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Wicked City
Directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri
Produced by Kousuke Kuri
Yoshio Masumizu
Written by Original novel
Hideyuki Kikuchi
Kisei Choo
Starring Yūsaku Yara
Ichirō Nagai
Toshiko Fujita
Music by Osamu Shooji
Editing by Harutoshi Ogata
Release date(s) April 25, 1987
Running time 80 minutes
Country  Japan
Language Japanese

Wicked City (妖獣都市 Yōjū Toshi ?) is an animated horror neo-noir directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri, based on Hideyuki Kikuchi's novel of the same name.

The story takes place towards the end of the 20th century and explores the idea that the human world secretly coexists with the demon world with a secret police force known as the Black Guard protecting the boundary.

The film was released in Japan on April 19, 1987 by Japan Home Video (JHV) and received a western release dubbed by Streamline Pictures under the name Wicked City on August 20, 1993. After Streamline Pictures lost the distribution rights, it was licensed and distributed by Urban Vision. A censored version of the film was distributed by Manga Entertainment in the UK with a different dub. Both Streamline and Manga UK dubs were released in Australia, the Manga UK dub being released on VHS in 1994. In 1995, Manga Video released in Australia a bundle VHS consisting of Wicked City and Monster City, this version containing the Streamline dub. In 1997 when Madman Entertainment was named distributor for Manga in Australia, the Streamline dub was released on a single tape, the Manga UK version was phased out.



The existence of the "Black World" is known to very few people. For centuries, a pact between the two has been observed to maintain peace, and terms must be negotiated and renewed every few hundred years to continue relative harmony. This time around, there is a militant faction called The Radicals that will stop at nothing to prevent the signing of a new treaty.

Two agents of the Black Guards are charged with insuring the success of the treaty: The human Taki Renzaburo is an electronics salesman by day, and a Black Guard agent when needed; his partner Makie, who masquerades as a model, is a beautiful and skilled woman from the Black World. Their mission is to protect Giuseppi Mayart, a two hundred year-old man possessed of fantastic spiritual power, whose presence at the peace treaty signing is critical. The Radicals wish to kill Mayart to upset the peace between both worlds.

Attacks on Makie, Taki and Mayart begin even before the three meet, and the situation does not improve, despite taking shelter in a hotel that supposedly has strong spiritual barriers to keep people of the Black World away; on top of this, Mayart sneaks out after a skirmish at the hotel. Makie and Taki find him at a massage parlor in the grip of a Black World woman who has sapped his health, prompting a frantic trip to a spiritual hospital under Black Guard protection.

Halfway there, Makie is taken prisoner to be punished for her "crimes" against the Black World by being repeatedly raped, and Taki is forced to leave her behind, but as soon as he knows Mayart is safe in the hospital, he rushes to where his partner is being held, despite all warnings and the threat that he will be thrown out of the Black Guard.

While Taki is successful in freeing Makie, they are captured by a spider-like woman Taki has encountered before; both are knocked unconscious , but they wake up alone in a church, and seek comfort in each other's bodies. The Spider Woman was killed by lighting.

One last attack by the Radicals comes and is partially deflected by a surprisingly healthy Mayart, who reveals he was protecting his bodyguards, not the other way around as they had been led to believe. Mayart and Taki almost succeed in defeating the Radical threatening them, but the final blow comes from Makie, who suddenly displays an overwhelming power, a gift from her joining with Taki. Mayart explains the two of them are meant to be part of the new peace treaty.

The movie ends with Taki reinstated in the Black Guard, uncertain about his feelings for Makie and what is expected of them, but feeling optimistic about the future he will help protect.


Character Japanese English (Streamline) English (Manga UK)
Taki Yūsaku Yara Greg Snegoff Stuart Miller
Giuseppi Mayart Ichirō Nagai Mike Reynolds George Littlewood
Makie Toshiko Fujita Alexandra Kenworthy Tammy Holloway
Spider Woman Mari Yokoo Edie Mirman Lisa Robinson
Mr. Shadow Takeshi Aono Jeff Winkless unknown
Jin Kōji Totani Steve Kramer unknown
Hotel Manager Tamio Ōki David Povall Bill Richards
Soap Girl Arisa Andou Melora Harte Lisa Robinson


Director Yoshiaki Kawajiri had just completed his work directing the very dark and gritty segment The Running Man from portmanteau anime Meikyu Monogatari (1987) and was asked to direct a 35 minute short on Hideyuki Kikuchis novel. Kawajiri completed the short and after Japan Home Video saw a screening of it, they wished him to make it feature length. The producers Kenji Kurata and Makoto Seya expressed their opinion that the director shouldn’t extend it unless he wanted to. Kawajiri was such a fan of the world, he saw it as an opportunity to explore more characterization and created more animation for the start, the middle and the end. The project was completed in under a year.


Tentacle parasite sexually assaulting demon Makie.
Spider-like demon attacking Renzaburo Taki.

The film is a sexual thriller in which sex is portrayed mainly as a weapon (sex with monsters, rape and torture), and only briefly used as a form of romantic expression, though in such a way as to not consider the film hentai. The film portrays demons as beings that can walk in human form and seduce their prey much like a Siren, instilling castration anxiety in the viewer through use of demons with vagina dentata.

Related films

The Wicked City

A Hong Kong live action adaptation of the film was made in 1992 financed by Golden Princess Film Production Ltd. The film was directed by Tai Kit Mak, produced by Hark Tsui and starred Jacky Cheung, Leon Lai, Yuen Woo-ping, Roy Cheung, and Michelle Reis.

The story takes place in Hong Kong in a conflict between worlds of Humans and "Rapters". Special police in the city are investigating a mysterious drug named "happiness". Taki, one of the police, meets his old lover Windy, who is a rapter and now mistress of a powerful old rapter named Daishu. Taki and other special police track down and fight Daishu, but later find that he hopes to coexist with human. The son of Daishu, Shudo, is the mastermind. In the end Shudo is defeated, but Daishu and Taki's friends die too. Windy leaves alone.

Live action

The magazine "Variety" in April 2006 mentioned that there will be a live action Wicked City is in creation by a German production company called Stallion Film. Directed and co-produced by Mark Dippe, (director of Spawn: The Movie), he with the help of Johnny Hartmann will be doing this movie project. Its budget is between $50 to $60 million but no cast has been announced.


USA comic book creator Todd McFarlane has often cited many designs in his famed comic book Spawn have been inspired by the film.

External links

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