Arigato! This is the future: the world as we know it is on the verge of becoming a universal fuck-bucket that is downloadable over the Internet. We are all robots. Sex and computers have meshed into one, masturbation has become a high art and cyber-sex is a sphincter-searing reality (not some catchphrase muttered by greasy adolescents as they jack off in chat rooms).
How did this happen? It can all be traced back to one film, a Japanese sci-fi porn feature entitled I.K.U. ("iku" means "I’m coming!" in Japanese). Literally picking up where Blade Runner ends, I.K.U. is a weird mishmash of porn hysteria, orgies, superb drugs, and often-incomprehensible dystopic gibberish.
"I like very much fun of Brad Runner (sic). Their image came from Shinjuku, Tokyo," says the film’s producer Asai Takashi, a man who is apparently on the black list of all of Japan’s mail carriers due to his past track record of "interesting" parcels. "When I plan to produce this film, I want success internationally. I understand what Japanese image is most popular in the world: animation, sex, sci-fi. OK, I produce all together mix. It is I.K.U. It is international Japanese pop image I want show you."
Although it’s only ever been screened at the Cannes, Berlin and Sundance festivals, everybody who has heard about I.K.U. is losing their shit trying to see it. No wonder: finding a tight mix of quality porn with hyperdelic color bursts, hypnotic swirling vortexes, revamped Pizzicato-style pop music, and a multitude of musky, latex-drenched Japanese guys and girls can be quite daunting. Although there are gay blowjobs, there is no visible, non-CGI anal anywhere, a drawback that takes a large bite out of its popularity in the West.
What does it all mean?
The plot has something to do with Genom, a massive, cutting-edge multinational corporation that is experimenting with the power of sex in this cybernetic age. It all starts in an elevator, where Dizzy, an employee of Genom, "initiates" a very sexy cyborg named OS IKU 3.0 (AKA Reiko) to the sensual pleasures of his "hard drive." Afterwards, Reiko is given the challenging task of running about the city and accumulating the maximum amount of information possible about sex. Reiko demonstrates a rather startling professionalism while on this mission.
That is, until her memory is infiltrated by a dangerous (and also very attractive, with a taste for fine red lingerie and power-fist penises) virus named Tokyo Rose, created by a rival company.
However, Reiko soon meets up with Mash, a retired programmer who manages to get her back up and running by teaching her an intricate masturbation technique. Now up to speed, Reiko has to get back all the valuable information she has lost. A beat-the-clock race ensues which necessitates her experimenting with the maximum of sexual positions and situations imaginable. We got all this by talking to the producer. Good luck figuring it out on your own.
Going far beyond the boundaries of "normal" cinema, I.K.U. is a fiercely independent picture from the Japanese underground. It is a humid, sharp celluloid freak-out that uses sex (women have arms that become penises which they use to cyber-sodomize their friends) to recreate a druggy techno-realm through electric psychedelia. Directed by video-art superwoman Shu Lea Cheang, I.K.U. was shot entirely in digital video and edited on a home computer. It takes porn to a new level of aesthetic intensity. It has already begun to make ejaculatory waves around the world, but the US film industry is scared shitless of I.K.U.’s raw power. "At Sundance, I want sell the rights to America," explains Takashi. "Miramax, U.S.A. Films, Fineline, Trymark and Artisan: before screening they like very much this film’s concept. Ticket is sold out. I found the notice beside the box office ‘The following film contains graphic sexual and violent content: I.K.U.’ How conservative state Utah? After the screening all film distributors worried about this film is too sex. Yes, it is porno film. Sex is important. Yes! It is sci-fi porn. Thank you."