• Titles: Akame ga Kill!; Akame ga Kiru!
  • Genre: Drama, action, adventure, gore
  • Episodes: 16/24
  • Studio: White Fox

Justice is a fickle concept. For some, it means obeying and enforcing the rules of the kingdom no matter what. For others, it means rebelling against those rules if they seem unfair. Both sides are in fact fighting for justice but what does that mean exactly. For the Empire it meant powerful armies that put down both criminals and simple citizens with equal ruthlessness if they step out of line. For Night Raid it means attacking both aristocrats and empire forces that prey on the common folk and keep the people down. And for Tatsumi, who has just left his village hoping to find fortune and save his family, it could mean death.

Over the years I have heard many things about Akame ga Kill. That it was wonderful or horrible. That I should watch it if I liked Berserk (which I did), that I should absolutely avoid it if I liked Berserk (which I did). Like for most things the truth is somewhere in the middle.

a lady after my own heart

Akame ga Kill looks and sounds fine. It can on occasion look really good and on other occasions rather cheap. It’s pretty inconsistent. The designs are variations of cool anime character which I guess could become some of your favourites but honestly, I found them a bit forgettable.

This said, generally speaking, the production is decent and even the dub was fine. Can’t say anything stood out as either particularly good or bad aside from Akame’s jammies. Don’t those pyjamas look both adorable and comfy? I really like them. I remember stopping the scene to get a better look.

these jammies!

Considering that Akame ga Kill is in many respects a fighting shonen with lots of blood and lots of flashy superpowers, I think they could have been a bit more over the top with the animation. Don’t get me wrong, the animation is actually quite good throughout but it’s a little understated considering the material. At least to me. I think this was a bit of a missed opportunity to go really ape on the movement but it stays functional and logical. That might be a good thing for some people.

it’s not like there was no animation

As my title implies I actually dropped Akame ga Kill so take my impressions of the story with a grain of salt as I only got to see part of it. I did make it all the way to episode 16 though so I do have a pretty good idea.

Now you might think that I found Akame ga Kill to be terrible. After all, I almost never drop anime at all and certainly not once I’ve invested more than a season’s worth of watch time. But that’s not it. I actually liked quite a few things about Akame ga Kill. I can say for a fact that I have finished anime that were objectively worse.

It’s just that the story failed to rope me in and after browsing the episode descriptions for what was to come I realized that I honestly didn’t want to see any of them.

it’s not you, it’s me

First of all Akame ga Kill is a show that kills off its characters. That’s not bad in and of itself but you have to be in the mood for that type of story and understand that you can’t get too attached if you don’t want to run the risk of ending up sad.

Second Akame ga Kill is a very bloody anime. There is some good old fashion sexy lady fanservice but I think it’s dwarfed by the violence fanservice. Glamour shots of torn up bodies, lingering cries of agony. One of my drinking prompts is to take a sip every time someone gets decapitated. That’s because it happens at least once per episode. Again, you have to be in a certain mood for this kind of show.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against gore. When I said I loved Berserk I meant it. The original is one of my favourite anime and I actually own most of the manga. Fort a long time it was my favourite anime and I would rewatch it right now. And Berserk is both a bloodbath and quite cruel to it’s cast. However, there is a right and a wrong way to do gore in my opinion.

on the other hand, Berserk really didn’t have enough shirtless training

Akame ga Kill dives into the bloody and unpleasant scenes right from the get-go. It starts offing characters before we have gotten any chance to get to know them or connect with them. And there’s very little respite. As such, it feels much more gratuitous, what I call violence fanservice, rather than watching a brutal story.

Also, the tone is a bit all over the place. There is like I said quite a bit of good ol’ T&A fanservice which actually looks and sounds like it’s right out of an old school harem anime just sprinkled throughout. However, I would say that half of the show is a gritty, grim and brutal action series while the other half is a slice of life comedy.

I’m not sure where this scene belongs

On paper that actually sounds kind of cool. If someone was to describe a show like that to me, I would want to watch it. But it just doesn’t work. The drama and heavy scenes get completely undercut by the fact that two seconds later someone is slipping on a bar of soap and everyone is laughing like in an ’80s sitcom but you can’t quite enjoy the carefree comedy because you just watched an innocent person get tortured for five minutes while begging for mercy or death.

It’s not like you can have carefree scenes in a heavy violent drama or vice versa but the balance was just off for me. As a result, I didn’t manage to get into it and spent most of my watch time anxious.

ok, it’s a beach episode, will anyone get decapitated?

And that is actually why I dropped it. I wasn’t having fun with the comedy in it although I thought some things were downright great. Making the main antagonist also a love-struck deredere desperate to win the protagonists’ heart was just brilliant. It allowed for a lot of great moments and had some awesome potential. I’m actually a little curious to know where that went.

A lot of the villains were actually pretty fun and well thought out. Not all of them but more than in a lot of shows I enjoyed.

But because I was always waiting for the next drawn out painful scene to sneak up on me, I just constantly had my guard up. I was worried for absolutely everyone all the time which meant that in the end I basically refused to get attached to anyone at all.

such a wholesome, sweet murderer

And when a visceral scene did take place, the story immediately moved on as if nothing happened before it could properly sink in so I ended up not caring that much anyway. What I’m saying is that I, personally, as a viewer, was getting nothing out of the experience. This may not be the case for someone else.

If you don’t have any emotional attachments to anime characters maybe you could watch it as a straight comedy and enjoy it. If you attach yourself more easily, perhaps the tonal shifts won’t disturb your emotional entanglement to the plot and characters.

But in the end, it didn’t work for me and I didn’t want to see them suffer anymore.

Favourite character : Lubbock but also Bulat

Suggested drink: Bloody Mary

  • Every time we see Tatsumi’s old friends – take a sip
  • Every time anyone mentions auras – take a sip
  • Every time Bulat shines – cheer
  • Every time anyone goes shopping – take a sip
  • Every time anyone gets beheaded – (that’s quite the follow up to shopping) take a sip
  • Every time Bulat gets called bro – take a sip
  • Every time we see a new imperial arm – take a sip
  • Every time Esdeath seduces Tatsumi – take a sip
  • Every time anyone is shirtless – just watch
  • Every time Nightwatch loses a member – pour some out
  • Every time the Boss arrives – take a sip
  • Every time Bors is super wholesome – take a sip

In case you’re new here, I have a Pinterest with all my screencaps (there are a lot!). If you can’t find a show you are looking for in my main boards, just go to Anime Screenshots. I move the shows I have reviewed there. Of course, I’m still going to add a few images here!

23 thoughts

  1. My brothers talk about this show a lot- mostly how it and “Attack On Titan” kill off characters unnecessarily and at random. It kind of makes me curious what they’re talking about.
    I don’t get attached…….VERY easily. I’ll get attached enough to remember names, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. Like with the recent “Fena: Pirate Princess” series. Did NOT like that series- don’t remember anyone aside from Fena, and I don’t even like HER.
    I can deal with death after death- I mean; I loved “Chainsaw Man,” after all. But you gotta make me CARE for em all before you mow em down like blades of grass.
    As a Proud Pervert; I typically welcome fan service. But even I usually get tired of it after too much. it’s one of the things holding me back from watching “High School DXD-” ANOTHER show they frequently talk about.
    I kind of like Shundere’s the most- how lifeless and blunt they can be. Almost robotic. That’s kind of what I thought the main villainess would be. But I guess not.

    1. I’m getting lost in my deres. I thought Shunderes were the depressive ones. I’m pretty sure Kuderes the cold and blunt ones that seem like robots at times. I should do anoither dere post for funsies. There are like 50 types now.

      1. Honestly; I’m confused to. I just kind of looked it up and saw that description of of Shundere on the first site I went to. If you could link me to the post that talks about the different kinds or deres; I can clarify better.

  2. It’s definitely really rare to see you drop a show. At the very least it’s the only one I can recall seeing on your blog. Akame Ga Kill never seemed like y cup of tea so I haven’t started it. It just seems a bit too grim and hopeless for the characters even if there are comedic moments as you mentioned.

  3. Watched this years ago when I was kind of going through an anime rut . Everything I watched was just terrible and honestly I really should’ve dropped it but watched till the end . And yeah I was so unimpressed with the ending , the story and even the characters. Plus what I’ve heard about the manga wasn’t that much of an improvement.

  4. I enjoyed it while I watched it, but I think it’s telling I’ve never re-watched it. And I rewatch the series I like dozens of times.

    Even though I liked it, I agree with all of the criticisms you leveled against it. I’m still in mourning for Sheele, and I prefer not even to remember what happened to Chelsea.

    And the ending, though properly constructed with all the appropriate foreshadowing, still didn’t sit well with me. With no criticism intended, I had hoped for something different.

  5. You made it further than me haha. I think I dropped the show around episode 9 or 10? It was around the time Esdeath started becoming a big deal in the story.

    I had similar feelings as you did with the character deaths, but the thing that killed it for me was the bizarre tonal whiplash in every episode. They would go from a horrifyingly violent death scene to slapstick comedy in the span of like two seconds, and it constantly took me out of the experience.

    Plus there was that guy with the pompadour, I can’t remember his name, but I’m pretty sure he had a crush on the main character, but every time they brought it up they were all “but not really no homo amirite” and made juvenile jokes about it. It’s not the worst I’ve seen from anime or anything, but I just don’t have the patience for that stuff anymore. Even when the show came out, those kind of jokes were already dated and annoying.

    Oh, and Tatsumi’s sweater! I hated that damn thing! Okay, I’ll stop haha

  6. I just went to Wikipedia to look through AgK episodes to see when I dropped the show… and I can’t tell from the descriptions. I do know I waited for Esdeath to appear, as manga readers cited her as a huge draw. The show’s simply not my thing, so it wasn’t really a surprise that I didn’t care much for Esdeath either. I basically suspected after episode 1 that I wouldn’t like the show much, so I hung out for far too long. During the height of people loving it I came down harsher on the show, but now I’m pretty indifferent to it. I simply don’t remember it much.

    I don’t much like crazy face (e.g. third pinterest screenshot) but I did like the show’s colours usually (quite a few, though not all screenshots).

  7. I’ve heard that the manga is different and better than the anime and while I love the anime I think that the manga is better, I think I’ll have a more comcrete opinion once I read it for myself.

  8. Sounds like they had some grand ideas for this one but failed to execute in any way that was cohesive or engaging.

    Props to you for walking away when you realized it wasn’t for you and STILL writing this comprehensive breakdown of why!

    1. I have very low standards when it comes to anime. This was a rare occasion to cover a show I didn’t enjoy

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