Having some familiarity with the characters beforehand helped this film flow a bit smoother, and the addition of Sonny Chiba certainly didn't go unnoticed. I can only hope the series continues the pace.
More hyperkinetic Yakuza violence. The fight scenes look like someone took all the versions of the 3 Stooges, cloned them a couplefew times, feed them sugar and let them go. This is not a bad thing. Looking forward to the next three episodes. Great bad cinema.
While I do not personally think this is a better film than the first, I understand why it's a regular favorite: Chiba's Stray Dog, overcompensating by swinging around his oversized, um, sword; Kitaoji has a full, one-movie arc; and Meiko Kaji. In a series dominated by men and a radioactive, mutating masculinity, Kaji is the series' only strong female lead, and this means she stands at the top of the (dung) heap.
The series is ramping up and the director has a much better hold of narrative in this film. The story is MUCH more cohesive in this installment. Manic fight scenes are wild and crazy. Good entertainment. Interested to see where this series goes.