Takashi Miike is a highly prolific, and highly controversial, Japanese auteur; who states his primary influences to be David Lynch
, David Cronenberg
, and Paul Verhoeven
. A combination he takes and turns Up to Eleven
in many of his films. He has directed several movies a year since his first release in 1991, as well as a handful of television programs, for an average of about 3-4 a year; starting soon after graduating Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film, where he studied under legendary Japanese filmmaker Shohei Imamura. Although the bulk of his work are theatrical releases, mainly Yakuza
action films, he also produces a considerable number of Direct-to-Video
V-cinema releases as well. The former are often used to finance the latter; which he claims he does because they allow him more creative control, and greater freedom from censorship and traditional narrative structure.
Both inside and outside Japan he's best known for Black Comedy
, over-the-top violence, and Gorn
; but his films cover a much wider range of genres and styles. Along with his signature action and horror, he's also produced examples of period drama, sentimental road picture, teen drama, more traditional crime drama, children's movies, and some that defy any attempt at labeling, such as the live-action/claymation horror comedy musical The Happiness of the Katakuris
His V-cinema releases, despite frequent extreme depictions of violence and sexual perversion, are often philosophical explorations of the darker side of the human psyche.
He made an (unidentified) cameo, presumably as himself, in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
, which fits the tone of the games perfectly, and an identified
cameo as the voice of Pascal the Otter
in the Japanese Animal Crossing
film, which does not.
Compare David Lynch
, David Cronenberg
, Luis Bu˝uel
, John Waters
Some notable work:
Recurring tropes in Takashi Miike's filmography include:
- Author Appeal: Lactation and breast milk are recurring images in at least his V-Cinema releases.
- Gainax Ending
- Gayngster: Many of his Yakuza and other gangster types are either Straight Gay or Hard Gay. Possibly Author Appeal.
- Gorn: Miike's movies are notorious for their goriness.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Mind Screw: Audition and Gozu epitomize this trope.
- Missing Episode: Imprint. It was intended to be the Season One finale, but was pulled and later released direct-to-DVD for being too extreme by the show's standards.
- Playing Against Type: Of all anime series to adapt into film, it had to be Yatterman?!
- Or a movie version of Phoenix Wright?
- He also did a Live Action movie of Nintama Rantaro, which have all the signs of So My Kids Can Watch.
- Miike himself lampshaded this trope, commenting, "Me, a 'Master of Horror'? I'm the guy that made Salaryman Kintarō!"note
- Refuge in Audacity: When describing his most notable films, the phrases "extreme", "transgressive" and "shocking" are thrown about liberally.
- Surreal Horror
- Thematic Series: The Black Society Trilogy (Black Triad Trilogy), which includes Shinjuku Triad Society, Rainy Dog, and Ley Lines. With Tomorowo Taguchi in leading (though different) roles in each, the films are not connected by a narrative. Instead, they focus on unlikely relationships among Yakuza crime families.
- Up to Eleven
- Yandere: Especially in Audition. A wonderful deconstruction of kawaiisa.