Akame ga Kill Review

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By Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)



When we were young, we all had visions of what we would be when we grew up and who we would be with. Some may have wanted to be doctors, some animal trainers, others maybe movie stars or royalty. And we all planned on having our best friends there with us, living by them, and spending our lives hanging out and having fun. Then we grow older, go to school, and things begin changing, and rarely do our goals grow with us. Such is the foundation for one of Fall 2014’s anime series, Akame ga Kill.

Tatsumi is a young swordsman from a small, poverty stricken village. He and his two best friends, Ieyasu and Sayo, train to become the best fighters and leave together, albeit on separate paths, toward the capital to work as a trio and gain money for the village. Upon reaching the city, Tatsumi finds his friends murdered by the capital and escapes before he can be killed. Tatsumi finds a family to stay with, but they end up being attacked by a group of assassins known as Night Raid. Tatsumi tries to defend them, but learns that the family lure people into their home and kill them. After learning how the capital treats people and the evils in the world, Tatsumi decides to join Night Raid and fight against the capital, the emperor, and their military might lead by Lady Esdeath. But will the small group of assassins be able to defeat such a large adversary?

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Akame ga Kill may sound like a general story, but it plays out far from the average. Within the context of the ever-evolving story and ultra-violent battle sequences are much deeper themes about humanity, like what it means to be a family. After Tatsumi loses his best friends, he’s alone in the world. However, in joining Night Raid, who takes him in with open arm, he finds a place where he is treated as an equal, cared for, and even loved. The bonds Tatsumi forms with the Night Raid members are one of family, but also of brothers (he calls one member “Bro”), as mentors, as teachers, as best friends, and people he looks up to. Each member of Night Raid is unique in their own way, as everyone in the world is. And they each impart a different quality upon Tatsumi, teach him something different about the world, and about himself. Bulat teaches him about brotherhood, Sheele about kindness and empathy. Leone is able to make him more comfortable with who he is while Mine helps him grow with the awkwardness of young love and innocence. Akame gives him purpose while showing him what it means to deal with adversity and remain strong despite the evils in the world. Plus the other members of Night Raid all have their elements they are able to give Tatsumi, and us the audience. Akame ga Kill is a story about life, about growing, and about dealing with the high and lows that come with humanity.

Akame ga Kill, despite the violence, has various layers of heart. And the series is not one to take lightly. Just like in Game of Thrones, no one is free from death. As an audience, we tend to form bonds with certain characters, relate to them and the progression of their personal stories. But just like in our everyday lives, a person can be taken from us in the blink of an eye, and so it is with Akame ga Kill. Rarely do we see a series where the principal characters can be removed so easily from a story, and it hits you dead in the chest when it first happens here. Toward the end, it becomes even more heartwrenching as you invest more and more in those who are surviving only to have them taken away. No one is safe from the grips of death, and we feel that pain for the characters who remain and must bear that sorrow and burden. But only a quality series could leave you investing so much into a group of characters to where you feel the pain of their loss as if they were someone you personally knew.

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Akame ga Kill may be the best series to come out of Fall 2014. It has all the elements necessary to be great: story, action, relationships, love, loss, and growth. And it takes its time, expanding over the course of 24 episodes. With this series, there is no fluff; you get what their lives throw at you. These characters have goals, whether good or bad, and they strive to make those goals a reality, and we admire them for it. Who is the real “bad guy” and who will win out in the end is up in the air for the entire series as it always keeps you guessing. And the ending? Very fitting. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be entertained with Akame ga Kill. It’s available to stream on Hulu and Crunchyroll. So please, go and enjoy this great series.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


    One Comment

  1. Jacoby BancroftJanuary 26th, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    I love a series that doesn’t want to stretch things out. Although the manga is still going on, this show really strived to be concise. You are definitely right how this had no wasted moment and how much the audience was able to get invested with these characters. I agree how at first this show didn’t initially sound very original, but the depths it showed made it one of the best animes of 2014.

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