ESC to close 3.75 (by 515 users)ikigami
  • 2008
  • film
  • Japan

My List



romanized ikigami
aka Ultimate Limit

Based On

based on manga
title ikigami
author Mase Motorou (間瀬元朗)


genres drama, family, life, suspense, law, medical, friendship


language Japanese


country Japan
type real
format film


date 27 Sep, 2008
duration 133 minutes
status released


avg. score 3.75 of 5 by 515 users
total users 886
rating 1931
favorites 27



In the future, in Japan has an extreme system to keep the balance of the population. Young people have to die everyday because of this stabilization system. Every first grade student receives an injection which kills every 1000th person by the time they are 25 years old. A notification is sent to the victim and his/her family 24 hours before the death. They also receive a card which provides them with free meals and transportation for those 24 hours. There is one rule though, if you kill someone during this period, your family won't be awarded with 'refund' money.

The film deals with world's future problem, overpopulation, and is a touching story about people on the verge of death.


This title has no screencaps yet.


Fujimoto Kengo
Iizuka Satoshi
Morio Hidekazu
Iizuka Sakura
Takizawa Naoki


director, screenwriter


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22 Feb, 2011
I have a weakness for dystopian movies - no matter how bad the premise, if it sounds vaguely like social critisism, I am there.

Ikigami presents an interesting idea: Japans society is built upon a law, that sacrifices a certain percentage of it's citizens for "the greater good". The unlucky victims of this law are getting a death notification, 24 hours prior to their deaths, the so called ikigami.

The movie follows Fukimoto Kengo, who just got promoted to a unit of elite employes, who deliver these ikigami. It becomes clear early on, that he starts to question the society he lives in, and with every ikigami he delivers, the doubts become stronger.

What could have been an outstanding movie, sadly turned into a sequence of stereotypes. We have the brother, who donates his corneas to his blind sister, the singer, who get's his moment of fame and even the son of a high ranking politician, who blames his mother for his life without her love and care. All die with the utmost pathos and tear jerking backround music.

It's not that I disliked this movie, I am just a little bit disappointed, because it could have been so much more. There were some implied concepts, like the "thought crime", that are mentioned, but never explained and overall we never actually come to a conclusion with Kengo; Is he going to act on his doubts, will he start to ask questions, or will he keep quiet?

I haven't read the manga and maybe a lot of my questions are answered there, but in my opinion even if a movie is based on a book, or a manga or some sort of comic, it has to work on it's own and sadly, ikigami didn't.

read more more reviews by room304


26 May, 2016
Both films take place in the future and centre around a person who has to die for the sake of the rest of the people. The two are very different in terms of atmosphere, but they show how two completely different approaches to a similar theme can still leave a similar impression.

20 May, 2010
There isn't much connecting those films together besides a somewhat similar feeling at the end. Although ikigami may leave a bit unpleasant thoughts, while fish story just inspires and makes for a good mood, the somewhat peaceful feeling at the end is the same. Also, both films touch different aspects in life along with a nice, interesting storyline. If you liked one of the films, you may also enjoy the other one as well.


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soulmarket 19 Jul, 2011
Despite its highly unlikely premise (with its continuing population problems, Japan doesn't really have enough young people right now that it can afford killing off random ones for no reason at all, and it doesn't look that far in the future...), Ikigami turned out to be a really good watch. The characters were written really well, and I was very moved by the individual stories woven into the larger film. Yamada Takayuki was fabulous, as usual.
komorebi 14 Feb, 2011
In my opinion, this was way better than Battle Royale. It wasn't just senseless killing, but a very emotional and human movie. I guess I've cried more than half of the time.
skyevans 12 Dec, 2010
Interesting plot.
The first story was awesome! It really touched me. I was crying.
Story about the girl who couldn't see was very predictible.
And the last story about hikikomori guy was boring and stupid.
Overall impression - 3\5.
flcl 18 Jul, 2010
This is similar to Battle Royale.

One of my favorite movies with good actors and I liked how this had 3 different stories in one movie and how they were all part of the main plot.
nanuklein 21 Jun, 2010
I haven't read the manga, but this film, one way or the other was very well made. The plotline is maybe not the most original, nonetheless the execution of it was definitely evoking tender feelings of sympathy for the victims, and their friends and family. I heartily recommend this film. It made me cry, and made me think about life, and its meaning.
Random chan 20 May, 2010
nice movie, I find the plot touching but at the same time... I don't think it's too creative or original. Well, i guess it's still my own opinion.
malice 27 Mar, 2010
the story is good and original but the ending is too sudden.