Synonyms: Koroshiya Ichi, Ichi the Killer
Published: May 1998 to 2001
Authors: Yamamoto, Hideo (Story & Art)
Serialization: Young Sunday (Weekly)
Score: 8.031 (scored by 2283 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagshorror psychological seinen
Jun 20, 2010
Now with all of this said it's important to note that it is because of these aspects that the story works; because Ichi the Killer does not filter content it can show the darkest part of the criminal underbelly in the least flattering light possible, a light a great many of us prefer not to acknowledge exists. Thus Ichi the Killer is constantly walking a thin line between alienating the audience and drawing them in deeper into the story.
The setting, as mentioned above, takes place in the criminal underbelly (in this case the Japanese red light district) and for the most part has an apartment complex occupied by multiple Yakuza gangs act as the key location. The complex serves a few functions, the most plot relevant one being that it's acts as a cease fire zone for the gangs, which allows for them to live side by side, interact with one another on a "business" level and sort out any problems the gangs may have with one another in a diplomatic manner.
This is where the plot kicks in. We are quickly introduced to four men sneaking into Yakuza holy ground who provide us with some exposition about events that have recently transpired. Through them we learn that their leader (simply referred to as Ji-Ji) arranged for the head of one such gang to be killed by the titular Ichi and that they are going up to clean up the crime scene before the other Yakuza learn of his death, and take whatever money there is in the groups vault. This of course sets off a chain reaction which brings in the underling of the deceased Yakuza boss, the sadomasochistic maniac Kakihara to discover the nature of his boss' disappearance, whilst punishing anyone who may be involved in a gruesome manner.
The story itself follows on the perspectives of Ichi, Kakihara, Ji-Ji and their respective associates throughout the story, giving you their perspectives of the events that have transpired so far. This allows the reader to have a certain level of familiarity with the plot, though it also purposefully withholds certain details to maintain a level of tension to balance this out. By the end of the series there are some unexplained points that could really use proper explanation and certain elements when the focus is squarely on Ichi do drag down plot progression early on, but neither of these stop the end of the series from having a certain kind of payoff.
The characters in general feel fleshed out (if a bit focused on a particular character trait) and play off each other well. As this is the kind of series where people are killed in particularly brutal ways characters will often get a bit of character development before they meet their maker, which helps them leave an impact on the reader even if they might not have particularly cared for the character that has just died.
A lot of the enjoyment from Ichi the Killer stems from the humour, which ranges from pitch black to comparatively light hearted, this helps balance out the pure sadism that is frequently displayed by several characters. It should be noted that if you're particularly sadistic yourself that you may get a kick from the over the top-ness of some of the violent scenes presented, though this becomes much harder to do as the scenes get increasingly bloodthirsty.
Finally, as the artwork is of particular mention, it has to be said that Ichi the Killer is superbly drawn. Both characters and background environments are consistently drawn on model and in high detail, with each character looking distinct enough that you'd be hard pressed mistaking a character from this Manga with a character from another one. Fittingly this also means that the torture scenes (all of which are downright sickening to think about) never miss a beat either so be sure to keep that in mind.
So if you're looking for a unique psychological Manga and can stomach themes of sadism/masochism, full frontal nudity, grotesque torture and violence that goes into overkill territory then I recommend giving this a read, though if you ever begin to get squeamish during or just by reading about it then give it a miss, if anything that's the sensible thing to do. read more
Apr 2, 2008
For the most part the story follows a fearsome killer known by his codename (Ichi) and the orders he undertakes from his so-called uncle. The main story may lack some depth but it tries to add some by revealing the past bullying experiences of Ichi, which led to his current state of mind. Although it doesn’t seem to do a good job at relating it to the present, it manages to tie it in with Ichi’s current target. In the end the story does have a repetitive cycle but there are plenty of exciting twists to spice things up.
The artwork is unusually great because there’s lot of detail put every panel and character designs, however most of the character designs are quite unsettling. Also this manga is pretty creative in its depiction of extreme gore and horrific violence, so expect to see the most nauseating thing you can imagine.
Overall Ichi the Killer proved to be one of the most disturbing and gruesome manga ever created, with a twisted story that didn’t make much sense until you get deep into the story. This manga really only served the purpose as a vaccination for extremely, bloody, violent manga because after reading this you’ll never feel a thing when you see like a guy being tortured or decapitated in any other manga. So in the end, this manga is a decent read, but you’ll have to be a violence lover to enjoy this.
^_^ read more
May 15, 2009
This book is enjoyable, if you know what your going to be dealing with. I recommend watching the movie first just to see what your going to be reading. The amount of violence, sexual taboos, and overall insanity displayed by the characters in this book is not for the casual reader. Some scenes in this book either made me say "What the hell?" or made me squirm in my seat...
This book regardless of its content, is an incredible manga. Great pacing, art, story and characters that make you want to read the next volume just to see what situation they get themselves into next. read more
Apr 22, 2010
I can't help but mention that, firstly, the ILLUSTRATION, the ART, was magnificent.
See, if you've read any of my other reviews you'd know that I'm pretty, well, I'm harsh when it comes to illustrations. But I've got to say this, you won't find such consistent high quality art in an almost scary amount of books.
The art was sketched throughout the series painstakingly by hand, the same sketches for the same faces; they never from out-of-the-blue change and no added computer fillings or/and shadings as the story goes on, it was and is... IT.
Coming back to earth, the story is one of the raunchiest, most perverted, most sick, most disgusting things I've ever read.
Ha, Ha, Ha! FOOLED ya!
It is actually all the things that I have mentioned but it doesn't have to make it rubbish.
Audience: What the Hell! Maz-Maz! Stop changing your mind everytime you leave a line!
Okay, fine guys, I'll stop.
*Input maniacle laughter*
You see, if you think you've seen it all and not read Ichi The Killer, if you think that nothing will make you writhe because you now can expect the unexpected and handle 'everything'; like what I thought...
Then, my comrade; you’ve got another think coming.
AFTER reading Ichi The Killer, you then may have seen it all but only AFTER.
The story has endless twists and turns, like a maze and the characters have as much depth as the Atlantic Ocean, you always learn more and more, and most things you expect, don't really happen.
It may get slow sometimes but if you pull through,
You're in for one hell of a ride. read more
Jan 20, 2012
Alright so starting out you know I don't like the vanilla stuff. I like things that stand out, that are strongly different from other manga (and anime