''Gozu'' is filled with psychosexual imagery and contains a heavily Freudian subtext. The storyline can be perceived as the allegorical journey of a repressed homosexual, Minami, coming to terms with his attraction to Ozaki amidst an atmosphere of masculine patriarchy. Unable to transgress the male honor codes of the Yakuza, Minami is torn between his respect and sexual attraction for Ozaki, who is a mentor and father figure to him. Unable to accept his homosexuality at first, Minami substitutes Ozaki as a woman and is able to satisfy his sexual urges. After Ozaki's rebirth, the female Ozaki appears to have shriveled up. With the male Ozaki now present, this other side of his personality no longer seems sexually appealing to Minami. The atypically cheerful ending ("we put her in water and she returned back to normal") seems to allude that Ozaki's feminine and masculine side are finally able to coexist: he is able to play the role as both Minami's mentor and lover.
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