Shou Hazama


The protagonist of the series.

Apparently an easygoing, reckless and somehow comical high-school student known only due to his incapability to arrive on time for classes, he is in fact the result of an experiment made years before by a powerful crime syndicate lord. The man, dying of old age, tried to use medical knowledge and advanced technology to revive himself as a youth, and thus create a cloning facility where he experimented with cloning humans and transferring memories and experience from a mind to another, so as to be reborn as an ultimate being. His plans failed however, as he died before his project could be brought into fruition, and thus the numerous Shou clones where all scattered far and wide in Japan, each of them focusing on a single area of expertise (be it stunt-driving, surgery, military training, and so on), until two of them encountered each other by chance, thus prompting all clones to reunite and, thanks to the shared experience of them all, vow to redeem Japan and destroy what they perceived as evil, in a similar way of a terror group. While their methods are indeed brutal and extremely shocking, one thing has to be noted: the Shou clones all follow something of a code of conduct named one man, one kill, meaning only the chosen target will be put to death, no matter how many clones would be sacrificed in the process (one such example was the assassination of Takeo Tsuruta, where for taking his life 80 clones died). Obstacles such as police or bodyguards are simply evaded or subdued without deadly force. Also, all the Shou clones are aided in their acts by a peculiar, demonic mask which not only conceals their identity, but also serves as an advanced technological equipment. The mask when donned drills itself into the wearer's skull and links to the brain, so as to assimilate all memories of that Shou and pass it on the others when he dies, normally after a killing. Also, to further prevent the world to understand who they really are, each mask injects a bomb into the head of a Shou on the brink of death, so as to blow his skull and thus prevent recognition, leaving only a headless body behind. Presenting themselves as terrorists, though making heavy use of costumes and even a cartoonish mascot nicknamed Aametsu-kun, the Akumetsu group (the Shou clones) aim at one thing only: to purge Japan of all whom they perceive as "evil-doers", that is, all those in a position of power who are corrupt and revel in such chaos as a mean to make easy money, or simply those who, while capable of making changes, refuse to do so and only complain. Their executions are always presented as some sort of a show, where usually the Akumetsu, dressed appropriately (from a race driver to a ghost to a businessman) interrogates, frames for their wrongdoings and in the end massacres its intended victims, often in much brutal fashion to which follows his even more grisly death. Without sermons or pleads, the Akumetsu are also very specific in explaining their motives and objectives to society, and while labeled terrorists by the media and the people, they also gained support from the masses in their bloody quest of disposing of the "evil-doers". To most of them, Akumetsu became not only the name of the "masked men", but also a moniker for the killing of those to be blamed for the crisis.