Meiko Kaji (梶芽衣子) appears in the second of these, Head Of The Boss (新仁義なき戦い 組長の首). All three filmes were directed by Kinji Fukasaku (深作 欣二) and star Bunta Sugawara (菅原 文太).
Here are the details:
In the early 1970s, Kinji Fukasaku’s five-film Battles Without Honor
and Humanity series was a massive hit in Japan, and kicked off a boom in
realistic, modern yakuza films based on true stories. Although Fukasaku
had intended to end the series, Toei Studio convinced him to return to
the director’s chair for this unconnected, follow-up trilogy of films,
each starring Battles leading man Bunta Sugawara and telling separate,
but fictional stories about the yakuza in different locations in Japan.
In the first film, Bunta Sugawara is Miyoshi, a low-level assassin of
the Yamamori gang who is sent to jail after a bungled hit. While in
stir, family member Aoki (Lone Wolf and Cub’s Tomisaburo Wakayama)
attempts to seize power from the boss, and Miyoshi finds himself stuck
between the two factions with no honorable way out.
In the second entry,
The Boss’s Head, Sugawara is Kuroda, an itinerant gambler who steps in
when a hit by drug-addicted assassin Kusunoki (Tampopo’s Tsutomu
Yamazaki) goes wrong, and takes the fall on behalf of the Owada family,
but when the gang fails to make good on financial promises to him,
Kuroda targets the family bosses with a ruthless vengeance.
And in Last
Days of the Boss, Sugawara plays Nozaki, a laborer who swears allegiance
to a sympathetic crime boss, only to find himself elected his successor
after the boss is murdered. Restrained by a gang alliance that forbids
retributions against high-level members, Nozaki forms a plot to exact
revenge on his rivals, but a suspicious relationship with his own sister
(Chieko Matsubara from Outlaw: Gangster VIP) taints his relationship
with his fellow gang members.
Making their English-language home video debut in this limited
edition set, the New Battles Without Honor and Humanity films are
important links between the first half of Fukasaku’s career and his
later exploration of other genres. Each one is also a top-notch crime
action thriller: hard-boiled, entertaining, and distinguished by
Fukasaku’s directorial genius, funky musical scores by composer Toshiaki
Tsushima, and the onscreen power of Toei’s greatest yakuza movie stars.
LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:
• High Definition digital transfers of all three films
• High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
• Original uncompressed mono audio
• New optional English subtitle translation for all three films
• Beyond the Films: New Battles Without Honor and Humanity, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
• New Stories, New Battles and Closing Stories, two new interviews with
screenwriter Koji Takada, about his work on the second and third films
in the trilogy
• Original theatrical trailers for all three films
• Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Reinhard Kleist
• Illustrated collector’s book featuring new writing on the films, the
yakuza genre and Fukasaku’s career, by Stephen Sarrazin, Tom Mes, Hayley
Scanlon, Chris D. and Marc Walkow