In the cyberpunk world of Akudama drive, fully fleshed-out characters break insanity. It is a modern classic with a general premise fascinating enough. The dark horse of the 2020 season attracted the audience with its twisty plot, stylized visuals, and insane characters.
Creator Tomohisa Taguchi and Kazutaka Kodaka were inspired by Blade runner’s visuals. Hollywood’s influence is evident as each episode is named after famous movies like Seven, The city of Lost children, Mission Impossible, Speed, Reservoir Dogs, etc.
The general concept of anime Akudama Drive is not all that hotshot. Dystopian Japan became divided into eastern Kanto and western Kansai. People from Kanto are considered superior to those of Kansai. Akudama are criminals from Kansai assembled to execute a heist in Kanto. But these activities led them into a clash with the police department. Thus, a black robot cat tracks them. Their execution is a source of entertainment for the citizen of Kanto.
The elements such as flamboyancy of the characters, Akudama’s operation in the underworld, unpredictable narrative development makes the world feel surreal but strangely lived in. The way the relationship between the two worlds is demonstrated makes the world a unique character all on its own.
Initially, it is fun to watch but as soon as it starts as a heist, it quickly turns into an action thriller, then a sci-fi mystery within a matter of episodes.
The fast pace of Akudama drive doesn’t feel rushed, mainly because of the aforementioned simplistic characterizations. The fast-paced storytelling complements the character’s personality very well.
Apart from its pace and sudden change in taste what made Akudama Drive an instant hit was its great sound and visual production. The distinctive cyberpunk-ish design, dark and smudgy domain, modern architecture, and for sure the opening theme, STEAL gives the anime its classical vibes. The OP is one of the best OP of 2020. It takes a different approach in terms of music and animation style compared to standard anime norms. The OP on its own signals the embryonic ending of the Akudama.
Apart from the original ending, there was an announcement of the directorial cut as well. For those who want some more episodes, may be this one extra episode satisfy them. This is an anime which will keep you attention from time to time.