Akame Ga Kill is an older anime that originally aired in 2014. I’m not quite sure why I never watched this anime, but I feel like a complete idiot for not adding it to my watch list earlier!
Synopsis. Akame Ga Kill follows our protagonist Tatsumi. He is venturing to the Capital from his poor village. He originally left the village with his two best friends to find glory in the Capital, but they were separated in their travels. Tatsumi was hopeful to reunite with them once he reached the Capital. Unfortunately, the Capital isn’t anything like what he and his friends imagined. In his first night, he is swindled of all of his money and left to sleep in the streets. Tatsumi finds refuge with a rich family who seem to be very good people. Later in the evening, the family estate is attacked by a group called Night Raid. It is then that Night Raid lifts the veil of naivety and shows Tatsumi how depraved and corrupt the Empire has become.
I WILL BE DISCUSSING MY IMPRESSIONS OF THE ENTIRE SHOW, SO BE FOREWARNED THAT IT WILL MOST LIKELY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
If I had to describe this anime in one word, it would be heart-wrenching. Before we get into that, let’s talk some other aspects of this anime.
Action. Akame has plenty of fighting action. If you’re in the market to watch an endless stream of assassinations, you’ve found the right place. The battle scenes are awesome. If you are into blood and gore, Akame does not disappoint. In this world, there are items called Imperial Arms. They give the user unique abilities, however, the Imperial Arms and the user must have a positive affinity for each other. In other words, there must be a mutual bond. Not just anyone can wield one. With the help of the Imperial Arms’ special powers, it makes for some some awesome battle scenes. Most of the Imperial Arms are weapons, but there are organic Imperial Arms, as well as elemental ones as well. I really loved the use of Imperial Arms to bring individuality to even the most mundane side character.
Humor. I thought Akame did a great job of balancing dark with light. This is a very dark anime and it breaks up some pretty heavy content with the interactions of Night Raid. At the end of the day, this group of assassins are just people who want a peaceful world, and this anime definitely does a great job of showing the lighter side of things when needed.
Villains. Typical of this type of anime, we have the theme of the oppressive rich/royalty abusing its power. Night Raid is part of a revolutionary army seeking to overthrow the government in the name of equality.
Death. Holy smokes. They get you in the feels with the death. Be prepared.
The “formula”. In researching what others had to say about this anime, I had to address, what I will call, “the formula”. It is no secret that anime generally follows a very narrow path when it comes to story lines. For example, if you watch an isekai, you know, without watching a single episode, that there will be an overpowered protagonist being resurrected and/or transported to another world. In certain genres, the story will always follow a certain arc and/or trope. Anime is formulaic and, in my opinion, it is bad form to attack, or review negatively, an anime for being an anime. My opinions will never consider following “the formula” a negative thing. Is Akame formulaic? Yes. It is. Just like 99% of the anime out there.
Realism. I noticed a trend by reviewers to attack an anime’s realism. I kind of sat there rolling my eyes. If you’re looking for historically accurate information or military-grade tactics, maybe anime isn’t for you. Those kind of masterpieces come once in a lifetime. To hold any anime to a “realistic” standard is in bad form, in my opinion. I try to not to let what you can or cannot do in the real world enter into my viewing of an anime. Again, it’s anime. Don’t get hung up on the physics, or whether or not something would have worked. It did. In their world. In their fake, imaginary world. My opinions will never look down on an anime for doing something over the top, or “unrealistic”.
The only thing I didn’t like. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this anime. I binged it pretty quickly and that is a good sign. That means my attention didn’t waiver, and it does tend to waiver. The only thing I did not like was the story line of our main hero.
ABSOLUTE SPOILERS. DO NOT CONTINUE IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO THE MAIN CHARACTER.
Our protagonist inherits his Imperial Arms from a member of Night Raid. It is a suit of armor called Incursio. Without getting too lost in the weeds, it is an overpowered, adaptive, and evolving suit of armor. The previous keeper of Incursio had predicted that our protagonist would exceed him. In fact, all of Night Raid saw something powerful in our protagonist, Tatsumi. Except, it never really happened. At least, not in a way that gave me satisfaction. He was constantly shown floundering and barely surviving by luck, and then suddenly, at the end, everything came together, and it was…unsatisfying. I don’t really have any other reason why it bothered me. I felt like there was all of this build up, and even though he came through and did something pretty awesome, it was just unfulfilling to me.
Overall, I enjoyed this anime, and when I “review” an anime, I am really sharing with you whether I enjoyed it and why. I try not to nitpick and get too analytical about things. I am a lover of anime, and I am not looking to do anything other than share whether it was good enough to keep my attention. I liked this one a lot and I do recommend giving it a gander someday!