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Ichi the Killer: Episode 0 (2002)
"Koroshiya 1: The Animation Episode 0" (original title)

Not Rated  |  Video  |   |  Animation, Drama, Thriller  |  27 September 2002 (Japan)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 540 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 6 critic

A masochistic mobster meets his match in the dark streets of Tokyo. His nemesis, Ichi, is a psychopathic killer with an unrelenting thirst for bloodshed. A horrifying secret burns in his ... See full summary »



, (english adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: Ichi the Killer: Episode 0 (Video 2002)

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Credited cast:
Chihiro Suzuki ...
Shinpachi Tsuji ...
Jijii (voice)
Sayaka Ohara ...
Midori (voice)
Kakihara (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Aarons ...
Prison Guard (voice)
Holly Bobbit ...
Mother (voice)
Tristan Goddard ...
Tanabe (voice)
Dan Green ...
Mr. Shiroishi (voice) (as Jean Masters)
Margeaux Heartman ...
Midori (voice) (as Rebecca Miriam)
David Moo ...
Hirano (voice)
Michael Sinterniklaas ...
Hajime Shiroishi (voice) (as Michael Tremain)
Tom Wayland ...
Kaneda (voice)
Buddy Woodward ...
Teacher (voice)


A masochistic mobster meets his match in the dark streets of Tokyo. His nemesis, Ichi, is a psychopathic killer with an unrelenting thirst for bloodshed. A horrifying secret burns in his mind, and his hands deal death without mercy. At last, the shrouds of mystery are parted to reveal the origin of the monster. The city will know its greatest fear at the unveiling of Ichi the Killer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Anime at its most extreme.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 September 2002 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ichi the Killer: Episode 0  »

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Did You Know?


Director of the live-action adaptation, Takashi Miike, stars as the pivotal character Kakihara. See more »


References Ichi the Killer (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

definitely NOT for kids, first off, and with its flaws, but I liked it in its demented way
23 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Keep this in mind: this isn't some of the slightly more sanitized Adult Swim material on Cartoon Network. Ichi the Killer Episode 0 is hardcore anime, meant for probably some of the sickest f****s digging around for whatever they can in the most gritty video bins in some dump of a store. In its 40 minute running time the filmmakers backtrack into the life of Ichi, the memorable sadist from Takashi Miike's film. It's basically all about Ichi coming back from repressed teenage years where he's got the mind of a six year old trapped in a body that's half psycho-libido, and half just psycho killer, the two merging most of the time. Ichi is, of course, trained this way, or rather controlled by forces that use him as a killing machine. But we also see a side to an anti-hero that we might never ever see, which makes him so much of a crazy bird that we almost try and move away from the screen as killings go on, loaded with harsh sexual connotations that would probably scar for life some small children if seen.

It's a violent, insane spectacle, filled with the kind of imagery that only comes out of a comic book that has the reputation to still shock in the 21st century. Lots of sick martial arts moments tinged with just that extra over-the-top belt of surreal mania, as Ichi cries and cries and grows aroused all the more from one killing to the next. I recommend it probably more to those who would already be seeking out anime that's a little more than what would usually be used to seeing; the drawbacks are kinda glaring for most though, including an overbearing soundtrack (sometimes used would have been alright, but this constant starts to take a toll on the narrative, and such awful techno-pop carp), and an ending that seems to cut short just as a whole other narrative seems to start up. It goes without saying I can't see why a show like this wouldn't be picked up - you'd need an exec with the guts of a Tarantino or, for that matter Miike, to see it through without damning the creators to hell and starting a religion to repress this trash. But as trash it is, there's some art stuck in the middle: abstractions done and fashioned as if out of the most deranged fever dream ever conceived in anime.

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