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.
it is a good political/espionage thriller, based on a real kidnapping incident of Korean politician, Kim Dae-Jun. it covers a lot of sensitive issues in japan and korea - tension between korea and japan after WW2, feelings of japanese-korean, political movements in 70s (red purge), and most importantly, identity problem of JSDF (Japan Self Defence Force). if you like Oshii Mamoru films like Akai Megane, you will enjoy it a lot.
another thing i noted was that the picture is carefully trying to recreate landscapes in 70s. it is rather difficult thing to do as a lot of landscape changed in tokyo. i was amazed to see lots of vehicles from 70s. kudos to art direction guys!
i gave a 9/10 vote.
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