Cyberpunk Review » I.K.U.

January 22, 2006


Year: 2000

Directed by: Shu Lea Cheang

Written by: Shu Lea Cheang

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Medium

Key Cast Members:

  • Tokyo Rose: Aja
  • Rating: 6 out of 10

    screen capture


    Overview: If you’ve been hankerin for a nice quality ultra-surrealistic medium-core porn Japanese cyberpunk flick, then look no further than I.K.U. Japanese cyberpunk movies are all about no boundaries and I.K.U. takes this notion to heart, coming up high on the wierd shitometer scale. For the soft-core goods, you get a bit of everything here: guy-on-girl, guy-on-guy, girl-on-girl, girl-on-transgender, voyeuristic sex through a fish tank while eating sushi, sex in a spider-web…well, you get the idea. And while if what you’re looking for is naked body parts, I.K.U. definitely delivers (some cases its pixelated out, but in most cases its definitely NOT pixelated out, even when you wish it was…). Fair warning though - this is NOT a “take care of yourself” type movie, as you will spend most of the time dumbfounded while watching it. I.K.U is an EXTREMELY strange, but well-done mind-fuck, pure and simple.


    screen capture


    I.K.U. takes place in a very strange near-future Japan and follows a day in the life of a sex-roid from the GENOM corporation, who has the ability to change her outside shape to mimic different female body types. Her job is to collect “sexual experiences” by engaging in sexual acts with various people. The experiences are collected in order to produce virtual reality-like I.K.U. chips that are then sold in vending machines. The idea is that people can buy the chips and then “wire in” on the sexual encounter. Unfortunately, a rival corporation has developed rival androids who’s job is to insert a virus into the sex-droids and steal their “experiences” so that it can make its own rival chips.


    screen capture


    But truly, the story is not the reason you get this. In fact, the visuals distract you so much from the story that I strong recommend reading the story bits on the extras prior to watching this film. The reason you watch this is for the extremely weird but interesting set designs and cinematography. Every “vignette” offers some truly interesting cyberpunk visuals. Shocking neon is the order of the day here. Shocking “you” is the point of the film.


    screen capture


    The Bottom Line: If you’re a “no boundaries” kind of film watcher, and are interested in something WAY off the beaten path, give I.K.U. a try. Just to be clear, I.K.U. opened at the Sundance Film Festival, so again, this is not your average skin flick - this is an artsy skin flick. And honestly, rating this film is a complete waste of time, as I really have nothing to compare it to (I’m giving it a 6, just because…).

    PS - one word of caution - the guy-on-guy oral sex scene is one that is NOT pixelated out, nor is the scene with the transgender (I think that’s what he is…a guy with an “in-between” part). Both only last for a few seconds or two, but are QUITE graphic if you get my drift…


    screen capture


    Again, I could go on, but truly, commentary is a waste of time on a flick like this. What you need to evaluate whether you want to see this or not are screen captures. On to Page 2 of this review if you are so inclined. Fair warning - while I worked hard not to show any body parts, page 2 is clearly meant for adults.


    Page 2: Screencaps–>>


    ~See movies similar to this one~

    This post has been filed under Soft Core CyberPorn, 6 Star Movies, Japanese Cyberpunk, VR Movies, Android Movies, Surreal Cyberpunk Movies, Cyberpunk movies from 2000 - 2009 by SFAM.


    […] Just a note on my Japanese Cyberpunk reviews. I’ve decided that in order to review these properly, I need to show some of the truly graphic shots. So far I’ve dont this with I.K.U. and Tetsuo, but will certainly do this with Rubber’s Lover (review not up yet) and others as I review them. Why? Many reasons: […]

    August 11, 2006

    SFAM said:

    I’ve had over a thousand page views for this review on I.K.U. in the last few days. Just wondering - where has this sudden interest come from? Has this review been posted anywhere recently?

    Again, I have no problem with this at all - I welcome it in fact. :)

    I’m just wondering where it came from though…I KNOW there’s a lurker or two out there still accessing this - I’d love to know where you all found this.

    February 16, 2007

    M.Christian said:

    Cool! I’ll check this out asap — no one does kinky, twisty, weirdy CP smut like the beloved Japanese ….

    SFAM said:

    Hi Chris - if you know of others like this, I’d love to have the names. Usually the extreme cyberpunk stuff has massive violence involved as well. I’d love to see more like I.K.U.

    February 18, 2007

    M.Christian said:

    I’ll definitely set the old gray matter to bubbling and see if I can think of any others —

    February 21, 2007

    Caelum said:

    i like the fish scene

    as the viewer removes and eats the fish, he can see the sexual couple more clearly since there’s less obstruction… so what IKU’s saying is that by indulging in our natural hungers we achieve a more clear/unobstructed view of our own sexual identity

    February 23, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Caelum, I like that interpretation! So, um, how come the fish serves as a virtual dildo during the sex scene?

    February 27, 2007

    Caelum said:

    Hmmm I dunno… utilizing our natural appetites is the only way to really get ourselves off? ^^

    My copy came with 2 endings btw… and the one where the main character goes with the transgender guy is awesome. He’s standing there swinging his keys like he’s gonna drive, she comes over, takes them, and swings them like he was- and they laugh. Transgender means it doesn’t matter who plays what role!

    June 9, 2007

    Roy said:

    This movie reminds me of the time I was huffing butane and watching Emmanuelle in Space.

    July 8, 2007

    Com Wedge said:

    One of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

    The references to other Sci Fi/ Cyberpunk films are done so poorly that it proves this is nothing but a soft porn film.

    I.K.U. is a complete waste of time and effort as I found out the hard way.


    Com Wedge

    July 19, 2007

    Christof said:

    Why did you rated it six?! Even in two rated Exterminator City were some robot-like stuff, but this is just a porn film with kind an android theme which is the most unimportant thing there. And as was said, the cell hotel and selling machines with panties and other sexual stuff is very usual in japan. Rubbers Lover, Tetsuo or Pinocchio are absolutely different in the story usage, it uses the story to tell something, insdead of the IKU, which uses it just to show porn scenes, and these “cyberpunk” visuals made like in some kind a bubblegum advertisment are there just to legitimize various kind of porn scenes.

    July 24, 2007

    SFAM said:

    Hi Christof, a key characteristic of porn movies is that they are first and foremost trying to turn you on (although if you look at my tags, I do list it as soft-core porn, so it certainly fits). Does the fish sex scene turn you on here or just weird you out? I.K.U. comes off far more as an art house flick to me than a porn flick. If you read my review, I touch on the linkage I see with this movie and ones like Rubbers Lover, etc - it just uses sex instead of violence (or instead of a combination of sex and violence in some cases) to do the “no boundaries” thing, but I do agree that some of my thoughts here might be jaded by the fact I’ve never been to Japan. Incidentally, Rubbers Lover’s story elements take a huge backseat to the director’s main goal, which is to depict a person undergoing such extremes that he can exceed human capacities.

    Exterminator City is of course a completely different animal - it uses stock porn scenes interspersed with really bad, low budget robot puppet talking scenes. There is no crafting at all in Exterminator City, whereas the crafting in I.K.U. is well above most cheesy porn flicks.

    January 21, 2008

    johan ramaekers said:

    where can I get a copy ?

    SFAM said:

    Go to and type in “I.K.U.” and you can buy it from there…or probably lots of other places as well.

    January 26, 2008

    HikariMushi said:

    Just one note, IKU in Japanese is used for the word “cumming” I thought you might like to know (^_^)

    March 20, 2009

    G4sm4sk said:

    Wow. that certainly was I think the most bizarre thing I have seen in a long time.

    I think it was Case mentioned it in another comments board in passing from a couple of years ago and I wondered what it was in refrence to.. heh now I know..

    Glad I watched it though. I will never watch it again but always good to expand ones database of cyberpunk film knowledge.

    ……… Very odd though…..

    August 9, 2011

    ISO 3166-2:f-i said:

    hard to find rly

    Leave a comment

    ~All Related Entries Related This~


    <<--Back to top

    Made with WordPress and the Semiologic CMS | Design by Mesoconcepts