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Film / Hanzo the Razor

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Hanzo the Razor is a trilogy of films based on Kazuo Koike's manga Goyokibe. Like most of Koike's works, it is dynamically violent and exploitative, but very enjoyable.

Hanzo Itami is a good cop in Edo Japan, foiling nefarious plots by corrupt officials. His greatest weapon in getting information is his other blade.


Hanzo the Razor provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Name Change: The movies were based on the manga Goyokibe.
  • Anachronism Stew: Many of the magistrates wear glasses, and the aesthetics of the movie overall are very 70s, right down to the soundtracks by famed composer Isao Tomita and Psychedelic Rock musician and record producer Kunihiko Murai.
  • Anti-Hero: Hanzo is a type III, being willing to gain access to information with rather nasty methods.
  • Dirty Cop:
    • Magobei Onishi is a corrupt cop.
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    • Heck, most of the officers in Edo Japan could be considered such, even our hero Hanzo.
  • End of an Age: The second film seems to signal the film trilogy takes place in the very end of the Edo era.note 
  • Exalted Torturer: Hanzo Itami, who was formerly the page's picture. He's played straight as a "good cop" who investigates his cases by raping his suspects into submission.
  • Exploitation Film: Essentially a Japanese, Jidaigeki-flavored version of the genre with plenty of blood and guts as well as a hero that rapes female victims into submission to expose devious plots by corrupt officials.
  • Gorn: Like most of Kazuo Koike's works, there's a lot of blood.
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  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: Is Hanzo just as bad as the murderers and thieves he puts away?
  • Jidaigeki: The trilogy is essentially a series of exploitation films set in Edo period Japan.
  • Kavorka Man: Shintaro Katsu isn't exactly the most attractive man, being slightly overweight...
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: A major trope in the series. Some of Hanzo's suspects whom he rapes into submission are portrayed as changing their ways.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: It's Shaft IN EDO JAPAN, with a Cowboy Cop as a hero and clearly lifting several Blaxploitation tropes. Heck, even the music score by Isao Tomita is straight out of the book of Issac Hayes.
  • The Rival: Magobei Onishi, who Hanzo hates ("Snake Magobei!") for being a jackass who takes bribes and has affairs with women.


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