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Akudama Drive Episode #02 Anime Review

3 min read
I am amazed as to how the fight scenes play out.
© Piero / TooKyoGames / Akdama Drive Production Committee

What They Say:
“Reservoir Dogs”

The Akudama learn from the plan’s mastermind just how risky and troublesome it will be. As if things weren’t bad enough, trouble comes looking for them first.

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
This series isn’t shy about hiding its inspirations. With episode titles from famous Amerian gritty movies such as “Se7en,” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Mission Impossible,” it’s clear how this series came to be. It takes all the bloody action from those and incorporates it into the mystery that Danganropa is known for. This series is running with the aspect of having a group with specialized abilities come together for a mysterious goal. Cutthroat puts a neck bomb on himself, the other five Akudama, and the Innocent Girl. The six Akudama plus the one Innocent are forced to team up to sneak into the Shinkansen and steal an object of immense value. 

Seeing the Akudama plus the Innocent Girl come together has all the signs of the great crime movies. Brawler jumps an incredible distance to steal a flying bus. He crashes into the window with the most wicked of smiles. There are no signs of pain after performing this herculean deed. His strength Hoodlum has great energy with the rest of the Akudama as he seeks to stay alive in this dangerous mission. He is desperate to be seen in a good light by the rest of Akudama. He ecstatically highlights any positive aspect of them to be in their grace. One moment he is talking about them behind their backs and the next he is being their best friend.

I was expecting this series to be full of grim action scenes but I did not expect to see horror aspects. The Doctor is left for certain doom as she suffers a vital neck slash. But she is certainly alive as she makes a grand appearance at the end. She stitches herself up to look similar to Frankenstein’s monster. I enjoy the whimsical sense of horror that Cutthroat brings with him. He appears to be the most deadly of them all but has a child-like sense of exploration. The color red makes him giddy and this causes the rest of the gang frustration to no end. 

The visual imagery regarding the cyberpunk theme makes for an appealing background but not much is being done with it in regards to the worldbuilding. There is a road being laid out as to how the world became a cyberpunk nightmare. There is a history lesson that is being narrated by stick puppets because history is fun with stick puppets. Kansai was bombed with a new bomb by Kanto and Kanto then repaired Kansai. The people of Kansai are grateful for this action and look up to the people of Kanto as gods.  

I am amazed as to how the fight scenes play out. The Executioners, a specialized group from the Kansai Police, show up to execute the Akudama. Their appearance makes Hacker and Hoodlum quake in fear. One of the Executioners, the Female, can rival Brawler’s strength and give him a run for his money. This was the guy who jumped up at the sky with no fear. The room that they fighting in has several LCD panels that get accidentally activated which feature a wide range of images with neon colors to fit the mood quite nicely. She ends up slashing Doctor’s throat and leaving her for dead. Courier uses a last-minute trope to buy them time to escape from the Executioners.   

In Summary
There is no limit to the number of homages to American Cinema that this series will look to. It’s mostly taking cues from dire action from films like “Se7en” and “Reservoir Dogs.” This cast of characters is bonding quite nicely as they are forcibly bonded together for an unknown reason. The Executioners make good rivals for the Akudama but I would like to see them get more screentime in further episodes. 

Grade: A

Streamed By: Funimation

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