Hey reader! Welcome to my review series! I know, I went from talking about a lighthearted and wholesome Anime, to now talking about a disturbing and gut wrenching Manga. Honestly, I just had to get this one off my mind because this is one of the most disturbing Manga I’ve ever read. It disturbed me so much that I couldn’t even finish it! The furthest I’ve got was up to the third volume, and it was like the more I kept reading the worse it got. Even after I decided to drop the Manga I had to sleep with my TV on for about five days! There are tons of graphic things in the Manga that I will try my best not to talk about in this review. What’s also a little crazy is that years ago when I was a little kid, my family had the movie. I know It’s a bit concerning considering the fact that the movie was so graphic it had to be banned in several countries, and I still have no idea how my family managed to get it. Thankfully I was a big scaredy cat at the time and I never wanted to watch the film when my family wasn’t home because the cover and title was enough to make me not want to watch it. I just wanted to put that out there because I never thought that I would ever encounter Ichi The Killer again. Welp, that’s enough about me! Let’s get into the review!
What’s It About?
Ichi The Killer is a Seinen Manga series that was written and illustrated by Hideo Yamamoto. There is also a prequel that was also written by Hideo Yamamoto titled Ichi which explains how Hajime Shiroishi A.K.A Ichi ended up the way he is now. Ichi The Killer takes place in Kabuki-chō, a red-light district in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan and stars Ichi, a twenty-two year old disturbed individual who gets into some trouble after killing the head of the Anjougumi, a powerful Yakuza group. One member of the group in particular, Masao Kakihara, who is an extreme sadist and masochist, seeks to ruthlessly find and punish whoever killed the head of Anjougumi. This is as much as I could really cover on what the main plot is before reaching spoiler territory. There’s a lot more plots in the story and a lot that goes on, so yeah.
In my opinion there is really no likable character. For example, Ichi gets turned on by what he does, and there was one part in the Manga where he does something, and I just had to go outside after. The only thing that some people could relate to with Ichi is that he was bullied. Once Ichi feels like he’s being pushed around too much or remembers his traumatic past, he begins to uncontrollably cry then becomes a killing machine. Kakihara, a well known character who you might recognize because he’s on the movie cover of Ichi The Killer or because of his Glasgow smile, has tons of parts where he’s brutally inflicting pain on someone, or receiving that pain himself. Jijii, the one behind all of the craziness that ensues in the Manga, knows that Ichi was bullied and uses that to manipulate him into killing people, specifically criminals. Jijii’s group of people that cleans up after Ichi when he’s done killing are just abhorrent and I can go on and on with each character.
To Recommend Or Not To Recommend?
Eh, honestly… I would recommend you read both the prequel and the sequel if you can handle gore and other themes of violence. Also, you will most likely lose your appetite once you read even one chapter of this series. Again, I didn’t finish this series because it was too disturbing for me. What I liked about the Manga is how detailed each page was and how the characters were fleshed out. There are plenty of stories and motivations for each character and it’s portrayed well. I must let you know though, if you do decide to read this, please be prepared. I promise you I’m not being extra, you got to mentally prepare yourself for this one. There’s tons of gore and uncomfortable situations that’ll just make you ask, “Why?”
Whew, now that I’ve gotten a lot of that off my mind, I hope you enjoyed reading this! If you’ve read the Manga what are your thoughts? I might come back next Tuesday with something less gruesome. Thank you for your time, stay tuned, and see you space reader!