First Impressions: Akudama Drive

Kansai: The future. There are holograms everywhere, IA cars, robot policemen, zeppelins in the sky with bright advertisements, floating neon lights, a bladerunnerian orange fog, and bus-like boats in the river, and everyone stops and salutes when a multicolored light shines over the city. Enter our genki girl protagonist, a young lady who would risk her life to save a cat from being hit by a car, and would rather be found guilty of a minor offense than spend 500 yen not hers. Also, public executions by guillotine are back, and a guy who goes by the name Cutthroat is going to meet that fate this very evening, except that some insanely powerful criminals with estimated sentences of hundreds of years, called the Akudama, have been hired to rescue him. It is staged as a competition, and a test. Among them, there is a cool, silent, very young hitman who never fails. But who is pulling the strings? Maybe…the cat?

Yeah, well, I hated it. In part, it was because of how much I had liked the series at first. The world of Akudama Drive was cool and somewhat believable. The protagonist had an interesting personality, if a bit extreme, and the creators had a very interesting, agile way of telling the story. And then, there came the murderous psychopaths who, perhaps because of some unexplained Kryptonian heritage, have no problem destroying a thousand robots with their bare hands, the gratuitous violence with innocent victims everywhere, decapitations and fountains of blood, the extreme fanservice with its similarly gratuitous nudity, the more and more contrived coincidences, the supposedly cool thieves and, on top of everything, the mastermind cat. The show had long lost me by that point. I don´t recommend this one.

Akudama Drive is available to streaming on Funimation. It is rated MA. Read our thoughts on all the new fall anime series, in additional comments from our other writers, on our fall 2020 anime first impression master post.

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