Reviews of Ichi the Killer (2001) and related work

Ichi the Killer (2001Moving picture, 129 minutes)

A yakuza leader goes missing. His flamboyantly sadomasochistic disciple, and a far more sane ex-cop indebted to the vanished leader, eventually realize the identity of the guilty party: A ridiculously talented fighter with a mental age of about six.

Some humour, some horror, but mostly all-out grossness in imaginative forms, heavy on torture and large gobs of semen. Neither the violence nor people’s reactions to it are generally realistic. Good work in the strict confines of its marginal genre.

References here: Dorohedoro (2020).

moving picture Japanese production fiction

“Ichi the Killer: Episode 0” (2002Moving picture, 46 minutes)

Ichi relives a past where all kinds of orchestrated abuse and warped sexual models bring dormant urges to life in the innocent young boy. When he rises to fight his oppressors, it’s not the just retribution of the underdog.

More of the original’s hypnotic schlock, now focused entirely on Ichi. The one aspect that’s hard to complain about is the voice acting, but even that isn’t very good. Nonetheless, the extreme extension of the motifs is oddly appealing, as in the original. Oddly enough, there is no raped Tachibana.

moving picture spin-off animation Japanese production fiction