Posted: 10/15/2004


Young Thugs: Innocent Blood


by Del Harvey

This DVD is available for purchase at

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As the sequel the Young Thugs: Nostalgia begins, Ryo, Riichi, and Yuji have recently graduated high school. Unlike most young men in Japanese society, these three are definitely not on their way to becoming responsible members of society. But these three are already considered delinquents by their peers and teachers, and they soon find that the only place they can find work is as Yakuza enforcers or similar low paying jobs in some gang. But while the trio’s lives may be tough, their strong friendship allows them to find the humor in their situation.

One day Riichi meets the sexy Nahomi and he decides it’s time for a change. He pretty much forces himself into her life, moving in with her andignoring his friends and the responsibilities of his Yakuza job. While Riichi’s pursuing a life not unlike that of his father’s, his friends are all starting down their own paths, and soon Riichi finds himself with no friends left to turn to. Riichi is struggling to find out who he really is, and to avoid becoming just like his parents. But he keeps allowing himself to be pulled down into the world of the “young thug.”

Miike advances the story of the young characters we were introduced to in Young Thugs: Nostalgia. In Innocent Blood, he allows the story to continue its trend towards the realism of the first, only now that the boys are starting to mature, the stakes are higher and the repercussions much more intense. Young Thugs: Innocent Blood is a perfect sequel to the realism of Nostalgia, and an excellent, must-see film.

Del Harvey is a writer and screenwriting teacher living in Chicago.

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