After the horror and difficulties of leading in the most "humane" way possible a Chinese slave work camp, Kaji must face the hardships of the life as a soldier and finds another structural ennemy: the Japanese army.
When the movie starts, Kaji seems to have settled pretty well... He is intent on surviving, and becomes an expert sharp-shooter. However, his better instincts start to gain the better of his new-found pragmatism: he takes under his wings new recruits, tries to lead by example and kindness, and for this, he must face the despicable and hainous "veterans", who turn out to be much more frightful and problematic than the invisible and faceless Russian soldiers lurking on the horizon.
The final battle is a slaughter, perfectly rendered. Kaji makes it out alive, to live another day, but at what price to his ego and his soul?