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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 condemning 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, Akutagawa eventually 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.[1]
  • 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.
    Demonic Armour

    Demonic Armour

  • Rashōmon: Demonic Armor (羅生門・天魔纏鎧 Rashōmon - Tenma Tengai?, literally "Demon Wearing Armor") - Wraps himself 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 eight other children. At the mercy of the slums and its disgusting air, Akutagawa's lungs suffered as a result, ending in his poor health.

The other children happened to overhear a conversation regarding the time and location of a shipment the Port Mafia was supposed to deliver to low-level subordinates. The men knew about this and sought out the children, beating everyone but Gin and Akutagawa, who managed to escape, to death.

Akutagawa and Dazai First Meet

Akutagawa and Dazai's first meeting.

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 six 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, overcome by a foreign sense of respect he felt towards Dazai.[2].

Akutagawa suffers under Dazai's mentoring, constantly criticised for his lack of variety in using his ability and rash impulses. Nonetheless, Akutagawa rarely, if ever, actually changes the way he operates even when faced with Dazai's Spartan training and punishments. During the Port Mafia's war with Mimic, Akutagawa admits to killing captured soldiers. Dazai ridicules his constant tendency to resort to killing instead of getting information on the enemy. Akutagawa tries to argue, but Dazai punches him in the face hard enough to make him collapse and cough blood. Dazai 'apologises' for giving the impression he wanted excuses, and continues to berate his careless use of his ability.

Dazai coldly shoots him three times, but at the last second, Akutagawa develops his shield technique for the first time, saving his life. However, Dazai warns him the next time he fails, Dazai will punch him twice, and shoot him five times. To him, there's nothing wrong with killing subordinates who do their job - he isn't as righteous as Sakunosuke Oda. Akutagawa recognises the name as a man Dazai is friends with, and questions why Dazai befriended such a weak man. Much to Akutagawa's shock, Dazai claims Oda is much stronger than anyone in the room.

Akutagawa and Odasaku

Akutagawa's resentment for Odasaku.

Later tasked with confronting Mimic, Akutagawa faces their leader, who nearly kills him until Oda saves his life. Not the least bit grateful, Akutagawa tries to kill him, desperate for Dazai's approval which Oda received so easily, forcing Oda to knock him unconscious.

When Dazai leaves the mafia after Oda's death, Akutagawa loses it, chasing after every surviving Mimic soldier he finds, determined to make Dazai acknowledge him.[3]

Two years after Dazai joins the Armed Detective Agency, Akutagawa faces against Doppo Kunikida in an attack during the Agency's investigation of the Azure Messenger case. In the battle, Kunikida outwits Akutagawa by electrocuting him with a broken water pipe and taser.[4]

Plot

Armed Detective Agency vs. Port Mafia

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 at 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.[5] He calls his superiors, saying he finished his task and asks what's next.

Akutagawa Introduces Himself

Akutagawa introduces himself.

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.[6] He switches gears once more when Atsushi questions the bounty he mentions and asks if that's why Tanizami and Naomi were attacked.

Akutagawa Summons Rashomon

Akutagawa summons his ability.

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.[7] 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.

Akutagawa Smiles

Akutagawa smiles.

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] He activates Rashōmon's Murakumo technique, but both his and Atsushi's ability are disabled by Dazai's sudden appearance, shocking Akutagawa.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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 Rashōmon, 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.[14] Unfazed by his judgement, Dazai mocks his own former role as Akutagawa's mentor. As a result, Akutagawa punches him.[15] Akutagawa knows that, for all his bravado, Dazai is not untouchable by harm - just abilities. So Akutagawa could kill him whenever he wants.

Akutagawa Punches Dazai

Akutagawa punches Dazai.

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.[16]

Akutagawa With Kyoka

Akutagawa forces her to return.

Near the end of Atsushi showing Kyōka around Yokohama, Akutagawa impales Atsushi in the chest, yelling Kyōka she won't be executed since she "accomplished her mission", the Mafia using her as a decoy with a transmitter inside her.[17] He throws Atsushi inside a van, and the Mafia leaves the scene with Atushi and Kyōka in tow.

After Atsushi wakes up, Akutagawa drags him out to the outside, stating he intended to kill Atsushi, but the tiger's powers saved his life. He explains they're on a smuggling ship, set course for the bounty.

Akutagawa's Past

Akutagawa's past, living in the slums.

Keeping him pinned down by Rashōmon, Akutagawa once again speaks his mantra - that the weak must die to open a path for the strong. Before he kills Atsushi, Kyōka distracts him by shooting him, her gun soon split in half. He holds her up by the throat, asking if she knows what rock bottom means. Akutagawa indirectly tells of his past, living a miserable life in the slums.[18] Without the Mafia, Kyōka will be left to the slums, thus must use Demon Snow to have any purpose in life. He relates it to Atsushi's suffering, feeling useless, distrusted, and treated like an insect. For Kyōka to live, she has to keep using Demon Snow, if she doesn't, she worthless, and deserves to die.[19]

Kyōka dismisses his order, detonating a bomb she hid in the ship's arsenal.[20] Choking her, Akutagawa intends to kill her with Rashōmon, giving a quick death, but Atsushi saves her.

A fight ensues, Akutagawa later ensnaring Atsushi and telling him that being the Agency made him think he's strong when in reality he's almost powerless. Atsushi retaliates, and Akutagawa gains distance by lifting himself in the air by Rashōmon, then slams Atsushi into cargo. Assuming he won, Akutagawa notes the ship will sink in less than five minutes, and he needs a lifeboat.

Atsushi using debris to propel himself to Akutagawa shocks the latter, and he suffers a severe punch directly to his jaw.

Dazai's Mentoring

Akutagawa suffers Dazai's Spartan training methods.

Badly jarred, Akutagawa recalls severe training under Dazai's watch, slammed into crates when he fails to attack his mentor. Akutagawa tries attacking again, but Dazai nullifies the ability and kicks Akutagawa again, worsening his condition without relenting. Dazai orders him to use Rashōmon faster and more effectively, otherwise he won't survive in the Mafia. The only thing that brings Akutagawa back on his feet is when Dazai asks if he wants to return to the slums.[21]

Akutagawa's Desperation

Akutagawa's vow.

Akutagawa snaps back to reality, enraged Dazai sees Atsushi as better than him. His hatred and resentment skyrockets. He vows never to let Dazai claim Atsushi is better than him since his experience and strength is nowhere near Akutagawa's.[22]

Using HIganzakura, Rashōmon branches out, impaling Atsushi, and unleashes a flower-like shape of spikes.[23] However, the lethal attack does nothing to satisfy Akutagawa, and he questions what killing Atsushi truly accomplished.[24] How Atsushi survives Higanzakura is beyond Akutagawa, but he claims he isn't using Kyōka, he's merely giving her a purpose. With Demon Snow, Kyōka is destined to kill, so giving her a job to kill gives her life value, using her strength for a purpose.[25]

Angered, Atsushi states Akutagawa can't determine who does and doesn't live. He attacks, breaking Rashōmon's tendril, sending Akutagawa in the air. Vulnerable, Akutagawa can't let Atsushi near him, and uses Sawarabi, a technique summoning countless spikes,[26] to keep Atsushi in place. Atsushi escapes. Akutagawa uses Gokumon Agito,[27] making Atsushi collapse. However, Atsushi wraps his tail around Akutagawa, pulling him to punch him in the face.

Final Punch

Akutagawa punched by Atsushi.

Using spatial distortion, Akutagawa tries shielding himself from the attack. Through sheer force of will, Atsushi overpowers the shield, delivering a devastating final strike to Akutagawa.[28]

Akutagawa's Injuries

Akutagawa's injuries.

The defeat and explosion leaves Akutagawa comatose with severe injuries.[29] Meanwhile, the smugglers he slaughtered prior to boarding the ship regroup. Unable to defend himself, Ōgai Mori deems Akutagawa a liability, as Karma Transit will target him now he's comatose.[30]

A flashback shows Akutagawa placed a bomb in a building, resulting in several casualties. Higuchi tries telling him he can't just storm into an enemy's building like that, but a second bomb, higher than the first, cuts her off. Akutagawa calls it a signal to "the man who disappeared before me without any warning... refusing to accept my power". Higuchi insists that it's her job to help him, but Akutagawa claims he needs neither her nor anyone else's help.

Akutagawa Apologises to Higuchi

Akutagawa thanks Higuchi.

Later seized by hired men of Karma Transit, Akutagawa remains comatose. Ichiyō Higuchi initiates her own solo mission with Mori's orders to rescue him, later assisted by Black Lizard's forces. When he finally comes to, Akutagawa apologises to her.[31]


The Guild

Akutagawa Attacks Hawthorne

Akutagawa attacks Hawthorne.

Although not entirely healed, Akutagawa heads out on orders to destroy the Guild's ship, SS Zelda, and its occupants - Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Mitchell. Rashōmon impales Mitchell and the ship's crewmen, with Akutagawa making an offhanded comment on how the sea air is murder on his chest. He then impales Hawthorne, eager to wrap up his mission fast. During their first conversation, Akutagawa goes along with Hawthorne's comment, introducing himself as "Diablo". Getting his first glimpse of A Scarlet Letter, Akutagawa notes the strong similarities between his and Hawthorne's abilities.[32]

Rashomon vs The Scarlet Letter

Rashomon vs. The Scarlet Letter

Unimpressed with Hawthorne's apparent skill, Akutagawa demands Hawthorne put his all into the fight, which Hawthorne declines. Blood on Akutagawa's coat restrains him. Conscious, Margaret Mitchell attacks with Gone with the Wind, accusing Akutagawa of knowing nothing of humiliation and defeat by fighting only those weaker than him.[33] Akutagawa snaps, dealing a devastating blow to Margaret, stating humiliation and defeat have always been with him as a lone survivor, destined to walk in a dark world after the death of his comrades in the past.[34]

Akutagawa's Wound Opens

Akutagawa's wound opens.

Although newfound determination frees him of Hawthorne's restraints, Akutagawa's wounds from his battle with Atsushi have yet to fully heal.[35] He's seized by immense pain, but dismisses it as nothing, once more demanding Hawthorne fight with all he has, otherwise Akutagawa came here for nothing. To him, the cruel words from Dazai's mentoring fuel him through any adversity.[36]

Now both fighting with everything they've got, Akutagawa and Hawthorne's duel continues. Akutagawa lands a supposedly fatal hit on Hawthorne's neck, but Hawthorne tackles. Briefly recalling Dazai, Akutagawa activates Rashōmon's Endless Jaws. The attack not only harms Hawthorne, but Mitchell as well - ultimately, Akutagawa emerges victorious.

Exhausted and on his knees, Akutagawa expresses no satisfaction, instead haunted by Atsushi's words, accusing Akutagawa of not understanding a person's need to be told it's okay for them to live. With a pained look, Akutagawa says he never had to be told that, and knew it all along.[37]

At the pinnacle of the three-way conflict, Akutagawa takes matters into his own hands and infiltrates Moby Dick, intent on killing Atsushi.[38] Due to the temporary ceasefire between the Agency and Mafia, Akutagawa finally found Atsushi's whereabouts. Atsushi doesn't understand his motivations, to which Akutagawa points out he never asked Atsushi to understand him.

Akutagawa Deceived

Akutagawa deceived by Atsushi.

Atsushi informs him that Dazai wants to talk to him, and Akutagawa is all but eager to respond. He rushes for the communicator Atsushi throws, only to find out the other line is dead. He later catches up to him, meeting Fitzgerald face to face. He ignores Fitzgerald's taunts, walking past him and demanding Atsushi to get up and fight. He condemns Atsushi's reckless behaviour, in spite of how much a coward he is over his own ability, and cannot fathom Atsushi's conflicting sense of pride.[38] When Fitzgerald tries to interrupt, Akutagawa attacks, ordering him to be quiet until he's finished Atsushi - his main priority - off. Fitzgerald grips Rashōmon's tendrils, dragging Akutagawa over to punch, but Akutagawa blocks the attack with his shield.

Escape

The two escape Fitzgerald.

The two engage in a short one on one fight, with Akutagawa soon overpowered by Fitzgerald's ability. Listening to Fitzgerald taunt Atsushi, Akutagawa cuts a hole in the floor, taking Atsushi with him.[38] He pursues Atsushi, taking back what he said about Atsushi being "unfathomable", and concludes Atsushi risks his life constantly so he can "earn the right to live", which angers Akutagawa to no end.[39] Impaling Atsushi's shoulders, he questions if Atsushi honestly believes being so determined to fight to earn a reason to live is worth it, and is disappointed in Atsushi's response. He determines that killing someone like Atsushi will never offer him any sort of accomplishment, which is vital in the need to have Dazai approve of his efforts and victories.[40]

Atsushi and Akutagawa in the Lift

Akutagawa and Atsushi argue in the lift.

Fitzgerald finds them, and Akutagawa defends against him, but follows Atsushi into the lift just before the doors close. The lift leads to Moby Dick's deck, leaving the two with no means of escape, and ridicules Atsushi as a foolish runt desperate for approval. When Atsushi claims he's still better than him, Akutagawa snaps, Rashōmon pins Atsushi to the wall and Akutagawa demands Atsushi take what he said back.[41]

To Akutagawa, Atsushi has everything: a powerful ability, good fortune, and Dazai's acknowledgement, all with little effort, but he pays them no mind and instead continues to wallow in self-pity and shame.[42] The lift reaches the deck level, Where Fitzgerald greets the duo. Akutagawa asks Fitzgerald that if he defeats him, surely he'll no longer be weak. Fitzgerald agrees, and Akutagawa uses Rashōmon's Demonic Armour.[43] This technique greatly enhances his offence and defence, giving even Fitzgerald a run for his money. Atsushi enters the fray, much to Aktuagawa's chagrin.

Don't Compare

Akutagawa and Atsushi lash out.

New double black

The beginning of a new Twin Dark.

Watching them bicker, Fitzgerald calls them similar, enraging both.[44] Akutagawa and Atsushi punch Fitzgerald. While the attack is powerful, Akutagawa is exhausted by Demonic Armour's physical effects on him.

Atsushi and Akutagawa vs Fitzgerald

The final battle against Fitzgerald.

He still insists to kill Atsushi after finishing off Fitzgerald, and doesn't believe Dazai will die even if they fail. When Fitzgerald unleashes the full extent of The Great Fitzgerald, Akutagawa agrees that Atsushi is foolish for lingering on his past despite it no longer defining him. In response, Atsushi claims Dazai already acknowledged Akutagawa. With this in mind, Akutagawa prepares for the final battle.[45] Whilst the battle ensues, Fitzgerald continues to overwhelm Akutagawa, and tosses Atsushi off Moby Dick. Akutagawa uses Rashōmon to grab him, and Atsushi finally defeats Fitzgerald. Akutagawa reveals he grabbed the terminal to Moby Dick during the battle. Angry he is too weak to kill Atsushi, Akutagawa settles for stomping on his head.[46]

However, the terminal reactivates, and Moby Dick begins its descent. Akutagawa tries disabling it, but determines it it's broken and that something else is afoot, and tells Atsushi they have to head for the bridge.[47] At the bridge, Kyōka contacts Atsushi and tells him she'll lead the ship away at the cost of her life. Undeterred, Akutagawa forces Atsushi to abandon ship. After reaching the safety of land, Akutagawa calls Kyōka a fool for "pointlessly" sacrificing herself.

Dazai Praises Akutagawa

Dazai praises Akutagawa.

Akutagawa Faints

Immediately after Dazai praises him, Akutagawa passes out.

It isn't until Dazai appears to praise Atsushi that Akutagawa shifts gears, trying to ignore his exhaustion now that nothing stands in his way. Dazai doubts he can after giving his all against Fitzgerald. He pats Akutagawa's shoulder, finally praising him and acknowleding that he's much stronger than in the past. The shock of his praise is so much that Akutagawa passes out.[48]

The Guild Aftermath

After the Guild's defeat Akutagawa's tasked with giving Dazai information on a fatal car accident, and is displeased to see Atsushi instead. He reports the death as an accident. The weapons dealer of the firearm the deceased met to trade with saw the accident. Although the news distresses Atsushi, Akutagawa dismisses his distress as foolishness and tells him to look into the matter himself, instead of asking everyone for the answers. Leaving, he states killing Atsushi as he is now won't satisfy him. He denies Dazai's so-called status as Atsushi's "mentor", claiming that title belongs to the orphanage headmaster. Out of respect for his "mentor's" death, Akutagawa leaves Atsushi alone.[49]

Akutagawa Siblings

Akutagawa meets up with Gin, his younger sister.

During some genuine downtime, Akutagawa meets up with Gin, his younger sister, after she returns from a long-term mission. Greeting her, they head home.[50]

Cannibalism

Akutagawa Confronts the Masked Assassin

Akutagawa confronting the "masked assassin".

Akutagawa moves in on the "masked assassin" that's been killing ability users. A remote signal notifies him of a nearby explosion, revealing the culprit's location. He attacks the assassin, and during the battle damages the mask, revealing his opponent's identity - Hawthorne. Akutagawa understands Hawthorne's method of battle, and knows Hawthorne does this for Mitchell's sake after Akutagawa left her in a dire state. However, he finds out Hawthorne has no recollection of their first meeting, much to his shock.[51]

Cannibalism

Akutagawa, part of the main defence for Port Mafia.

After the assassination attempt on Ōgai Mori, and an ultimatum to kill Yukichi Fukuzawa lest Mori dies, Akutagawa participates on the raid on the Armed Detective Agency. Chūya Nakahara orders him to join the main forces against the Agency's detectives. When it's revealed to be Tanizaki's illusion, Akutagawa questions if Tanizaki threw his life away for such a plan.[52]

When the Agency retaliates with a raid on the Port Mafia, Kyōka attempts to attack Higuchi, but Akutagawa cuts a whole into the floor, confronting her instead. He orders Higuchi to inform reinforcements of the raid upstairs, and smiles, stating it's been a long time since he faced an opponent with a spine, eager to fight Kyōka. He lectures Kyōka for taking him head-on, since she's used to covert operations, and is surprised when Kyōka makes Demon Snow intangible, demonstrating her newfound control over the ability. Kyōka catches him off guard by using Demon Snow as a distraction, and nearly kills him, but Akutagawa uses Rashōmon to armour his hand and stop her from slicing his throat.

Akutagawa acknowledges Kyōka's change of heart, remembering the time Kyōka approached him when she first joined the mafia and begged Akutagawa to kill her. Even when she sacrificed herself on the ship or Moby Dick, Akutagawa saw no value of life in her eyes. He explains she's not the first person who looked at the world with such eyes. For a moment, he recalls his first meeting with Dazai, surrounded by mafioso that killed Akutagawa's companions when he was only 14.[53] When asked what happened to "the man" Akutagawa recalls, Akutagawa says the same thing happened to him that happened to Kyōka - he met a certain person, joined a different organisation, and lost the hope for death in his eyes.

I'm Glad For You

Akutagawa admits his approval.

Remembering his claim that he gave Kyōka a reason to live by having her kill, Akutagawa genuinely praises her, saying he's happy for her new life. Kyōka retreats, and Akutagawa acknowledges a call from Higuchi that a "lemon catwalk" is underway.[53]

Akutagawa gets dragged into a scheme of Dazai's, once again working with Atsushi. Complacent with Dazai's plan, Akutagawa gives no objections, instead determined to show Dazai what he can do and carry out the plan without fail. However, as soon as they're left to do the mission, Akutagawa warns Atsushi he'll leave him behind if he's too slow, and kill him if he gets in the way. He uses Rashōmon to move over the guards without being detected, cutting a hole into the top of the Rats in the House of the Dead's base to infiltrate it.[54] After Atsushi catches up, Akutagawa tells him he doesn't need his help, and to him, this mission is his chance to prove himself to Dazai, and killing Atsushi soon is best for him as well. He lashes out, musing aloud if he should just kill Atsushi and report as 'missing'. When Atsushi criticises him on his obsession with killing whatever's in front of him, he unsettles Akutagawa by telling him that his one-track mind is why Dazai left him behind. Instead of getting mad, Akutagawa backs off, proceeding with the mission as planned.[54]

Upon discovering security cameras, Akutagawa threatens two security guards overheard behind him. He warns them not to give the infiltration away, threatening their lives. He tries interrogating them, but gets no useful information, and decides to kill him. He's only deterred by Atsushi once more, but doesn't let the argument distract him from the guards. He threatens to cut off their legs, and a security guard leaks information about a heavily armoured door that might be where the leader hides. Intent to get more information, Akutagawa promises the guards they'll be generously rewarded by the Port Mafia.

Inside the room, Akutagawa points out that unlocking the door comes second to the virus' whereabouts, otherwise Mori will die. Atsushi asks him if he thinks Dazai wants them to work together, but Akutagawa dismisses the question as foolish. To him, it's impossible to get a read on Dazai, but his plans always succeed, so questioning them is pointless. To Akutagawa, what's troubling is why Atsushi is going along with the plan, and doesn't understand why "because I feel like I have to" is the only reason Atsushi gives.

Pushkin Attacks

Pushkin Attacks Akutagawa.

Just then, Katai contacts them with the virus ability's location, revealed to be one of the security guards - Alexander Pushkin. Atsushi saves Akutagawa from a gunshot. However, in their pursuit of Pushkin, Akutagawa collapses from where the bullet grazed him, succumbing to the virus as well.[54]

Dazai contacts them, urging them to focus on Pushkin. Akutagawa attacks, but misses, and Pushkin sets a bomb off in a mining cart the duo use to catch up to him. Exhausted from the ability, Akutagawa feels they've already failed, but Atsushi hauls him over his shoulders, using the tiger's strength to carry him and pursue Pushkin. Just as they reach Pushkin, a massive golem-like creature cuts them off.[55]

Akutagawa tells Atsushi to pursue Pushkin whilst he handles Ivan Goncharov. However, the two find themselves struggling against The Precipice, and soon agree to work together. Akutagawa assists Atsushi by using Rashōmon to maneuver him, rendering Ivan's sense of attack useless, but the attack fails when Ivan uses rocks for defence instead. Akutagawa, having used Atsushi as a decoy, delivers a fatal attack to Ivan's heart, but it's revealed to only be a clay doll. As a result, the battle infects Atsushi with Pushkin's virus. With both weakened, Ivan leaves them to drown in a trap.[55]

Composed, Akutagawa points out there may be a way out, but presses again why Atsushi is trying to save the Director. He understands it's because of what the orphanage headmaster said to him, but with the man dead, doesn't understand why Atsushi still clings to his words. After hearing Atsushi's answer, Akutagawa comments that Atsushi's "mentor" sounds even more difficult to appease than Dazai. Satisfied with Atsushi's answer, Akutagawa envelopes him in Rashōmon, warning him that if he loses in this state, he won't forgive him.[55]

Black Tiger Claws

Black Tiger Claws

With Atsushi's power enhanced by Rashōmon's, Akutagawa reasons that between a tiger's powerful claws, and Rashōmon's armour, it can cut through anything - even abilities. With their combined abilities, they defeat Ivan. Even subdued, however, Ivan laughs, and asks Akutagawa who exactly promised them they would capture the leader by infiltrating the base. At that moment, Akutagawa realises their leader was never in the base to begin with. He doubts Ivan, but Ivan reveals their method of communication to be from radio songs as command codes.[56]

Nonetheless, in the aftermath of the infiltration, Akutagawa vows to kill Atsushi in six months. To him, he can't move on until he kills Atsushi. Atsushi tells him not to kill anyone in those six months, which Akutagawa honours.[56]

Trivia

  • 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)
  • 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.

References

  1. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 28
  2. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, SHORT STORY: The Heartless Cur
  3. Bungo Stray Dogs light novel, Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era, epilogue
  4. Bungo Stray Dogs light novel, Osamu Dazai's Entrance Exam
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 3, page 127
  6. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 157
  7. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 158
  8. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 168
  9. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 172
  10. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 82
  11. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 184
  12. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 1, chapter 4, page 192
  13. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 2, chapter 8, page 182
  14. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 21
  15. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 22
  16. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 25
  17. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 9, page 40
  18. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 11, page 115
  19. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 11, page 116
  20. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 11, page 121
  21. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 53
  22. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 160
  23. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 163
  24. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 164
  25. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 166
  26. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 172
  27. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 175
  28. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 3, chapter 12, page 180
  29. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 4, chapter 14, page 42
  30. Bungo Stray Dogs manga 4, chapter 14, pages 53 - 56
  31. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 4, chapter 14, page 78
  32. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 10
  33. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 16
  34. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 18
  35. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 21
  36. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 23
  37. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 6, chapter 21, page 32 - 33
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 8, chapter 34
  39. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35, page 46
  40. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35, page 49
  41. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35, page 57 - 58
  42. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35, page 59
  43. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35, page 64
  44. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35, page 72
  45. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 35
  46. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 36
  47. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 36, pages 108 - 109
  48. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 9, chapter 36
  49. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 10, chapter 39
  50. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 10, chapter 41
  51. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 11, chapter 46
  52. Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 12, chapter 47.5
  53. 53.0 53.1 Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 12, chapter 49
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 13, chapter 51
  55. 55.0 55.1 55.2 Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 13, chapter 51.5
  56. 56.0 56.1 Bungo Stray Dogs manga, volume 13, chapter 51.75

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