Young Thugs: Nostalgia (1998)Director: Takashi Miike
Starring: Naoto Takenaka, Saki Takaoka, Yuki Nagata, Shonusuke Shofukutei
Tagline: Bart Simpson with balls!
Riichi (Shonusuke Shofukutei) is an ordinary kid growing up in 1960s Japan. When a rival gang of kids shoot fireworks at him and their friends, he beats them up and comes home bleeding. Instead of being concerned, his grandfather has a big party and congratulates him on becoming a man.
Riichi's father (Naoto Takenaka) is very cranky and his mother keeps leaving all the time. When Riichi gets sick at school his teacher Miss Ito (Saki Takaoka) goes home to talk to his parents, only to be kicked by his dad, who is then punished by Riichi's grandfather in a funny, but disturbing way.
Riichi has many more adventures with his friends and run in with the other kid and his motorbike chain. It is funny to see how the different situations work out, especially when you see Riichi running towards a gang to fight them and then see them helping him work on a project and telling him that he didn't have to hit them so hard.
I liked storyline as it is a lot different to the usual coming of age stories where nothing bad happens and it is all happy memories. Even though bad things happen to him, Riichi finds out that life still goes on and he still has his friends to stand by him.
Riichi is great as he is really cheeky and even beats his dad up with a baseball bat at one stage. He is also fearless as he is not afraid to tell his teacher's partner that he will kill him and to embarrass the same teacher in front of the whole school and get her dacked.
I also enjoyed watching the grandpa as he is not afraid to lay down the law and treats Riichi like he is an adult. The mother and father were also great, but they aren't really given as much screen time as their son.
What was best about this movie was the humour as it really helps in telling the story and even though there are some serious parts in the movie, it is very rough and tumble and you feel like you are going through the experiences along with the main characters.
This is also another movie I would recommend if you don't like some of Takeshi Miike's more extreme films and just want to see a good story. I am looking to seeing the other movies in the Young Thugs series as they look like they will also be good.