The summer anime season is now in full swing! Truthfully, I have never even attempted to write anything for the glorious reader-run blog that is TAY. I desired to write about anime, but wanted to make sure that it was something I had watched recently in order to assure quality. Akame ga Kill! is one of the more hyped anime coming into the summer 2014 season. I was out of town for the past week, and only just now watched the episode, so I figured I would give some of my thoughts on it. Let's dive in (warning, spoilers):
The first element that, frankly, surprised me was that there were several moments throughout the episode where I laughed out loud.
Many elements of the show, such as flashbacks and character development, are done with masterfully humorous undertones. Even at the most disturbing points in the episode, such as when Night Raid is about to kill the daughter of the 'good Samaritan' noble family, it manages to fit in dark humor. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be shocked by the daughter's outburst before Tatsumi thrust his sword through her.
Serious and Sophisticated
In many serious anime, one issue that commonly appears is the lack of actual depth. Unfortunately, these shows suffer from appearing over-dramatic or just plain odd, as motives and background information are kept minimal and there is little to no underlying meaning to the plot. Akame ga Kill! managed to avoid this in its early stages.
Within the story of the episode, political corruption and morality are already put into play. The general progression went from lighthearted to dark as the evil within the government is made clear. The palace, once a symbol of hope for Tatsumi, has come to represent his fear.
Characters just introduced actually take on meaning for those watching. Ieyasu's death was a profound shock for me, because not only was he killed in gruesome circumstances, but I had grown to like the character in the short time I had known him. Tatsumi faces a coming-of-age situation over the course of a mere twenty minutes and, while it feels slightly rushed, it is still pulled off very well.
I was infused with curiosity about Night Raid. Leona and Akame, while partners, couldn't be more different. While Leona is friendly and less serious, Akame behaves as though she is virtually a robot in this episode. While I expect character development for both, (the mere title of the show indicates that Akame plays a significant role) I have no problem with an initial introduction within the first episode.
Overall, Well Balanced
One key flaw that many shows I have seen struggle with is a balance between humorous content and serious content.
Akame ga Kill! manages to throw in quite a bit of humor for such a serious starting episode. One sign of an excellent anime is one that is able to blend different elements together without seeming ridiculous, something masterfully done by White Fox thus far. Fan service (which I generally find annoying) is minimized here due to its connections to other elements of the plot. Tatsumi's encounter with Leona in the bar was used by her as a way to rob him, and the fan-service is part of her tactics to trick him into trusting her. The entire incident is laughable when thought about. After all, when you meet a pretty girl in a city you've never been to who offers to help you 'invest' your money, what could possibly go wrong?
Akame ga Kill! has, in its first episode, lived up to its hype. I love the mixture of humor and darker story, and am intrigued by the characters and what will happen next. I highly recommend giving this show a chance this season. If the pilot is any indication, you will be in for a fun ride.
How do you feel about Akame ga Kill? Am I right? Did I miss something? Is there something else I should watch? Any comments are much appreciated, and I will try to reply to anything asked.