Why did Ryo (Four), in the ninth episode of season one of Dark Matter

kill Akita-san?


In the season 1 finale he tells One (or Derrick Moss, whichever you prefer) he killed Akita because otherwise Akita-san would never stop pursuing him.

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  • Just watched the episode today. Thanks for the answer. – kittenparry Sep 1 '15 at 0:07

The currently accepted answer is not wrong, though I think it is questionable at best to take the outwardly expressed motivations of any crew member (except possibly One and Five) at face value.

Delving a little deeper may be of interest...

The Japanese traditions of honor, especially on the battlefield, need to be factored into understanding Four's actions.

It is generally considered dishonorable (or at least "not as honorable") to straight-up kill a surrendered warrior, especially one of any significance. It is also dishonorable to return as a defeated commander (see the next paragraph). The solution is to usually allow the captured warrior an honorable (assisted) suicide via seppuku.

In this case, Akita-san had just reminded Four that he owed Four a life debt. This was incurred when Four took the fall for Akita-san's failure as a commander. Akita-san's life was, by tradition, in the possession of Four and at his discretion and mercy. Or lack thereof. He could safely claim Akita-san's life at any moment without sullying his honor (at least as far as he's concerned). And he did. Just before killing Akita-san, he requests that Akita-san deliver a message to his brother. Akita-san's death is the message, and one Four is at liberty to send due to the life debt.

Most likely Four would expect Akita-san to be executed or forced into ritual suicide upon his return. Though possibly there's a chance he would be otherwise punished and given little option but to hunt Four down to regain his position and honor. Even still, I find it unlikely that this was Four's sole reason for the killing, or even a major factor in it. It was most likely just a plausible rationale given to make it easier for his crew members to digest without having to go into the whole honor/life debt/cultural traditions thing. He's usually not a chatty guy, remember; a quick explanation that ends the matter then and there would be his preference.

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