This is a tricky one, from the get go Ichi is gory and unremittingly violent, entrails are strewn everywhere and the films very title emerges from a pool of semen. Rape and violence against women is unflinchingly portrayed in graphic detail.
As an exercise in excess it is quite an enjoyable film, its biggest flaw is its level of impenetrability. I wasn't far into the film before decided to switch of my brain and just watch it. A simple plot was made to be so convoluted that I quick lost what was happening. I also struggled to work out just who was who and what they wanted!
Ichi had a few bizarre moments as well. The ending is rather cryptic and quite unsatisfying in all and any sympathy for Ichi is pretty much gone by this point leaving a strange lack of empathy or pathos.
Most of my gripes with the film are due to its manga roots, these extreme cartoons certainly struggle to translate to live action and this is the case here. However that aside Ichi does take a good stab at the change.
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