“Kill” Shot

February 22nd, 2015 in Akamiga Kill, Anime, General Reviews by

kill shot blog 121There is a classic trope in Hollywood pictures, where some rube from the country comes to the Big City to make it big, only to get fleeced and greased. That is the initial concept behind “Akami ga Kill!” (“Akami Slashes!”).

In this land, Tatsumi leaves his poverty-stricken village, with his two friends, in order to join the army in the Capitol, makes lots of money and help save the village. Along the way, he is separated from his companions and gets to the Capitol all alone….where he is promptly swindled out of all his money. Destitute, a rich family takes him in for the night, to help him get back on his feet. However, this house is attacked by members of the assassination group Night Raid, who proceed to kill most of the people.

In trying to defend them, Tatsumi realizes that his hosts not only take in lost souls from the streets, but torture them to death, including his two friends, whom he frees, but cannot rescue. Angered, Tatsumi kills his hosts and joins Night Raid to dispense some harsh justice.

The people in Night Raid sport these Imperial Arms, items created via alchemy and parts of the supernatural Danger Beasts over 900 years ago. Forty-eight of these items were created and about half of them have been lost to history. These items range from weapons like swords and firearms to more utilitarian items including a cosmetic box and armor, and even organic beings such as a shape-shifting dog and a powerful warrior.

Now, just like “Harry Potter” where the wand selects the wizard, the Imperial Arms cannot be used by just anyone, as their users must be compatible with them or risk death. The power of most Imperial Arms is so overwhelming that it is said that when two Imperial Arm users fight each other, one is bound to die. That means no draws or walk-aways. The members of Night Raid are:

Top Row: Akami (of the title) and she wields the Demon Sword Murasame
Tatsumi (he’s got a sword for now)
Mine, with her rifle called the Roman Artillery: Pumpkin. Deadly sniper
Leone (that’s the one who fleeced Tatsumi) and Animal King Form: Lionelle (it’s that belt that turn her into a lioness)
Najenda, the leader of Night Raid. Her weapon is The Speed of Lightning: Susanoo

Bottom Row: Bulat, he was with the Army, but deserted them. He is in his Imperial Arms, Demon Armor: Incursio
We’ll talk about this lady a bit later
Sheele, who comes off as clumsy, but is a skilled fighter with Cutter of Creation: Ecstasy
Lubbock, runs a bookstore in the city, and his Infinite: Cross Tail is actually better called Garotte Gloves

Well, needless to say, their activities cause a great deal of consternation in the Capitol and they send their own Imperial Arms Users out and that is met with mixed results. Tired of trucking around with these killers, they recall from the north General Esdeath (the lady I passed on in the introductions). She is known as the most powerful individual in the Empire and is an expert at torturing others, a talent she thoroughly enjoys.

She forms the Jaegers, a hand-picked set of Imperial Arms users to help defeat Night Raid. Ahh, but there’s a fly in the ointment. The General wants to fall in love, but who can meet her high standards? (Can’t really disclose, as it is a plot point), but let’s just say love is complicated.

This was an interesting show for me, in the fact that they were not afraid to have casualties on both sides of the fence. It gets a bit irksome when the heroes sail through unscathed, while the enemies have bodies stacking up like cordwood. And there are some nice relationships that develop through the run of this show, but you are just not prepared for the shifts that come along. Also, in a show like this, one gets concerned that the fight sequences take over, so it’s constant battles from one show to the next. It’s not, and they are choreographed well so it’s not the same kind of fight every time. And as the series goes on, the attrition gets worse and worse for both sides, but we have to have enough of the key players left for the final battle for all the marbles, the hearts and minds of the populace and who is going to start in the second season.

It’s just the Esdeath Love Tale comes off as very odd. This is a woman who has spent her adult life killing people and now, for some odd reason, she wants love. I wondered if it was flung in to offer a caliber of comic relief in an otherwise grim series. I mean, it’s not every day one goes to the Capitol and end up joining a group of assassins. For me, there was a good deal of interest in keeping me coming back to this series, at the very least to see the interactions with such a diverse group of folks and if Night Raid has what it takes to defeat the Jaegers, as the King’s forces may be just too much to take on properly.
I wish a bit more time was taken into how these Imperial Arms were made and where they get stored as they await a compatible partner, but I guess that’s a side story that won’t be followed. Alas.
On an extra issue, there is also “Akame ga Kill Theatre”. This is done just like the extra features for “Attack on Titan”, where you have these goofy one-minute tales, done in a cartoony chibi style. It’s one of those situations where if it is placed with the show, it undermines that grim nature of the story, but I wouldn’t wait until the very end to see them, as there are so many of them. I spent more time setting up to see each episode than watching it, but they are rather funny to see.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork 7 (Some of the character design is just plain weird)
Plot 7 (The love story harmed more than helped)
Pacing 8 (The fights were done well)
Effectiveness 8 (Kept you guessing)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)

Overall 8 (Good structure throughout)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I must get stronger.

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