Volcano High

Title:Volcano High
Escuela de Escorpiones (Spanish)
Hwasango (Korean)
火山高 (Japanese)
화산고 (Korean)
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: R1 License - Media Blasters
After being expelled from his previous school, Kim Kyung Soo is sent to "Volcano High" where he hopes he will be able to control his supernatural powers along with students with similar abilities. Before long he is exchanging blows with the local bully, trying to win the affections of the school beauty, and all the while fighting off the five lords of discipline, five vigilante teachers set out to control even the most disorderly of students. (Source: ANN)

Movie run time: 120 min (original version) or ~80 min (American version)

See wikipedia entry for ↗Volcano High for more info.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 0 0 0 4 5 5 Xenoknight [series:2118#2967]
A young man enters a new school with no knowledge of the fierce battle that awaits him...

Oh man. How in the world am I going to explain this one? I guess I can call this title the Korean equivalent of The Matrix minus all the good stuff...

The main lead enters his Xth school, after being kicked out of several others in the past for fighting. He never looks for trouble but trouble has a knack for finding him. An accident from his past has bestowed him with immeasurable powers, but his father forbad him to use them for reckless reasons. Our hero goes through most of his life being picked on and bullied while having to hold back his true potential. This element in the movie becomes a blistering nuisance to the viewer in my eyes. As the situations become more dire during the movie, he continues to hold back and gets his a** beat every-single-time. His enemies come at him with full strength and they're aware of his powers (!), but throw him aside as if he were mere thrash. This continuous theme began to frustrate me to no end. I'll even admit that I yelled at the screen at one point for him to just fight back already. Like any cliché would suggest, he doesn't fight until the end of the movie and he beats the last guy with only one move, so we never get to see him truly cut loose. If I said I wasn't disappointed, I'd be lying. It was really bad.

The other characters were far more interesting to me than the hero was. The captain of the kendo club and her vice-captain shined the most in my eyes. Several others were good as well (like the "strongest in the school" for instance), but the kendo girls were the best. The captain, cool and collected, was always aware of the situation and usually kept herself a step ahead of her enemies (though she slowly became nothing more than a romantic tool in the end). The vice-captain however was always aggressive and outspoken. "Kill first and ask questions later", was her theme and she was amusing to watch so I enjoyed her role in the movie.

The best part in the movie had to be when the vice-principle called in the five substitute teachers (assassins) to keep the rebellious students in check. Those teachers were strong as hell and nobody could lay a finger on them! They quickly gave Volcano High a strict makeover. The leader of the group was a beast! He knew the hero's father and the reasons why the hero couldn't fight. He also knew the hero's weak points and how to strike to take full advantage of them. The rest of the group was no joke either. Their mere presence in the movie caused savage violence and perfuse blood effects (albeit the blood was pretty cheesy in quality). The final battle wasn't worth the time spent seeing the movie and put a tremendous halt to any kind of fun I was having. It's too bad it ended that way.

As for the movie's specs; the art/animation/design were real life so it doesn't get any points and the music was all situational so it never impressed me beyond its purpose of setting the mood.

In summation, I liked the premise and how the movie began, but as the story progressed, my reasons for watching began to fade more and more. By the end, I was happy it was over and literally threw the disc out of my Xbox 360, as if it were cursed! I felt disgusted after seeing this title and nearly regretted the whole thing. Perhaps I would have been better off seeing this in English dub. At least I would have enjoyed it more if I did. Two negatives (a below average movie + boring sub format) never makes for a good positive. (sigh) Oh well...

This title gets a really low watch score (closer to the avoid rating) so watch it at your own risk. I suggest you stick with Wonderful Days for all your Korean action needs.

Check out my award list to see some of the best anime titles in the world!

Never forget Xenosaga.

Last updated Monday, July 20 2009. Created Tuesday, May 12 2009.

Other Sites
Official website http://www.mtv.com/onair/volcano_high/

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