I know some Twitter people I follow talk about this anime getting made and how much they enjoyed the manga and also said this show might have a Toonami airing in the future.
That was me back in July 2014 when I took a first impression of this show in my Summer 2014 Edition of TIME OF THE SEASON and from that one episode I saw, it did had the potential to back on the Toonami block and guess what?
The rest was history…….now here’s a refresher of what this show’s about.
Tatsumi is a self-acknowledge country bumpkin who is nonetheless a well trained fighter. He and two companions leave their remote village to head to the Imperial City to find a way to relieve their friends and family from ruinous taxation imposed by the authorities. Yet the Imperial City is filled with unimaginable amounts of corruption and evil from supernatural sources. Tatsumi is immediately swindled after reaching the City and nearly loses everything soon after, but finds himself allied with an unlikely group of assassins.
Now if you’ve been following me for some time now, I have said that this show wasted its potential during the simulcast, plus, it was one of the many Summer 2014 simulcasts that disappointed (I’m looking at you, Aldnoah.Zero and Sailor Moon Crystal) and yet when I re-watched at on Toonami and as I did…….my disappointment just turned out to be flat out hate. This show really doesn’t know what the hell it wants to be.
The story is like if have Berserk in all its glorious action, violence, and gore but you take away the character development and progressing story and added in some unfitting and out-of-place Naruto-like humor in it and you have this show. It’s the whole ‘government is evil’ plot and rebel forces trying to overthrow for the good of the people and conflicting sides and blah blah blah…one show did that better and it was called Kill La Kill. The two contrasting tones are the first problem of this since it wants to be this serious show about being an assassin and how it’s not like your ordinary shonen anime because when the characters die, they die and stay dead and then suddenly it does some goofy anime shit. Like, the transition from that is clumsy as hell and not to mention, for trying not to be that ordinary shonen, it pulls the same dumb shit from that as well from the protagonist refrain any sexual feelings from the girls, which is getting tiresome at this point as every other anime does this shit and it is annoying.
As for characters, there is two things to say about them.
1) Don’t get too attached to them because some people (especially main character) will die.
2) Yet you won’t care about them as they barely have much of a personality or that interesting.
For a show called Akame ga Kill, I thought since Akame is the title character, she would be more of the focus but nope, instead it’s on a character named Tatsumi and boy, he is about as vanilla and bland as a protagonist can get. He’s a typical protagonist that wants to be the brave hero and wants to be stronger and boy, they can hamming that shit on and it gets duller by the second. Akame is basically the mascot of the Night Raid and she gets pushed aside up until the latter half of the series when it comes to her fighting against her sister Kurome in the Empire’s secret police The Jaegers (and no, it has nothing to do with Attack on Titan. Good thing, too.) but then that doesn’t feel as interesting as it should.
Leone and Bulat were decent enough characters because they actually come across as likable and decent; Najenda was okay as a character, too; Lubbock, Sheele, Chelsea & Susanoo are just there for some reasons and then there’s Mine…….man, I can’t stand this fucking character. She is the worst and annoying character of the show mainly because she is that basic tsundere bitch that never changes throughout and we’re supposed to care for this chick. Did I mention Tatsumi got two traveling friends and they died the first episode but the first few times and the show expects us to think that made an impact when they didn’t? They were just characters who were made to die to motivate Tatsumi.
As for the opposing side, The Jaegers, I’ve mentioned Kurome and she’s also a mascot for that team. Hell, they are just the evil version of Night Raid. Wave is basically Tatsumi; Seryu Ubiquitous is basically crazy bitch who thinks she’s a righteous hero but just as evil and crazy; some other disposable members you really don’t care about and there’s Esdeath, who is basically the mighty badass leader and the most powerful figure of the Empire whom every teenage boy watching this has a hard-on for this girl and she has a hard-on, too…..for Tatsumi. No joke, in the show this girl badly wants to fuck Tatsumi so much. It’s not even subtle. Hell, it’s actually the funniest thing about the show. She could be in nothing but a thong and a bra and she’s holding a sign that says ‘Please fuck me, Tatsumi!!!” and he wouldn’t give a damn.
Most of the characters are parallel to some on The Walking Dead. They kill off somebody who were just beginning to know and show their obvious death flags and played it off as gruesome and dramatic as they can be…..although at least The Walking Dead got some good character moments in between its consistently inconsistent nature. Akame is inconsistent all the way and tries to get those moments but failed to garner much emotion from it. Oh, and FYI, just because one of the main character dies in a show doesn’t mean the creator or whoever’s in charge got balls. In fact, I hate it when people bring that up as it makes them sound like they’re some rebel in the studio. They’re actually a lazy and a shitty writer that needs to do more practice. Killing off a character one by one don’t mean shit unless you build it from the ground up, not just doing it for shock value or get an emotional response that never felt genuine. Taking chances and risks are sometimes good but don’t do it every other episode where it’s not a risk anymore, it’s played out and lame.
As for the animation, if you seen one shonen anime animation….yeah, it’s been done before and the art also looks standard as well courtesy of studio WHITE FOX, whose only other work I watch in full is….The Devil is a Part-Timer and it is as generic as one shonen anime work can be. The action was very uneventful and not-at-all engaging as we couldn’t care less what would happen to the characters. In fact, when I was watching the simulcast, I skipped through the action to get to the near end and re-watching it, I did the right thing because it is very blase.
Not only the animation is generic, the music fits that, too and the opening songs (both of them) are the basic dark grim opener that basically says “WE HAVE A HARD EDGE!!! LIFE IS FUCKED UP!!” and the ending songs is also the same tone as the opening but more somber and edge-dark in a way. They aren’t that memorable and not only that, the Toonami edits replace them with basically a 30-second usage of the score of the series.
Now on to the dub and yeah, this was a weak dub and unfortunately it now contributes to the whole Sentai Filmworks’ dubs aren’t good theory and while their dubs aren’t exactly FUNi or BZ level, they aren’t completely horrible as people make them out to be. They were some good performances in there even with VAs I’m not well-known or mostly newer ones like Corey Hartzog (Tatsumi) or Molly Searcy (Akame) and from well-known Houston VAs like Allison Keith-Shipp (Leone), better known for voicing Misato in Evangelion, David Wald (Bulat) & Shirley Calene-Black (Najenda). However, some of the weaker performances does come from Christina Kelly (Mine), Shannon Emerick (The Emperor) & Tyler Galindo (Lubbock). I do believe they are giving their all in here but the performances didn’t came out as good as they thought. The direction was adequate enough from Kyle Colby Jones and he does have a good ADR director since the better dub he did airs after Akame.
FINAL VERDICT: Akame ga Kill is become more than a disappointment in my eyes. It’s a victim of having overly edgy grim dark writing mixed in with goofy comedy that doesn’t clash well along with bland characters and lifeless action I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy. It’s like somebody trying to make a B movie-type of anime but failed miserably. While this may be Sentai’s first anime to premiere on the current Toonami block, it’s the 2nd worst anime that has aired on there and most of you should know what #1 is.
Man, I thought it was VANILLA at first then it went down to ACQUIRED TASTE but man, I am….
NOT FEELING THIS….at all. 3/10
Akame ga Kill is available on Blu-ray & DVD via Sentai Filmworks. Streaming options are available on Crunchyroll, Hulu in sub and in dub from Amazon. The show did recently wrap-up on Toonami.
This is MAK2.0 aka The Blue Hybrid, and the Night Raid just got terminated.
AKAME GA KILL – animation by WHITE FOX / licensed by SENTAI FILMWORKS