Notable Cast: Bunta Sugawara, Akira Kobayashi, Kinya Kitaoji Jo Shishido, Junkichi Orimoto, Kunie Tanaka, Shingo Yamashiro, Hiroki Matsukata
As far as original writer Kazuo Kasahara was concerned, the Battles Without Honor and Humanity series was finished after the fourth film Police Tactics. Truthfully, that film did feel like a solid ending to the story that was being told. Many characters reached their logical conclusion and the arrival of an agreement between smaller warring yakuza factions to create a political coalition that essentially ended their yakuza focus worked. End of story, right? Wrong. Popularity with the series led to there being at least one last film in the original run (there is a spin off series that would come soon after too), but original writer Kasahara did not come back. However, almost everyone else did including director Kinji Fukasaku. The results are the aptly titled Final Episode, a solid and entertaining installment into the Battles series that too often gets written off as an inferior and ‘tacked on’ ending to the series. Final Episode however fits the style and tone even if it occasionally lacks the depth and subtlety of its predecessors to make it a worthy sequel.
Hirono (Bunta Sugawara) has been sentenced to prison time. His rival Takeda (Akira Kobayashi) has taken the Tensei Coalition into a clean territory as a political party and shed much of their yakuza roots. However, not everyone in the coalition is as keen on their new image as the management. The low level members of the gangs are tense in the streets and heads that form the coalition are bickering for their own power. This leads a standoff between chairman-to-be Matsumura (Kinya Kitaoji) and rival Otomo (Jo Shishido) that only adds to the tension and fear the group has for Hirono, who is soon to be released.
|"I got a toothpick, ya see? You don't. You gots sunglasses."|
|Original poster artwork.|
|"Dammit, man. Didn't I say let's use yarn to see this easier?"|
ARROW VIDEO FEATURES:
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
- Original Mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
- Optional English subtitles
- Last Days of the Boss – a new interview with Final Episode screenwriter Koji Takada
- Original poster gallery for the series
- Original trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist