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:: Ichi The Killer

Ichi The Killer is a disturbing and graphically violent animation, as the back cover proudly touts. It's intended as a companion to the equally disturbing movie, Ichi The Killer. This animation is exploitation at its most unabashed and it's most definitely not for the weak stomached.

The film follows the life of a sadistic killer who derives sexual pleasure from the kill. Episode 0 explores the emergence of the sadistic and sexual impulses from his childhood. The character of Ichi develops as his psychosis is exploited by a group of people who want to harness his strength. The film leaves us when he performs his first kill for them, and to find out more you'll have to watch the live-action version.

It‘s not a stand-alone piece and lacks the charisma of a lasting anime. The plot is cliched but could have worked well if the film weren't so clearly engineered to maximise bloodshed and sexual titillation. Surprisingly, despite the claim to be 'disturbing,’ the film avoids a rape scene and focuses solely on Ichi‘s sexual release as he kills. Okay, that's gross enough for most audiences, but doesn't rate at all when compared to animes like Urotsukidoji: Legend of the Overfiend, the infamous 'tentacle monster’ movie. Even in sheer exploitation value, Ichi just doesn't make the cut.