Ichi the Killer (2002)
By: J.R. McNamara on March 26, 2009  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
Siren Visual Entertainment (Australia). All Regions, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0, Japanese DD 2.0. English Subtitles. 46 minutes
The Movie
Director: Shinji Ishidaira
Starring: Chihiro Suzuki, Shinpachi Tsuji, Sayaka Oohara, Takashi Miike (Voices)
Screenplay: Hideo Yamamoto, Sakichi Satô
Country: Japan
AKA: Koroshiya 1: The Animation Episode 0
Ichi the Killer is back, but in an origin story that takes place before Takashi Miike's film, so I guess he is not back, but here presented in his first appearance but made after the film Ichi the Killer… how confusing.

The popularity of the comic and the film caused the production of this anime based on the same character. The Japanese dubbed version is voiced by some of Japan's known voice artists, who worked on such animes as Witchhunter Robin and The Big O, not to mention a special appearance by the voice of Miike himself, giving Kakihari his say. Ichi the Killer: Episode Zero was written by Sakichi Satô, who played Charlie Brown in Kill Bill Vol.1, and Hideo Yamamoto, the creaotor of the original manga, who together also wrote the script for Takashi Miike's movie.

Ichi the Killer: Episode Zero (or Koroshiya 1: The Animation Episode 0, if you prefer the Japanese title) is the story of Ichi's origins. Through cruelty from those he trusts and his exposure to extreme sexual shenanigans, we discover that psychopaths like Ichi aren't born…they are created…

Unfortunately this 42 minute animation suffers from a similar problem that a lot of television cartoons, the same footage is repeated over and over again, so much so at one point I expected Yogi and Boo Boo to be chased by Ranger Smith across the screen. In a feature this brief, that is not good enough. The color palette is great, and maybe occasionally the stylized artwork is a little reminiscent at of Frank Millar's Sin City graphic novels. This anime is blood drenched and sexually charged, and probably not for the fans of Battle of the Planets or Starblazers.
An okay 4:3 digitally re-mastered digital transfer with an interesting palette.
This DVD has a choice of Japanese with English subtitles or English with subtitles for any of the writing (at one point which does not actually work, but instead shows the cursors of where the translations should be).
Extra Features
The Verdict
Ichi the Killer: Episode Zero is a watchable but not necessary addition to the Ichi the Killer franchise. For dedicated fans only.
Movie Score
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