Speaking of work, Kakihara and the brothers have returned with Long in
tow, and Kakihara is a bit curious as to why Myu-Myu is now dead.
Takayama explains that Kaneko lost his temper for some reason, and
beat the crap out of her. Kakihara's only response it to tell Kaneko
to stop getting in his way. I've got to say, Kakihara is showing
remarkable patience with Kaneko. Normally, when someone slights him,
he'd jam something into somewhere, or yank something off. Maybe he's
letting him live because Anjo personally let him into the gang, or
maybe the situation reminds him of his own accidental killings back
when he was learning how to really torture people good. Whatever his
reasoning, he spends no more time chastising Kaneko, and moves right
on to interrogating Long.
Kakihara hops on the desk and uses Long's face for target practice.
Even with Myu-Myu's death and him being given the porcupine treatment,
Long still doesn't have anything useful to say. The interrogation is
briefly interrupted by a phone call from Jijii, who explains that he's
pulling everyone's strings, and that Ichi is going to waste Kakihara.
That is a bit frustrating for Kakihara, but with Long not talking, he
has the perfect way to loosen Long's tongue: "a split and pierced
penis." He tells one of the brohers, I can't tell which, to grab a
pair of scissors, and tough guy Takayama just has to leave the room
Outside, he actually spots Jijii across the way. Jijii tries to hide
for a moment, but childish ruses are ineffective against the manly
Takayama. He pursues Jijii all the way to the ground floor and corners
him at the base of the stairs. Looks like Jijii is about to get his
Actually, when I said that childish ruses don't work on Takayama, I
was mistaken. When he demands to know where Ichi is, Jijii points
behind him, and manages to disarm Takayama when he turns around to
look. Finally, he makes a shocking revelation, even more surprising
than the news that he planted memories in Ichi.
Now, the CGI of the pimp being split in half was pretty laughable, but
this takes the cake. Jijii removes his coat to reveal that he is, in
fact, a bodybuilder. Sure, I believe it. And it's almost convincing to
look at, except that his head seems to move somewhat independently of
his squat, muscular body. After a minute or so of posing for the
ladies, Jijii walks over to Takayama and snaps his neck with one hand.
Upstairs, Kakihara is about to carry out his plan when there's a knock
at the door. Unless that stain on the wall is the culprit, the knocker
is nowhere to be scene. Outside, on the other hand, is a different
Jijii apparently decided to break the rest of Takayama's bones before
depositing his corpse just outside the headquarters. Kaneko runs off
to try and catch whoever did this to the other fairly normal guy in
the gang, but the other three just admire the job done on Takayama.
The work is quite impressive to the two brothers, and Saburo remarks
that this is something that even his brother, Jiro could never do.
This gets Jiro angry. Surely his own brother isn't talking smack about
his own abilities as a murderous lunatic. It's quite a blow to his
ego, and so he sits around sulking while Kakihara and Saburo go to
look for Ichi. Seeing Takayama's badly broken arm, however, gets Jiro
thinking. He decides to share his idea with Long.
He poses the question "do you think it's possible to yank off
someone's arm?" Long submits that it is not. Unfortunately, that was
the answer Jiro was looking for. Yanking off an arm will definitely
put him on top with his brother, and he goes to work trying to yank
off Long's arm.
Back in Ichi's secret closet, he is being given a briefing on the last
"bullies" he needs to bring down. The six envelopes from earlier on
are open, showing Karen, Takayama, Long, Jiro, Saburo, and last but
not least, Kakihara. Kakihara's mug shot has some extra text scrawled
onto it, but I have no idea what it says, or even what it might say,
aside from, "watch out for those needles!" Jijii also tells Ichi that
Kaneko his actually his long-lost brother, and that he shouldn't give
him the ol' boot razor.
Success! Jiro actually manages to remove Long's arm with his bare
hands. This will definitely up his rank in the crazy circles. Or at
least it would, however, were it not for that menacing figure weeping
in the doorway. The scene quickly switches back to Kakihara and Saburo,
and Saburo remarks that his brother must have been slain because he's
got a feeling just like when his other brother, Ichiro, was killed.
It's a good assumption, and Kakihara, anxious to finally meet this
Ichi, calls for Kaneko and hurries back to headquarters with Saburo.
Sure enough, Jiro has been cut up pretty badly. Saburo laments the
loss of his brother, not so much because he'll miss him, but because
he wanted to be the one to kill him. There's no sign of Ichi, though;
just the dead bodies of Long, Jiro, and Myu-Myu. Little do they know,
but it's a trap. Saburo finds this out the hard way, and Kakihara,
finding out that he isn't quite as ready to meet Ichi as he thought he
was, bolts with Kaneko close behind.
As Kakihara flees to the roof, Kaneko spots Takeshi and hurries down
to get him to safety. By the time he reaches him, though, he has a
perfect view of Ichi pursuing Kakihara. To his astonishment, it's the
same guy he treated to a bowl of rice some time ago, and better still,
Takeshi explains that he's the same guy who helped him deal with a few
bullies. Oh, the luck! Looks like Takayama was right about that
"unlucky monkey" business. Still, Kaneko decides to follow Ichi up to
the roof and end this mess one way or another.
Kakihara's brilliant plan to escape Ichi by getting himself cornered
on the roof works like a charm. He barely has enough time to draw a
couple of needles and have a climatic face-off with Ichi. Ichi almost
gets him right off the bat, but his foot gets caught in the chain link
fence, and Kakihara has a chance to move to a more favorable position.
Just then, Kaneko shows up and takes a little bit of the momentum out
of the fight. Ichi is distraught that his own brother would ever point
a gun at him. He ignores Kakihara and moves on Kaneko, asking, "why?"
Unfortunately, in addition to being an Olympic marksman, Kaneko is
also an Olympic ninny, and he actually allows Ichi the close the
distance between them despite seeing first hand what he can do in
close quarters. Ichi makes a grab for Kaneko's gun, and Kaneko finally
gets to show his marksmanship by putting a couple rounds in Ichi's
leg. That certainly slows him down, but it also makes him cry. And you
know what that means...
Poor Kaneko. If he had been just slightly less lily-livered, he might
have been able to put one in Ichi's skull before he had a chance to
show him the edge on that boot razor. Then again, if he had killed
Ichi, Kakihara would have no doubt killed him for ruining his fun. And
also for being a general nuisance with his sanity and all.
To make matters worse, Takeshi shows up in time to see his dad with
blood gushing out of his neck. Kaneko spends his last moments
staggering towards his son amidst some sad trumpet music. The drama is
sullied, however, by the loud splashing and bubbling of the fake blood
spraying all over the place. Ichi manages a brief apology before he
starts bawling. Not "I'm going to kill someone" crying, just regular
Kakihara is impressed by this overt display of madness. He
congratulates Ichi and urges him to stand up and continue their
showdown. No luck. He tries everything he can, going so far as to
stand Ichi up himself, but nothing can break the guy out of his bitter
sobbing. Needless to say, Kakihara is terribly disappointed. He walks
over to curse Kaneko for ruining his fight.
In another move wrought with levity, Takeshi walks over and starts
kicking the despondent Ichi. Kakihara laments that with Ichi out of
the picture there's, "nobody left to kill me." Well, there is one
Kakihara drives his needles into his ears, and more bad CGI
illustrates the needles puncturing his eardrums. Things seem to be
coming along smoothly until he notices something out of the corner of
Ichi is up and at ‘em. Plus, he's taken care of that bothersome kid.
It looks like their "challenge match" is finally going to take place.
Kakihara is stunned by the ease with which Ichi drags along his
wounded leg, and just barely manages to get his arms up in time to
block Ichi's axe kick.
Ichi still manages to leave a nasty cut in Kakihara's forehead, but he
follows up this blow with a kick in the chest. The kick launches
Kakihara backward, and he manages to plant his white golf shoes on the
railing. He teeters for a moment, and then falls to his death,
yelling, "Wow, this is amazing!" on the way down.
A spectacular end for one cuh-razz-eh guy.
At the bottom of the stairs, Jijii arrives to inspect the body, but
No wound in his forehead? That's right, all that stuff with Takeshi
getting killed and those two having a brief fight never happened.
Takeshi is still on the roof beating the tar out of Ichi. I guess
Kakihara pierced an important part of his brain, had a hallucination,
and threw himself off the edge. Either way, he's out of the picture,
and you'd think Jijii would be happy. Instead, he just looks on with a
look on his face like he's either going to start laughing or crying.
Or maybe both. I have no idea why he'd be so upset. Maybe Kakihara was
his son, or something. Maybe all this has something to do with that
note on Kakihara's mug shot. Who knows.
The film ends with this final, somewhat goofy shot of Kakihara showing
off his award-winning smile, and one brief, confusing scene:
The scene is a park where some elementary school children are walking
along. The camera pans up to show a body hanging from a tree, which
kind of looks like Jijii. Then, it changes to show a young man in a
black jacket. I don't know who he is, but he hasn't been in the movie
thus far. Maybe he's supposed to be a grownup Takeshi. Anyway, the kid
turns around so you can see who he is (or isn't), and then the credits
I really liked this movie. I'd probably like it more if the ending
made sense, but I'll take what I can get. It doesn't have the same
level of ludicrous gore that the Story of Ricky had, but it does have
a number of other funny, messy bits. Also, Tadanobu Asano, the guy who
played Kakihara, oozes handsomeness all over the movie. He's kind of
like the Japanese Johnny Depp. Or maybe Johnny Depp is like the
American Tadanobu Asano. It's all a matter of perspective. Interesting
side note: Microsoft Word called virtually every name in this movie a
misspelling, but not "Tadanobu Asano." I wonder if that means
anything... Oh, the mysteries of life.