Akame Ga Kill! Review

Akame ga Kill Review

Aired in 2014, Akame ka Gill! was labelled as 'the most disappointing anime' of the year by many people out there. The argument given was the excessive use of gore and blood to make the show look deep and dark. I agree with that argument but I wouldn't say that Akame ka Gill was that disappointing. The show has its good points as well as the bad points. So, let's get into it.

Akame ga Kill is set up in a fantasy world and follows Tatsumi, a fighter who set out for the Capitol to earn money for his starving village. But once he reaches the Capitol, he sees the whole city messed up and engulfed in corruption. After getting caught up in a mess, he joins the Night Raid, a group of assassins armed with special weapons called "Imperial Arms" and dedicated to eliminating the corruption by assassinating the wrong-doers. Seems simple enough? Yes it is.You see, every dark show does not have to have a deep, elaborate and convoluted plotline (looks at Ergo Proxy). Yes I will admit they messed up for the most part, but I appreciate that they at least tried to have a very straightforward and simple story. There aren't any elaborate conspiracies or secrets that just jump out at you out of nowhere. And for the most part, the gore does not seem so out of place either.

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Not only that, the whole concept of Imperial Arms was well done. Despite a few holes here and there, the explanations for the powers of every weapon were quite satisfying and I like how they used them. That is to say that the action was well done. They do a good mix of action and gore and it is noteworthy how both the 'factions' (Night Raid and the Jaegars) get almost equal development and are quite diverse in nature because of their imperial arms.But the thing is, I don't know what it was trying to tell me. Was it a standard story of good and evil? Or was it trying to tell me that there is no right or wrong in war, only who is left? The show started with a tragedy and ended with one. With the pacing already all over the place (especially in the last episodes), the whole thing becomes a total mess towards the end.

The show tends to get dark at times with all the blood, gore and character deaths. But they don't do that right either. Surely, killing your characters CAN in fact add a lot of impact to the story, but it is something which needs to be done just right else you're gonna end up annoying a lot of people. (character deaths are always annoying/sad) For the majority of the character deaths, I'd say they messed up. You see, trying to develop a character after they've died just doesn't add anything to the impact. Look at it this way, it's like that history lesson in your class. Martin Luther King died in 1968, he was a noble peace prize award winner.... You don't really feel anything there do you? (Besides respect for the guy) NO! It's the exact same way with some of the character deaths in the anime, i.e., they fail to evoke the intended emotion in the viewer (all their achievements and relationships come off as mere facts and don't really hit you close to have an impact). Not only that, some of the character deaths are just straight up pointless. I never thought that you could use gore as an element of comedy. You see the characters dying but you can't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of the whole situation which is practically begging you to feel for them. (Or maybe I'm just a sadist. I like the pun in Esdeath's name, "Esdesu")

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But that's not where the problems with the characters stop. Majority of the characters in Akame ga Kill are stereotypical in nature which just makes them very uninteresting despite their unique imperial arms. Since this is a squad of assassins, it is obvious that every character is going to have a tragic past. So, it takes more than just a tiny flashback to make them stand out. Most of my first guesses about the characters' nature were spot on. That is to say that majority of the characters are cardboard cut-outs from your typical shonen anime. (example, females are a walking pair of tits and fall for the guy, or the protagonist is the good guy with a tragic past) They don't really have any distinguishable qualities and they just fail to carry the story to a point where it is at least engaging. 

Though I'll admit that some of them were well done, one example is Seryuu Ubiquitous. Her character and her actions are so twisted that I just absolutely hated her. And when you hate a villain, that means the character has accomplished its purpose. Not only that but a few of the character deaths were actually done right. That is to say that they were properly developed and it wasn't awkward when they were killed off.

Then comes the comedy and the fanservice. Since I have a neutral standpoint on fanservice, I won't really complain about that. (came for Esdeath's boobs, got exactly that) But the same can't be said about the comedy. In a show that is full of blood, gore and is preponderating on violence, a little comic relief is okay. But if executed at the wrong time, it does more harm than good. For the most part, it was okay but at times the jokes come in at the worst time. It is like trying to crack a joke at a funeral. (they did that rather 'literally') Though I wouldn't say this is such a huge down-point.

Because the ending just tops all of that. The show is insanely fast paced towards the end and everything feels very rushed. Not only that, it is very anticlimactic and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I would rant more here but that would mean spoiling the show.

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Last but not the least, the one 'good' thing in this anime was how the battle between the Night Raid and the Jaegars becomes a battle of ideals rather than a battle between good and evil which can make the viewer rethink about which side is the right one. Sadly, that sway in the balance of good and bad happens only for a moment. There is only one character that really questions their motives and this idea is not explored further. Though I still commend them for touching that subject.

So, overall this show was above average. Despite all the awkward character deaths and a horribly paced ending, there were some things that it did right. Not only that, with all the blood, gore and well done action, this was enjoyable. Your experience of the show will majorly depend on your emphasis on the characters and the story. Don't watch it for the story, don't watch it for well developed characters, watch it for the action and the blood and gore. That is, don't take it too seriously and you'll be fine.
Akame ga Kill Rating

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