The movie were made employing all non-experienced actors. This was the first Ooshima film that didn't use any known actors, and his last black and white movie. Due to the lack of experience of the actors, acting is wooden, and dialogs are totally "read" from the script. The movie was completed from start to the theaters in exactly 60 days (April 28 1970 to June 27 1970). Even for the fast shooting Ooshima, this was exceptionally fast production.
The movie was targeted for the college students of that time, but poor acting, and somewhat documentary style didn't get support from its intended audiences. But maybe Ooshima and the producers knew that the intended audience weren't worth making lavishly produced movie, because they are (were) youth just like the people who were in this movie, who were rather shallow but opinionated about their world view.
Looking back with 20/20 hind sight, this movie is rated high for it's accurate portrayal of the society of the time, and Ooshima might have had exceptional foresight to focus his attention on the subject the way he did in this movie. Not for nothing is he a medal of honor winner from both the Japanese and French government where he's directed many excellent movies.
Ooshima is probably the most talented of the director from the Japanese New Wave period, and certainly one of the most talented director to come out of Japan. He's like a mixture of Federico Fellini, and Roger Corman with crisp visual style all his own.
For most of the actors, this was their first and last film they appeared in. The actor who played the main character Kazuo Gotoh became a journalist, and his girlfriend Emiko Iwasaki appeared in few minor roles before she retired completely from the film business.