Kids Return
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Kids Return
Kids Return
Directed by Takeshi Kitano
Produced by Masayuki Mori
Yasushi Tsuge
Takio Yoshida
Written by Takeshi Kitano
Starring Masanobu Ando
Ken Kaneko
Leo Morimoto
Hatsuo Yamatani
Michisuke Kashiwaya
Mitsuko Oka
Yuuko Daike
Ryo Ishibashi
Music by Joe Hisaishi
Cinematography Katsumi Yanagishima
Edited by Takeshi Kitano
Distributed by Office Kitano
Release date
  • July 27, 1996 (1996-07-27)
Running time
103 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Kids Return (, Kizzu Rit?n) is a 1996 Japanese film written, edited and directed by Takeshi Kitano. The film was made directly after Kitano recovered from a motorcycle wreck that left one side of his body paralyzed. After extensive surgery and physical therapy he quickly went about making Kids Return amidst speculation that he might never be able to work again. The movie is about two high school dropouts, Masaru (Ken Kaneko) and Shinji (Masanobu Andô), who try to find a direction and meaning in their lives—one by becoming a yakuza lieutenant, the other by becoming a boxer.

The music was composed by Joe Hisaishi, and the cinematographer was Katsumi Yanagishima.


Shinji and Masaru are delinquents and bullies in high school, terrifying their classmates, stealing money, and setting their teacher's car on fire. Some of their victims decided to get revenge and hired a boxer, who beats up Masaru. Deciding to get revenge, he takes his shy friend Shinji along with him to a boxing gym. Before long, to the their trainers' surprise, Sinji whos much more natural talent for boxing than Masaru. Masaru encourages his friend to keep going at it while he got involved in a different activity by joining the local yakuza. As Shinji focuses on becoming a successful boxer and Masaru aims to become a gang leader, their paths diverge.

While the two of them climb to the top in their respective areas, Shinji looks for guidance from someone else after being left by Masaru, and this leads him into an unhealthy lifestyle that results in the end of his boxing career. Masaru's self-confidence and lack of respect for his yakuza boss also ended his time with the yakuza, getting him kicked out. In the end, they are left with nothing, and as they ride their bike together in the schoolyard Shinji asks if it is the end, to which Masaru replies that it is only the beginning.

Cast and roles


Kids Return
Soundtrack album by Joe Hisaishi
Released 26 June 1996
Label Polydor

All compositions by Joe Hisaishi.

  1. "Meet Again" - 5:02
  2. "Graduation" - 1:07
  3. "Angel Doll" - 2:21
  4. "Alone" - 1:15
  5. "As a Rival" - 1:29
  6. "Promise... for Us" - 5:08
  7. "Next Round" - 1:28
  8. "Destiny" - 3:31
  9. "I Don't Care" - 2:18
  10. "High Spirits" - 2:03
  11. "Defeat" - 2:29
  12. "Break Down" - 3:46
  13. "No Way Out" - 2:51
  14. "The Day After" - 0:44
  15. "Kids Return" - 4:40


Critical reception

At the time of its release Kids Return was Takeshi Kitano's most successful film yet in his native Japan, which until then had been notedly much less enthusiastic about his films than international viewers.[1]Rotten Tomatoes gives this film a 100% rating based on review from five critics, with an average 7.8 out of 10.[2] David Wood, writing for the BBC, described it as "a tender, funny and melancholy affair which will come as a delight to ardent admirers after the recent Kikujiro." He gave the film 4 out of 5 stars.[3]


At the 1997 Japanese Academy Awards, Kids Return was nominated for three awards and won two of them.[4]

Award Category Recipient(s) Outcome
Japanese Academy Awards
Newcomer of the Year Masanobu Ando Won
Ken Kaneko Won
Best Music Score Joe Hisaishi Nominated
Blue Ribbon Awards
Best New Actor Masanobu Ando Won
Yokohama Film Festival
Best Film Takeshi Kitano Won
Best New Talent Masanobu Andô Won
Best Supporting Actor Ryo Ishibashi Won
Best Cinematography Katsumi Yanagishima Won


In 2013 a sequel to the film titled Kids Return: The Renunion was released, directed by the assistant director of the original, Hiroshi Shimizu. It is set ten years after the original and follows an older Shinji (Yuta Hiraoka) and Masaru (Takahiro Miura). The two of them meet after their failures in boxing and crime, respectively, and they work together to improve their situation. The new film was created with minimal input from Kitano.[1]


  1. ^ a b Schilling, Mark (10 October 2013). 'Kids Return: Saikai no Toki (Kids Return: The Reunion)'. The Japan Times. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  2. ^ Kids Return (1996). Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  3. ^ Wood, David (23 October 2000). Kids Return, BBC. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009, on Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  4. ^ Kids Return (1996) Awards. IMDb. Retrieved 20 August 2018.

External links

  • Kids Return on IMDb
  • Kids Return at AllMovie
  • Kids Return (in Japanese). Japanese Movie Database. Retrieved .


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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