Anime Breakdown: Sanctuary


Two young men, Akira Hojo and Chiaki Asami, vow to transform the destiny of Japan, by any means. As children, they survived the horrors of the Cambodian killing fields together. Now, are they powerful enough to rise to the top of both the Japanese parliament and the yakuza crime syndicate? Story by Sho Fumimura, Art by Ryoichi Ikegami.


Volume 1:

"Although cold and calculating when need be, Hojo and Asami exemplify the traits their colleagues lack: loyalty to friends, compassion for the downtrodden...and an irresistible way with women. Deputy Police Chief Ishihara sets out to expose their ingenious machinations, but instead falls helplessly in love with Hojo..."

  1. Sanctuary
  2. The Organization
  3. The Young Girl
  4. Counterattack
  5. Biting the Tiger
  6. Light and Shadow
  7. Hero
  8. Threats
  9. Bomb
  10. Pain
  11. Friction
  12. Dreams
  13. Balls
  14. Hunger

Volume 2:

"Hojo does in the don of the powerful Sagara Alliance and takes his place! Then he sends a savage emissary to conquer Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Asami forms a new political party with himself at the fore. When beautiful Deputy Chief Ishihara discovers the shocking story behind Hojo and Asami's friendship, will she sabotage their carefully laid plans...?"

  1. Will
  2. The New Don
  3. Fangs
  4. Japan
  5. Refugees
  6. Cambodia
  7. Conquest
  8. Pressure
  9. Scissors-Paper-Stone
  10. To Open the Country
  11. Hong Kong
  12. Live and Let Live
  13. The Throne

Volume 3:

"While Hojo gathers allies, right-hand-man Tokai and Hong Kong mobster Wong return to Japan to continue their survival-fo-the-fittest agenda against the other yakuza gangs. Meanwhile, Asami wins political victory and embarks upon his career as a Dietman."

  • Dissolution
  • Assult
  • Prelude to Battle
  • Enemies
  • Quickening
  • A Fight
  • Code Word
  • The Prime Minister
  • The Head
  • Resistance
  • Power
  • Yakuza
  • The Ties That Bind

    Volume 4:

    "Asami proves his political acumen by taking on (in more ways than one) a beautiful American U.S. trade representative. Then he sets out to ruin the career of Secretary General Isaoka himself! But Hojo's plans aren't moving so somothly. First they wanted hsi head--now someone wants him dead--and Hojo's charmed life can't last forever..."

    1. Resolution
    2. Decision
    3. Aim
    4. Bissett
    5. Wail
    6. The Kobe Sannoh Association
    7. Halfway to the Summit
    8. Scheme
    9. Beyond Love and Hate
    10. Maggots
    11. An Axe
    12. A Promise
    13. Chances

    Volume 5:

    "Hojo has been shot by treacherous Hong Kong crimelord Wong! With the Sagara Alliance's crimelord out of action, a powerful rival crime syndicate, the Kobe Sannoh Association, threatens to take over. Beautiful Deputy Police Chief Ishihara holds a vigil at Hojo's bedside - but can even her loving devotion rouse him from his coma in time to save the Sagara Alliance? Meanwhile, freshman Dietman Asami has formed his own political policy group, the Rising Wind Association, which plots to depose powerful Secretary General Isaoka of the Liberal Democratic Party by exposing his illegal financing schemes. But can Asami and his allies weather Isaoka's formidable counterattack?"

    1. Oath of Brotherhood
    2. Some Are More Equal Than Others
    3. Strategy
    4. Reorganization
    5. Awakening
    6. Return to Life
    7. Treacherous Hands
    8. A Matter of Pride
    9. Surprise Attack
    10. Old Age
    11. Icon
    12. Meeting Force with Force
    13. The Jugular

    Volume 6:

    "Secretary General Isaoka of the Liberal Democratic Party was determined to find a skeleton in Dietman Asami's closet, and now he's finally hit pay dirt! If Isaoka publicizes Asami's ties to organized crime, will his promising political career come to an abrupt end? Meanwhile, with a yakuza gang war brewing and the police hot on his trail, Hojo forges a plan to change the way of the yakuza forever. Is it possible? Can it be? Will Japan's most notorious thugs agree to brush up on the three Rs and go legit?"

    1. The Top
    2. Survivors
    3. Rat
    4. Offense and Defense
    5. Ruthless Pursuit
    6. Being Right
    7. Acting Don
    8. The Next Ten Years
    9. A Change in Mind-Set
    10. Old Friends
    11. Disclosure
    12. Press Conference

    Volume 7:

    "Hojo makes an astonishing announcement - his yakuza syndicates will disband, be restructured as corporations, and go legit. On top of that, he's going to run for public office. Now Isaoka, Hojo and Asami are all on the campaign trail together... and it's not a happy one! Asami's bid for office gets a bid boost when the President of the United States himself pays an unexpected visit. But things look bad for Hojo when a rebellious yakuza starts raising Cain. Should Hojo let the young punk run wild, or have him fitted with a pair of cement sandals? Either way, he'll t"arnish his shiny new image as the leader of a kinder, gentler yakuza. Also - Hojo and Deputy Police Chief Ishihara finally consummate their love.

    1. Integrity
    2. Prospects for Victory
    3. Manifesto
    4. Truth
    5. Leaving the Party
    6. A Hard Fight
    7. Declaration
    8. The President
    9. Revolt
    10. Destruction

    Volume 8:

    "When young punk Segawa, a former protege of Tokai, instigates a gang war in Hokkaido, the press has a field day. Will the fracas ruin Hojo's campaign for a seat on the Diet? The plot thickens when it turns out Segawa is involved in dirty dealings with the Russian mafia. Meanwhile, Asami's health is deteriorating rapidly, and when Isaoka offers Hojo a deal to get Asami into office before it's too late, Hojo comes up with a shocking counterproposal!"

    1. The Russian Mafia
    2. Principles
    3. Rules
    4. Pursuit
    5. The Pupil
    6. Two Hours
    7. Victory at the Polls
    8. The New Coalition
    9. Time
    10. A Choice


    Volume 9:

    "Our yakuza friends learn not to mess with the mob - the Russian mob, that is! But when Hojo strikes a deal with Russian mafioso Sorokoff, he makes a very dangerous enemy at home. And without the patronage of yakuza patriarch Ichijima, Hojo's days are numbered! Then, when fickle (yet gorgeous) U.S. Trade Representative Bisset makes Asami's medical records public, his politcal career goes into a terrible tailspin.As Asami's health continues to decline, the two inseparable friends return to Cambodia to contemplate the starting point of their ambitious quest. It appears that Hojo and Asami have reached the gates of their Sanctuary, but at what cost?"

    1. The Same Dream
    2. Ideology
    3. Reform
    4. Bullets
    5. The Strong Eat the Weak
    6. Stubborn Pride
    7. Good
    8. The Long Way Around
    9. By Popular Vote
    10. Sanctuary


    The hard-boiled crime saga comes alive!

    Two Men... As young men, Hojo and Asami were caught up in the Khmer Rouge genocide in the killing fields of Cambodia... but they survived. After the horror, the pair returned to Japan with a determination to build a sanctuary for themselves in an existence that they now know to be uncertain indeed. Coul peaceful, prosperous Japan also be plunged into chaos - a land where a blinded populace accepts the "democratic rule" of lifetime politicians in bed with big-time mobsters?

    Two Destinies... Dissatisified with the selfish materialism of Japanese society under the rule of old men, Hojo, a yakuza boss, tries to gain control of Japan's criminal underworld by any means necessary, while Asami, a bold politican with radical new ideas, challenges the archaic structure of Japanese politics. Somewhere between the light and the dark, these two men are determined to find their sanctuary, even if they have to create it themselves...

    One Japan... Violent and gritty Hong Kong-style action cinema with an intelligent edge. Sanctuary delivers a realistic, compelling story about the Japanese underworld and Japanese politics, raising issues that strike to the heart of modern-day Japanese society. Based on the best-selling adult comic Sanctuary, written by Sho Fumimura, better known under his pen-name of "Buronson" as the creator of Fist of the North Star, and drawn by award-winning artist Ryoichi Ikegami, artist of the best-selling erotic crime drama Crying Freeman (both published by Viz Comics).

    Anime Breakdown: Sanctuary

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