A somewhat interesting film about the legendary World War II commander of the Imperial Japanese Navy. However, there was a lingering aftertaste of imperialist nostalgia and aspirations in the film. Big budget drama with lots of court intrigues & a bit of decent CGI of aerial battles between Zeros and Mustangs, Pearl Harbor, etc. Not poorly-made but presents a sanitized, sentimental depiction of Japanese naval brass -- their 'patriotism' and professionalism are depicted as far distinct from the ideological fanatics in I.J. Army. The film tries hard to seem anti-war with captains & officers reminiscing about eggplant rice-pot and sweet dumplings, dreaming of civilian life when they picked on smaller nations & weren't fighting the epic battles vs. the US. However, criticism of the war is somewhat restricted to the detached domestic pro-war mood, the "Bushido dishonor" of the Pearl Harbor ambush and the indiscreet alliance with Germany, no mention can be found of violence vs. civilian victims of Japanese imperialism in Asia. This is a huge sin of omission when honest students of history acknowledge an estimated 10+ million civilian lives claimed by IJA/IJN war crimes, including genocide, in pursuit of expansionist attempts to conquer the region. Lesson learned is that the Japanese fought gloriously for their nation even when this demanded loyalty to the militarist cause. This seems insidious as modern Japan under Nippon Kaigi nationalist leadership shifts toward revanchism and historical revisionism while the executive considers making the maintenance of an air force, navy, and standing army "constitutional" through the junking of Constitution Article 9.
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