- Directed by Toshio Masuda
- Starring Tetsuya Watari, Chieko Matsubara, Mitsuo Hamada, Tamio Kawaji
- Written by Goro Fujita, Kaneo Ikegami
The Gangster VIP (1968) -- Masuda Toshio has called his Daikanbu (Gangster VIP, 1968), the first installment in the six-part Burai series (1968-69), "a youth film that happens to be set in the yakuza world." Watari plays Goro, a gangster sent to prison for three years for stabbing the hitman (Machida Kyosuke) of a rival gang, the Aokis. On his release, he finds his gang in decline and learns that the hitman is still alive, but on the outs with his gang, the Mizushimas.
Goro soon finds himself in a similar situation when his gang, to head off a war with the Aokis, agrees to cut Goro loose. Friends since childhood, Goro and the hitman realize they are now brothers in exile and agree to forget the past. They also both fall in love and decide to leave the yakuza life. Together they plot escape from Tokyo, but tragedy intervenes - and Goro sets out to get revenge.
The ending, however, is the not standard triumph of gangster right over wrong. Instead it underlines one stark truth: for Goro there is no easy way out of the world that nurtured him. Based on the memoirs of a real yakuza, Fujita Goro, Burai Yori Daikanbu is more starkly realistic than the then-genre standard - and reveals a darker, more desperate side to Watari's screen persona
The Gangster VIP DVD is offered as a compact edition. This transfer is manufactured on demand and is presented on premium DVD-R with thermal disc print in a clear plastic wallet. Important: This title has been manufactured from the best-quality video master (rated 7/10) currently available and has not been remastered or restored.