Anime Cinema Friday: Akame ga Kill

I remember I watched the first three or four episodes of this when it was first coming out and lost interest. So, I’m trying this one again. It get’s good reviews from quite a lot of people. It’s bloody and dark, full of assassins and political intrigue. At least, that’s how it’s sold.

The art is consistent. The soundtrack is, in my opinion, really good if you’ve got a set of headphones in. It’s not revolutionary, but at least the monsters and the equipment aren’t bad computer graphics.

The MC is…an egotistical idiot – you know the type, the ones who “come from the countryside, know nothing of the city, think it will fix all their problems, and they are the schitz because they can swing a sword better than the other villagers.” Enter, cringy interactions and me begging for the character to be a little less oblivious and a lot more cautious and maybe less embarrassing.

I guess, if you’re dealing with an anime full of assassins and questionable situations where you’re supposed to go “but killing is bad!” they have to give the characters a bit of redemption. Even if that’s full of ambition, humor, and letchery to “lighten the mood.”

It’s an assassins version of Robin Hood. A group has come together in order to save the capital and the people from the oppression of the prime minister pulling the strings behind a powerless child emperor. Because these assassins are casting jugdement on those profiting from the exploitation of the citizens, there’s a bounty out on them. The MC, initially going to the capital to become the next best thing, ends up joining up with the assassins because of moral leanings toward vigilantly justice. Shiny swords, wires, guns, and gundams ensue. Everybody has reasons for wanting to be part of “Night Raid”. Some will talk, some won’t. For the most part, its the tiny background stories thrown into the arc to help explain the different characters and make their actions appear forgivable. Give the viewer a sense of comradery. An “if I was in this situation, would I also do that?” scenario.

It’s not a bad ploy. It tends to be a major theme in hero arcs for young adult fiction. Everybody and their mother is some lost prince or assassin or ex-military. I’ve played this trope in practically every one of my books in some way or another.

I can see where it gained its popularity for a few years after release and why it has staying power. The anime was released back in 2014. The manga had a run date between 2010 and 2016. For a lot of people watching world events, the thematics in this story were and are relatable today. The upper 1% profiting off the back of those with not enough in the cupboard to eat every day. The needless wars over materials that don’t concern the main population.

It’s a dystopic universe in a fantasy setting that comes off as cliche, but it’s also within the parameter of something that is relatable for the market audience and a statement by the author about the world they are living in and the frustration with how it is running. I’d take this type of cliche tropic work over soap opera drama because I can understand where the author is coming from. They are looking at the outside world and trying to summarize their feelings and wishes into a method that can reach other people.

It’s not bad for those things. It’s not necessarily revolutionary for the topic it handles, the action sequences, or the tension build. The animation is clean. The story line proceeds at a relatively decent pace. I have a hard time really calling this a dark anime though.

It’s good. It’s something I’d say people can catch on to easily enough when it comes to character motivation and world building. It does need a couple warnings of view discretion is advised for gore and violence. Overall, it’s in the category of, it’s on a list, but it doesn’t make my list of “hey, give me an anime suggestion.” Probably because I would assume most people have already seen it, but also, it’s just formulaic. Maybe that’s just me though.

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Chapel Orahamm View All →

I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.

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