Akame shijyuyataki shinjyumisui

Akame 48 Waterfalls
“Abandon hope all ye who enter here…” These words, emblazoned above the gates of hell in Dante’s “Inferno”, are the cheerful greeting awaiting failed writer Ikushima on his arrival at Amagasaki station. The quote soon takes on prophetic dimensions when Ikushima finds himself caught up in the underworld of this city to the west of Osaka.
Seiko owns the restaurant where Ikushima finds work; his job is to put bits of chicken meat and giblets on Teriyaki sticks. She finds him accommodation in a decrepit old tenement building where he makes the acquaintance of prostitutes and all sorts of dubious characters; he also meets a very attractive neighbour, Aya, who is mistress to a tattoo artist named Horimayu who also lives in the same building.
Ikushima is a complete outsider at this dwelling which seems to attract as if by magic all manner of human flotsam and jetsam. The only ray of light in his otherwise dreary life is Aya, who secretly creeps over to his apartment one night. Although he knows full well that their affair could cost him his life, Ikushima is undeterred – Aya is worth it.
And then, Aya suddenly disappears, leaving him a note explaining that he should meet her the next day at a station outside town. At the station Ikushima learns from Aya that her criminal brother is up to his eyeballs in debt and has sold her to the Yazuka for 30 million yen. Aya hasn’t the slightest intention of going along with any of this. However, the only way she can escape the gangsters is death.
Ikushima is prepared to follow her wherever she decides to go. And so the pair set off for the 48 waterfalls of Akame …
by Genjirou Arato
with Takijirou Onishi, Shinobu Terajima, Michiyo Okusu, Yuya Uchida
Japan 2003 159’

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