Jirocho Sangokushi stars Akio Kobori as the genial, charismatic yakuza boss just starting out his career in the inaugural 1952 episode. The baby-faced Kobori makes a fine Jirocho with a presence comparable to a young Chiezo Kataoka. This first Jirocho Sangokushi film is a pleasure to watch thanks to Masahiro Makino's sheer visual storytelling artistry. The performances are wonderful, with Jun Tazaki, Seizaburo Kawazu and Haruo Tanaka in particular bringing charisma and charm to Jirocho's men. This is the seminal template that all subsequent films of the Jirocho legend can plainly be traced back to.