Kids Return


Kids Return is a 1996 Japanese film written, edited and directed by Takeshi Kitano. The film was made directly after Kitano recovered from a motorcycle accident that left one side of his body paralyzed. After extensive surgery and physical therapy he quickly went on making Kids Return. The film focuses on a group of high school students as they prepare to enter into the adult world. The two lead characters are Shinji and Masaru, delinquent losers who are looked down upon by their teachers, and feared by their classmates. After they’re thrown out of school, they fall into amateur boxing and go into different paths. Unfortunately, Shinji is the only one who shows any talent for boxing. Masura, on the other hand, gives up and joins a menacing Yazuka gang. The relationship between the two friends really works. We see their dynamic and when they drift apart, you believe it. You also grow to like the characters, and kinda root for one. Kids Return’ is seen as  Kitano’s most autobiographical work, set in the part of Tokyo where he grew up and featuring events and job roles that he himself experienced while growing up. The two friends, Masaru and Shinji drift through school, seen as the ultimate prodigal sons by their teachers. Even at it’s darkest, Kids Return remains optimistic for Shinji and Masaru’s future. For Kitano, life is not an unbroken journey towards an inevitable conclusion, but a series of moments, each significant in their own right. Kitano interweaves different narrative levels combining flash backs with snippets of the past and present and placing high demands on the audience.


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