Wicked City offers a remarkable vision of a contemporary world caught in battles between the powers of light and darkness. In tone, Wicked City emerges somewhere between comic-book H.P. Lovecraft and an ultra-violent hard-boiled detective thriller. The screen bursts with amazingly pathological sexual imagery (not too surprising for a country where the visual depiction of genitalia and pubic hair is considered taboo). Womens bodies and particularly vaginas are seen as deadly and traps for men a woman the hero picks up in a bar turns into a giant black-widow spider with snapping teeth where her vagina was, while her stockings and suspenders metamorphose into legs as she scuttles down the wall of the heros apartment; the chest of another woman turns into a toothed vagina that swallows the hero up; and Dr Mayart goes to visit a whore whose breasts and then entire body turns into a mass of protoplasm that swallows him up.
Contrasted against this is the almost comically overstated virility of the hero. If vaginas are seen as deadly then, the film all but actually states, the weapon that can kill them is the male penis. And the stand-in for the heros penis becomes his gun his guns jutting solidity is emphasised at every point, with the animation camera conducting long caressing pans down its comforting hardness, while in one shot the hero is identified as he comes around a corner, more by the length of his gun coming into sight than his actual appearance.
Wicked City is not without a considerable sense of humour. One of the most amusing contrasts is the playing of the films spiritual guru as a wonderfully obscene, permanently horny dwarf sort of Yoda with a hard-on. Unlike many Japanese fantasy films, the wild profusion of imagery is not superfluous but completely tied into the plot. And a good plot too the ironic reversal that comes at the end about the heros true destiny is well done.
The film was remade in live-action, as Wicked City (1993), a Hong Kong production produced by Tsui Hark, although that is minus almost all of the sexual imagery here.
Director Yoshiaki Kawajiri has also made anime such as Lensman (1984), an episode of Neo-Tokyo (1987), Demon City Shinjuku (1988), Ninja Scroll (1993), Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000), an episode of The Animatrix (2003) and Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (2007).
Full film available online here:-