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Kikujiro (2000)

Yuuko Daike , Great Gidayu , Takeshi Kitano  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

Price: $24.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Yuuko Daike, Great Gidayu, Fumie Hosokawa, Rakkyo Ide, Makoto Inamiya
  • Directors: Takeshi Kitano
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 12, 2000
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004Z1FE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,648 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kikujiro" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Talent Files

Editorial Reviews

When words like "sweet" pop up in a review of a Takeshi Kitano film, you want to check that billing again. But yes, this really is Beat Takeshi, the funkiest dead-eyed gangster in Japanese cinema, in a gooey road movie about a glum orphan and a bumbling would-be tough guy who becomes his droopy guardian angel. The shambling walk is the same, as is the blank expression that twists into a cockeyed smile, and the film erupts (albeit infrequently) into sadistic bouts of petty violence. Takeshi is something between a gruff teddy bear and a bully as the former criminal turned unlikely babysitter who, on a whim, decides to hit the road in search of the kid's long lost mother.

Whimsical adventures and silly games are punctuated by violent beatings: despite its moments of sweetness and offbeat humor, this is no family film. In one scene the downcast orphan struggles with a child molester who is trying to yank down his underwear before Takeshi rescues him. It's an uncomfortable scene that is inexplicably played for uneasy humor, the most extreme example of the film's ambiguous tone. Kitano never gets the film under control and the sweetness gets cloying at times, but he invests it with hilarious moments of bizarre, deadpan humor. Though hardly his best, this is without a doubt his strangest film to date, and that's saying something. --Sean Axmaker

Product Description

In the tradition of Central Station comes KIKUJIRO, the highly acclaimed new film from Takeshi "Beat" Kitano, the award-winning director of (Fireworks, Hana-Bi and Sonatine). Lonely nine-year-old Masao leaves Tokyo in search of his mother, a woman he's never met. He's accompanied on his journey across the Japanese countryside by surly, middle-aged petty crook KIKUJIRO (Kitano), who is none too happy being the chaperone. When KIKUJIRO gambles away all of Masao's travel money, the two must rely on their wits and the kindness of colorful strangers. Along the way, as the two share a series of wild and unpredictable adventures, they end up at a destination that neither of them could have imagined.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The gloomy boy and the ex-thug March 15, 2004
Takeshi "Beat" Kitano got his start as a comedian in Japan, before his movie transformation into the familiar deadeyed killer. "Kikujiro" shows that he has not forgotten his roots. Here, the two Takeshi's blend in the character of an ex-Yakuza, who may not have a heart of gold, but at least bronze. Together with the gloomiest boy in Japan, they head off in a traditional road movie full of bumbles and discoveries.
"Kikujiro" is an incredibly sweet and of-kilter film. Quirky, subtly humorous, at times intense and disturbing, at times charming and disarming, Takeshi guides the film across the winding course of its plot, encountering a host of equally odd characters and situations. A woman juggler and her boyfriend the human robot, the fat and skinny bikers and the hippy thief all join in the journey with our odd couple. With each additional cast member, the story takes another unexpected twist.
While a comedy, don't expect any gut-busting laughs. The humor is more bizarre and situational, the laughs are more smirks and good feelings. The pace is slow and patient, taking a long time to build the story and the characters.
The images are beautiful, and the director takes some chances with his camera work that all work out well. "Kikujiro" is daring in its own way, while remaining heartwarming and affectionate.
An excellent, highly recommended film.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Charming, sweet and odd September 15, 2006
Don't remember how I put this on my Netflix list, but I always like watching Japanese films beyond the normal J-horror/yakuza/martial arts/anime realm, 'cause it gives you somewhat of a glimpse into everyday Japanese life. This isn't exactly normal, more of a very whimsical roadtrip movie with a very Wes Anderson kinda feel. It's about a very ill-behaved guy taking a very shy boy on a trip to see his mom, and that's essentially a thin framework for a very fluffy, episodic series of encounters with all sorts of eccentrics, sweet-natured bikers and surly hotel managers. I don't know what kind of message this sends for Japanese kids, though - if you set out on the road, you will most likely not meet nice guys who will camp out and play games, put on shows and dress in silly costumes to make you laugh. Still, it's charming nonetheless, especially as you watch this shy, quiet boy come out of his shell thanks to the company and attention of his new friends. Beautiful piano score by Joe Hisashi, who, if I'm not mistaken, also did the music for Spirited Away. 3.5/5.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Work July 31, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I have seen Brother, which included Takeshi Kitano, and I loved him in that film. But after renting this movie from Blockbuster, I will definitely buy it to have as part of my Japanese movie collection.
Takeshi (Kikujiro) played a brilliant role as a man of all sorts of emotions and actions which made me feel bad for him at times, and for others in different moments. The connection between him and the little boy (Masao) was very real and touching. The plot, though at times a little slow, was still cute and sentimental. The music, the acting, the story, the whole package was amazing when I decided to see it for the first and third time. I suggest this film to any person who enjoys a nice story without minding the subtitles. My little brother who hates subtitles also fell in love with the film!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not where his bread is buttered June 1, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Takeshi Kitano, of Sonatine and Violent Cop fame, acts like a mild(er) middle aged thug man who befriends a young boy, in this touching, sad, and funny little movie set in present-day Japan.
A little boy, who looks like he is maybe 7 years old, takes off on foot to search for his mother. He lives with his grandmother, who tells him his mother is far away, and working very hard for him. Soon after he leaves with the house, he runs into Kikujiro, whom he just calls "mister."
"Mister" is probably a low level thug in some gangster group. Anyway, he's not too keen on kids, but his girlfriend sees that the boy takes off with mister, and they start across the country to find the boy's mother.
At times this movie is very sad. The little boy has a timeless quality that many a child has evoked in the cinema, from 400 Blows to My Life as a Dog. When he acts sad, he seems to be so genuinely sad that when he finally does smile, you're that much happier for him. Kitano doesn't know how to handle life with a kid, at first, but being around him seems to lighten the old boy up. Still, he plays the stone faced unemotional thug through the movie, though he (almost) doesn't beat anyone up.
Later, mister and the kid encounter a few oddball characters. They all do what they can to cheer the kid up. This is a great movie. I wouldn't recommend it for children (children wouldn't like much of it anyway, the humor is so lowkey), but I came to this movie with moderate expectations, and they were exceeded.
Takeshi Kitano stepped outside the roles that butter his bread, and helped to make this great movie KIKIJURO.
Big ups to Takeshi Kitano.
More ups to Yusuke Sekiguchi for his portrayal of the kid.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Simple Perception of Kikujiro March 19, 2006
By LeeT.
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For fans of other Takeshi Kitano movies: be aware; this movie is quite different from his tough, violent, or crude films. Kikujiro is a very serene movie with excellent direction and beautiful cinematography. The music is playful and the story is delightful. I wished more information was given about the two main characters but it wasn't necessary for the overall pace. It is often humorous, and sometimes sad but fun to watch if you enjoy film with a "slice of life" feel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Beat Takeshi makes some wonderful movies. This one is heartfelt with a twist of weird thrown in. Excellent soundtrack.
Published 20 days ago by Michael J. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars creative, quirky, emotional
My family, students and I all love this film; the acting is outstanding, characters are unique and quite interesting, there is never a dull moment. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SEMTsensei
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Beat Takeshi
This is one of Beat Takeshi's classics! It is hilarious, silly, and intelligent! It make me laugh every time I watch it. It was cleverly done!
Published 6 months ago by ckg
4.0 out of 5 stars story is great, but language is not appropreate for little japanese...
story is great, but language is not appropreate for japanese language learners .so I returned this because it is not good for my child to copy phrases from Kitano ( yakuza-like... Read more
Published 8 months ago by kitty222
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Movie
We watched this several times over the years. Funny story and plenty of slap-stick comedy. The movie is funny every time we watch.
Published 11 months ago by John and Somsee
4.0 out of 5 stars Kidujiro, odd Japense family story
Great film, with haunting music. Basic story of a little boy living with his grandma sets out to find his mother. He has been told that she is working in another city. Read more
Published 13 months ago by M. Lyons
5.0 out of 5 stars Isolation, loneliness, and acceptance from strange places.
They're all lonely and abandoned people in their own ways, but the characters develop together beautifully. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Wiz Dood
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, Excellent movie
Classic Kitano

You can expect a lot and this movie delivers while giving you more.
This will touch your soul and heart. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Alfredo Fonseca
5.0 out of 5 stars funny crazy comedy...
I first viewed this movie many, many, many years ago as a rental from a store in Portsmouth, Va. I didn't realize
how entertaining and funny serious this film was. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Thelonious L. Burden
5.0 out of 5 stars Who's The Child?
A touching japanese homage to 'The Wizard of Oz' (in the words of Director Takeshi Kitano), this is a comedic, and sometimes disturbing tale of growing up and growing down. Read more
Published 22 months ago by pipnuts
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