1. Battles Without Honor And Humanity (a.k.a The Yakuza Papers) (1973)

Director: Kinji Fukasaku

Kinji Fukasaku’s five-film, postwar yakuza saga Battles Without Honor And Humanity has drawn comparisons to Francis Ford Coppola’s Godfather series, and rightfully so. Battles is an artful interpretation of constantly shifting powers within the unapologetically violent landscapes occupied by the Hiroshima gangsters. Inspired by real-life events, the film's interpolate scenes with newspaper clippings and narration adding a sense of documentary-style storytelling.

In a way, Fukasaku's epic seriesm reflects Japan’s samurai-warring period with guns and “R”-rolling yakuza members instead of katana blades and bushido-obeying warriors; basically, same shit, different outfits. But, nevertheless, it's excellent.