Suppose third time's the charm for me to finally complete this series. I originally dropped Akame ga Kill when it originally premiered over two years ago in Japan and then ditched it a second time after I attempted to watch through its airing on Cartoon Network's Toonami block. But having bought the complete series in physical format, I suppose being able to marathon through episodes finally afforded me the opportunity to plow through this train wreck of a series.
Set in a seemingly medieval/fantasy world with a good deal of anachronisms, Akame ga Kill is focused on a young man named Tatsumi who joins up with a group of assassins called Night Raid, who are armed with supernatural weapons called Imperial Arms and take on missions to assassinate influential figures within the corrupt empire they live in.
While seeming to have a solid premise on paper, Akame ga Kill has many problems. One notable problem comes in the form of its characters. All of the characters milk typical anime archetypes and don't get much fleshing out beyond whatever back story is revealed about them to explore their motives and attempt to provide fleshing out to them. But because said back story is the only means the anime makes to attempt fleshing out said characters, this makes them hard to relate with and in the case of some of the villains, hard to even take seriously thanks to being so over-the-top with relishing in their evil deeds and convictions.
Akame ga Kill's plot also has its good share of issues. The series often has difficulty at consistently conveying a proper mood as it mixes around comedy, action, and drama throughout its run. While attempting to be a dark and serious title, the series can kill said serious scenes with the improper timing of comical moments, said moments mostly falling flat in their delivery since said gags have been done to death in other anime titles. There's also the character deaths to talk about. While the series does stick out in that any character could die among both hero and enemy, the impact of said deaths is lost because many characters in the series lack the time to be properly fleshed out since the anime is more focused on advancing its plot. The series ultimately becomes a mess by its final quarter as it rushes through its final conflict between Night Raid and the Empire that leads up to a rather anticlimactic ending after all is said and done, all thanks to this becoming an anime-only resolution to the series due to its manga source material still ongoing at the time it aired.
The only area of praise that I could give Akame ga Kill is its solid presentation. The series sports highly detailed and vivid settings, with character designs being reasonably detailed as well. Action scenes make up the animated highlight of the series as they are consistently fluid for the most part and often can get creative in their choreography thanks to the differing abilities of the Imperial Arms wielded by the show's characters.
However, presentation is not enough to save Akame ga Kill's mess of a story and characterization as it seemed unsure exactly of what kind of series it wanted to be with its haphazard story direction and over-the-top villains. Unless you are going into this series to poke fun of the show's complete absurdity, you aren't missing out on much with it.
Last updated Friday, January 06 2017. Created Friday, January 06 2017.
(One episode watched):
I knew nothing but the title about Akame ga Kill going in. Seeing a horse-drawn cart at the very beginning made my hopes plunge, since that meant medieval/fantasy sword-and-sorcery anime yet again, and those do not tend to be all that great. But the first scene suggested that this show would have some spirit to it. There were a few OK jokes ("Sell it!"). A show of this sort, of which there have been so many already, needs something unusual to make it stand out from the crowd. What seemed to be unusual here was that it could be pretty violent and apparently good people were liable to get killed--that might be a sign of AgK daring to address the fact that nice guys sometimes finish last, which few shows are prepared to do. That seemed sort of encouraging; maybe this one would have an unpredictable and novel storyline. Except that in fact this show did a 180 degree turn near the end and conformed to the norms of anime storytelling. The people who got hacked to death were in fact unspeakably evil--so evil that it was hard to take their crimes seriously. The colorful 'assassins' are not villains at all but rather the usual good guys out for justice and freedom. But they now seemed a little too cool and silly to be undertaking the sort of brutal revenge killings that are apparently their line of work. This show didn't turn out to be particularly unusual at all, except maybe in going overboard. That was a disappointment, and I doubt if it will get any more sophisticated than it has turned out to be. I could not summon enough enthusiasm to watch a second episode.
Last updated Sunday, September 14 2014. Created Friday, July 11 2014.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site