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->''"Just a little torture."''

A notably gory manga by Hideo Yamamoto. It was later adapted into a film by Creator/TakashiMiike (that spawned a sequel in the form of another movie and a prequel in the form of an anime). ''Ichi the Killer'' is set in the city of Shinjuku, specifically the red-light district Kabuki-cho, where {{Yakuza}} rule the streets. A band of hoodlums lead by an enigmatic old man referred to only as Jijii ("Old guy") hopes to change that.

The story starts with the extremely gruesome murder of Anjou, the leader of a powerful clan of Yakuza known collectively as ''Anjougumi,'' or "the Anjou Clan" in English. The culprit, according to Jijii when he and his group arrives to clean up the mess, is the titular Ichi. The rest of his group are very off-put by the gore, wondering what kind of monster Ichi must be. They clean up the room and empty the safe which contained approximately 300,000,000 yen (about $2,600,000).

The next day, the members of the Anjougumi are distraught to find their leader missing. Notably, Masao Kakihara, a high-ranking member of the group and a noted extreme masochist (his several facial scars, the extensions of his mouth, and numerous piercings attest to this) dismisses all notions of Anjou having run off with the money or of him having been killed, vowing instead to find his captors and punish them severely.

We meet Ichi, 22 years old and an extremely meek man-child, who is pushed around by almost everyone he meets. His only response to the torment is to apologize and smile nervously, which usually ends up just angering his bullies even more. However, with subtle manipulation and the use of Ichi's [[DarkAndTroubledPast troubled past]], Jijii is able to temporarily transform the unassuming boy into a monstrous killer, known for [[BerserkerTears crying profusely]] during his murders.

The story unfolds with Kakihara ruthlessly tracking down Anjou's killers (which ends up hospitalizing a member of a fellow Yakuza gang, getting Kakihara ejected from the group) and later on, focusing mainly on Ichi himself. After encountering the hitman's handiwork time and time again, Kakihara comes to realize that Ichi might be capable of giving him the ultimate pain that he has so desired to find.

!!Tropes found in the manga:

* AbsurdlySharpBlade: Ichi's boot razors, which he made himself in the welding factory where he works.
* AxCrazy:
** Jiro and Saburo, the twin brothers who ran with Kakihara in their old gang. They resort to incredibly brutal violence at the drop of a hat, and think nothing of it.
** Ichi when in his killing trance.
* BarbieDollAnatomy: Almost completely averted; genitals are frequently depicted but never in full detail.
* BanditClan: The main antagonist is the leader of a bandit clan who descend down from the nearby caverns to bully around the villagers who run the local Inn.
* BerserkerTears: Most of the time when Ichi is in his killing trance, he's bawling like a baby since the trance is tied into his memories of being bullied as a kid.
* BreastAttack: Several, played for {{squick}}. One woman gets her nipples sliced off, and a prostitute is punched in the breast hard enough to crush it.
* ButtMonkey: Fujiwara, the most incompetent member of Kakihara's gang, who gets punishments like ass-raping dead rivals' corpses. Fujiwara is also the only one to abandon the gang, leaving only Kakihara, Saburo and Kaneko behind. This also saves his life.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: More evident in the manga:
** Ichi doesn't have a lot of upper body strength, but his kills are so effective because his legs are ''really'' strong (since PrisonsAreGymnasiums), so much so that, after a miserable showing with a punching game in an arcade, he returns to the arcade after hours and destroys the machine with one kick.
** Jiro is strong enough to be able to dismember people with his bare hands.
* ClarkKentOutfit[=/=]HiddenBadass: Under that tracksuit? Jijii is ''ripped''.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment:
** Kakihara likes to dole these out to his {{mook}}s, in the form of body piercings in...sensitive areas. He's also fond of sticking needles through people's palms.
** Kakihara inflicts one on himself by [[spoiler:cutting off the end of his tongue, removing his ability to taste sweetness]].
* CombatSadomasochist: Kakihara may be the definitive example. Injuries ''exhilarate'' him. [[spoiler:Subverted at the end. Kakihara gets ''really'' messed up during his fight with Ichi, to the point where he can no longer ignore his body's danger signals and begins experiencing pain like a normal person does.]]
* CoversAlwaysLie: Some covers make it look like Kakihara is the eponymous Ichi.
* CowboyCop: Jijii, a former policeman who has a vendetta against the yakuza. He used to be Ichi's probation officer.
* CreepyTwins: Jiro and Saburo. Everything about them is slightly off-putting, as if they came from the UncannyValley.
* CurbStompBattle: Jijii vs. Takayama and Ichi vs. Kakihara.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Ichi was cruelly bullied as a child; Jijii knows this and uses it to psychologically manipulate Ichi.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: One of the most {{Squick}}-tastic examples ever. [[spoiler:Ichi cuts his palm with a knife and masturbates to the sight of his favorite prostitute being beaten and raped by her husband]].
* DiagonalCut: Ichi's standard method of killing.
* DisposableSexWorker: Two of them. One is befriended by Ichi who later kills her along with her pimp. The second is raped and tortured to death by Jiro and Saburo during the search for Ichi.
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: Kakihara's final fate, caused by a bird coming along and crapping on his hand. No, seriously.]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: Ichi gets a beating and kicking for the crime of driving past Kakihara with his bicycle. Kaneko feels sorry for him afterwards.
%%* DownerEnding: On several fronts.
* EnfantTerrible: Takeshi.
* ExoticEquipment: It's implied that Kakihara has body modifications in...''interesting'' places.
* FanDisservice: It's pretty much a guarantee that if someone's naked, be it male or female, they're either doing something really twisted or having something horrific done to them. Case in point: the one time nipples are shown on camera in the film, it's when they're getting cut off.
* GambitRoulette: Jijii's ability to manipulate people borders on omniscience.
* {{Gayngster}}: Kakihara [[SubvertedTrope appears to be this]] for Boss Anjo, but he explains that he's rather just InLoveWithYourCarnage (the punishments Anjo gave him).
* GlasgowGrin: Kakihara has one, held together by piercings. He's also fond of giving the Glasgow Grin to other people. He takes the piercings out to [[spoiler:swallow people's hands when they try to punch him in the face]], and at one point has them torn out, which doesn't faze him at all.
* {{Gorn}}: A shining example of this trope, particularly in Takashi Miike's hands.
* GroinAttack: Several; also, see CoolAndUnusualPunishment above. Kakihara loves genital torture; he even shows pictures of all the ways to split a penis to the victim, before doing these things to him. Jiro and Saburo are more straightforward; one punches a man in the groin hard enough to crush his genitals, then the other stabs him in the groin, which actually kills him.
* HighPressureBlood: Sometimes justified, sometimes not so much.
* ImpaledPalm: Kakihara uses his needles for this a few times, including to Jiro and Saburo at the same time through their clasped hands to show his anger at them for killing someone he wanted kept alive.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Kakihara uses his supply of needles to turn one of Jijii's henchmen into a human pincushion.
* InLoveWithYourCarnage: Kakihara was this way for his boss, and then gets this way with Ichi. His enthusiasm implodes when he realizes that the mysterious monster Ichi is actually the whimpering loser who got his ass kicked by Kakihara once.
* LonersAreFreaks: Ichi.
* MobWar
* NeckSnap: Done to Takayama by Jijii and to Jiro by Ichi.
* OldMaster: Subverted by Jijii; after he breaks Takayama's neck with one hand, he reveals that that he's in his 30's but had plastic surgery to make him look older. On the other hand, he might be an old man and lying. Jijii isn't exactly known for his honesty.
* OrgasmicCombat:
** Ichi, who literally gets a hard-on from beating people.
** Kakihara as well, being equal parts sadist and masochist.
* PetTheDog:
** Ichi has many of these moments, such as giving his money to an abused prostitute so she can have her nose fixed, and teaching a bullied kid how to fight back against his tormentors.
** Karen has a literal PetTheDog moment, when she gets furious at the Vietnamese drug dealer for kicking a dog.
* ProfessionalKiller: Kaneko, a low-level hitman.
* PsychopathicManchild: Ichi.
* RagingStiffie: Ichi gets an extreme version. It takes the ADateWithRosiePalms scene above to relieve it.
* RapeAsDrama: Happens with any woman Jiro and Saburo encounter.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: The above-mentioned brothers. They even boast about having raped hundreds.
* ScarsAreForever: Kakihara's face and piercings.
* ThereCanBeOnlyOne: Being CreepyTwins aren't enough for Jiro and Saburo. Their manga background shows that there was originally triplets, all of them monsters who wondered who was the one their father's sperm (no, really, THE SPERM) has blessed the most, so they have been trying to top each other in the "most heinous actions" scale, where the winner apparently kills the others. The third brother never made it to the main storyline...because his younger brothers murdered him. Ichi didn't give the remaining two siblings the time to finish their competition.
* TooKinkyToTorture: Kakihara is so numb to pain that even [[spoiler:in his final moments, when that's no longer the case]], he enjoys the sensation.
* TorturePorn
* TwinTelepathy: Ichi's presence is announced by Saburo suddenly feeling that Jiro has died. He recognizes the feeling from when his other brother died, and responds with a reaction of "I was hoping to kill him myself sometime."
* TheUnsmile:
** Ichi tends to do this when he's trying to look harmless. The expression is rather goofy-looking.
** When Jijii smiles, his lips don't open right. Combined with his big wide eyes, the effect is more like a chimp baring its teeth and makes him look very creepy and inhuman.
* {{Yakuza}}:
** Kakihara and all his associates.
** Jijii's gang are thugs who've been excommunicated from yakuza clans.

!!Tropes found in the movie:

* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Movie!Kakihara is much more handsome and charming than his manga self. WordOfGod is that this was so he could be more appealing to the audience and steal the show.
* AnachronicOrder: The first scene takes place roughly halfway through the film.
* BilingualDialogue: In the film, Karen's dialogue switches between Japanese, Cantonese, and English.
* DeathByAdaptation: [[spoiler: The final scene shows Jijii's hanged corpse from a tree, in the manga, he's alive and training Takeshi to be his next killing machine. Similarly, Takeshi gets beheaded by Ichi in the film, but is Jijii's current killing machine project in the epilogue of the manga; however, the final scene does have someone that looks like an older Takeshi appear, and considering Kakihara hallucinated Ichi's attack on him, it's possible that nothing actually happened to Takeshi.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Kakihara ultimately jumps to his death, but he hallucinated that Ichi had impaled his skull and kicked him off the building instead.]]
* GoryDiscretionShot: In lieu of seeing Ichi behead [[spoiler:Takeshi]], we are treated to a hyper-explicit shot of Kakihara using skewers to perforate his own eardrums and pierce his cochnea. Possibly enforced due to the DoubleStandard of [[spoiler:violence against children]], or because [[spoiler:Kakihara is just imagining that Ichi did it before committing suicide]].
* ImagineSpot: The scene of [[spoiler:Kakihara]]'s death is revealed to be wishful thinking on the part of [[spoiler:Kakihara as he throws himself off the roof when Ichi is unable to fight him]].
* ClarkKentOutfit: Jiji, the little old chessmaster, wears baggy clothing throughout the film. At the very end, he strips to his underwear to reveal a ridiculously muscled body.
* PragmaticAdaptation: Some subplots had to be cut out of the movie.
* SeriousBusiness: "Put some feeling into it. Giving pain is a serious business."
* SittingOnTheRoof: We see Ichi and later Jijii sitting on the rooftop.
* TheStoic: Jijii is rather expressionless in the movie.
* ThemeTuneCameo: Kakihara's ring tone in the movie.