1989 / 48m - Japan
Action, Fantasy - Animation
Riki-Oh: The Wall of Hell poster


February 10, 2023


An infamous franchise, though I never quite understood its appeal. It seems to be sharing quite some traits with Fist of the North Star, only that one is better in just about every aspect. Riki-oh feels more like a cheap knock-off, but if it's strong violence and burly men you're after, then this is a decent film that won't disappoint.

After Riki killed a Yakuza boss, he is sent to a private prison. It's not a very pleasant place, nor a very fair one. The prison is run by a depraved warden, but the real threat comes from 4 extravagantly strong fighters who each control part of the prison domain. Riki doesn't fear them, as he himself is as strong as 50 men. A revolt will be inevitable.

The art style is pretty crude (though some of that crude bulkiness is definitely intended) and the quality of the animation is poor. The plot and setting aren't too exciting either, and for a series that is known for its over-the-top violence, it's really quite tame. Still, this film is short and properly paced, with some decent action scenes. I just don't see how it got its reputation.