Like a lot of great trilogies of the past, the third film always seems to be the most well put together. Stairway to the Distant Past is no exception to the rule. While The Most Terrible Time in My Life was effective due to its cheesy, noirish sensibilities and its black and white ideals, Stairway accomplishes the same effect with a harsh color palate and much darker story.
Hama is much more jaded in this film, and the emotions that Nagase shows in this feature are much better defined in this installment. With a better story and tighter plot, the near perfectness of the final confrontation scene and the primary antagonist make for a strong visual experience. Needless to say, this film really can't survive without the other two, but it is still a damn good story.
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