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Gachi Maximum DVD

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Title Name : Gachi Maximum / 高校制霸最强
Item Code : MIR 1313
Version : Japanese
Number of Discs : 1 Disc (Movie)
Subtitles : Chinese / English / Malay
Screen Format : DVD / NTSC & All Region Code

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Takashi Miike’s Crows Zero was a huge hit in Japan in 2007, raking in over 2.4 billion yen by finding a way to make a movie about high school boys beating the crap out of each other appeal to teenage girls—casting heartthrobs Shun Oguri and Takayuki Yamada as the main beaters. Whenever you have such a memorable movie reach so many people, it stands to reason that a spoof can’t be far behind. Thus, in the summer of 2008, long-time pinku director Hideo Jojo released Gachi-ban: a low-budget V-cinema homage to some of the sillier aspects of Miike’s source material. Of course, with Jojo having pretty sophomoric sensibilities in general, his spoof is far more focused on bathroom humor and dick jokes than actual gang combat.

Gachi-ban’s answer to Oguri is Shunsuke Kubozuka (Saikano, Yo-Yo Girl Cop). He plays Takumi; a naturally-born fighter who dominates his middle school with the help of the iron-headed Furuta, playboy Sawamura, and a relatively useless crony named Taiga. After graduation, the three fighters apply to different schools and make a solemn oath that they’ll each become the king of the one they attend in some sort of delinquent trifecta.

Umbrella in hand (tough guys all wield umbrellas, right?), Takumi surveys his new school with the help of notebook-wielding Taiga. They hear some sort of ruckus coming from the second floor of the school and a chair suddenly flies out of the window, smacking taiga in the forehead. Enraged, Takumi runs upstairs and confronts the guys responsible, asking why they just killed his friend. Obviously horrified by the news that they just inadvertently murdered someone, the group of thugs—which consists of a fat guy, a guy with a curly fro, and the requisite rastafarian—begin to gasp and whimper in dismay. Just then, a bloodied Taiga appears by Takumi’s side and informs him that according to his notebook, these guys are the second-year leaders and need to be beaten down. After pausing to rejoice over the fact that his dead friend is alive, Takumi takes out the leader with one punch to the gut. It would seem this whole school dominance thing won’t be so hard after all.

Unfortunately, Takumi suddenly loses his will to fight when he becomes obsessed with girls. Tiring of resorting to chronic masturbation, Takumi decides to join an acting class that his mother signed him up for when she casually mentions that girls go crazy over that sort of thing. Sure enough, Takumi ends up meeting a cute young girl who dreams of becoming an actress (Nana Akiyama). She also happens to be fiercely opposed to fighting…

Over the next few weeks, Takumi forgets about his quest for high school dominance as he attends daily rehearsals for his acting class’s upcoming performance of Snow White. When a badass named Jojima (Motoki Fukami) returns from suspension and reclaims his position as school leader, Takumi is nowhere to be found. Will he renege on a promise to his friends to play Prince Charming? Or will he upset his potential girlfriend by choosing combat over her?

There have been a few delinquent high school comedies over the past few years—Cromartie High: The Movie and Be a Man! Samurai School come to mind—but Gachi-ban differs in that it’s billed as a spoof of a specific movie. And while there are a few scenes in which moments from Crows Zero are invoked, such as the low-fi video reel of other school leaders doing their thing, there probably aren’t enough to make it worth watching for that connection alone. Instead, this is really just a goofy story about a high school tough guy who rides his mom’s bike to school, participates in Japanese pronunciation exercises on week nights, and spends the rest of his time furiously masturbating. It’s good for a few chuckles here and there, but that’s about it.