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Re-watching this 10 years after seeing it the first time and 31 years after it was made, with more Japanese under my belt, I don't see a fundamental stylistic difference between the humor in this movie from that of "Battle Royale." There's just a shift in emphasis. Both movies are equally misanthropic and mordantly satirical. I get the feeling that the core of both is a disappointed wish to find something lovable about at least two people and a hope that they connect with each other without screwing things up too badly. There's a lot about the three principal characters-- Ginshirô, Yasu and Konatsu--that is cringe-worthy that, if you don't buy it as satire, will repulse you. I get the feeling that Fukasaku couldn't have cared less about audience discomfort. Of course, if you're a nihilist, it won't make you squirm, at all.
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