‘Ichi the Killer,’ the 1945 mystery novel turned into a legendary manga, now becoming a film

For Japanese manga comics, the most recognizable tag line — the “cinematic style” — is never more powerful than in “Ichi the Killer,” a post-war crime-fighting saga written by Takao Saito. Saito, an 84-year-old…

‘Ichi the Killer,’ the 1945 mystery novel turned into a legendary manga, now becoming a film

For Japanese manga comics, the most recognizable tag line — the “cinematic style” — is never more powerful than in “Ichi the Killer,” a post-war crime-fighting saga written by Takao Saito.

Saito, an 84-year-old physician who lived in Los Angeles for many years, created one of the most successful and influential comic book empires in postwar Japan. His stories — which focused on crime and his goal of saving the world — became such a hit that the manga industry saw a surge in popularity, long before “American Apparel” and “Made in America” became trendy phrases.

His legacy is immortalized in anime that bears his name, which propelled him to stardom in North America and Asia. His fictional creation, ultimately named after him, became the subject of online comics, T-shirts, and makeup.

Now, Saito’s life and art are set to be honored in film with the title “Ichi the Killer: The Miki Miyazaki Production.” The drama is to be produced by the film house HORIDA, which directed Gekki in “Monogatari” and “Ondoe no Sabuari.” Yoshiki Takeda, a former assistant of the late Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki, is credited as the director.

[The New York Times]

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