So, I was beginning to watch this show by opening up the Crunchyroll episode list for it, when I noticed something about the titles of each episode:
…….I suppose that this show isn’t content with just having the word “kill” in its title….
I GUESS YOU CAN SAY THAT THEY REALLY “KILLED” THE TITLE THERE HAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
……………I’ll see myself out now.
What’s up, everyone, my name is Ken, from thebuttonsmashers.com, and today, I present to you Day 4 of the 12-Days of Anime, featuring my immediate two-cents on one of the edgiest action anime to ever involve killing things endlessly: Akame ga Kill.
Leaving his hometown in hopes of being a soldier for the royal army and making it big to help his financially-troubled village, Tatsumi is a man of dreams of determination. Until he becomes witness to a murder conducted by Night Raid, an assassination division of a revolution bent on bringing down the current government, who is apparently corrupt and rules over the land with an iron fist wrapped in barbed wires. Being told the truth about the government, Tatsumi joins Night Raid in hopes of bringing change to the land as well.
The anime starts off as a happy tale of a young country boy who seeks to make it big in the city’s capitol by being part of the government’s army. Sure there is some semblance of violence and such with the large monster that the protagonist encounters and handily defeats, but other than that, things didn’t seem to be too bad.
Until, of course, the brutal murders happened, and my immediate train-of-thought was promptly derailed and nuked to scrap-metal.
In fact, the entire first few episodes have jarring transitions in tone from what I can see. And I use the word “jarring” in a negative way. The way in which the tone shifts from tragic to comedic is really something that I’m not a big fan of. It’s one thing to add a bit of humour in any certain scene, but shifting from tragedy to comedy in an almost seamless manner doesn’t warrant any emotional attachment to said tragedy, and thus it can be very discordant and shocking in and of itself with just how quickly it can change from any tone with just a snap of the fingers.
(SPOILER ALERT: An example of this is during the first episode, when Tatsumi discovered that his friends were being tortured in the rich government-diplomat’s shed. Immediately after his only remaining village-friend died in his arms, he gets whisked away COMICALLY by Night Raid, giving no time for him to mourn about any of his lost friends.)
Also, exposition is the name of the game with the characters’ backstories and whatnot, and it’s something that I believe anime shouldn’t do all the time, but in this case, they do it all the time pretty much, although I can excuse the show to some degree, given the amount of characters that they have to give a background-check for.
With all that said though I am really liking this story so far. The setting was immediately introduced, being a land ruled by an overly corrupt government (AKA what America would be under Trump’s new rule), and the primary motive of the cast was also presented, making for a quick introduction that leads you straight into the action. The plot is relatively simple, and the action-oriented-ness of the show itself makes it easier and more fun to watch overall. It’s interesting to see how each character has their own take on the theme of morality, and yet they’re all sorta similar as a whole, which further adds to the intricacies of the show.
However, the way it plays around with its tone might be a problem for me in the future, as the show always tries to keep a levied tone even though the situation calls for it to have a darker one. Oh, and also the prevalent use of fanservice is a bit too much for me.
Besides the main character, who is meta and generic as all heck, every character in the series is interesting. They all have their certain quirks, and their perception of what they do is rather indicative of their shared characteristics, almost as if they consider themselves anti-heroes with how they recognize that their job isn’t a glorious one. Also each one has legitimate motivations and aren’t doing the tasks that are in their job descriptions without any purpose or reason; each character wants change in the government, and they would do anything to bring about that change with their own hands. This creates a common purpose for the characters of the show, and, coupled with their myriad of personalities, makes for interesting character dynamics that are fun to watch on screen.
Speaking of the action, the animation for the action-scenes are very astounding, given the variety of what the animators have to work with. With the different weapons that each character generally uses, a different style must be portrayed accordingly, and for this show, it was done well so far, and probably until the end of the show, whenever I get to watching it. Everything else is kinda generic though, but hey, the money went where it mattered, I guess.
The soundtrack itself though is quite heavenly. Celtic undertones with a lot of strings and woodwind bring out the epic and action-packed moments of the show effectively. It also has a habit of amplifying scenes that are meant to tense you up and provide suspense for the viewer, something that is definitely a welcome addition to the show itself.
So what recommendation do I give this show?
Check out the first few episodes. I would suggest that you give the show a try. The plot is showing interesting potential so far and the characters only compliment that by being interesting and having a great dynamic with the rest of the cast. Also, the action scenes coupled with that soundtrack make for an amazing experience overall, at least for me.