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Koroshiya 1
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Ichi the Killer (2001) More at IMDbPro »Koroshiya 1 (original title)

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Hideo Yamamoto (comic)
Sakichi Satô (screenplay)
View company contact information for Ichi the Killer on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 July 2002 (Netherlands) See more »
Ai wa, kanari itai. (Love really hurts.) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
7 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A symphony of violence See more (275 total) »


  (in credits order)

Tadanobu Asano ... Kakihara
Nao Ômori ... Ichi

Shin'ya Tsukamoto ... Jijii
Paulyn Sun ... Karen (as Alien Sun)
Susumu Terajima ... Suzuki (as Sabu)
Shun Sugata ... Takayama
Toru Tezuka ... Fujiwara
Yoshiki Arizono ... Nakazawa
Kiyohiko Shibukawa ... Ryu Long (as Kee)
Satoshi Niizuma ... Inoue
Suzuki Matsuo ... Jirô / Saburô

Jun Kunimura ... Funaki
SABU ... Kaneko (as Hiroyuki Tanaka)
Moro Morooka ... Coffee Shop Manager
Hôka Kinoshita ... Sailor's Lover
Hiroshi Kobayashi ... Takeshi
Mai Goto ... Sailor
Rio Aoki ... Miyuki
Yoshiyuki Morishita ... Pub Patron
Setchin Kawaya ... Pub Proprietor
Yuki Kazamatsuri ... Yakuza Girl
Sakichi Satô ... Man Kicking Ichi
Kaori Sugawara
Hideo Sako
Mako Takeda
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Masataka Haji

Directed by
Takashi Miike 
Writing credits
Hideo Yamamoto (comic)

Sakichi Satô (screenplay)

Produced by
Yuchul Cho .... co-producer
Akiko Funatsu .... producer
Toshiki Kimura .... associate producer: Excellent Film
Sumiji Miyake .... executive producer
Dai Miyazaki .... producer
Elliot Tong .... co-producer
Albert Yeung .... executive producer: EMG
Toyoyuki Yokohama .... executive producer
Original Music by
Karera Musication 
Seiichi Yamamoto 
Cinematography by
Hideo Yamamoto 
Film Editing by
Yasushi Shimamura 
Casting by
Mitsuyo Ishigaki 
Production Design by
Takashi Sasaki 
Costume Design by
Michiko Kitamura 
Makeup Department
Yûichi Matsui .... special makeup effects artist (as Yuichi Matsu)
Production Management
Christian Alexander Moran .... post-production manager (english version)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Kimiyoshi Adachi .... first assistant director
Masato Tanno .... second assistant director
Sound Department
Christian Alexander Moran .... sound editor (restored version)
Yoshiya Obara .... sound
Visual Effects by
Misako Saka .... visual effects supervisor
Music Department
Holeg Spies .... title music re-mixer

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Koroshiya 1" - Japan (original title)
See more »
Rated R for strong perverse violence/gore and sexuality, language and drug content (cut)
129 min | USA:117 min (heavily cut) | Germany:110 min (heavily cut) | UK:120 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Brazil:18 | Canada:R (Manitoba) | Canada:18+ (Québec) | Chile:18 | Finland:K-18 (self applied) | France:12 | France:16 (DVD rating) | Germany:BPjM Restricted | Germany:18 (heavily cut) | Germany:(Banned) (uncut) | Hong Kong:III (cut) | Ireland:18 (heavily cut) | Italy:VM18 | Japan:R-18 | Malaysia:(Banned) | Mexico:B | Netherlands:16 | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:(Banned) (re-rating) (2008) | Norway:18 (2007) (original rating) (uncut) | Portugal:M/18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | Sweden:18 (DVD rating) | UK:18 (cut) | USA:Unrated | USA:R (cut) | USA:NC-17 (uncut)

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 »
Revealing mistakes: 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:There's no love in your violence.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ichi the Killer: Episode 0 (2002) (V)See more »


What are the differences between the British BBFC 18 Version and the Uncensored Version?
What are the differences between the R-Rated and Unrated Version? What about the HongKong Version?
See more »
20 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
A symphony of violence, 2 January 2007
Author: K_Todorov from Bulgaria

In 2001 Japanesse cult director Takashi Miike created one of the most unique and controversial movies ever to grace the screen. An adaptation of a manga with the same name, "Ichi The Killer" is a wild and crazy ride into the depths of human madness. As the movie creates its own parallel to our world where sexual violence and torture are common ways to express a character's emotional condition or thoughts.

Plotwise "Ichi The Killer" deals with an yakuza Kakihara (played by the diverse Tadanobu Asano) who along with his underlings starts a search for his missing boss. At the same time he finds himself chased by a mysterious assassin known only as Ichi. Kakihara's methods of extracting information become a similar sight throughout the film, with him torturing anyone that could know something about his boss.

The movie is presented as a dark comedy that feels more like a parody of humanity's most dark and hidden desires. With every character representing a sick and twisted version of a certain established type of behavior found in modern society. From the abused, passive and sexually inactive male being transformed into a crying psychopatic murderer whose's only excitement comes from seeing (or causing) massive displays of violence and rape (Ichi). To the violent gangster stereotype further villainized with the character of Kakihara whose never ending need to inflict pain to others or to himself has left him void to any other forms of arouse or emotion. Miike goes so far that he criticizes women in Japan for their often seen submissive behavior by introducing a more independent persona with the character of Karen, a notably western influenced person, her need to cause pain nearly borders Kakihara's.

The violence itself is presented in such an obscenely over-exaggerated way that one can not help but laugh at some of the situations created by it. Make no mistake this movie is definitely no kiddie ride, and people who can't stand horror or alternative films have no place in watching this. Miike has gone so far in this that even the title introduction in the begging is going to shock you. He also succeeds in creating a very dreamlike feel to the movie. More nightmarish than dreamlike actually. The finale itself is shockingly absurd with the two main characters "battling" it out from a third person's perspective.

A special note should be made concerning the movie's soundtrack. Whose unique use of completely different and diverse from each other sounds and styles fits with the film's own meddling in cinematic genres.

There is really no second like "Ichi The Killer" Takashi Miike created an original work that could disgust many but could also amaze any of those people who are searching for something more untraditional.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Ichi the Killer (2001)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Will I like this? EpsilonX
Don't know how anyone can like this meakins8
Is Ichi worth watching...? robfromthenorth
Does Ichi Ejulcate When He Kills? timechangelater
Did anyone else hate Kakihara? Zeego
Thoughts about Karen lindsaybovshow
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