First Look: Akame ga Kill!

H1

Manga Adaptation by White Fox
Streaming on Crunchyroll

Premise

A young mercenary sets out from home to earn riches in the capital and save his starving village. What he finds is a capital rank with corruption. He will see just how dark the corruption is when he gets involved with a group of famous assassins.

Life’s verdict: Casual Brutality

Murder is not the most attractive fantasy for me. What can I say? I guess I’m not a psychopath. Akame ga Kill doesn’t take all the awful things going on in it very seriously at all. It makes for a strange mood when a woman is walking down a hallway and with no warning whatsoever gets cut in half at the waist by a pair of giant scissors. Should I be amused or disgusted when murderers get chibified at the drop of a dime? The interesting thing to me is that I don’t feel like this anime is trying very hard to justify itself and that is a refreshing feeling. I say that because our first introduction to one of the assassins comes in the form of scamming the protagonist. Then we see one of the heroines nearly kill the protagonist without any remorse. These assassins may have some noble calling they subscribe to, but casual murder and thievery is a thing they are perfectly okay with. Hesitating to kill someone is not even on their moral radar.

So I’ve established that this show is basically shounen murder porn. It’s well animated murder porn with good voice acting and pretty backgrounds, but that doesn’t change the core of what it is. It’s a glorification of assassination. This is a story where having no hesitation about killing another person is a positive thing. I don’t have any moral problem with that in my fiction, but I don’t particularly enjoy it for the sake of the violence either. The big question I have right now is how interesting this city and our cast of assassins will prove to be. We don’t get to learn that much about them in the first episode so I have a hard time gauging my interest in this show. Will this show be dark and edgy for the sake of being dark and edgy, or will it have something interesting to say in the process? The first episode succeeds on a certain base visceral level at being exciting. That said, I would be lying if I called it interesting. I’m not sure what to expect.

3

Looking forward, I’m hoping to see an emphasis on the characters, their interactions and back stories. If I get that I might love this show. The amount of natural conflict in a story like this is going to be high. If the whole thing is just casual brutality to pay the bills I’ll probably check out fast.

Iro’s verdict: Casual Violence

I read the first chapter of Akame ga Kill! – which is equivalent to this first episode – a while ago when I was looking for something for Random Manga Theatre, and I was pretty turned off by the level of gore. It’s one thing for a series to not shy away from blood ‘n guts (see Baccano!, which is packed to the gills with murder), but most of the killing in this show happens so quickly and, well, casually that it’s almost comical. It really feels like it’s there for shock value and little else, and it probably is. I’ll pass on this one.

1

Marlin’s verdict: Violence’s Sake

This show was laughably gory. From what I understand, this author must have set out to do a regular fantasy story so he could veer it off the deep end and get people talking from how shocking the “twist” is. What this results in is more like finding out someone is an anime fan only to realize they got into it via Bible Black. The violence is graphic beyond anything I’ve seen since Another, but in a way that gives no weight to the actual deaths. People die as easily as you’d flip a switch, and our happy go lucky protagonist turns from adventurer to murderer faster than you could order a Jimmy John’s. From what I’ve heard, here on out the show sounds more like watching someone write the torture porn of their twisted dreams, and I want no part in that.

One thought on “First Look: Akame ga Kill!

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