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Ichi the Killer (2001)

Koroshiya 1 (original title)
As sadomasochistic yakuza enforcer Kakihara searches for his missing boss he comes across Ichi, a repressed and psychotic killer who may be able to inflict levels of pain that Kakihara has only dreamed of.



(screenplay), (manga)
4,992 ( 125)
6 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nao Ohmori ...
Ichi (as Nao Ômori)
Paulyn Sun ...
Karen (as Alien Sun)
Susumu Terajima ...
Suzuki (as Sabu)
Shun Sugata ...
Toru Tezuka ...
Yoshiki Arizono ...
Kiyohiko Shibukawa ...
Ryu Long (as Kee)
Satoshi Niizuma ...
Suzuki Matsuo ...
Jirô / Saburô
SABU ...
Kaneko (as Hiroyuki Tanaka)
Moro Morooka ...
Coffee Shop Manager
Hôka Kinoshita ...
Sailor's Lover


When a Yakuza boss named Anjo disappears with 300 million yen, his chief henchman, a sadomasochistic man named Kakihara, and the rest of his mob goons go looking for him. After capturing and torturing a rival Yakuza member looking for answers, they soon realize they have the wrong man and begin looking for the man named Jijii who tipped them off in the first place. Soon enough Kakihara and his men encounter Ichi, a psychotic, sexually-repressed young man with amazing martial arts abilities and blades that come out of his shoes. One by one Ichi takes out members of the Yakuza and all the while Kakihara intensifies his pursuit of Ichi and Ichi's controller Jijii. What will happen as the final showdown happens between the tortured and ultra-violent Ichi and the pain-craving Kakihara? Written by Joseph

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Ai wa, kanari itai. (Love really hurts.) See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong perverse violence/gore and sexuality, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 July 2002 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

Ichi the Killer  »

Box Office


$1,400,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (heavily cut) | (heavily cut)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As a publicity gimmick, barf bags were handed out at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to those attending the midnight screening of this film. See more »


When Kakihara is attacked in the streets, protective padding is visible under his clothing. Look for it when he bends over backwards without falling over, before he removes his piercings. See more »


Kakihara: Damn... Nobody left to kill me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

End credits scroll up, down, left, right, forwards and backwards. See more »


Version of Ichi the Killer: Episode 0 (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Bloody as hell, Gory and swell.. In short... a masterpiece
14 September 2004 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

This has to be one of my greatest experiences in the Asian cinema. I have been watching Asian movies since the eighties where I saw my first martial arts movies and I have been an Asian fan ever since.

They have a unique way of making movies and a boldness you don't see in western cinema. I have a few friends that share my sick fascination in the gory and shocking side of Asian movie making and Ichi the killer is the best in it's genre. I have seen a lot of Miike's movies which I won't mention here but Ichi is by far my favorite Miike movie.

Takashi Miike spits out movies faster than speeding bullets and some of his works are not even worth watching. But once in a while he hits the spot and delivers a masterpiece and Ichi is by all means a masterpiece. A lot of people only see the blood, torture, gore and humiliation of the human body in Miike's movies but mostly he has a hidden or at least partly foggy agenda.

Ichi is basically a film about a loyal yakusa henchman trying to find meaning in his life after his boss has been murdered and a murderer trying to find himself in a labyrinth of deception and lost memories. It is well played and very well made.Tadanobu Asano excels as Kakihara and Nao Omori is extremely good as the violent insane killer Ichi. The special effects has a realistic feel about them and you can almost feel the pain inflicted in this movie and there is plenty of pain to go around.

Ichi is not a film for people with weak nerves or a dislike for blood. Miike likes to shock his audience and is a master in this field. He delivers the meat for the gore hounds and has a weird sense of humor....

I give this little blood feast a 8.0

59 of 81 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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