What They Say:
The convoluted path that has reunited Tatsumi and Esdeath takes another twist as they find themselves transported to a remote island where their strength will be tested as never before. Dr. Stylish may be dead, but Danger Beasts still remain, and that’s only the first challenge the two enemies now face.
If the bonds of love weren’t enough to bring their fates together, could the fire of combat forge a new form of alliance? Meanwhile, the embers of rebellion are being stoked into open insurrection by the pacifist organization Path of Peace. Drawn into the impending inferno, Night Raid and the Revolutionary Army prepare for a major assault on the Capital. But while their Imperial Arms may be indestructible, their wielders are merely flesh and blood.
On the anvil of battle, only human courage and the willingness to give their lives for a cause will lead to the ultimate triumph or failure in collection 2 of Akame ga Kill!
Contains episodes 13-24.
The Japanese language track for this release comes in the standard 2.0, while the English dub has been given a 5.1 mix. Both tracks come through clearly with no dropout on any of the channels. For the English track, there’s some nice directionality along each channel for sound effects, and a some with dialogue, though that stays mostly centered. As a dub fan, I like getting these 5.1 mixes, and this is a good one. No real complaints.
The transfer for this release is really good. Coming in a 16:9 aspect ratio, the colors are bright when they need to be and dark when they need to be that. It’s a series that shows a lot of range in terms of setting and mood, and this transfer shows it off very well. There were no technical issues that I detected. Animation-wise, while I wouldn’t call it the most spectacular thing I’ve seen, it is certainly fine for what it is.
This collection is a pretty standard Blu-ray package. The two discs are housed in a standard sized cae. The front has an image of Akame in berserk mode and Esdeath looking cocky. The back has a picture of Kuromee with her sword, some screen shots, a series summary, and the technical details. It’s a perfectly fine package, but nothing special.
The menus for this release are basically the standard BD menus. The episode list is aligned along the bottom, while the background is animated. However, in this case, it is the OP or ED (depending on the disc) that is played rather than random scenes from the series. Overall, it’s an effect that I like (certainly better than just the static screen that comes on DVDs), so I don’t have any particular complaints. The only issue I sorta have is that the cursor just inverts some of the colors used to list the episodes, so it can be hard to see. Once you know what it is doing, it’s fairly easy to see, but initially it can be a little tough.
This release has the standard clean OP/ED and Sentai trailers. Also included are some of the Japanese promotional spots, and a series called ‘AkaKill! Theater.’ AkaKill! Theater is a series of one minute-ish okame shorts (animated in different styles) starring various characters in humorous situations. These are fun and, in a nice change from the norm, these shorts have been dubbed as well, so dub fans can enjoy them without subtitles.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While I wasn’t blown away by the first half of Akame ga Kill!, I was intrigued enough to be interested in keeping on going. The only question I had was whether or not the second half would follow up on what it did well and really shine, or if it would continue to tread well-worn paths and ultimately fall flat. Unfortunately, while I still wouldn’t say that it was terrible, it was still more the latter than the former.
Now carrying Incursio after Bulat’s death, Tatsumi begins to carry more of the burden in Night Raid, and also begins to show that he is worthy of being in the group. As Night Raid members begin to slowly get picked off one-by-one by Esdeath and her Jaegers, the remnants of Night Raid look to Tatsumi more and more for leadership. And through his unrelenting approach, Night Raid gets closer and closer to their goal of bringing down Honest. The question is whether they can keep Esdeath’s bloodlust (and just straight out lust for Tatsumi) at bay long enough to win the day.
At the end of the first collection, I was intrigued by the relationships that Tatsumi was building with both Akame (good) and Esdeath (hilarious), and I was very interested to see where they would go from there. His relationship with Akame continues to grow through this as they both seem to realize what they mean to one another (though I won’t spoil how it ends up). More importantly, his interactions with Esdeath continue to be really funny, as her single-minded pursuit of him carries much of the entire series. Her inability to connect-the-dots that her supposed lover is the same person who battles her with Incursio, as well as her completely misguided attempts at romance, continue to be the high watermark for the series.
Unfortunately, I was less interested in the overarching plot of the series, which didn’t bode too terribly well going into the second half. And frankly, the second half didn’t really do anything to grab me any more than the first half did. Again, the idea is competent, even if wholly unoriginal, but it also makes a few missteps in an effort to build tension and drama. A few bloody missteps. Throughout the first half of the series, a few members of Night Raid (in particular Bulat and Sheele) are occasionally killed to provide impetus for Tatsumi’s determination and help continue to drive the series forward. And they are dramatic moments for their time. But as the series goes along, it begins to wash in blood. It makes sense in a way—this is war, and neither side has clean hands. But the series keeps trying to play on each death as being just as (if not more) important/dramatic as the last, and it quickly loses all effect. Even when they start killing off some of my favorite characters, I was so desensitized to all the killing that it didn’t even slightly move me. Instead, the drama falls flat, and by the time they give us the big twist at the end, it has very little meaning. This is definitely a case of too much of a good thing.
Akame ga Kill! is a series that started off fairly well but really overdid it by the end. Again, it certainly wasn’t terrible. I would classify it as perfectly acceptable anime. But it also wasn’t spectacular. It was fine for what it was, and I enjoyed it well enough in the time that I spent with it, but it’s not going to be one I will rush back to any time soon (or ever). If you like these types of series, then by all means, check it out because you will probably enjoy it. But it wouldn’t be one I would recommend to somebody I wanted to convert. Thumbs in the middle.
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Language, English Subtitles, AkaKill! Theatre, Japanese Promo, Clean Opening and Closing Animations
Content Grade: C+
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: B
Menu Grade: A-
Extras Grade: B+
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: May 17, 2016
Running Time: 300 minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Magnavox 37MF337B 37” LCD HDTV, Sony PS3 w/HDMI Connection, Durabrand HT3916 5.1 Surround Sound System