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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.

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.

No relation to another person named Hanzo, nor the trope Hanlon's Razor.

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 of the Unscrupulous flavor, being a well-meaning policeman willing to gain access to information with rather nasty methods.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Hanzo's Gag Penis should reach somewhere into his victims' chest cavities. Instead of inflicting horrific pain and damage, the gigantic size of his penis is implied to be a big part of the reason his victims experience so much pleasure that they tell him anything he wants to know.
  • Dirty Cop:
  • 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.
  • Gag Penis: Hanzo has a morning regimen for his penis that involves pouring hot water on it, then placing it against a block of wood and beating it with a switch. This ridiculous procedure is presumably to toughen it and improve his hang time during his More than Mind Control rapes. The impression on the block is huge.
  • Gorn: Like most of Kazuo Koike's works, there's a lot of blood.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: Is Hanzo just as bad as the murderers and thieves he puts away? The fact that he rapes people for information suggests that he is for most people.
  • 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…
  • More than Mind Control: Hanzo's rape victims are so overwhelmed with pleasure that they tell him whatever he wants to know.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Hanzo's rapes aren't portrayed as a form of torture (he has other tools for that), but as overwhelming the victims with so much pleasure that it's More than Mind Control and they tell him whatever he wants to know. Probably the only way that a protagonist who rapes people could be even remotely palatable, even taking Values Dissonance into account.
  • Police Brutality: In addition to all the rape, Hanzo employs plenty of this as well. In one case involving a Buddhist nun, he actually tries this first before switching to his preferred method for interrogating women, possibly out of respect for her religious status.
  • 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 (consensual!) affairs with women.