“Serves You Right”: The abolitionist condemnation of retributive justice in Akudama Drive

With a cast mostly of “dangerous criminals” identified by the crimes they’ve committed instead of their names, I assumed Akudama Drive’s dystopian setting would act as little more than set dressing in a story that ultimately reinforces, rather than challenges, the stigmatization of criminalized people. I have rarely been happier to be proven wrong. Echoing the calls of the prison abolition movement, Akudama Drive delivers a powerful and subversive statement against the criminal legal system, one that goes beyond slogans like All Cops Are Bastards and questions the basis of our conception of justice.