Akame Ga Kill was always presented to me with a lot of excitement. People would say “The show is great. It has assassins, fighting, and death, what can be better than that!” Naturally, this got me excited as all hell. I sat down to watch it, and I came to realize, fighting, assassins, and death was all it had. So much effort was put into these specific aspects that the rest just got thrown at the waist side, and as you would imagine, became shitty and terrible. On that note, let’s get started on my review.
Akame Ga Kill focuses on Tastumi, a boy who moves from a small village to the Capital in order to earn money to support said village.
When he arrives, he discovers the capital is corrupt and ends up joining the assassin group Night Raid, who fight against the Capital in order to end its tyranny. However, the Capital builds its own group of assassins, called the Jaegers, and the two groups fight to the death using weapons and items called Imperial Arms (48 legendary weapons exist and are known to wield great power) until only one team is left standing.
(Please note this review may contain spoilers)
What I don’t like:
- Tastumi being the main character was a big problem. Tastumi is too stereotypical. He is that naive, small town boy, who comes to the big city for the sake of his town and is thrown into a world he doesn’t know, but because of his unbreakable morals and big heart he gains everyone’s respect and love. How many more of these characters do we need!? The answer should be none but we keep getting more for some reason. The only positive of this choice is that we see the story through his eyes. Everything that is new to him is new to us, and we learn as he does. Instead of being just plunged into the world without explanation, we gradually become acquainted with it. Other than that, he is straight up annoying. The show is called Akame Ga Kill, I wish she was the main character.
Her back story is interesting and complex, and she is a great fighter with a crazy strong Imperial Arm.
- World building is also very stereotypical. The Capital is a huge infrastructure that’s smack dab in the middle of the country; it almost makes it too obvious that shady things are a foot. It is then surrounded by the outer city, which is confined to live in poverty. This simple helps us understand the worlds structure, but does nothing more than that. Nothing is new and interesting about this set up, and again it plays into a very typical fantasy genre in the anime realm.
- The tone struggled. Is it supposed to be funny? Is it supposed to be serious? Going in, you think “assassins and death, this is some heavy shit”, but every time a person dies, characters mourn for about two minutes and then the next episode immediately opens with light hearted action and humor in order to not confront or linger on to any recent deaths. For Example: Bulat dies in an awesome battle, and in the end it’s sad and heartbreaking and Tastumi is devastated, and then the next episode opens up with him doing some funny bit about doing push-ups in his honor. It just seemed off to me. The show itself is confused about its own direction, and what it wanted to be. It’s ok to be either funny or serious, but overall it lacks consistency.
What I do like:
- Spectacular fight and death scenes. It reminds me somewhat of Game of Thrones where really no character is safe. It’s quite fun watching the matches between different groups and speculating who’ll win or lose. In this show a character’s death is very much a surprise and unexpected, you really never know what might happen. The animation is top notch, specifically for the fighting scenes, which is definitely one of the better aspects of the anime.
- Fully fleshed out and unique characters and designs. I appreciate that mostly all the characters get a proper back story. We learn about their history, choices, how they relate to the imperial arm, and how they relate to others. The character designs are interesting, compliment their personalities which I also loved.
Akame Ga Kill has some typical elements; on the other hand, some are extraordinary. Granted, these typical tropes are there to serve the purpose of simplicity and conciseness, but taking short cuts is never a good idea when trying to make the best product possible. If you want a show with high action, great fight scenes and characters and deaths, the show will keep you entertained. If you are looking for an intriguing world and a compelling main character and plot, you won’t find it here. So give it a chance, will you take it down assassin style, or give in to the Capitals gaze?