_Kids Return_ marks the 5th film directed by Kitano Takeshi that I have had the pleasure to watch. Unlike the pure sentimentality of _Kikujiro_, the brutality and arthouse elegance of _Fireworks_ the near silent _Scene at the Sea_, and the over the top madness of _Getting Any?_, _Kids Return_ is a simpler story that depicts the lives of two high schoolers Masaru and Shinji.
Masaru, Ken Kaneko, _Himitsu_, is a brash young man with chin length hair who enjoys bullying other students for pocket money. He also enjoys playing a number of jokes on his teachers. Sick of his delinquent ways his teachers give up actually teaching him anything and patiently wait till the day he will graduate. Things seem to be going pretty well for Masaru until one day an amatuer boxer beats him up avenging one of the schoolers Masaru had robbed earlier. Masaru soon drops out of school and joins a boxing gym
Shinji, Masanobu Ando, _Tribute to a Sad Genius_, _Battle Royale_, almost seems to be the polar opposite of Masaru. Whereas Masaru roughs up a number of individuals to get their money, Shinji just goes along with his friend silently. After Masaru quits school and joins the gym, Shinji quickly follows suit.
However, it is soon evident that Shinji has more athletic ability than his friend, and after Masaru quits after losing a sparring match to Shinji, Shinji's star continues to rise in the amateur boxing world. Masaru, looking for a place to belong, joins the yakuza and tries to find his niche in organized crime.
However, things do not work out quite like he two friends would hope.