Shobei Inamura continues to mine the raw vitality and oddball, multi-hued characterizations that made The Eel such a cluttered, rapturous experience. He showers a compelling blend of drama, melodrama, comedy and carnality with emotional confetti as the outrageous intermingles with the restrained. The title physician (played by Akira Emoto) is obsessed with battling a hepatitis epidemic in Japan just before World War II. He is supported by his village’s most in-demand whore, a drug-addicted surgeon and other outcasts when his activities land him in trouble with military authorities. The film is a sort of Japanese Damon Runyon story with erotic undertones.