Ichi the Killer (manga)

Ichi the Killer

Cover of Koroshiya Ichi, vol. 1
(Koroshiya Ichi)
Genre Drama, Mystery, Crime fiction
Written by Hideo Yamamoto
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Young Sunday
Original run 19982001
Volumes 10
Original video animation
Ichi the Killer: Episode 0
Directed by Shinji Ishihira
Written by Sakichi Sato
Music by Yui Takase
Studio AIC
Licensed by
Released September 27, 2002
Runtime 50 minutes
Related works

Ichi the Killer (殺し屋1 Koroshiya Ichi) is a seinen manga series written and illustrated by Hideo Yamamoto. The series revolves around Ichi, a psychologically troubled killing machine, and his confrontation with the yakuza of Kabukichō, Shinjuku. The manga was serialized in the Shogakukan magazine Weekly Young Sunday from 1998 to 2001 and has been collected into ten tankōbon volumes in Japan.[1][2]

In 2001, the manga was adapted into a live-action film directed by Takashi Miike. An anime original video animation (OVA) titled Ichi the Killer: Episode 0 (殺し屋1 The Animation Episode 0 Koroshiya Ichi The Animation Episode 0) was produced by AIC and released in Japan in 2002. The OVA has been licensed for release in North America and the United Kingdom by Central Park Media and in Australia and New Zealand by Siren Visual.[3][4] A second live-action film, 1-Ichi, was directed by Masahito Tanno and released in Japan in 2003.


Using Ichi as a tool, Jii-san plots to kill Anjougumi's Kumichou (leader) and steal his money. With Anjou's death, Anjou's top yakuza, Kakihara, sets out to find his Kumichou's murderer. While Kakihara searches for Ichi, Ichi effortlessly kills off remaining members of the Anjougumi. This continuous cycle of killing and searching leads the two closer together revealing Ichi's psychological manipulation and Kakihara's obsession of pain and torture. When the two finally meet, the two confront their deepest and suppressed desires resulting in Ichi's psychological recovery and Kakihara's demise.




The manga has been compiled into ten volumes by Shogakukan. There is also a prequel titled Ichi.


Main articles: Ichi the Killer (Film) and 1-Ichi

The manga has been adapted into a film of the same name directed by Takashi Miike and the prequel into a film called 1-Ichi by Masato Tanno.


The manga has also been adapted into an OAV called Koroshiya 1: The Animation Episode 0.

See also


  1. Shogakukan staff. "殺し屋1(イチ) / 1" [Koroshiya Ichi / 1]. Shogakukan. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  2. Shogakukan staff. "殺し屋1(イチ) / 10" [Koroshiya Ichi / 10]. Shogakukan. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  3. Koulikov, Mikhail (June 22, 2004). "Anime Next Panel Reports". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  4. Siren Visual staff. "Ichi the Killer (Animated Version)". Archived from the original on August 22, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
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