The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Koroshiya 1

Title: Koroshiya 1
Genre: Action/Thriller
Format: 10 Volumes
Mangaka: Hideo Yamamoto
Synopsis: The disappearance of the Head of the Anjou group and a fortune of 300 million Yen sets in motion past enemies, new friends and unknown foes within the Shinjuku, a Yakuza managed district in Japan. Not even the police dare interfere in this place. But Maabou, son of the late Leader of the Anjou group discovers his father was murdered and he’s determined to find the killer or killers. The only clue he has is that it was a man named Ichi.

The Highlights
Demental, twisted and screwed up in the head.
Plot: Best love story ever.
Art: Clean and detailed, excellent for all those gory moments.
Violence: Torture scenes, sadistic murders, rape, mutilation… only the good stuff.

Koroshiya 1 AKA Ichi the Killer has more fame for being a extremely violent movie than a extremely violent manga, even when the manga inspired the movie and it even spawned an anime show. I have to make it clear before we start, that the main plot of Koroshiya 1 is extreme violence in all its forms, sadism, masochism, hate, love, etc… And all of them are taken to the extreme. Hideo Yamamoto wanted to explore how violence affects humans and to do so he took it to the extreme.

Some people will be turned off, but for those of us who will keep reading through the fast paced 10 volumes it lasts, it will be amazing. Some might keep reading for the pleasure of Maabou’s ways to get what he wants, or to see Ichi kill some people. But what lies beyond this superficial facade is two amazing characters that even when they are sickening, you care about them and you understand why they have become the way they are. Although the main characters are amazing, most of the secondary characters need more background and development.

The artwork is brilliantly serious and it projects the exact thoughts and feelings of the characters. The backgrounds and character designs hold many secrets that make the manga more enjoyable and easier to understand. Even thought the art isn’t fancy it does its work: emphasizing feelings.

Some people might feel lost with all the similar names and organizations involved but once you get passed this and when you understand the true meaning of violence, you will love Koroshiya 1. But if you are not up for a though ride, then I have to warn you of not even daring touching the first volume, since the violence starts as soon as you flip the cover.

The Rating: 9

Reviewed by: Dtortot

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