This was the first Takashi Miike film I saw, and ever since, I have been totally hooked!
Takashi Miike has been quoted as saying that to him “violence is love”. If that's the case, then there's a whole lotta love going 'round in this flick!
Fundamentally, it's a love story between Ichi (who is a true sadist) and Kakihara (who is a true masochist), but that doesn't really stand out as a theme. By the way, that's Kakihara on the cover, not Ichi, just thought you might like to know.
This movie is superbly acted, with hot fight scenes, and some parts so funny, you'll be gasping for air.
Kakihara is my favourite character, the film actually is more based around him than Ichi, and he is so styley, and so understated that you can't help but love (and laugh at) just about everything he does. Look out for the scene where he's watering plants, SO FUNNY!
If you like your movies to jump genres, from action to comedy to splatterfest, you'll praise the day you finally watch this movie.