The killing goes both ways…
What They Say:
Under the rule of a tyrannical empire, Tatsumi, a young swordsman, leaves his home to save his poverty stricken village. He meets a girl named Akame, an assassin who was bought, brainwashed and trained to kill by the Empire. Akame is a member of the secret assassin group called “Night Raid” who use special weapons called Teigu. Together, Tatsumi and the members of Night Raid confront the corrupt empire.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Throughout much of this first quarter of this series, I’ve been noting that it seems to be following a regular formula each week to introduce its main cast and concepts. Halfway through the first of its two cours seemed a likely place to wrap that up and move onto bigger plots, and we’ve been seeing some hints of those plots being set up. But while there’s certainly still some truth to all that, this final episode of what, especially based on the next episode’s title, seems to be something of the prologue proves that it was not just killing time, and suddenly our team has to deal with loss that feels just as impactful even to an audience essentially just introduced to the character in question.
At first we do get a bit of Tatsumi’s time with Leone, a bit less important to get major focus since Leone has been our view into Night Raid since before we had ever heard of it, and as such she’s one who needs little introduction at this point. If anything, it serves to make the episode feel like more of the same in at least more of a sense than it actually is at all, which only makes the true nature of it that much more striking. After all, Tatsumi has to be at the center of the big happenings, doesn’t he? But while he’s going through the motions with Leone (which of course involves separating a lot of tops and bottoms of bodies with all the blood geyser action that entails), it’s the pair of Mine and Sheele of all people who are really at the center of all this, and our friend from last time, Seryu, goes through even more extreme transformations than what we had seen of her before, along with her Imperial Arms that manifests as something quite different from even the variety we had seen before.
And in case I didn’t completely give it away yet, I won’t say exactly what happens in the end, but obviously one of the main characters dies, and that’s quite a sudden thing to have happen at this early stage in the game, when it seems like we’re only just getting to know them, especially since, as I mentioned, Tatsumi wasn’t even around to experience it at all. As in any such event with remotely competent execution, there’s a major impact to it, especially with how it will affect the series from here on out. With the next episode being a “part one” it seems like things will be on a much bigger scale now, and the stakes have already been increased significantly due to how much this event changes the main cast. But while that’s all true, the way this all actually played out doesn’t seem like the right direction for this series. Everything is so ridiculous and over-the-top that the human sympathy required is hard to come by even when it’s easy to see how much the other characters are affected by this loss.
The premise of this series was always very strong and the early episodes showed a lot of promise if the right moves were made from that point, but while I’m sure there’s some gold to be mined somewhere down the line, it seems like series of missteps have led it to this point. The future looks to be heading for bigger things, though, and as it stands, this is still very good.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Custom-Built PC, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.