In ‘Hard Days,’ a Japanese drama film, the narrative explores the complicated life of a corrupt police officer, Yuji Kudo, who gets caught in some big trouble on the night of December 29. After following the stories of Yuji and Office Yazaki, the former’s narrative rival, the film reaches its conclusion. However, after the initial credits roll, the film picks itself up one last time to give the viewers a peek into the perspective of Yakuza boss Semba. Throughout the film, Semba remains a mysterious supporting character, meddling in Yuji and Yazaki’s narratives at his whim.
Yet, in the end, Semba reveals his true colors in a final confrontation at the vault and informs Yuji how he had orchestrated every aspect of his life since the December 29 night. The reveal manages to be unpredictable and coherent in the same breath, infusing the film’s ending with a memorable factor. Therefore, since the mid-credit scene adds to Semba’s character and expands upon his narrative, viewers must be curious to understand its significance.
Semba And His Mastermind Plan
The film opens with Yuji learning about the sea of troubles he had landed himself in due to his connection to the Yakuza through the Semba Syndicate. However, Yuji knows as well as anyone that most police officers in the area and his department have a connection with the syndicate that pays officers off to buy their ignorance. Yet, since the press only gets ahold of rumors about Yuji’s involvement, he becomes the target of an Internal Affairs investigation.
From there on, a series of unlucky events are put into motion, including Yuji’s mother’s death, his accident with Oda, and the life-threatening altercation with Yazaki that follows. However, what had started as a string of bad luck turns out to be an intentional trap to use Yuji to ensure success set by Semba. Even though the Yakuza have a fairly untouchable influence over society, with the police happily letting their petty crimes go unseen, they don’t hold the same power or wealth as they used to in their glory days.
As such, in order to recapture the same, Semba wants to get his hands on the large sum of laundered cash lying in the vault guarded by Yazaki and his boss, Uematsu. The vault has a two-part security system, requiring a key card and a fingerprint to grant anyone access. Therefore, instead of tackling Yazaki on his own, Semba decides to play a long game.
As revealed in the film’s climax, Semba is the one who leaks information about Yuji’s corruption to the police. The crime leader wants to draw Yazaki out into his terrain, and an Internal Affairs investigation on Yuji’s department presents the perfect opportunity for the same. Likewise, the mid-credit scene showcases Semba and his men intimidating Oda on what seems to be the morning of December 29, given the young man’s identical attire.
Due to the same, we can conclude that Semba had tracked Oda down after his betrayal against Yazaki. However, if Semba killed the boy himself, it might have attracted the attention of Yazaki’s superiors, which is something the former man wants to avoid. As such, he plans to involve Yuji in Oda’s death to ensure that the resulting complication between him and Yazaki takes the attention off his syndicate. Thus, Semba’s grand plan to utilize Yuji and Yazaki as pawns in his game commences. From there, Semba sits back and lets the story unfold between the two men until they finally lead him to the laundered cash. In the end, he gains access to the vault without dirtying his own hands.
As such, the mid-credit scene, though short-lived, makes the viewers privy to the bigger part that Semba plays in the film by showcasing how the man masterminded the entire ordeal from the start. Ultimately, due to his pre-made plans, Semba remains the only one who walks away from the scene without losing anything and gaining a huge profit.
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