The first important Japanese war film (the genre did not exist as such before Japan’s war with China), Five Scouts already differed from the expectations of a war film, coming far closer in spirit to two pacifist films inspired by World War I, All Quiet on the Western Front and Westfront 1918.
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For a war movie, an obvious influence is All Quiet on the Western Front: Tasaka saw to it that his film mimicked the former's poignant ending. Unlike Ichikawa's Fires on the Plain or Kobayashi's The Human Condition, Tasaka's is an affirmation of the comradeship of soldiers, exaggerated as in Socialist Realist films as Chapaev. Made in 1938, you wonder how many conscripts it converted to the war effort about to come