The first trailer for Crows Explode, the third live-action film adaptation of Hiroshi Takahashi's Crows fighting manga, began streaming this past week. The trailer introduces the new cast at Suzuran Boys' High School after Genji Takiya and Tamao Serizawa have graduated. Director Toshiaki Toyoda (Aoi Haru, Kūchū Teien) is taking over from Takashi Miike for the latest Crows film, which takes place one month after the end of Crows Zero II.
Masahiro Higashide (live-action xxxHOLiC) plays the protagonist — a transfer student named Kaburagi "Desperado" — and Taichi Saotome (Prince of Tennis: Eikoku-shiki Teikyū-jō Kessen!) plays first-year student Ryōhei "Joker" Kagami, who aims to reach the top of the Suzuran pecking order. Yūya Yagira (Nobody Knows) will play third-year student Toru "King" Gōra, who sits near the "top" of Suzuran.
The film also stars the following cast: Ryō Katsuji as "Funny Face," Takanori Iwata as "Silver Dragon," ELLY as "Black Dynamite," Yūya Endō, Shuntarō Yanagi, KENZO as "King's Army Ace of Spades," Itsuji Itao, Reina Asami, Saki Takaoka, and Kento Nagayama as "Merciless Outsider." Additionally, the following cast members are returning from the previous films: Kyosuke Yabe as Ken Katagiri, Motoki Fukami as Megumi Hayashida, and Tsutomu Takahashi as Takashi Makise.
Crows Zero opened in theaters in Japan in 2007, and its sequel Crows Zero II opened in 2009. The two films were prequels to the original manga, and starred Shun Oguri (Hana Yori Dango, Gokusen) as high school delinquent Genji Takiya. Crows Zero II was set eight months after the first schoolyard-brawl film as Genji faces graduation.
The original Crows manga ran for 26 volumes, and Digital Manga Publishing partially published its sequel manga Worst in English. Crows also inspired a two-episode video anime adaptation, 1994's Koukou Butouden Crows. Tokyo Shock released the Crows Zero film on Blu-ray Disc last year in North America after the film had been previously released in North America on DVD in 2009, and the video label MVM released both Crows Zero and Crows Zero II in the United Kingdom.