There were so many animes in Fall 2020, but Akudama Drive was a spotlight for me.
The story begins in a place known as Kansai filled with criminals called Akudama. Now, it was after a war that the place was split into Kansai and Kanto, a supposedly great place that none has seen. In Kansai, there were Executioners, who are like the police in the area. However, we all know when something is described as too good to be true, it’s usually the opposite. And, Kanto is no exception to that.
We start with an Ordinary Person following a cat into a takoyaki stall where she first meets Courier. That one takoyaki she did not pay for, and that 500 yen Courier dropped became a significant change in Ordinary Person’s life. As a result, she ended up being taken by the police because she did not pay for that takoyaki, and got herself involved with these Akudama in their mission to rescue Cutthroat, a murderer. After they rescued Cutthroat, a cat shows up and turns out he is the person that hired them. The cat then request another mission to infiltrate the shinkansen.
These seven people will work together in their next mission. First, we have Ordinary Person who got caught in this mission by chance, but she lied about being a Swindler. At the beginning, we met Courier already, and then we have Doctor, Hacker, Cutthroat, Brawler, and Hoodlum. It’s funny how Hoodlum and Swindler are at the bottom of the chain pretending to be tough.
During their mission to infiltrate the shinkansen and steal a vault, they discover two siblings inside it. It turns out they were the offerings to Kanto, and the Brother was the one controlling the cat. We learn that they were experiments along with several similar looking childrens previously in hopes to create genetic immortality. Also, Hacker separated from the group to go after Kanto so that’s one member gone!
Their journey of taking the siblings to Expo Park was where things started to shift to the darker side of the scale. We lost Brawler, and we find out Doctor betrayed them to work with Executioners to have her Akudama status removed. During the fight with Executioners, Swindler and Sister got separated from the rest of the group after Brother sent them off on a rocket. As they wandered around the city, Swindler pretty much realizes she’s specified as an Akudama now. I didn’t expect her to pay electronically after all the crime she’s been through with them. I’m sure the Executioners think she must be some professional Swindler to trick the system too. Anyhow, they were were rescued by Courier later, and Swindler hired him to help rescue Brother.
So what about the others? Well, Cutthroat went a bit nuts, and although he was always caring and saving Swindler, he is still a killer. It seems that he had wanted to kill Swindler all along, and searched endlessly for her. In the end, they fought and we lost Cutthroat in this show as well. I was disappointed and sad because Cutthroat was my favorite characters… but rest in peace. As for the three of them, they went to the shinkansen where Brother was at and where they met Hoodlum and Doctor as well.
If what happened with Cutthroat was not saddening enough, we discover that Doctor was involved with Brawler’s death when she tampered with his stitches before. Being unable to hold back his anger, Hoodlum took revenge on Doctor taking himself down as well. Hoodlum and Brawlers friendship was touching and emotional. Brawler always believed Hoodlum’s bluff about how strong he is, and Hoodlum kept reminiscing those memories after his death.
With all this happening, there was a stir in Kansai with riots and protests, and the Executioners responded by labelling them all as Akudamas. I feel like this just made the situation worse and killing off half the population wasn’t going to solve the issue. Now we begin to question what makes someone a Akudama, and how wrong it was for them to kill all these people.
Swindler, Courier, and the two siblings got on the shinkansen, and was heading towards Kanto where we find out the devastating truth of what the place actually is. In Kanto, there exist only memories converted into data, and the siblings were needed as vessels. If you remember Hacker that split up from the group early in the show, well he was also somewhat alive there but he sacrificed himself to rescue the siblings. He has also been one of my favorite Akudama and his skills were a great help. May he rest in peace! T^T
Hacker’s last farewell gift was a new destination where they took off to, but they were soon attacked midway by the Executioners. At this point, what could get worse? I at least hoped for Courier and Swindler to survive, but that wasn’t going to happen. Swindler payed Courier with the 500 yen she kept when they first met to escape with the siblings and sacrificed herself to the Executioners. This was all broadcasted and became a rising point for families and civilians of Kansai to go against the Executioners.
In the end, Courier completed his delivery with the cost of his life. It was an emotional show, and this has been an interesting journey. I did not expect the show to turn out this way, especially when fans were hoping there would be some romance with Swindler. I recommend this show if you are looking for a change of pace, and maybe something more darker. Also want to mention the great opening and ending songs you got to check out!
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