The series finale brought a new, more contemporary mood to BATTLES’ characters. The yakuza may here start to resemble a legit business, but director Kinji Fukasaku, working with new screenwriter Koji Takada, never lets the audience forget their violent origins.
1966. After a police crackdown, the gangs of Hiroshima and Kure have formed a massive, multi-family political and economic coalition, seeking a way forward into the ‘70s as part of Japan’s economic bubble. Series hero Shozo Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) finds himself increasingly alienated from this semi-legitimate form of corruption, particularly as the coalition’s chairman puts the gangs on a new business-like path. But old habits die hard...
The long-awaited conclusion to the epic series is an elegy for the bad guy, with the harsh realization that Japan’s economic growth came about only through the sacrifice of the blood of its young men, victims of twenty long years of Battles Without Honour and Humanity.
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