Battles Without Honor and Humanity: Final Episode: as the title states, Fukasaku Kinji’s crime saga reaches its conclusion with this film. The series as a whole tells a mostly continuous story and it is very consistent in tone and themes: the films posit that the post-war chaos, particularly in the scorched earth location of Hiroshima, could hardly have another result besides the flourishing of criminal enterprises. It’s an unsentimental and violent view, without any illusions about the yakuza, and that is clearly and precisely stated by the series title. This film goes to show that no matter the veneer, their true colours remain always the same. The cast is large and efficient in portraying the tough guys with a varying degree of seriousness; one player present for most of the series who gets some more time is Kobayashi Akira, portraying a calm and cerebral type. Cinematographer Yoshida Sadaji efficiently repeats his style of work, a great fit for the series documental tone. The other constant is the excellent music of Tsushima Toshiaki.