This is an intense ride, and one of my favourite Japanese TV shows of all time. The closest things I can think of in terms of style are LIFE and Sh15uya, two very different shows.
Holyland has a tweaked, fast-paced visual style which is somewhat like LIFE (pardon the pun), and there's a tengential connection via the theme of bullying, but then this show isn't about that...
It's about fighting, and although in the early episodes this is grounded boxing and judo moves, it quickly incorporates karate and grappling and speeds up and complexifies the choreography of the fights until, like, Sh15uya, it's got full-on martial arts throwdowns without any of the usual tokusatsu stylings.
In Holyland, Ishigaki Yuma plays an action role long before Azumi, when he was a skinny, fresh-faced Johnny's Jr member... but a very intense one, whose execution of the fighting moves is spot on, and whose acting is pretty damn impressive too! The plot here is quite modest, focusing mostly on a few key characters and fighters, and from what I've read it's pretty faithful to Mori Koji's original manga, but it builds quite a head of tension.
A bullied youth named Kamishiro Yu (Ishigaki) becomes the notorious Yankee Hunter as he takes out a string of thugs who try to pick on him in the city at night. Events spiral out of control as rival high schools bring in their toughest guys to defeat him, threatening to drag his friends into the mess...
A brilliant series which seems to get better with every episode. Highly recommended!
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