OK, new anime series time: here we go with Akudama Drive
So, what’s it all about? Cyberpunk aesthetics and artisan criminals. There, all done!
OK, OK. What the hell are Akudama? Oh, they are just highly skilled criminals, none of your bog-standard thievery or brutality here. Nope, these ones are special. So they’re ok then, I mean if they’ve all bothered to put the effort in to make themselves the best at what they do then they can’t be all that bad, can they? Or they can be super-bad. Or just super-villains. Muhahahaha
Ahem. Sorry. Alongside these specially chosen Akudama there just happens to be an innocent girl who gets caught up in all the action. Wrong girl, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Story of her life. And the moral of the story is that if only she’d worked longer hours, nothing terrible will happen to you…..
The rag-tag bunch of loner criminal masterminds (and Swindler. Oh, I forgot. You need to have awesome nicknames to be an Akudama it seems: Cutthroat, Doctor, Courier, Hacker, Brawler. Black Cat. OK, so not all of them are quite as inspirational!) are brought together by a mysterious plot (and a lot of money) to save another Akudama from execution, but this is just pretext to the REAL plan (and the real money!). Unfortunately, one the tail of these super-criminals are the Executioners. Nope, not a rock band but highly trained enforcement officers, capable of delivering justice however they see fit (think Judges in 2000AD. And a similar propensity to issue execution as the ruling, just less guns).
This super-criminal, mixed-bag team-up seems to be quite popular, what with Suicide Squad & Guardians of the Galaxy existing already amongst others, and there isn’t much new here in comparison. The cyberpunk elements of Kansai and the world are present and correct, the violence is definitely there, the animation is fantastic and vibrant and the characters are mostly interesting if a little over-the-top sometimes.
After an excellent start it does however, lose its pace and its way around the halfway mark and doesn’t really find it again until the final episode when the almighty shit hits the fan in a really great finale. As a follow up from my Cyberpunk 2077 fallout, this was decent enough, although I was expecting a little bit more from it. But, as seems to be the way these days, it has an awesome opening theme song: STEAL!! by SPARK!!SOUND!!SHOW!!