Takashi Miike’s Black Society Trilogy Blu Ray review

BS4The trilogy which awoke the senses to Takashi Miike’s features three films linked across themes and schemes. Shinkuku Triad Society features cops who find a violent world at their door and now chase  a criminal sadist while warring gangs slaughter each other. Rainy Dog is almost an ode to the criminal world and a sly homage to Kurosawa. Then we have Ley Lines a youth adventure of redemption, revenge and violence. All finally married together for the selective viewer!

BS3I like Miike for a variety of cinematic and exploitation reasons. Some dont and call his films mysoginist and sadistically violent. This isnt helped by the fact that in the UK often his films suffer due to poor release quality and censorship issues. So with that in mind lets talk about this set. It is an amazing release. Firstly Shinkuku Triad Society blazes onto our screens with violence and sex galore. It looks grainy and grim as it should and the Arrow treatment benefits the piece totally.

BS1Rainy Dog actually is a major step up from Shinkuku Triad Society. Not in its content or execution, no. Shinkuku Triad Society is great enough but Rainy Dog has layers and layers to peel away. It at one side is an homage to all those Japanese films about crime that have gone before. In the other it is a film about the diffusion of society and how this relates to modern and post modern people. Violence is punched with bullets and blows but it is the main character who is compelling. Looks good and sounds great!

BS2The final film Ley Lines is like a violent coming of age drama. Built on a transition of traditional space and modern place it works on many levels but also hits cords with the fragmented world we live in. The releases of this is the best looking of the three but the sound is a little weaker and I was less impressed. Tom Mes has a great commentary on this film and I advise listening to it over the other two. The other thing to look out for is the limited edition essays on the films that are great and as I love reading film as well as watching film they are good editions!


  • High Definition digital transfers of all three films

  • Original uncompressed stereo audio

  • Optional English subtitles for all three films

  • New interview with director Takashi Miike

  • New interview with actor Show Aikawa (Rainy Dog, Ley Lines)

  • New audio commentaries for all three films by Miike biographer Tom Mes

  • Original theatrical trailers for all three films

  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the films

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