This week the Akudama Drive anime ended, and I must say it was a high paced wild ridiculous burst of adrenaline madness. Every episode gave so much information. There is a lot of violence, action, and adult themes, but it does stay silly enough not to let the dark themes disgust the audience.
The story is set in a futuristic world of Osaka where some tragic event destroyed the majority of the world, and the shinkansen 新幹線 = bullet train is considered a religious being because it is one of the only things that can leave and return to the town safely. Yes, this world is a little wild.
The name Akudama is specific for this anime. I expect the English version to keep the word akudama for simplicity reasons, but I believe that in Japanese aku 悪 = evil and dama ﾀﾞﾏ = lump or ball. The title is written in Katakana ｱｸﾀﾞﾏ, but if I were to guess, I think that the real dama being used is from 騙 which is the root for damasu meaning to deceive. If I could choose the English title for translation purposes it would be SINNERS.
Generally in this world Akudamamas are convicts, and they are considered to be the villains of society. It is considered so bad that there is a group of executioners created by society whose sole purpose is to control them, but mainly mercilessly kill Akudama most of the time.
The plot revolves around an innocent girl who is unable to pay for her 500 yen 円 takoyaki たこ焼き = octopus balls, (kinda like octopus cooked inside a small pancake shaped like a ball), and is labelled a swindler 詐欺師, you know a person who cons people with words. Then she gets stuck with a bunch of real Akudama who have committed insane crimes from a brawler, hacker, courier of illegal items, murderer, evil doctor etc. It is funny how 500 yen is somehow important in the plot although it is almost nothing in Japan.
The series is 12 episodes and really fast, so much of the back story for all the characters is only alluded to while focusing on the characters moving to the next part of the story. I appreciate that, sometimes you do not need to know everything about the characters to have a good story. Despite that, there is still enough character development to see that characters grow in the show.
If you like action anime here is my winter recommendation for you, Merry Christmas.