DVD Review: Hideo Gosha's Onimasa - A Japanese Godfather

AnimEigo has released a new Region 1 DVD of Hideo Gosha's Onimasa - A Japanese Godfather (Kiryûin Hanako no shôgai). The English title of Gosha's film, which was released in 1982 by Toei Studios, is an obvious attempt to invoke a certain set of works by Francis Ford Coppola. Onimasa has virtually nothing in common with those Mafia masterpieces. In truth, the film is a bloody epic drama that laces its story of an early 20th century Yakuza leader with a heavy dose of contemporary sleaze.

Tatsuya Nakadai plays Masagoro Kiryuin (aka Onimasa), who is the egotistical head of a small-time Yakuza gang. Onimasa's chivalrous self-image is contradicted by his criminal activities, and his desire to sleep with most any woman who isn't his wife (Shima Iwashita). One fateful day, Onimasa pays a visit to the Shirai home in order to adopt some children. He picks Hiraku and his sister Matsue
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