Akudama Suikoden (Japanese title: 悪玉水滸伝) was a short mini-series collected and published as a single volume tankobon release by Sun Publishing under their popular “Joy Comics” name on July 3rd, 1983. Akudama Suikoden was the first of 2 collaborations (the second being Jigoku no Kiss) with writer Koichi Saito penning the storyline, and Toshio Maeda providing the artwork.
Akudama Suikoden is the story of a renowned jazz trumpet player by the name of Akinosuke Hinatsu who leads a secret double life as an assassin for hire. Akinosuke’s skills are beyond question but requesting his services requires the unusual formality of the client having to wear a single black rose whilst attending one his jazz shows in order to set up a meeting with the assassin. Akinosuke also has a strict rule; he will only kill vindictive women. Men are off limits.
The reason behind Akinosuke’s peculiar rule is soon revealed when we discover that at the mere age of 5, his mother, believing her son to be a hindrance in finding a partner, attempted to kill him by pushing him off a ravine in order to follow her selfish desires. Fortunately for Akinosuke, his mother’s disgraceful actions didn’t rob him off his life but his miraculous survival planted a deep seed of hatred towards vindictive and selfish women.
Provided that the target fits the criteria, Akinosuke will accept any job that his clients propose. It goes without saying that each target will meet their demise at the hands of Akinosuke but he also has a custom of raping each victim before killing them. Seduction tactics are sometimes used to lure his targets into a false sense of security, whilst other times he can be brutally heavy-handed with his victims depending on their “crimes”. Akinosuke’s methods of assassination vary wildly depending on the situation in which he entraps his targets. His first target falls foul of a simple gunshot to the stomach but others are executed by far more extravagant means such as being buried alive in concrete or having a stick of dynamite placed in their vagina and then ignited.
Akudama Suikoden is very episodic in nature with each chapter being entirely self-contained and having no relation to other chapters throughout the volume whatsoever. Unlike Saito and Maeda’s later collaboration, Jigoku no Kiss, there are no constant characters in Akudama Suikoden besides Akinosuke Hinatsu himself.
As was common with “Joy Comics” tankobon releases in the early eighties, Akudama Suikoden contained several one-shots by Saito and Maeda in order to fill out the volume. All three one-shots are entirely independent of the main story and were called “Proof of pleasure” (快感の証明 – Kaikan no shōmei), “Breast gouging crotch violation” (乳房えぐり股犯し – Nyūbō eguri mataokashi), and “Rape night” (強姦ナイト – Gōkan naito) respectively. As to be expected, Akudama Suikoden is now long out of print but fans of Toshio Maeda can occasionally find used copies of this rare gem on places like Amazon.jp and Yahoo! Auctions Japan so its well worth having a look on there from time to time. Akudama Suikoden is a fun and gritty read with some incredibly dark artwork to boot. It’s certainly a worthy addition to any fan’s Maeda library so be sure to pick it up should you ever find a copy! Good luck!!
Here’s the original Japanese cover artwork: