Wowee. Now that is what I call ‘bloody’ brilliant!
After just watching Akame Ga Kill’s first episode over on Crunchyroll, I was left in awe by just how much it blew me away. While I knew the series was based upon a popular manga and had a big following, I never knew just why that was, until now. This is how you kick off an anime, right from the get-go, all gun blazing or in Akame Ga Kill’s case – all blades bloodied.
The series has all the makings of a dark fantasy epic, set in a fantasy world filled with monsters, knights, a country at war and the dark underworld that lies just beneath the surface. Akame Ga Kill follows Tatsumi a wandering swordsmen who has set out on a quest to save his village from impending doom as a result of the war. He plans on joining the government military but things don’t exactly go to plan.
After crushing rejection after crushing rejection, he is accepted into the home of a rich family who feed him up and show him an unnatural sense of kindness in this brutal world. When the legendary group of assassin’s known as Night Raid attack the family who took him in, Tatsumi naturally stands up to defend them.
Soon enough though, Tatsumi comes to discover the truth of the family’s generosity and the sad fate that befell his hometown comrades who he lost on his journey. As it turns out, the family took in unknowing country folk, drugged them and tortured them relentlessly until they ultimately met with death.
Upon discovering his childhood friends had met such a fate, Tatsumi sees red and slaughters the young princess who saved him. It is a tide-turning moment that sets the tone for what is to come in Akame Ga Kill, a blood-soaked journey into the darkest reaches of the human psyche.
As the episode concludes we get the foundation for the series, Tatsumi has reluctantly joined the assassination squad known as Night Raid and it seems that the truth of the world will soon bare itself before him. What is really going on in this country? It looks like we will find out soon.
Where Akame Ga Kill succeeds for me is its effortless balancing act between utter despair and black comedy. It teeters between both ends of the spectrum with ease, timing comedic moments perfectly to juxtapose with the elements of brutality and bloodshed.
This episode truly set the pace for the series and we may very well have the next Attack on Titan on our hands with Akame Ga Kill. Where the series goes from here is anyone’s guess, but one thing is for certain – there will be blood.
You can check out Akame Ga Kill simulcasting every week over at Crunchyroll.