Takashi Miike is a highly prolific, and highly controversial, Japanese auteur; who states his primary influences to be David Lynch, David Cronenberg, and Paul Verhoeven. A combination he takes and turns Up to Eleven in many of his films. He has directed several movies a year since his first release in 1991, as well as a handful of television programs, for an average of about 3-4 a year; starting soon after graduating Yokohama Vocational School of Broadcast and Film, where he studied under legendary Japanese filmmaker Shohei Imamura. Although the bulk of his work are theatrical releases, mainly Yakuza action films, he also produces a considerable number of Direct to Video V-cinema releases as well. The former are often used to finance the latter; which he claims he does because they allow him more creative control, and greater freedom from censorship and traditional narrative structure.
Both inside and outside Japan he's best known for Black Comedy, over-the-top violence, and Gorn; but his films cover a much wider range of genres and styles. Along with his signature action and horror, he's also produced examples of period drama, sentimental road picture, teen drama, more traditional crime drama, children's movies, and some that defy any attempt at labeling, such as the live-action/claymation horror comedy musical The Happiness of the Katakuris.
His V-cinema releases, despite frequent extreme depictions of violence and sexual perversion, are often philosophical explorations of the darker side of the human psyche.
He made an (unidentified) cameo, presumably as himself, in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle, which fits the tone of the games perfectly, and an identified cameo as the voice of Pascal the Otter in the Japanese Animal Crossing film, which does not.
Some notable work:
- Ichi the Killer
- MPD Psycho
- The Great Yokai War
- The Bird People in China
- The Happiness of the Katakuris
- Sukiyaki Western Django, with a cameo by Quentin Tarantino
- Dead Or Alive
- Full Metal Yakuza
- Rainy Dog
- Chakushin Ari (With an American remake, One Missed Call.)
- The Masters of Horror episode Imprint, which was pulled from its scheduled airing by Showtime because it was too extreme.
- Visitor Q
- K-tai Investigator 7
- Box, a short film that was part of Three... Extremes
- 13 Assassins
- Gyakuten Saiban, known better overseas as Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (We shit you not!)
Recurring tropes in Takashi Miike's filmography include:
- Author Appeal: Lactation and breast milk are recurring images in at least his V-Cinema releases.
- Gayngster: Many of his Yakuza and other gangster types are either Straight Gay or Hard Gay. Possibly Author Appeal.
- Katanas Are Just Better
- Mind Screw: Audition and Gozu epitomize this trope.
- Playing Against Type: Of all anime series to adapt into film, it had to be Yatterman?!
- Or a movie version of Phoenix Wright?
- Surreal Horror
- Up to Eleven
- Yandere: Especially in Audition. A wonderful deconstruction of kawaiisa.