveness and playfulness at the beginning (which does include the
musical numbers), it eventually just loses its originality and becomes
repetitive, which many an idea actually being derived of their meaning for
the story in the long run.
That said, the film is anything but disaster
area, it's a very stylishly shot piece of action cinema, with its tongue
firmly in cheek, and several scenes that are just exhilarating - but with
a more stringent screenplay, the film just could have been so much more.