Well this anime was an explosively pleasant surprise. I had no idea what this anime was going to be, and I don’t think any of us knew either which is why none of us showed much interest in it and it didn’t end up on our preview. The synopsis was barebones and it didn’t really explain anything of what the anime could possibly be, but it was sort of in the back of my mind because Danganronpa’s creator is behind all this. I fell out of Danganronpa but I did enjoy it so checking this out…it was nothing that I was expecting.

Danganronpa was over the top, but Akudama Drive is on a whole other level. It is balls to the wall stupidity, just pure insanity. And yet I loved every second of it. It takes the ridiculousness and violence of Danganronpa and cranks it up to 100 in a cyberpunk setting, and there you go.

Even after watching this episode, I can’t really say what’s going on but the ending gives me a good idea. The synopsis for this was very barebones and yet they didn’t even explain about a war or anything, but we got plenty of the Akudama, the criminals. We meet a girl, who is literally just called Ordinary Girl, and she gets caught up in the Akudama’s mission and becomes entangled to whatever awful death game is going to happen next time. We meet four different Akudama, each with hundreds of years worth of possible jail time and they each get a mission from a mysterious person to rescue Cutthroat from his execution, and they’ll be rewarded 100 million yen. Courier, Brawler, Doctor, and Hacker make their way to the police station where the execution will be held, and Hoodlum gets thrown into the mix after his cell was destroyed. Things take a turn for the worse when Cutthroat puts bomb necklaces on everyone’s necks, and the black cat speaks. What a crazy list of events. The episode really lets us get to know each criminal really well, with their personalities, the way they fight, and how they interact with each other and how dangerous they really are. This episode was pure action and had lots of EXPLOSIONS so you were sure to have a good time. I know I did because I was laughing at the absurdity practically the entire time.

Each character has lots of personality and presence, and Ordinary Girl/Person whatever was frustratingly dumb. Honestly I’m not even sorry for her because her actions the entire episode made no sense. Her self-righteous attitude is baffling, as well as her naivete. If only she used Courier’s 500 yen coin she wouldn’t be in any of this mess. When Akudama are destroying and attacking the police station, why not rescue a random black cat too? And she still doubled down on the coin! This girl! Now she’s tangled herself in all of this and I can’t even pity her, it’s basically her fault. I’m curious how much longer she’s going to keep up her Swindler persona because she’s nothing like these people and they’re going to find out soon, depending on what they’re going to be forced to do next.

Each character has so much personality and I can’t really pick my favorites yet but I kind of like them all already. What’s funny is that literally none of them have proper names, they’re just known as their “codenames”? Hacker, Doctor, etc. I’m not really sure what to even call the protagonist, either Girl or Swindler since the others are probably going to be calling her that. It’s weird but it is pretty unique.

So far there’s not much to go on with this first episode, since the meat of the show won’t begin until next time when we get a proper explanation for things. This episode was basically a set up for everything, letting us to get to know the characters with their fun and flashy intros, as well as the kind of dystopian world they live in.

I’m not going to compare Akudama Drive to Danganronpa too much because it’ll get annoying, but it is interesting that this one is much more violent. Danganronpa’s violence was always a little more silly and never too gory, what with the pink blood and all. It was a death game but it was never too graphic and the executions were more of the strange and (in a messed up way) comical fashion. But here it’s much more violent and gruesome with (red) blood and severed heads. The censors for it is so strange though and pretty ugly and distracting, it’s not the worse censorship I’ve seen but it’s still disappointing. I’m guessing this airs at an earlier time for some reason which would explain why they had to do this. It’ll have to be something I’ll have to get used to.

This show came out of nowhere for me and I ended up loving it way more than I thought I would. The soundtrack is great and the visuals were amazing and I hope they continue to look this way. I also hope this fun momentum continues as well because if it does this can be a pretty memorable show. I’m a little afraid that it can crash and burn if it tries too hard, or get too silly, so I’m hoping none of that happens. If it can be just as engaging and fun as Danganronpa, then I’m sure it’ll be a good time. Let’s see how it goes!

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed

Possibility of blogging: High


Unfortunately still a weeb

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Vance

    I agree, Berry, that Akudama Drive is the big surprise of the season given how little viewers knew about it beforehand.

    It was way over the top and absurd, and I usually hate these types of shows, but I didn’t mind here because all of the participant’s personalities were established well, and it doesn’t seem like a train wreck so far.

    Ordinary Girl baffles me. Rushing out onto the street to save a cat, not paying with money that was hers given that Courier said he doesn’t want it, and rushing to save that same cat again even though Akudama were attacking the police station were all examples of irrational thinking. The only rational thing she did was pretend to be one of them after they decided they’d kill her for being an ordinary girl.

    1. Berry

      There’s nothing wrong with absurd shows like these, as long as the characters are entertaining and the show itself grabs my attention. A good chunk of my shows this year are like this I’ve noticed, which makes me laugh. As long as its charming, then I’m good. Akudama Drive has a lot of personality right now, and I hope it doesn’t turn into a trainwreck later on.

      Yeah Ordinary Girl is just…I don’t know. I hope she won’t be this insufferable all the time. -__-

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