"The weak will die. Die, and make way for others."
Silent Rabid Dog
172 cm (5'7")
Unnamed Parents (Deceased) Gin Akutagawa (Younger Sister)
Antique calligraphy and paintings, tea, figs
Plants, dogs, baths, broad beans, mandarins
"The weak will die. Die, and make way for others."
Akutagawa is a 20 year old man with a sickly appearance. He has a slim build and very pale skin. He's often seen covering his face with his hand due to his frequent coughing. His black hair is short and choppy, with side bangs which reach his chin and turn white at the tips.
He wears a long, black coat reaching past his knees over black fitting pants and black dress shoes. Underneath his coat, he dons a white dress shirt, decorated with layered ruffled fabric. He also wears a white cravat.
Akutagawa labels himself as the Port Mafia's "dog", and is more than willing to commit crimes and acts of various violence to further the goals of the organization. He respects the mafia's hierarchy and is obedient to his superiors, but deems his former boss Osamu Dazai as a disgrace. He is merciless and despite respecting his superiors, he tends to stray from orders, though his actions usually benefit the Mafia in the end, which is why they are excused. While Akutagawa usually keeps a cool and placid expression, he can also have moments of irrational anger and jealousy, especially towards Atsushi. It is worth noting that Dazai sees more potential in Atsushi than in Akutagawa, which may have lead to the development of feelings of hostility against Atsushi. Despite being a major figure in the mafia's combat squad Black Lizard, Akutagawa has been shown to be avoidant of social interactions. He is limited to communicating with his subordinate Ichiyou Higuchi, who he does not seem to trust very much either.
Akutagawa has a black and white Social Darwinist view of the world, and claims that weak people should die and give way to the stronger ones. He is not afraid of pain and defeat, if only to hear a word from a "certain person." This person is implied to be Dazai.
It is shown in younger years when Dazai was his superior that Dazai often beat him and pushed him to his limits, threatening to kill him, especially when Akutagawa disobeyed orders and committed acts such as killing captives that would've been more useful alive to squeeze information out of. He seems obsessed with getting Dazai's approval and becomes angered whenever Dazai mentions someone having more potential than Akutagawa. This was shown with Atsushi, where his rage extended from the fact that Dazai claimed Atsushi was far superior. In addition, in the past when Dazai stated Oda was far superior to him, he tried killing Oda upon meeting him despite the fact Oda saved him from being killed by Gide.
Akutagawa's past also implies that at one point he had no value of his own life in his eyes, just like Kyouka. However, meeting Dazai and joining the Port Mafia made the desire for death in his eyes vanish and made him feel that he was worthy to live.
Akutagawa uses his ability Rashoumon (羅生門, Rashōmon?) to control his coat and, it is implied that it's not only limited to his coat but any other garments, being able to transform them into an omnivorous, shadow-like black beast. Rashoumon has been shown to be completely adaptable, and can switch between offense and defense to suit Akutagawa's needs. Nathaniel Hawthorne states during their battle that Rashoumon is most effective at mid-range.Throughout the series, Akutagawa has shown different ways of using his ability:
- Rashoumon– takes on a form of a shadow-like beast made up of what seems to be dark matter, drawn from inter-dimensional or other similar sources. It can consume anything, even space itself. Once the space is split, guns or fire cannot hurt Akutagawa. However, the space rupturing ability needs time to activate, so taking advantage of this can give the enemy a window of opportunity to attack. Can be used for both offense and defense. First appears in chapter 3.
- Rashoumon Spider Thread– Rashoumon transforms into thin razor-shaped strings which take a shape similar to that of a spider's web. Can be used as a net to capture the target. First appears in chapter 4.
- Rashoumon Jaws / Agito – Rashoumon is shaped into the form of a jaw to crush the target. First appears in Chapter 4.
- Rashoumon Swarm / Murakumo – Rashoumon becomes a gigantic clawed appendage which extends from Akutagawa's arm. Can be used to carry out an attack. First appears in Chapter 4.
- Rashoumon Early Blooming Sakura / Higanzakura– Rashoumon changes to a tendril-like form, wrapping around the target and lifting him up high in the air. Once at an appropriate height and distance, Rashoumon explodes into several finely-developed flower spikes. First appears in chapter 12.
- Rashoumon Budding Bracken / Sawarabi– Several spikes spring up from the ground to thoroughly impale the target. First appears in Chapter 12.
- Rashoumon Prison Jaws / Gokumon Agito– A variation of Rashoumon Jaws. First appears in Chapter 12.
- Rashoumon Jaws of Endless Gates– Another variation of Rashoumon Jaws. Several Rashoumon Jaws are materialized by Akutagawa to deal a devastating attack. First appears in chapter 21.
- Space Rupture - Rashoumon is able to manipulate space to shield Akutagawa, thus, no bullets or anything may reach him. But, it needs time to be activated.
- Rashoumon Demonic Armor-Wraps him self with an exoskeleton like armor using the black fabric.
He and his younger sister, Gin Akutagawa, were orphans and used to live in the slums along with about 8 other children. Even from back then, he had a sickly constitution.
The other children happened to overhear a conversation regarding the time and location of a shipment the Port Mafia were supposed to deliver to subordinates. The men knew about this and sought out the children, beating everyone but Gin and Ryunosuke, who managed to escape, to death. Following through a promise made with his companions, Akutagawa went to the place where the transaction was said to take place in order to exact revenge on the men who killed his companions. When he reached the place, the 6 men were all dead by Dazai's manipulation—as a gift to Akutagawa who he wanted to take on as his subordinate. Akutagawa had agreed.
Akutagawa Ryunosuke, one of the story's primary antagonists, is a member of the notorious "Port Mafia" that operates by the harbor. With his black cloak and cold expression, he looks like the grim reaper when he walks the streets. He and his assistant Ichiyo Higuchi have been tasked to capture Atsushi Nakajima.
He appears briefly in the end of episode 2, just walking pass Higuchi as the latter informs about Atsushi's whereabouts.
In episode 3, Akutagawa visits a police station, claiming that he found a lost bag. But the policemen soon recognize him, leading him to kill them both with Rashoumon. Moments after he walks outside, the bomb inside the bag he left exploded, and Akutagawa receives a phone call from the Port Mafia.
He reappears when Higuchi was about to be strangled to death by an enraged Tanizaki, saving Higuchi by stabbing Tanizaki with his Rashoumon from behind. A battle happened between Atsushi who transformed to his tiger form, and Dazai came to stop the both minutes later. With Dazai presented on the field, Akutagawa had no choice but to retreat, as he knew that he could not beat his former leader.
- Along with several other characters from the series, Akutagawa made an appearance in the mobile game Love Heaven as a limited time character.
- He also made an appearance in the mobile game "Kimito Lead Puzzle 18" as a stage boss and as a limited time character.
- One of the extras in Volume 6 includes a supplementary story dedicated to Akutagawa, entitled "A Heartless Dog."
- Ryunosuke Akutagawa's ability, Rashoumon, turns his coat into a black beast. This is in reference to the Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story titled Rashoumon wherein a homeless servant stole the clothes of an old lady by ripping it off her.