The red string of fate strikes again.
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)
While most limited-run series (and some very long ones) have wrapped up recently, Akame ga Kill! is that rare entry into one of the lesser seasons that runs for two cours straight. Given its structure, it obviously wouldn’t suffice with only one, and I can only hope that by the end of its run it doesn’t hurt too much that it’s not longer than two (or better yet, that it ends with an announcement for a second season, since it’s impressive enough that White Fox has managed to have series running throughout the entirety of the year and I want them to be able to branch out to other projects without having to try to tackle two series at once before they’re ready). So after the introduction of two new protagonists and the hint of a new antagonist bringing with him a threat that was likely to force the opposing teams to work together since the first time it was touched upon, it’s time to dive right into the new world opening up for this story.
For now Night Raid and the Jaegers are bitter rivals, perhaps more in terms of quirkiness than anything. One of the most amusing characters on the latter team, particularly as it pertains to Wave’s tsukkomi role, is Bols, the lovable and terrifying bundle of juxtapositions. This episode spends a decent amount of time showing off some more of this, and it’s all quite fun. However, it also delves into a darker side of his character, one that is much more in line with his appearance. This brings up the topic of how tortured he is from the sins he’s committed in the past, and there’s a lot of potential for interesting character development involving that. But there’s just one problem: Bols is our gag character. Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what seems like a gag character being fleshed out and deepened; in fact it’s some of the most enriching entertainment when executed well. But when the gag is predicated on a juxtaposition that gets equally contradicted as we go down this path, the line of sincerity is too blurred to be able to properly appreciate either aspect of the character. In the end this serious talk ends up being fodder for another classic Bols joke, which in some ways confirms my concern, but also probably gets back to what makes Bols so enjoyable in the best way it could.
Oh right, but the episode is really about this new threat that both sides have to take down. Indeed, some third party (perhaps with a connection to one side?) has unleashed something that both sides find in their respective best interests to go after before focusing on the long-term conflict. All the while, Esdeath wants little more than to be reunited with her beloved Tatsumi, the only one who fits her very specific niche for an unlikely love interest (or at least the only one who happened to fall into her lap so conveniently). Hey, I bet you can’t guess what happens. Unpredictable this show seldom is, but sometimes entertainment is just entertainment.
Now that the new additions to Night Raid have settled in, it’s off to the next big threat. This one is refreshingly not under the same command as usual, and that shakes up the status quo just enough for some unlikely bonds to form. It’s silly and far from brilliant, but it’s good at being fun.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Custom-Built PC, 27” 1080p HDTV.