In the West, Miike is often seen as this crazy, over-the-top guy, but that's partly because films like Sabu were never promoted much on our shores. Miike has a softer side and once you start to dig a bit deeper into his oeuvre, you'll see he's had a pretty varied output from the very beginning.
Sabu is a film about two good friends (Eiji and Sabu) who work together in a store. When Eiji just disappears one day, Sabu struggles with the loss of his friend, and he decides to find out what happened to him. His journey brings him to Ishikawa, a prison island where Eiji ended up.
There are a few darker/harsher scenes here, but overall the film has a softer, more poetic tone. The cinematography is calm and polished, performances are great across the board and there are a few interesting twists that keep the story intriguing. Not one of Miike's most exuberant films, but solid proof that he's capable of more than just craziness.