films seen
16
average score
3.06*
nationality
Japan - 74 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The man who managed to make pinku films classy. By mixing in crime elements and making sure his films rose above their budgetary limitations, Ishii built up an oeuvre that knows few lows and aptly distinguishes itself from its peers.

The good stuff

Flower and Snake poster

Flower and Snake

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Hana to Hebi
Specifics: Japan [2004] - 115 mins
Genre: Thriller
More info on :IMDb
4.0

Solid pieces

Gonin Saga poster

Gonin Saga

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Gonin Sâga
Specifics: Japan [2015] - 129 mins
Genre: Action
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Sweet Whip poster

Sweet Whip

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Amai Muchi
Specifics: Japan [2013] - 118 mins
Genre: Mystery
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Hello, My Dolly Girlfriend poster

Hello, My Dolly Girlfriend

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Figyua na Anata
Specifics: Japan [2013] - 112 mins
Genre: Fantasy, Thriller
More info on :IMDb
3.5

Takashi Ishii is a unique force in Japanese cinema. Often focusing on the bizarre and the perverse, Ishii makes films that exist far outside the comfort zone of the normal. By all means his films should come off as cheap shlock, possibly interesting in concept only, but for some obscure reason Ishii has managed to produce a consistent track of high quality output throughout the years.

Figyua na Anata is his latest and pretty much fits the profile. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Video Girl Ai and Koreeda's Air Doll, the film's about a lone loser finding a doll that comes to life. It's actually a pretty popular setup in Japanese manga and anime, only Ishii's vision is a tad more perverse than usually the case. Instead of jolly encounters and fluffy awkwardness, expect dark allies, murdering yakuza and pinku influences.

But it doesn't really stop there. Ishii goes on to create a rather sad tale of loneliness and despair, hidden in a blur of fighting dolls. The film follows a young editor (Kentaro) who loses his job and goes out on a drinking spree. He ends up messing with the wrong people and while fleeing into an abandoned building, happens upon a strange, life-like doll. When his assailants finally catch up with him, the doll comes to life and saves his life. The next morning Kentaro wakes up and takes the doll home, acting as if she's become his girlfriend.

The final 20 minutes border on the absurd, giving Figyua na Anata that extra little boost to make it stand out from similar films. Takashi Ishii is a strange man, his films never really appealed to me that much but upon closer inspection there's a lot of quality hidden under their raunchy exteriors. Well worth a try if you're looking for something different.

Flower and Snake 2: Paris/Shizuko poster

Flower and Snake 2: Paris/Shizuko

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Hana to Hebi 2: Pari/Shizuko
Specifics: Japan [2005] - 118 mins
Genre: Drama
More info on :IMDb
3.5

Sequel to Ishii's earlier reboot. If you're familiar with Ishii (or the other films in the series), you'll know what to expect. Rather raunchy and risky material, but delivered with style. The film looks nice, the actors are solid and it's appropriately dark and moody. Some scenes go on too long, but apart from that pretty interesting.

Gonin poster

Gonin

by Takashi Ishii
Specifics: Japan [1995] - 109 mins
Genre: Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
A Night in Nude poster

A Night in Nude

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Nûdo no Yoru
Specifics: Japan [1993] - 110 mins
Genre: Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5

A dark and stylish thriller that is surprisingly low on erotic elements, despite its title and the director's reputation. Takenaka is an excellent lead, the dark and neon-lit interiors add to the atmosphere and the story is a little strange, but entertaining. This early Ishii is worth seeking out, unless you prefer his sleazier output.

The inoffensive

The Brutal Hopelessness of Love poster

The Brutal Hopelessness of Love

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Hito ga Hito o Ai Suru Koto no Doshiyo mo Nasa
Specifics: Japan [2007] - 117 mins
Genre: Drama
More info on :IMDb
3.0

Takashi Ishii doing his version of Perfect Blue. It's very direct, way more twisted and quite a bit darker, but that's to be expected. Ishii does a good job elevating what is basically a pretty sleazy and perverted film, but the first hour is a little tough and his experiments with digital aren't always successful. Still worth a try.

Black Angel Vol. 2 poster

Black Angel Vol. 2

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Kuro no Tenshi Vol. 2
Specifics: Japan [1999] - 105 mins
Genre: Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Black Angel Vol. 1 poster

Black Angel Vol. 1

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Kuro no Tenshi Vol. 1
Specifics: Japan [1997] - 107 mins
Genre: Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Alone in the Night poster

Alone in the Night

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Yoru ga Mata Kuru
Specifics: Japan [1994] - 108 mins
Genre: Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0

Typical 90s Takashi Ishii film. With its roots firmly in the pinku genre, Ishii adds plenty of crime elements and gives the whole a nice polish. The cinematography is remarkable, the plot is interesting enough and the drama has actual impact. It's far from a masterpiece, but very entertaining and much better than you'd expect a film like this to be.

Original Sin poster

Original Sin

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Shinde Mo Ii
Specifics: Japan [1992] - 117 mins
Genre: Drama, Romance
More info on :IMDb
3.0

Early Takashi Ishii. Not quite as edgy as his later work, instead it feels more like general repetition for his own Gonin. A young Masatoshi Nagase steals the show, Ishii himself adds to the fun with some well-directed scenes. Pacing and styling could use some work, but overall it's a fine film.

Orchids Under the Moon poster

Orchids Under the Moon

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Gekka no Ran
Specifics: Japan [1991] - 88 mins
Genre: Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0

Solid, straight-forward crime flick by Takashi Ishii. Ishii keeps his trademark pinku influences to a minimum and goes for a more direct revenge flick. There are some decent performances and a few tense moments, but it's the moody soundtrack that sets this film apart from its peers. Simple genre film, well executed.

Worthy but flawed

Freezer poster

Freezer

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Furîzu Mî
Specifics: Japan [2000] - 101 mins
Genre: Romance, Thriller
More info on :IMDb
2.5

Dubious filler

Angel Guts: Red Dizziness poster

Angel Guts: Red Dizziness

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Tenshi no Harawata: Akai Memai
Specifics: Japan [1988] - 74 mins
Genre: Drama, Thriller
More info on :IMDb
2.0

Plain forgettable

Angel Guts 6: Red Flash poster

Angel Guts 6: Red Flash

by Takashi Ishii
Also know as: Tenshi no Harawata: Akai Senkô
Specifics: Japan [1994] - 87 mins
Genre: Drama, Thriller
More info on :IMDb