Japanese actor, comedian, director, and TV personality, Takeshi Kitano’s sixth film, “Kids Return” is set to be released on Blu-Ray on October 24, 2016. “Kids Return” stars Masanobu Ando (as Shinji) and Ken Kaneko (as Masaru) who play two high-school dropouts with vastly different lifestyles.  Shinji pursues a career as an amateur boxer, whereas Masaru turns to the yakuza. The two eventually cross paths again and return to their old stomping ground, their high school.

Ken Kaneko & Masanobu Ando in "Kids Return"
Ken Kaneko & Masanobu Ando in “Kids Return”

The film itself is Kitano’s ode to his own childhood, and was his first film after a short “retirement” due to a near fatal motorcycle accident. Kitano has been a part of the Japanese film industry for most of his life. He began his career as a comedian and actor, who had a moderate amount of fame. His entrance into the directorial world was sudden, but very successful. Kitano was set to star in “Violent Cop,” but the director needed to drop out of the film abruptly. Kitano stepped up and took over the direction of the film. He re-wrote the script, a bold move for a newbie, but was greatly rewarded as critics applauded the maturity and the sharp irony the new script brought to the piece.

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Kitano has evolved throughout his life in the spot light; his roots tying him to a comedian duo, “The Two Beats,” he is best known for his role as “Beat Takeshi.” Kitano’s films have all looked at Japanese society with a sharp twist of irony and slight cynicism, which is what makes Kitano such a stand out director. “Kids Return” demands attention from Japanese film buffs and the release of the Blu-Ray addition will add a great deal to one’s collection.

Takeshi Kitano & Kiyoshi Kaneko as "The Two Beats"
Takeshi Kitano & Kiyoshi Kaneko as “The Two Beats”

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