Akira’s timid friend follows him and they both encounter a girly kid in a kilt named Rin, and the whole episode is a somewhat forced tour of the place. There’s a bit too much knife-licking by combatants, and the combat itself isn’t anything to write home about. Oh, there’s also a gimp! And a meth-like drug that makes you invincible!
That gets me to the crux of why I probably won’t be watching this show (beyond the fact I’m watching too many as it is). Shows about killing games (GANTZ comes to mind) have to impress me early on, and this hasn’t really, aside from the soundtack. I really thought Akira had ended up in a scorched-earth battle royale-type situation, but not only does his friend find him instantly, but they never seem to be in danger.
No one attacks them, Rin is bored with fighting, and there’s electricity and mansions and bars…like the district they were originally from. Where’s the peril? And why are there no women? Rating 2.5
A Street fighter named Akira is accused of murder, and his only way out of life imprisonment is self-exile to a ruined Toshima ward, which is essentially a gang war zone and the venue for a battle royale where dog tags are collected from those one defeats. In going there, Akira leaves behind a cushier neighborhood, his friend Kisuke who acts a lot like Plato in Rebel Without a Cause, and Rei Ayanami’s apartment. He has no job and no family.
There’s definitely a shounen ai undertone to this series – a genre that isn’t my cup-o-tea, but it does have two things going for it from where I’m standing: a really dark, dreary, and beautifully depicted semi-apocalyptic setting, and a soundtrack that’s more or less kick-ass from the episode’s start to finish.
Akira doesn’t have much of a character yet, and there’s been only one female character so far (I like balance), but this felt like a brisk and well-paced first episode. Combine that with the setting, the music, and a couple competent fight scenes, this is a series with great potential, as long as it stays focused on the action. Rating: 3