Assassins are always a hot topic, whether it is in videogames, manga, or anime, and this tale of Tatsumi is unique enough to help set it apart from the already dense genre. Tatsumi and his childhood friends head to the Capital with wishes to help better their poverty-stricken village. What happens while there helps change Tatsumi’s life, as he’s thrust into a world of intrigue, assassinations, and determining no matter what’s always good or right for youu, may not be right or good for others. And Akame ga Kill shows that you will have to get bloody in the process.
Based on the manga by Takahiro and illustrator Tetsuya Tashiro, has Tatsumi falling in with a ragtag group called Night Raid. Wanted posters all around the Capital lead Tatsumi to believe that Night Raid are dangerous, but the veil is quickly pulled away, and the true horrors of the Capital show Tatsumi that’s there is more than one way to change the world. Although new to the world of being an assassin for hire, Tatsumi has no choice but to learn quickly or join the mass of bodies already piling under the Capital. Each member of Night Raid are fairly typical on the surface, but also stand out enough to create their own identity and welcome Tatsumi (and the viewer) to the world of Akame ga Kill. With key characters, good and bad, to meet, learn about, and maybe even kill, along with the fabled Teigu weapons throughout the land, there’s a lot to take in just these first set of episodes.
Although we’re only about a 1/4th of the way through Akame ga Kill’s run, Tatsumi, Sheele, Mein, Leone, Bulat, Lubbock, Night Raid leader Nadejda and titular Akame all help weave the intricate plot along. Each armed with a Teigu (mystical Imperial arms created from Dangerous Beasts and alchemy) that are so feared and powerful, that almost always when two Teigu users face off, one is destined to die. Yeah, it’s brutal, bloody, and visceral, but that’s the assassin’s lifestyle, and Tatsumi and crew plan to change the Capital from the outside. Most of the group’s members are former Capital villagers that turned away after learning of the corrupt government and its officials. One thing or another pushed them away from the Capital and pushed them on a path towards righteousness with Night Raid.
Night Raid’s members are likable and each has their own motives and obligations with Night Raid, and their Teigu are some of the most powerful and unforgettable weapons this veteran anime viewer has seen. There’s one that gets more powerful the more danger the user is in, and one that’s a creation that borders on the line of playing God; what with it being a genetically altered creation. Teigus may start taking a bit of the limelight by the end of this set of episodes, but it’s really the characters behind the weaponry that matter, and Akame ga Kill has already built a tremendous cast, including the main antagonist with many more surprises to come. But if you’re worried if White Fox are up to the task, I can assure you, they’re more than capable of doing so.
White Fox (Katanagatari, Jormangund) being at the helm reinforces my faith in the production as their ability to adapt other mediums is above the normal standard most studios attempt. See the aforementioned Katanagatari for a perfect example. There’s never a dull moment, and you’re never left waiting for more, aside from the weekly break in between episodes. If anything, the story’s format to jump ahead in time almost unexplainably is a shortcoming of the manga itself, but forgiven, as it’s trying to tell its tales in such a manner. One minute it seems Tatsumi is a complete rookie at training, the next he’s mastered something he was recently struggling with. It’s a minor jarring critique, but forgivable, as Akame ga Kill moves briskly and is on pace to deliver a spectacular mid-series finale and set up for some of the best battles the series has to offer…so far.
Akame Ga Kill is set for two cours, and so far, in terms of pacing and matching the manga almost chapter for chapter. At 7 episodes, it has already covered about 14 chapters of the original manga, and it’s been really faithful to the source material. Having read the entirety of the ongoing manga in the matter of a week, Akame ga Kill has that certain something about it that keeps bringing you back chapter after chapter, and episode after episode. You can watch Akame ga Kill every Sunday via Crunchyroll. Stick with Geekestein for more anime reviews as the summer season rolls on.