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Ryūnosuke Akutagawa

Akutagawa Ryunosuke full

Akutagawa anime

Kanji

芥川 龍之介

Rōmaji

Akutagawa Ryūnosuke

AKA

Silent Rabid Dog
Diablo
Black Cloaked Hellhound

Personal Information
Gender

Male

Age

20

Birthday

March 1 (Pisces)

Height

172 cm (5'7")

Weight

50 kg

Bloodtype

A

Family

Unnamed Parents (Deceased)
Gin Akutagawa (Younger Sister)

Status

Active

Likes

Antique calligraphy and paintings, tea, figs

Dislikes

Plants, dogs, baths, broad beans, mandarins

Professional Information
Occupation

Mafioso

Affiliation

Port Mafia

Ability
Ability Name

Rashōmon

Reference

Rashōmon

Debut
Manga

Chapter 3

Anime

Episode 2 (Epilogue)
Episode 3 (Debut)

Light Novel

Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era

Voice Actors
Japanese

Kenshō Ono

English

Brian Beacock

Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (芥川 龍之介, Akutagawa Ryūnosuke?) is a member of the Port Mafia and has the ability Rashōmon.

Appearance

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. He has short, choppy black hair with side bangs which reach his chin and turn white at the tips. His eyes are sharp, somewhat baggy, and a dark empty grey.

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.

Personality

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". His ruthless, vicious nature makes him one of the Port Mafia's most dangerous members, feared by both ally and foe. Much of the obedience he receives from subordinates of Black Lizard largely stems from fear of his short temper and general intolerance of incompetence.

Self-titled the Port Mafia's "dog", Akutagawa depicts an acute willingness to commit violent crimes to further not only the mafia's goals, but his own agenda. Merciless and blunt, Akutagawa doesn't discriminate when it comes to his targets, having no qualms killing anyone from innocent civilians, children, and enemies alike. Hostile as he is towards the weak, he dislikes meaningless torture and prefers killing in one go whenever possible.

As violent as he is, Akutagawa maintains a generally composed and detached approach. Towards subordinates and superiors alike, he acts aloof, distancing himself from social interactions however possible. Nonetheless, his composure is fragile. In instances such as Higuchi's screw-up during the manhunt for Atsushi Nakajima, Akutagawa is quick to lash out, ridiculing her for risking the bounty by acting recklessly. This quick temper often gets in his way, fueling his actions to the core of his very being.

The centre of this anger stems from his past as an orphan in the harsh slums of Yokohama. Since childhood, Akutagawa's grim outlook never changed. The only thing that changed was meeting Dazai when he was 14, already willing to kill a group of illegal traders responsible for murdering his companions. This meeting with Dazai ends in a pivotal change in Akutagawa - respect for someone. Even after undergoing Dazai's extreme and horrific training, Akutagawa never wavers from his own philosophy, starkly against adopting Dazai's value of information over simply getting rid of the mafia's enemies. Having only heard Dazai's berating, learning of Dazai's high opinion of Sakunosuke Oda damages Akutagawa on a deep level, feeling insulted he is thought of as lower than someone who refuses to kill in the mafia. Dazai's defection deepens the damage, leaving a permanent, lingering sense of inferiority in Akutagawa's mind no matter what he accomplished in the mafia. Although still striving for Dazai's approval, Akutagawa nonetheless views Dazai's current disposition a disgrace to the bloodstained reputation he carved into the Port Mafia's history.

Akutagawa's desire for Dazai's approval inevitably leads to an intense resentment towards Dazai's new "student", Atsushi. First meeting Atsushi when he's weak, easily scared, and freezes in the face of violence, Akutagawa dismisses Atsushi as nothing more than another weak person destined to die for the sake of those stronger than him. Although Atsushi's tiger transformation momentarily gives him a rush, Akutagawa nonetheless sees nothing special in Atsushi. His opinion of Atsushi worsens when Dazai boasts about him, simultaneously insulting Akutagawa's worth as Dazai's former pupil. For much of the time, Akutagawa cannot understand the value others put in Atsushi, and vice versa. Atsushi is a walking paradox to Akutagawa - weak, but acting stronger than he actually is for a place in the world and permission to live, despite being so valued by others. This conflicts deeply with Akutagawa's self-perception. Others see him as powerful, but Akutagawa doesn't acknowledge his strength as a result of his upbringing and own philosophy. This leads to a repeating hypocrisy of condeming Atsushi for attempting to get everyone's approval, when Akutagawa himself acts almost entirely for Dazai's approval.

This rivalry eats at the two for much of the time, however Aktuagawa eventualyl comes to something of an understanding of Atsushi. His resentment still fresh, and a never-ending willingness to kill Atsushi for his own sake, at the least mingles with some form of respect towards Atsushi. This shows most notably when Atsushi struggles to come to terms with the death of the orphanage headmaster. Although it is the perfect time to off Atsushi, Akutagawa refrains from doing so, saying he'll leave him alone to deal with the pain of losing his mentor. He also develops an adept understanding of Beast Beneath the Moonlight, aiding both of them when fighting together against Fitzgerald and Ivan.

For all his rage, bitterness, and resentment towards humanity and the world itself, Akutagawa has his moments. He has an amicable relationship with his younger sister, Gin, going as far as to help and do her favours without complaint. Further, after Higuchi and Black Lizard save him from a rival group, Akutagawa apologises to Higuchi for the trouble. Although these are small, short moments of Akutagawa's calmer, earnest side, they nonetheless carry weight. It's evident Akutagawa rarely or never lies, making him honest, even if it's brutal and unnecessary majority of the time.

Ability

Rashomon 1

Rashōmon manifests from Akutagawa's coat.

Akutagawa uses his ability Rashōmon (羅生門, Rashōmon?) is summoned from, but not limited to, Akutagawa's coat, and any other garments he wears. It transforms into an omnivorous, shadow-like black beast. Rashōmon 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 Rashōmon is most effective at mid-range.Throughout the series, Akutagawa has shown different ways of using his ability:
  • Rashōmon– 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.
    Rashomon 2

    Rashōmon's full form.

  • Rashōmon Spider Thread– Rashōmon 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.
  • Rashōmon: Agito (羅生門・顎 Rashōmon - Agito?, literally "Jaws") – Rashōmon is shaped into the form of a jaw to crush the target. First appears in Chapter 4.
  • Rashōmon: Murakumo (羅生門・叢 Rashōmon - Murakumo?, literally "Swarm") Rashōmon becomes a gigantic clawed appendage which extends from Akutagawa's arm. Can be used to carry out an attack. First appears in Chapter 4.
  • Rashōmon: Early Blooming Sakura (羅生門・彼岸桜 Rashōmon - Higanzakura?, literally "Early Blooming Cherry Blossoms") – Rashōmon 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, Rashōmon explodes into several finely-developed flower spikes. First appears in chapter 12.
  • Rashōmon: Budding Bracken (羅生門・早蕨 Rashōmon - Sawarabi?, literally "Freshly Budded Bracken") – Several spikes spring up from the ground to thoroughly impale the target. First appears in Chapter 12.
  • Rashōmon: Prison Jaws (羅生門・獄門顎 Rashōmon - Gokumon Agito?, literally "Prison Gate Jaws") – A variation of Rashōmon Jaws. First appears in Chapter 12.
  • Rashōmon: Endless Jaws (羅生門・連門顎 Rashōmon - Renmon Agito?, literally "Endless Gate Jaws") – Another variation of Rashōmon Jaws. Several Rashōmon Jaws are materialized by Akutagawa to deal a devastating attack. First appears in chapter 21.
  • Rashōmon: Devoured Space (羅生門・断裂空間 Rashōmon - Danretsu Kūkan?, literally "Space Rupture") - Rashōmon is able to manipulate space to shield Akutagawa, thus, no bullets or anything may reach him. But, it needs time to be activated.
  • Rashōmon: Demonic Armor (羅生門・天魔纏鎧 Rashōmon - Tenma Tengai?, literally "Demon Wearing Armor") - Wraps him self with an exoskeleton like armor using the black fabric.

Background

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 order—as a gift to Akutagawa who he wanted to take on as his subordinate. He offered either entry as his student, or to give Akutagawa and his sister enough money that they never had to worry about poverty again. In a fit of rage and grief, Akutagawa joined Port Mafia.

Plot

Doppo Kunikida warns Atsushi Nakajima of Akutagawa, describing him as one of the Port Mafia's attack dogs. With his ability, made for murder, the Agency has no chance against him. Meanwhile, Akutagawa arrives to the police station with a heavy suitcase, saying he found it. However, just as the police recognise his face, he uses Rashōmon to slaughter them. Just as passerby tries to enter the station, a bomb in the suitcase goes off, killing her and others nearby. Akutagawa walks away from the explosion with a vague smile on his face.[1] He calls his superiors, saying he finished his task, and asks what's next.

Later, Akutagawa arrives in the alley to Higuchi's aid when Tanizaki attempts to break her neck. He attacks, leaving Tanizaki with a near-fatal injury. Lecturing Atsushi on the fear of death, he introduces himself to Atsushi as a "humble dog of the Port Mafia", but loses his composure the second Higuchi insists that she can handle the task on her own. He slaps her, scolding her for risking the bounty's life with her reckless shooting.[2] He switches gears once more when Atsushi questions the bounty he mentions, and asks if that's why Tanizami and Naomi were attacked. Akutagawa confirms this, saying it's his fault the two got caught in the crossfire. Putting the final nail in the coffin, he states that Atsushi's fate is to always harm those around him just by living and breathing.[3] He summons Rashōmon, explaining its functions to Atsushi. He threatens to bite off Atsushi's leg should he attempt escape. When Atsushi tries to attack instead, Akutagawa condemns his bravery as "mundane". However, when Atsushi instead dodges Rashōmon, trying to shoot Akutagawa with Higuchi's gun, Akutagawa commends his move, but still dismisses it as reckless and foolish.

Thanks to Rashōmon, the bullets have no effect on Akutagawa, simply devouring the space they occupy. True to his word, Akutagawa takes Atsushi's leg, indifferent and cold to his agony.[4] He turns his back on Atsushi, only to notice his partial transformation and limb regeneration. The turn of events elicits interest and excitement in Akutagawa, who eagerly continues their battle.[5] The tiger's regeneration reacts fast enough to render Rashōmon's attacks less effective, much to Akutagawa's surprise and amusement. When Higuchi attempts to help, Akutagawa orders her to stay back, as this tiger is nothing she could handle. Atsushi's speed impresses Akutagawa, but his attacks and defence aren't enough to hold Atsushi back. He's pushed back, only to recover in time to save Higuchi from a fatal attack, seemingly cutting Atsushi in two. However, it turns out to be an illusion from Light Snow. The second Akutagawa finds the real Atsushi, he smiles, ready to continue the battle.[6] He activates Rashōmon's Murakumo technique, but both his and Atsushi's ability are disabled by Dazai's sudden appearance, shocking Akutagawa.[7]

With Dazai's arrival being a major game changer, Akutagawa decides he and Higuchi shall retreat. He tells Dazai the bounty on Atushi's head is seven billion yen, more than enough to manipulate the underground world. He warns Dazai that if the Agency refuses to hand Atsushi over, it is war. Dazai doesn't take him seriously, instead challenging him to succeed in the first place. Higuchi attempts to intimidate him with the Port Mafia's reputation, but Akutagawa knows it to be no use - as Dazai was once part of the mafia.[8]

Akutagawa leaves a deep, scarring impression on Atsushi, on par with the severity and cruelty of the orphanage's headmaster. This results in a various amount of nightmares and flashbacks Atsushi suffers after recovering from his first attack and working alongside Akiko Yosano during a terrorist attack orchestrated by the mafia.

Akutagawa pulls the strings behind Kyōka Izumi's involvement, being that one that activates Demon Snow through her flip phone. When Kyōka has a change of heart and lets Atsushi defuse the bomb, Akutagawa receives a notification, telling Kyōka there is no defusing the bomb, and remotely detonates it himself.[9]

The mission a failure, Akutagawa moves on to see the captive Dazai in the Port Mafia Headquarters. Angered by Dazai's nonchalance, Akutagawa attacks with Rashomon, aware Dazai's ability will nullify it. Disgusted by Dazai's desertion and antagonising against the Port Mafia. Both are familiar with the room they stand in - the torture room - that acted as where Dazai mentored Akutagawa in the past.[10] Unfazed by his judgement, Dazai mocks his own former role as Akutagawa's mentor. As a result, Akutagawa punches him.[11] Akutagawa knows that, for all his bravado, Dazai is not untouchable by harm - just abilities. So Akutagawa could kill him whenever he wants.

Dazai criticises Akutagawa, calling him a poor, impulsive student, and going so far as to call his ability worthless. Fighting the urge to hit him again, Akutagawa begins walking away, warning Dazai that the Armed Detective Agency's demise and mantiger's capture is nigh. Dazai questions whether Akutagawa has it in him, calling Atsushi far more skilled than Akutagawa ever hoped to be. Stopping mid-step, Akutagawa punches him before leaving.[12]

Trivia

  • 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, Rashōmon, turns his coat into a black beast. This is in reference to the Japanese author Ryunosuke Akutagawa's short story titled Rashōmon wherein a homeless servant stole the clothes of an old lady by ripping it off her.
  • According to the Bungo Stray Dogs official twitter, he does not know the name of the "frilly thing" on his collar (cravat)

References

  1. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 3, page 127
  2. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 157
  3. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 158
  4. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 168
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 172
  6. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 82
  7. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 184
  8. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 192
  9. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 2, chapter 8, page 182
  10. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 21
  11. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 22
  12. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 25

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