On the short list of “most anticipated summer anime”, can this action series measure up to the social media buzz? Read on to find out. Spoilers Ahead!
Tatsumi is a happy go lucky country boy with kick ass sword skills and one goal on his mind: to reach the imperial capital and save his poor village. Despite warnings from fellow travellers of the dangers of the capital Tatsumi presses onward towards his goal. However things soon go sideways as he’s kicked out of the military application building for his bravado and gets swindled by a beautiful older woman. Things seems to look up when Tatsumi is taken in a by a beautiful young girl named Aria, but when day turns to night; Tatsumi learns just what evil lurks within the walls of the capital.
One thing that will immediately catch viewers eye while watching Akame Ga Kill is the animation, while not spectacular, it does boast lots of vibrant colors for the characters so your eyes won’t be bored while watching. Another thing that will catch audiences is the severe tonal whiplash in the show’s second half. Those who have read the manga (like myself) saw this coming, but first time viewers will be either pleasantly surprised or disgusted by the shows quick lapse into uber violence.
While the setting may be a bit generic side (optimistic hero, corrupt government, lovable rogue heroes, etc.), AGK does boast some good action beats, and is not scared to show bodies being cut into bits and pieces. The characters themselves aren’t really explored in detail, but that’s to be expected of a first episode. Tatsumi is your typical shonen hero, the “i’m gonna save my village and expose the corrupt government for the farce that it is” kinda guy, however he does show a mean streak when he kills Aria for torturing and killing his friends.
Oh did I not mention that? Yeah, turns out Aria and her family are a group of sadists who like to take people in under the pretense of good will and torture them. Ya see Tatsumi was travelling along with his friends Ieyasu and Sayo, but they were seperated. Turns out they were found by Aria, who tortures Sayo to death out of jealously over the country girl’s flawless hair and skin, and tests drugs on Ieyasu. This along with other atrocities puts them in the crosshairs of Night Raid.
Night Raid are the “heroes” of this bloody little story. Described as enemies of the empire, Night Raid is a group of assassains led by the stoic Akame, who is an expert at giving her enemies colombian neckties. Joining her are the buxom warrior Leone (who was the woman who swindled Tatsumi), the armored strong man Bulat, sniper Mine, the ever cautious Lubbock, and the glasses wearing, giant scissor branding Shelle. The only ones we get some kind of insight on this episode are Akame and Leone, but the others are given enough to do to justify appearances.
At best the first episode of Akame Ga Kill will shock you, at worst it will make you uncomfortable. While the tonal shift isn’t completely out of left field, it may be disorienting for some. That being said, it’s well directed violence, animation, and character design will keep you interested long enough for continued viewing.