Akame ga Kill is a Japanese anime television series loosely based on the manga. The story follows halfway through the manga while delivering an anime-exclusive ending. It has 24 fast paced episodes. Adapted by studio white fox and music by Taku Iwasaki. Shall we read on:
Night Raid is the undercover assassination branch of the Revolutionary Army, an uprising assembled to overthrow the empire and Prime Minister “Honest”, whose greed for power has led him to take advantage of the child emperor’s immaturity. Without a strong and benevolent leader, the rest of the nation is left to drown in poverty, strife, and ruin. Though the Night Raid members are all experienced killers, they understand that taking lives is far from commendable and that they will likely face retribution as they mercilessly eliminate important figures in the empires ranks and anyone who stands in the revolution’s way.
This band of assassins’ newest member is Tatsumi, a naïve country boy from a remote village who had embarked on a journey to gain work and success, in the imperial capital, in order to help his penniless hometown and was won over by not only Night Raid’s ideals, but also their resolve after witnessing firsthand the evils of the capital. Akame ga Kill! Follows Tatsumi and the gang as they fight the Empire and come face-to-face with powerful weapons, enemy assassins, challenges to their own morals, values and ultimately, what it truly means to be an assassin with conviction.
OH yes here we go: Akame ga kill is one of those shows that we can summarize in 3 words or should I say 3 characteristics; it is “mature”, “captivating” and “action- packed” (I will review based on the 3 characteristics, maybe that’s four lol). Akame ga kill is “mature” in the fact that throughout the show from the first episode and pretty much throughout; dark, sad and serious themes are clearly depicted. More themes of death, despair, agony, corruption, extreme poverty and sorrow. These themes form the basis of what the show pretty much is all about.
In the midst of this great darkness, a tiny light shines to bring hope and this is where our heroes come in, in the form of the revolutionary army and their merry band of assassins: night raid. These dark themes along with the emotional soundtrack really made me feel sorry for the citizens of the kingdom as the music blended in amazingly to the scenes and atmosphere. Almost successfully pulling the audience into it. I say almost because as mature as most of the show was , maybe the characters were a little too mature, by that I mean the scenes in which a character would die, everyone would be grieved and then suddenly someone would say something and it would switch straight into comedy and leave me pulling that Saitama face:
Basically like a peaceful dream being cut off midway by your alarm clock, that type of feeling. The immediate switch from grief to comedy was a little surprising and this was done in almost every episode. I wish they found a way to shift in a more subtle manner. Another aspect of the shows maturity is the lack of plot armor and I’m sure you may have heard this before but if I am to compare Akame ga kill to another show it would be game of thrones. Basically almost all the dudes die, there is more than one death in every episode and no character is safe including the main ones. Which is a thumbs up in my book, because there are times when you don’t want the predictable but rather downright randomness and to look at my screen, pause the show and go “oooohhhh snap! He/she is dead!”
The unexpectedness of character deaths is one of the things that kept me on edge throughout, as the show constantly emphasized that when two imperial arms users duke it out with all they’ve got, one will definitely die or both. I think this is a strong arm of the show as I constantly get annoyed with shows that bring back characters from the dead in super ridiculous ways whereas in Akame ga kill, if a guy is gone, thy are most certainly gone and the capital will be sure to make sure everyone knows that they are dead. usually the thing that opposes maturity is an anime favorite called “fan-service” which Akame ga kill had plenty of but I think this was alright in the case of a show that is so dark that we needed to relax a little with some light-hearted moments like the characters relaxing on the beach or shopping just to lighten the mood a little before going back into more intense content.
Another of the characteristics I used above to describe the anime is “captivating” and I said this because the anime has all the traits of a shounen that are appealing to me no matter how casually done, like constant action with which I must give compliments to the well portrayed fight scenes, as no two fights are the same in the entire show. They managed to give multiple battles and each battle unique in its execution plus not to mention the vast amount of “Teigu” and their wielders, each with their own unique fighting style, skill and agenda. This alone makes each fight an exciting one as I was completely on the edge of my sit analyzing the weapons about to be used and trying to predict the outcome and was always satisfied. Except one of the final battles, which I will not spoil here :-p If you have not watched the show I recommend you do, but I will just say it is between the two most badass ladies in the show. I honestly did not agree with the way that battle ended as epic as the brawl was, I suppose the producers really didn’t want the other character dead for the sake of the story (the lack of plot armor seems to have slipped their mind at the end there) anyway if you have watched episode 24 then you know what I mean. But there is also the fact that they are both really badass so the ending also makes sense. Anyway I will leave the rambling for the comments section or another post.
What I found captivating where the vast array of characters. I mean there were so many from loveable to badass to utterly despicable. I fell in love with all the members of night raid and the jaegers (the other group of assassins – I’m trying to be as spoiler free as possible). The characters and great character development were the cherry to the cake for the fact that, apart from the corrupt minister, there is really no obvious good guy or bad guy since even night raid as much as they want change they are still murdering a lot of people for that ideal. But it is the joy of watching their individual personalities and how they interact together that makes it more enjoyable. Although saying “great character development” may have been pampering the show a little too much for the reason that the development of some of the characters was well done with enough flash-backs to help us understand their morals and where they are coming from but other characters didn’t get much of that love. For example: I still don’t get what Run’s deal is (the dude with wings), or why Akame’s sister is so twisted. I understand it in a general sense but still don’t think it is enough ,i wanted more. Basically we could have had some more insight on some of the other loveable characters like Wave, Mine and Bulat. (I’m not saying they didn’t get enough focus, in fact they did, but I craved more info on their past than was provided). Nevertheless the characters as they were, were amazing and their individual skill made each of them a force to be reckoned with.
Let’s get on to the final characteristic of the show.
It’s funny that the last characteristic I mentioned was “action-packed,” which I pretty much described in the captivating section, so I will just say yes, Akame ga kill is full of action from the onset and throughout. Good stuff! Brought the slightly mature 10-year old outta me. Of course we must address the elephant in the room which is that we cannot talk about Akame ga kill without reminding ourselves that the anime adaptation did indeed follow the manga rather loosely and then deviated and came up with its own anime ending. Which is a big turn off for most people who have read or are reading the manga and I agree that I would be pretty bummed out myself if I had read the manga for Akame ga kill and then stumbled upon the discovery but in my case I did not read the manga, rather I dove head first into the anime via recommendation from a friend and I honestly enjoyed the hell out of it. It is a violent, occasionally comedic and depressing show and I love it and hate it for the way it plays with my emotions (it’s a complicated relationship). Whether it is your cup of tea or not is absolutely up to you, I for one had fun with the plot, story and entire show.
Art and animation:
Studio white fox was involved, So I will keep this part short because I honestly did not find any problems with the art style or animation as I thought the flow of animation was pretty smooth, art in the backgrounds and landscapes were okay nothing terrible or too fancy, epic animation during the fight scenes and not to mention that everything was very colorful (you can ignore this one but I thought all the color being showered around symbolically hid the evil and darkness that was lurking in the capital’s underbelly; but that’s just me). The animators never shied away from showing scenes of absolute gore either.
I always love talking about the music in an anime as a soundtrack has the power to grab you and launch you head first emotionally into the show. I believe music bridges the gap between thoughts and people, and is all about feelings it creates. The OST for Akame ga kill was done by Taku Iwasaki. No other songs from the entire soundtrack did I actually enjoy or pay attention to than the two OPs, “Skyreach” performed by Sora Amamiya and “Liar Mask” performed by Rika Mayama, which both in my opinion really got me hyped for the episode, pumped for that amazing action I was looking forward to. And the beautiful and emotional “le chant de roma” with its wonderful singing voice accompanied by a choir and the array of orchestral instruments that can also be heard together, really bring out the right emotions for the atmosphere, making this, in my opinion the most beautiful song in the entire OST. The other songs were not that enthralling to me, so I did not like the others as much as the three mentioned above.
Final verdict time. I know it is an old show this being 2018 and it started airing as an anime adaptation in 2014 but after remembering how much I enjoyed it and in hearing of the spin-off sequel that is in the making, I decided to re-watch the show and give it a review. It is a shounen with dark and intense themes and mindless comedy all around, it is definitely not perfect and did waver from its original source but still stayed true for the most part. While it seems like it was done for the fun of it, it gives us loads of epic violence, delightful characters, funny moments and brutality while reminding us of the sorrow of human suffering at the same time.
It got a 7.80/10 on MAL which I don’t think is a problem but in my opinion due its lack of predictability and its ability to keep me watching episode after episode, I give it a 8.5/10 which I think is a pretty strong ranking. Keeping into account the short comings mentioned in the review it comes very close to 9 but not just there yet. It was enjoyable and I would definitely recommend others to watch it.