This anime quickly shot up to the favorite’s list. Along with Black Blood Brothers, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started it. First, just by the title, I thought we would be following Akame… WRONG. A pretty cool guy by the name of Tatsumi is our POV character. He’s a fighter and somewhat naïve, but he has great intentions. His journey to the capitol is sidetracked by a run-in with Danger Beasts and sets off our side of the adventure.
There are multiple aspects that I like about this anime, even though the narrative is rushed in a few places. We get some very nice character development and I really enjoyed the RPG elements, down to the characters saying they need to “level-up.” Also, we can form a genuine connection with the members of Night Raid, regardless of how quickly some of the story arcs play out. Each of the members of Night Raid is strange and quirky, but they worm their way into your heart anyway.
*Be careful, this way there be spoilers*
Akame is a badass, through and through. Her cold and subtle voice underscores a well of caring and righteous intent. From protecting her sister to her concern for Tatsumi and her dedication to the cause, Akame is THAT woman. And her trump card?? Forget about it. I thought that Esdeath was unbeatable, but Akame?! Damn. A whole new level. At first, I was disappointed that the love story wasn’t between her and Tatsumi, but then as I finished the series, Tatsumi and Mine made more
Bulat?! At this point, I’m really just
gushing over the characters but if you saw Bulat and watched the series and didn’t shout “Incursio” at least one time, I don’t even know you. He was cool and calm, a fitting mentor/big brother for Tatsumi. It was easy to develop a kinship with these characters because Tatsumi was so easy to identify with. How many of us have stepped into adulthood or real life and realized it wasn’t the glamorous picture we
had drawn in our heads? That’s the same way Tatsumi develops as he enters the capitol. His journey is underscored with a note of comedy because otherwise, the story of Akame Ga Kill! would just be tragic all around.
The deaths of our heroes hit me as hard as any anime I’ve ever watched. Seeing Sheele sacrifice herself so that Mine can escape broke my heart. The villains are without remorse and in some cases still believe they are on the side of right. I think that’s what makes anime like this work. It’s all a matter of perspective. Night Raid is a group of killers and they are certain to tell Tatsumi they aren’t heroes. The villains are agents of the regime in power, but they know (to varying degrees) that they are evil. When Bulat faces Liver and dies in the battle, both know who is on the side of the “angels.” It’s an amazing way to tell a story. Prime Minister Honest is beyond redemption and you can’t wait for him to get what he deserves but I couldn’t help but feel reluctance that his judgment came at the expense of most of Night Raid. I’ll admit, even Bols’ death at the hand of Chelsea got me a little. The fact that he was dreaming of his wife and child as he died underscored the ruthlessness of the characters and added a bit of humanity that drew me in.
Let’s talk about action. Man, the fighting itself is well shot and framed so that you can enjoy it. We even get mega blasts of energy and vision defying speed. We get all the things that we expect from a fast-paced anime. We also get some lore, through the use of “Imperial Arms.” Imperial Arms were designed by a former Emperor and connect with their users on a core level. You have to have an affinity for an Imperial Arm to use it. That’s another pretty cool aspect of character building. For example,
Lubbock uses the Imperial Arms, Kaleidoscope: Crawstail. It’s a reel of strings that can form weaponry, traps, or armor. It’s more than it seems. Just like Lubbock is a deeper character than he appears originally. He’s not just the pervert we meet in the beginning, he’s in love with Najenda and has taken up her cause because of it. And don’t get me started on the best Imperial Arms in the history of arms, Susano. Man, the first time he manifested the Ame no Murakumo, I lost my mind!
I can’t finish this little fanboy moment about Akame Ga Kill without talking about Esdeath. She’s the ultimate in Darwinism. It doesn’t matter the cost, nor does it matter its effect on her. Only the strong survive and throughout the anime, Esdeath proves herself as the strongest. She’s ruthless, cunning, in love, and altogether insane. What’s great is she doesn’t hide it. Her epic showdown with Akame is worth the price of admission and definitely worth the time spent watching the series. I really can’t say enough about Akame Ga Kill! Even though it’s only one season long, you aren’t left waiting for season 2 as the threads tie up pretty tightly (if a little too quickly) and leave us satisfied with the offering we were given.
Brian Joseph Lambert is the lead contributing writer and editor at Wingless Entertainment LTD. He specializes in bringing diversity to action/adventure, fantasy and sci-fi worlds. In 2017, while earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Full Sail University, he published his first novel, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1. In 2019 he earned a Master’s degree in Entertainment Business and released JUSTICE- ISSUE #0 for Wingless Entertainment LTD and Konkret Comics. Brian's current projects include WAR FOR THE SWORD- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 2, a CG animated feature film entitled, RUBICON and JUSTICE- THE FALL, an ongoing graphic novel with KONKRET COMICS. Brian recently was selected as a Reader's Favorite Book Award Finalist in 2019 for, ASCENSION- THE CHRUSION SAGA BOOK 1. Brian has edited numerous independent works including, Is’Nana the Were-Spider by Greg Anderson Elysée, Akolyte by Derek Allen, Nia Caler by Dorphise Jean and the upcoming Beyond 13th by Michael Ralph. When not writing or editing, Brian works on creating a functioning lightsaber so that he can pass the Jedi trials.