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Kuro no tenshi Vol. 1 (1998)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  30 May 1998 (Japan)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 474 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 12 critic

Ikko, the six year old daughter of a yakuza gang boss witnesses the brutal slaying of her parents and is only saved from sharing their fate by an underground hitwoman who goes by the ... See full summary »

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Title: Kuro no tenshi Vol. 1 (1998)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Riona Hazuki ...
Ikko Amaoka
Reiko Takashima ...
Mayo
Jinpachi Nezu ...
Goro Nogi
Kippei Shîna ...
Shinichi Onda
Miyuki Ono ...
Chiaki Amaoka
Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi ...
Zill
Hideo Murota ...
Mitsuru Amaoka
Shingo Tsurumi ...
Narusawa
Ren Ôsugi ...
Kusakabe
Daisuke Iijima ...
Noburo Yasuda
Noriko Hayami ...
Asami
Reiko Kataoka ...
Kotani
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ruben Arvizu ...
Additional Voices (voice)
Bob Buchholz ...
Nogi (voice) (as Robert Buchholz)
Peter Doyle ...
Onda (voice)
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Storyline

Ikko, the six year old daughter of a yakuza gang boss witnesses the brutal slaying of her parents and is only saved from sharing their fate by an underground hitwoman who goes by the nom-de-guerre of "Black Angel." Years after escaping to America, Ikko returns to Tokyo as a young woman. She adopts the name "Black Angel" and is out for revenge. Written by Axel Bellemonte <rev_cochese@fanboy.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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I don't wanna' live anymore... ...How 'bout you?


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Release Date:

30 May 1998 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

The Black Angel  »

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Followed by Kuro no tenshi Vol. 2 (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I don't wanna live anymore...
28 January 2002 | by (Newcastle, England) – See all my reviews

Black Angel is a film that represents the best of what Japanese contemporary cinema can be. It is that rare thing - an action movie that contains depth, character and intellect. The characters are all fully rounded, fleshed out and fallible. They are shades of grey, rather than black or white, and this ambivalence only lends to their realism. They even have to take time to recover after they receive a beating! It is a testament to Takashi that he can produce such empathy for these characters. His direction is polished and at times superb. One scene employs a single 8 minute take with no edits to emphasize the effect of relativity that the protagonist must be encountering on her fruitless attempts to escape and it is inspired. Takashi's trademark use of wide angle lenses is also at an apex in this movie, serving to enhance the effect of bodily movements while at the same time trapping the characters between the foreground and background, thereby outlining their plight (their lack of freedom is rooted in their desire to fulfil their destiny yet at the same time despising what they do). The violence is balletic and certainly tips it's hat to the Hong Kong heroic bloodshed movies of John Woo, et al but Takashi manages to make the set pieces his own by incorporating these formalistic camera techniques into realistic circumstances to draw the viewer into the world he has created. This is similar to Scorcese's "Raging Bull" where extremely formalistic techniques create a very realistic impression on the audience. The story deals with some familiar themes from Japanese cinema (revenge, rape, male-female power relations, etc...) and Takashi's use of motifs helps to relate the characters to one another and outline their connections. Even the title relates to the dichotomy facing our protagonist. The internal conflict of Ikko is mirrored by the external conflicts upon which she embarks. Black Angel is well conceived, well shot and well acted and deserves to be ranked among contemporary Japanese cinema's finest.


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