Kill the reviewer. Today, we look at Akame Ga Kill.
To a poor, country boy like Tatsumi, the Imperial Capital is the stuff of dreams. It’s affluent with job opportunities that can provide money, something Tatsumi’s starving village desperately needs. However, recent years have been rough on the Empire. There’s high unemployment, corruption, and death rates. A group known as Night Raid has appeared, assassinating government officials and other important people left and right. Upon arrival, after losing what meager possessions he has, Tatsumi is taken in by a well-to-do aristocratic family. A family that happens to be targeted by Night Raid the same day. After surviving the attack, Tatsumi is recruited by Night Raid, which is planning a coup of the current government. The rest of the anime follows Night Raid as it prepares for the coming revolution.
If nothing else, Akame Ga Kill has an excellent premise; it does a great job showing both Night Raid and the Capital’s forces, making it complex. Inherently, you have to pull for Night Raid, but at the same time, showing the enemy not as scumbags or evil people, but decent humans adds a layer of sophistication, though this concept was not used as well as it could have been. Furthermore, having a clear goal ensures the show doesn’t lose direction, so there’s plenty of room for humor (yes, humor in a show like this) and plot.
However, Akame Ga Kill suffers in two key ways: pacing and timing. The show has many different tangents (if you want to call them that) introducing many different characters…… who all proceed to die next episode. Furthermore, while the show interjects humor, it’s sometimes inappropriately timed.
The Characters: Akame Ga Kill has a high body count. Despite that, it keeps its cast of characters dynamic and interesting. Considering the death rates, substantial development was very impressive and it worked.
There are many characters who could pass for mains, but for this review, I’m only going to look at the two big ones.
Tatsumi: I don’t know what to say about Tatsumi; I can’t decide if he’s interesting or boring over the course of the show. By the end, he’s developed his own personality rather than be a highlighter of the characters around him, but initially, there’s not much defining him. Tatsumi worked well towards the story, becoming more than just a blank slate to flesh out the world around him; that’s a trait that separates good main characters from the rest.
Akame: Akame got cheated. Her role in the story is disproportionate to how important she was made out to be (she’s the titular character). Like Tatsumi, she got good by the end of the show, but by then, it was too late for her to get any meaningful development. It’s almost as if the writers forgot about her and tried to make a main character last-minute.
Final Verdict: Akame Ga Kill worked well, though it was not perfect. It had a great concept and a decent pay off, but fell victim to procrastination as the writers stuffed the most important plot elements too far into the show. Better pacing might have made it an A-level anime.
Final Grade: B