‘Bad Lands’ Ending Explained & Film Summary: What Happens To Neri And Mandala?


Directed by Masato Harada, Bad Lands is the tale of two unfortunate young adults who saw and endured things that no human deserves to be subjected to. Neri and Jo Yashiro had a hard life, but they were hopeful that one day, they would be able to escape their miserable state and have a better life. So, let’s find out what happened with Neri and Yashiro and if they were able to achieve what they wanted to.

Spoiler Alert

Why did Neri come back to her father?

Neri and her stepbrother, Jo Yashiro, had a very tough and traumatic childhood, and once you heard their story, you realized why they acted the way they did. Neri’s father, Takagi, sold her and her mother to the owner of a sugar factory, and wherever the two women went, they were abused and treated in the worst possible manner. Neri’s mother gave birth to a son from her second partner, and though generally, we have seen that there is a lot of enmity between step-brothers and sisters, in this particular case, it was a blessing in disguise for Neri. She got somebody to whom she could vent about everything, and it could be safely said that if Neri were alive today, it was only because Yashiro was there to support her at all times. Yashiro’s father, the owner of the sugar factory, used to sexually abuse Neri, and she felt very helpless when she was not able to help her own cause. Yashiro was just a teenager, but he saw what his sister went through. One day, the torture became unbearable, and that was when Yashiro decided that he would kill his father. Yashiro knew that he would be behind bars, but he was ready to face the consequences. Yashiro killed his father, and Neri burned the factory. They disposed of the body together, but the police eventually found it, and Yashiro was sent behind bars. Yashiro and Neri were never able to overcome the traumas of their past lives, and how could they? They had been through the worst, and it was a miracle in itself that they were alive.

What happened to Takagi?

Neri always said that there was a monster in Tokyo, and she was very scared of him. She knew that if she was alone, she would be caught by this monster, so that is why she went back to her father, Takagi, even though she hated the man to her core. Takagi ran an NPO called Osaka Fellowship, and the reason he went about his business in an unabashed manner was that the former First Lady was one of the board members. At first, in Bad Lands, it seemed like Takagi was a good father, but in a flashback sequence, we got to know how he had treated Neri back in the day. He literally made that poor girl lick his shoes when she came asking for help. Things changed drastically after Neri started helping her father with criminal activities. The Osaka Fellowship was, in reality, an organized crime syndicate where the members were given ranks and responsibilities, and every crime was committed in a very systematic manner. Neri was given the position of a scout, where she just had to lead the catcher to the target. Yashiro often asked Neri why she didn’t want to be a catcher, considering the pay was better. Neri didn’t do it because she wanted an out, and she was just in the business for her security and survival. She knew that the day she figured out something for herself, she would run away from there.

Yashiro had a lot of bad habits, and gambling was one of them. Together with Neri, he went to a commune of sorts that was run by a woman named Hayashita. Yashiro lost a lot of money, and considering he took loans from the house, he was in a lot of debt. Hayashita gave him the option to carry out a “hit” for her and then pay only a part of the sum he owed. Yashiro agreed, and he went to kill a judge together with his friend, Zama. The hit didn’t go well, but the judge got very scared, and he learned a lesson. That entire episode where Yashiro had to hold a gun and shoot at a living breathing person did something to him. Something snapped inside him, and he decided that it was about time he killed Takagi and took all his money. Together with his friend, Yashiro went to Takagi’s house and asked him to give him all the money at gunpoint. Takagi told him that he was committing a big mistake by doing so and that Neri would be very upset if she found out what he was up to. Neri also arrived at the scene, and the moment Yashiro got a bit distracted, Takagi pounced on him to take his gun. Takagi asked Neri to kill Yashiro, but instead, she stabbed her own father and killed him. Takagi couldn’t believe that Neri did something like that and ultimately succumbed to his injuries. The bigger problem that lay in front of Yashiro and Neri was how they would keep the death of the leader of the syndicate a secret and they knew that if the other members of the gang came to know about it they would be in danger.

Why did Yashiro kill Kento Goya?

Kento Goya, a global macro investor, was the man whom Neri referred to as the monster in Tokyo. He was an extremely sadistic man, and for years, he had kept Neri as a slave. In Bad Lands, we saw how he treated his assistant and slave, Chihiro, and subjected the poor women to such torture. Kento Goya was only quiet because Neri was under the care of Takagi, and he was lurking in the shadows and waiting for the opportune time to arrive. After Takagi was killed, Neri knew that not only would Goya come to know about it, but he would also come after her and try to take her back. Kento Goya had such a vast business, and he had his contacts in every place that it was almost impossible to deceive him. Neri couldn’t use her money, she couldn’t cross the border, she couldn’t take a room in a five-star hotel, and she couldn’t go to the authorities as this man had the entire system rigged. Yashiro saw the predicament his sister was in, and he decided that he would help her even if it meant sacrificing his own life. Yashiro and Mandala made the entire plan without informing Neri because they knew that if they told her, she would not allow them to go ahead with it. Yashiro entered the venue where an event of the Goya industries was happening, and he shot Kento Goya point blank. Kento Goya died on the spot, but Yashiro was also not able to escape the facility, and he met his fateful end after he got shot by the police officers. Yashiro always knew that he wouldn’t be able to escape, and probably, he had lost his will to live, too. He had nothing to look forward to, but he knew that his sacrifice would help his beloved sister start afresh. Yashiro was tired. He was trying to carry the burden of his past life, and he just wanted to be relieved from it.

Did Neri get caught by the police? 

Neri got the pin for her father’s account from Mandala, as he, at one point, had the power of attorney. Now that she had the money, she couldn’t spend it, as she didn’t want to leave a trail behind her. Luckily, Hayashita realized what had happened to Neri, and she came to her with an offer. Hayashita ran a black-market crypto exchange, and she told her that she could help her cause, though she would charge a commission of 5 percent. Neri accepted the proposal, and she made sure that all the money her father had in his various accounts was transferred to her. The enforcers got to know that Neri was responsible for her father’s death, but they were not able to get the better of her. Tomoko Arai, aka Mama, was caught by the law enforcement authorities, and her right-hand man, whom she had sent to keep an eye on Neri, was brutally injured when the latter attacked him.

During Bad Lands‘ ending, Mandala made sure that Neri had an escape route, and after he arranged everything for her, he went to the riverbank and took his last breath there. It was as if he had planned that he only wanted to live until the point in time when he could be sure that Neri would be safe in the future. Neri, disguised as the Monday priestess, the girl who ran throughout the neighborhood on Mondays, escaped from her house, in front of the police forces who had surrounded the area. Obviously, nobody stopped her, and nobody came to know that it was Neri. Neri was able to escape, and in all probability, she will be able to start things over. Life was kind to her, and she knew that not a lot of people get second chances. She might encounter different kinds of problems in the future, but as of now, she is free and liberated.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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