The legend begins at a certain town that used to be under the rule of a legendary organization called "Mugen". And fighting against the rule of this town's overlords were two legendary brothers - the brutal and unbeatable Amamiya Brothers.
And during a deadly battle, somehow the Mugen was suddenly dispersed... In the aftermath of the chaos, five organizations emerged, with the aim to take control of that area. As a result, this area came to be known as SWORD, an acronym attributed to the names of the five organizations, which all came to be referred to as "G-SWORD" accordingly. These 5 organizations include: the second generation of Sanno Shoten brawlers "Sanno Rengokai", the alluring white demons "White Rascals", the dark and brutal senior high school "Oya Koukou", the ghosts on the ruthless street "RUDE BOYS" and a group of vengeful destroyers "Daruma Gurentai."
These 5 gangs will put their pride on the line as they engage in a fierce battle for dominance! However, the plot thickens... a mysterious group called "MIGHTY WARRIORS" appears. And the question that everyone is asking now is, are they enemies or allies? What fate awaits this town.
Cast & Credits
Finally something decent (even more) for our hungry brain after Crows Zero era.
HIGH & LOW: The STORY OF S.W.O.R.D is a comprehensive entertainment project by EXILE TRIBE that encompasses various forms of content media. Aside from the members of EXILE TRIBE, there are a lot of high quality cast for this drama, not only actor & actress but also other musician & models. So visually, you will be pampered with a lot of candy eyes with great acting too.
As written in the synopsis, it’s all about fighting between organization in a certain town. But the core story in this first season is about friendship and brotherhood, and more like a prologue to introduce each organization and the story base. Later, there will be HIGH&LOW Season 2 and HIGH&LOW The Movie. Let me summarize all the organization first:
=Organizations Before SWORD=
In this story, MUGEN was told start from the second generation, led by Kohaku. Other main members: Tsukumo, Cobra & Yamato. The strongest organization.
2) AMAMIYA BROTHERS
Only consist two members, Amamiya Masaki (Kyaaa Takahirooo! *oops please excuse my fangirling) & Amamiya Hiroto. They’re fighting against Mugen.
3) HYUGA GROUP
Hyuga Group is a part of GURYU GROUP (I think Guryu Group is kind of strong group but in outside of Mugen’s domain) & they’re not that popular. Hyuga Group fought against Mugen in order to make their names well known, but Hyuga Group lost and abandoned by Guryu Group.
1) SANOOH ASSOCIATION
Or Hoodlum Squad, led by Cobra (ex Mugen). Other members are Yamato (ex Mugen), Noboru, Dan, Tetsu and Chiharu. Cobra, Yamato & Noboru are childhood friends. Sanooh doesn’t have specialty or aiming any particular thing, the association just made naturally by the members who are good in fighting.
2) WHITE RASCAL
Their specialty is always white (as white as their name XD). Led by Rocky, his main subordinates are Golden Bomber* members (Bito, Aizawa, Shimura & Enari). Despite being famous with their madness, White Rascal also known for always protecting woman who have been hurt by men.
*) A visual kei rock band
3) OYA KOUKOU
School of Yankees!. The leader or they rather call it as Class Rep (lol) is Murayama Yoshiki. Just as other typical Yankee school, the one who rule the school is the strongest one. Murayama Yoshiki played by Yamada Yuki, he can pull his yankee expression but his height sometimes a little bit distracted me. He looks much shorter & smaller than his friends, in contrary he is the the strongest and unbeatable.
4) RUDE BOYS
They dominate and protect a Nameless Street, a town where people who abandoned by their parents lives, hidden and dirty. Led by Rocky played by Kubota Masataka (Kyaaa *oops once again please excuse my fangirling ;-). They declare themselves as a family who protect each other. Their specialty is parkour, this is that makes their fighting skill more artsy. This drama use a lot of camera angle, epic setting and a lot of ikemen with abs XD. Visually, I like this team, maybe because the members are actually athlete and model, whenever they walk together and make a way, it looks like they’re walking in runaway even with rag-like fashion that they wore, they can pull it off nicely. Kubota Masataka looks so charismatic with messy hair, too bad he has a weakness,what is that weakness? Well you better watch and check it by yourself :p.
5) DARUMA IKKA
Led by Hyuga Norihisa, forth son of Hyuga (played by Hayashi Kento). Alongside with Totetsu Brothers (Toutetsu Ukyo & Toutetsu Sakyo, both were kicked out from Mugen in the past) they formed Daruma Ikka to make a way for their revenge towards Guryu Group and the remaining Mugen member. I think this is the most unique organization. As their name, Daruma is their icon with blasting red color. Even when they fight, they’re using Daruma and drums as music accompaniment. Hayashi Kento looks deep but madly and vengeful here, for me it’s such a rare to see him in that kind of character, so it’s cool!.
=Organization Outside SWORD=
1) IEMURA GROUP
Iemura Group is one of the Guryu Group, the main leader is Iemura Tatsumi. With other 8 leads member, they’re called themselves as Nine Dragons. This organization is more like executive people who dominate a lot of field, including black market and greedy, so they own a lot of money. Basically they’re a bunch of rich uncles with suit and necktie.
2) MIGHTY WARRIORS
Led by Ice. This organization hasn’t been told a lot in this season, their main movement will be told in season 2 later. So, more Exile Tribe member are coming, yaaaay!.
2) STRAWBERRY MILK
The one and only girl gang. 4 members, Junko as the leader (she's so cute and funny), Asuko and Twin Towers (member of E-Girls). I love these girl, they're so funny!
There are so much red line right? All SWORD organization make their own world, never touch each other in order to keep peace in the town. The main story is started in Sanooh, Sanooh is the center of the whole story that connects all of the organization. The conflict appeared between childhood friends (Cobra, Yamato and Noburu). Noburu who just released from prison, but rather than go back to Sanooh he joined to Iemura Group. Feel betrayed, Yamato tried to persuaded Noboru to go back to Sanooh. Because he knows that Iemura Group is greedy and merciless. Noboru is trusted by Iemura to take over SWORD authority, but each SWORD organization refuse. This situation raised misunderstanding and betrayal between them. In other story, Chiharu (before he joined to Sanooh), who is actually a student in Oya Koukou, beaten up by his fellows but then he was accidentally helped by Yamato. Chiharu pled to join Sanooh, but this makes a conflict between Oya Koukou with Sanooh.
With 23 minutes average duration, you can enjoy fighting scene around 50% of its duration with great music accompaniment. HIGH&LOW also contains some sentimental, sad and funny part.
The editing, I’m so sensitive when it’s come to this point whenever I watch movie/drama. HIGH&LOW succeed this series with dramatic color correction, point of view and angle for each organization differently which is emphasize each organization’s character.
The fashion, since there are big companies who backing up the casts, they give all out in fashion too. Each organization has their own fashion style. No matter how you look at them, it does look pricey and detail from head to toe. They use a lot of expensive motorcycle and cars. One more thing, all the cast are looks neat and clean, this is one of the reason that I enjoy this drama. Or maybe they‘re just handsome and charismatic :D.
And now about the music. The music itself plays as the biggest part here, it makes this drama looks more appealing and nice. In fact, EXILE TRIBE’s album is also part of this HIGH&LOW project. There is not much I can review here because it so cool and perfectly matched with the drama. It’s EXILE TRIBE you know, what do you expect is what will you get. Each organization has their own special music background. The combination between music, fashion, editing, camera view and the cast themselves makes this drama looks like a MV. I love to re-watch this drama especially in some part like when a certain organization present themselves with powerful soundtrack, or just enjoying the each actors acting, their close up face, their cool movements even their poses. Sometimes I feel like are they doing photo shoot or what??. Seriously, their visual is on high quality level despite this is about delinquent story.
And here the list of the songs that included in this drama, it could be more than this but these are so far that I know:
J SOUL BROTHER - MUGEN ROAD
PKCZ feat EXILE SHOKICHI - WHITEOUT
GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE - RUN THIS TOWN
DJ DARUMA from PKCZ [VOICE OF RED feat.GS] - DARUMA FAMILY
THE SECOND from EXILE - ONE TIME ONE LIFE
DOBERMAN INFINITY - DO OR DIE
DOBERMAN INFINITY-JUMP AROUND 8
E-GIRLS - STRAWBERRY SADISTIC
ACE OF SPADES feat HIROOMI TOSAKA- SIN
Ryuji Imaichi - FOREVER YOUNG AT HEART
and the music.. each gang has an excellent sound track linked... The characters are well defined... each gang has its own sets of rules (policies) that make people come together as a team... S believes in fighting to protect, W protects women, O (well its a high school, i never understand what kids fight for except for maybe just fighting), R are also all about protecting their family, and D.... what to say... they just fight (i still like the leader).....!!
I watched both the seasons back to back and did not regret even a minute of it..... overall the drama was awesome...!!! just waiting for the subbed version of the movie to be uploaded somewhere....