Crows as a testosterone fueled, violence heavy gangster series always has its niche. I was rather taken back of how different Explode was to its first two predecessors. It doesn't have the same flair of comical wit, brash vicious scuffle or even the pristine visual. The worst mistake is how it churns so many subplots that none are actually fleshed out. Whereas it's easy to care for Genji and his rag tag friends, the short focus makes it hard to invest to any of Explode's characters.
There are simply too many characters presented in short amount of time. With about four plots running at the same time, each with intertwined relationships, the story is hectic and muddled. You have the Suzuran boys, the rival school, yakuza and the other side characters, each with their own back stories and all tied up in convoluted struggles. Even the main character, Kazeo, isn't fully developed.
It doesn't help that he as protagonist has so little range, but without wanting to compete or talk for that matter, Kazeo is surprisingly dragged by others. Pacing is plodded with unstable twist, some characters apparently have long relationships despite scarcely being in the same scene for a few minutes. Explanations leave much to be desired as most only mentioned slightly, but later on they would be talking privately merely for dramatic effect.
There's not much ground to build on, leaving the eventual clash lackluster. Previous Crows needed two movies to introduce the rival school, but here it's thrown in about one third of the movie. It's probably better to highlight the struggle on Suzuran first as there are considerably many individuals that can be showcased or have feud with each other. As it stands now, most Suzuran students are only shown briefly with one, mostly two, fights under their belts.
Compared to its prequels, Explode's most easily notable change is the visualization. It looks significantly drab, lacking the poise that makes Crows Zero seemed clean regardless the murky battle the characters often found themselves in. The shots are appropriate on some instances, but mostly the movie is confined, and for the fight scenes, sadly they don't bring the same level of anticipation.
There's a bit of comedy either, but that doesn't really resonate. Fights are pretty good, thankfully the bread and butter of the series serves well. However, even this has some flaws on its choreography. In some cases, characters are seen swinging wild randomly or just standing unmoved. This shouldn't have happened since with few polished and good editing it would look better.
I had much hope for Explode, but frankly, and sadly, without the Crows brand it would be just an ordinary gangster movie.
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A new transfer student comes once again to a high school where violent fights among students is a way of life.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
Tech specs720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
2 hr 10 min
P/S 1 / 3