Editor, Europe; Rotterdam, The Netherlands (@ardvark23)
(This set may actually be worth it losing a pinky finger for...)

Years ago, I attended a lecture by Tom Mes on certain cultural aspects of Japanese society as shown in cinema, and clips from Fukasaku Kinji's Battles Without Honour and Humanity were shown. Immediately afterwards, me and my friends tried to see if this series was available. Alas, fine boxsets were available, but often expensive and out-of-print.

Then, earlier this year, distributor Arrow announced they would be releasing a big combined Blu-ray DVD boxset of all five films as a pimped boxset. And I yelped with joy. It may have been the single best announcement since Criterion told everyone they'd be doing "something cool with Zatoichi".

Well, the set has arrived and it's one of this year's best. It's actually light on pimpage in the form of posters, cards and trinkets (there are none), but all the attention went into the on-disc extras and the book. And I don't mind that at all, especially if that approach gets us this end result. Kudos to friend-of-the-site Marc Walkow who produced this behemoth on Arrow's behalf: this is seriously what we call "a job well done".

Here is a gallery of shots. Click on the edge of the pictures to scroll through them, or at the center of each to see a bigger version.

And here it is: a big, big box. Hell, it's almost a cube!

Note to those West of the Atlantic: the US version looks the same, but it misses the "U" in "HONOUR" and (lucky you) that awful BBFC certification notice.

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