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EP. REVIEW: Akudama Drive


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a_Bear_in_Bearcave



Joined: 14 Jan 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 5:15 am Reply with quote
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The optics also aren't great on the surface—I'm instinctually wary of anything that demonizes protesters/rioters.

That's seeing everything through very localized and very contemporary lens. Through the history, riots and mobs could be against justice as easily as for it. Pogroms and lynching were common tools of oppression, and USA had it's history of racist protests against integration.
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Agent355



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Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 10:01 pm Reply with quote
Episode 8
I can’t believe the reviewer described this episode as subtle. The way they put Swindler and Sister in danger and set up Swindler killing three obviously evil guys in self defense was anything but subtle. Even compared to the other action set pieces. The threat of sexual assault was more personal and insidious than the more bombastic scenes, without any of the show’s usual comic leavening. It was evil intent in bright neon.
I love this insight:
Quote:
It's also worth noting that their plan to sell off Sister's and Swindler's bodies is pretty much the same thing the Kansai government was doing with the siblings. And these guys aren't Akudama. They're just run-of-the-mill lowlifes making a living off human trafficking, seemingly unabated by the authorities. The dissonance between the presence of these guys and the celebrity of the Akudama is surely a purposeful move on the series' part. Maybe the Executioners only care about criminals big and powerful enough to potentially mess with Kanto. Maybe they couldn't care less about crimes that only affect the already-downtrodden population of Kansai

Which brings us to episode 9. This is a society that uses flashy scapegoats to keep social discontent at bay. They do it to the point that real criminals proliferate and ordinary citizens don’t question the assumption of guilt and immediate execution of the accused. Now that form of control has erupted into chaos and ordinary citizens are killing each other on the presumption of ...not even guilt, *potential association* with the scapegoats? These mobs are not criticizing the government or status quo, and shouldn’t be compared to those types of protesters.

Now on to character analysis: I’m disappointed with Doctor. She’s the only female Akadama (Swindler doesn’t count), and her character has been “sadistic dom mad scientist” from the start, and I guess I should never have expected that to change, but even her evil plan is one-note. Oh, well. The Executioner boss is a tad more interesting—caught between bureaucracy, incompetence and underlings who keep getting themselves killed. Sucks to do her job!

So, why did Cutthroat see red everywhere? Is that going to remain unexplained, or are blood lusty characters like Cutthroat and the Executioners the result of experimentation? Just a theory.

I hope Hacker comes back!
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 7:27 pm Reply with quote
Damn, despite being right in front of my eyes it never occured to me that Doctor killed Brawler. And it was obvious. The trope of old wounds reopening and bleeding is so common that it didn't occur to me that Doctor's surgery is perfect enough to save severed limbs, severed halves. Yet Brawler, by far the toughest character with the highest vitality, had a relatively simple stab that she couldn't fully close?
I'm sorry that Hoodlum is gone but I'm glad he went out in the best way he could: avenging his KYOUDAI and knocking down that god-complex asshole, topped off with a good trampling form those masses she was so far above of.
Trampling caused no doubt by Hacker, who else would be able to guide a mob to the station and grant them passage to both the platform and the train? Now let's see if that wall of absolute cleaning is turned off... if it exists.

On the case of Swindler, it's very amusing that not only is she not a swindler by herself, others are getting swindled by her action because of their own convictions in spite of her intentions. She acts nice to people? She MUST be hiding her intentions, she's a Swindler afterall -Doctor. She wrote a 4chan post and the serial killer went on a killing spree? She must have orchestrated the uprising, she's a Swindler afterall -Executioners. Although I guess she managed to trick Cutthroat and those D rank akudama after characterdeveloping her hair.

On the "police" side, this is exactly the outcome I expected and I'm surprised it wasn't more automatic. I guess the police does have a use in this setting huh? Namely not having its citizens massacred too easily.
But all in all, it's exactly what I'd expect from a totalitarian state like this. Afterall, laws and enforcement in such a system don't exist to protect the citizens in any way, but to make life easier for those at the top, so what's a few dozen of hundred dead citizens if that menas the machine can keep operating? (and so much of a machine that the Executioner boss called the office workers "easily replaceable") I was surprised to see that Executioners can't kill offenders willy-nilly but as we could see right after that can be used as a leash to put on this military force, lest they create their own justice system.
I'm sure that many paralels will be drawn to the USA and the BLM movement, but given the nature of this government I suspect that the writter had his sights more set on the neighbouring country.

P.S.: nevermind about Hacker, I missed the post-credits
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 1:55 am Reply with quote
^ Hacker could still be involved, he’s in Kanto after all. I like that theory. Although it’s also possible Kanto wants a bunch of (dead?) people?
“From my perspective, you’re the Akadama”—Brother, succinctly summing up the show. Now they’ve foisted that label on ordinary civilians. Akadama are always under suspicion, they’re assumed guilty by the label, so Swindler is assumed to be a criminal mastermind.

I’m also sad that Hoodlum’s gone, glad he got revenge for Bro Brawler (and very glad Doctor is out of the picture, her shtick was getting old). Kind of hoping Eyepatch Executioner has a change of heart, but we don’t know enough about her to know what her motivation to help could be.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:46 am Reply with quote
Iirc, and there's no guarantee that I do, the passenger compartment on the train is a safe zone, if Kanto wants it to be. I think they couldn't use it the first time because they weren't authorized to be on the train, so there was no reason for that fancy car to be protected during that trip. If that's not the case, then I don't think Kanto would be getting bodies dead or alive, since that purification field supposedly reduces biological material to ash or atoms. Why they might want them is the question. Maybe they need people to make babies for immortality fodder (for a kind of Kanata no Astra swap?), now that Kansai has figured out how to do that.

Whatever, I'm pretty sure Hacker's still in the game. After all, he didn't get a genuine death scene like the others, and he deserves that if he's going to be toast.
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Animegomaniac



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:04 am Reply with quote
Instead of being over awed by the spectacle, I'm underwhelmed by the themes.

There are rules to unlawfulness? It's an oxymoron, not authoritarianism. Authoritarianism would be declaring "my word is the law" and then doing whatever they wanted. In this scenario, the citizens were the authoritarians, becoming the Judge Dredd of their own little world, taking it upon their own right to kill Akudama, uncaring as to why the State declared those people such.

In the end, the murderers being declared Akudama and being slaughtered by the robots they were abusing for their own ends was more poetic justice than anything that's happened to the titled Akudama. Forgetting why and how their protest started would be like making the instigators/murderers of French Revolution into heroes. Having it squashed quickly by the authorities was the correct move here and not an example of a leaderless fascism.... which is an oxymoron of its own; Can you really have a "It's all about me" government when there's no me? The Leader of the Police contrary to all American views on the concept of dictators is not one. The American "You know who" is one... wait, I'm an American but present day politics has me talking about it in the third person; Everything is political yet people whine when shows, even animated shows for kids, point out fallacies in their political beliefs

But then, what are the Police and the Executioners? It depends on what Kanto exactly is. Are they really taking orders from Kanto or is there no Kanto and the Kansai authorities are just using them as some blanket God...

Oh Hell, they're a cult, aren't they? Japan, you and cults... you have problems. And yes, I am aware of America's own cult problem and it does disturb me. See the American "You know who" from above; if this all turns out to be "Just a coincidence" in this series that has more than its share of American movies as episode titles, I will be more than slightly disappointed.

If Kanto has a "everyone dies" zone then Hacker is dead and the system is being controlled by his drones.
If Kanto is a radioactive mass of death then Hacker is dead and yadda yadda yadda.
If Kanto is real and evil then Hacker is dead and yadda yadda yadda.
With the moon being destroyed yet full of lies that Kansai people don't know about, I can't see the scenario where Kanto is beneficent and Hacker is alive being possible.

Honestly, I can't see the scenario where Hacker is alive is possible. In stories where people see the Truth often have them die as a consequence, side effect or just as the basic price.
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:36 pm Reply with quote
All's well that ends well. It was a bit anticlimatic but it's funny that Hacker basically destroyed Kanto. This was a cool series, I'll miss it.
Wait, what do you mean there is one episode left? Are those new akudama? What's with the shots? Why does it sound like Swindler is dying?
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murgleis1



Joined: 08 Aug 2020
Posts: 38
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 4:37 pm Reply with quote
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Cyberpunk locales still tend to be stuck in the regressive neon-tinged vision of the mainstream eighties—a dystopia informed by (instead of critiquing) classism and racism.


Yeah, I remember that white power rally scene from Blade Runner. I was sh00k.
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tintor2



Joined: 11 Aug 2010
Posts: 613
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 6:02 pm Reply with quote
I'm curious about what type of ending we might get. The writer from Danganropa loves putting dark twists everywhere. I mean, Courier's job is over while Swindler might have adopted the two children apparently.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:01 pm Reply with quote
Considering their use for the siblings, it's odd that they don't just clone up a new pair now that they have the proper genetic sequence for immortal humans considering they were just going to use them as eternal computers.
I figured they were going to take them and use them as base models to create immortal bodies for the Kanto population to transfer in to. Guess I was close in a way *shrug*
Still not clear why Kanto wanted to let all those people on the train (especially when they're having storage issues), or did I miss where Hacker said that he did that?
You'd think with their level of tech they could just create a computer that far out performs a human brain that would stand a better chance of out lasting a flesh and blood body, even if it is practically immortal.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:36 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Still not clear why Kanto wanted to let all those people on the train (especially when they're having storage issues), or did I miss where Hacker said that he did that?

I don't know either, but did I miss what happened to them? Did they get atomized? Why didn't whatever happened to them also happen to Swindler and Courier? Weren't they in the same section as the fleeing mob?

As I understood it, Kanto put them all into their dream utopias, and Hacker only nudged the Akudama out of it to wake up. But we didn't see any bodies, sleeping or otherwise, lying about. So I don't get where they all went.
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Porudogumaz



Joined: 21 Dec 2020
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:41 pm Reply with quote
After watching the episode I honestly have to agree with Hacker; why DID Kanto bother giving the kids free will? Granted the whole issue of "Let's make a living object that can also turn against us." is an issue most stories with this kind of plot point end up having to deal with, but still.
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Porudogumaz



Joined: 21 Dec 2020
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2020 11:53 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Still not clear why Kanto wanted to let all those people on the train (especially when they're having storage issues), or did I miss where Hacker said that he did that?
You'd think with their level of tech they could just create a computer that far out performs a human brain that would stand a better chance of out lasting a flesh and blood body, even if it is practically immortal.


The problem with Kanto isn't an issue of space so much as it's an issue with hardware. Much like any form of man-made physical media, like a Blu-Ray disc or a hard drive, the quantum computer will deteriorate over time no matter how well it's maintained. But with the kids, they essentially act as an unbreakable drive/disk that can never deteriorate (or, with how the show describes it, deteriorate but infinitely and instantly undo any damage)
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blahmoomoo



Joined: 27 Jan 2020
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:00 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Covnam wrote:
Still not clear why Kanto wanted to let all those people on the train (especially when they're having storage issues), or did I miss where Hacker said that he did that?

I don't know either, but did I miss what happened to them? Did they get atomized? Why didn't whatever happened to them also happen to Swindler and Courier? Weren't they in the same section as the fleeing mob?

As I understood it, Kanto put them all into their dream utopias, and Hacker only nudged the Akudama out of it to wake up. But we didn't see any bodies, sleeping or otherwise, lying about. So I don't get where they all went.


It seemed to me that the quantum computer is made from human-based biological material, so I'd guess those people's consciousnesses were transferred into the computer (after being granted their dreams like what happened to Courier and Swindler), and their bodies were used to replace failing parts of the computer. I think that's what happened to Hacker too, since he was in the computer. The Shark and Rabbit segment in the previous episode supports this a bit.

Then the kids, with their immortal bodies, would result in the quantum computer never needing replacement materials in the future. Though, given the fact that they ordered and are using both of the kids, I wonder if that was due to an extra bit of redundancy or if the computer can't fit in just one of them (or if it would be a tight fit). Which would mean they probably would eventually need additional immortal bodies as the computer grows (if it works that way). Though, I guess it wouldn't have been likely to happen soon since they let Kansai shut down the program that produced the kids.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2020 7:56 am Reply with quote
That's not how immortality works, that's just a controlled cancer growth. Honestly, "that's not how immortality works" counters every point from Free Will to why not just have the brains in a jar some where?

Technological evolutions should work in the way of constant improvements so let's start with the hypothesis that two wetware bodies offer a more secure environment that whatever that Quantum Computer was, constantly changing, constantly shifting.

Once once I wrote that sentence I immediately thought "Oh, shouldn't it be Cloud based storage"? Rather than a fixated point that's subject to atomization... see "Moon", see "Moon" gone... the next step would be an Everywhere that's Nowhere. But they already have the plot macguffin being two immortal kids?

This is why you NEVER see what's in the briefcase or in this case, the Vault.

The destruction of the Earth will come long before the heat death of the Universe, even long before the sun goes supernova... no, this isn't that kind of Sci Fi series. Most anime aren't as their science fiction is only as hard as the body pillows they try to sell.

Dialing it back down to surface level: Immortality means forever and the human brain is large enough to hold other brains inside it, granted that there's two of them. No, I can just feel my eyes glazing over on that one.
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