Pistol Opera (2001) is the belated companion piece to Seijun Suzuki's notorious 1967 film Branded To Kill. That was the film that got him fired from Nikkatsu and is probably his best know film outside of Japan. Pistol Opera is also about the third ranked Japanese assassin trying to move up the ranks and avoid being killed by other lower ranked assassins. The plot seems secondary to Suzuki's extraordinary visual montages that allow the lithe Makiko Esumi to strut around in kimonos and leather booths in a variety of settings and poses. It seems like an unlikely role after her minimalist performance in Hirokozu Korea's Marobosi. It seems like an exercise in excess this time around, perhaps, an indulgence in style for Suzuki who was 78 at the time of the film.