Before I begin with my random talking to introduce the review I would like to say that for all my manga reviews, although hopefully I will remember to post something like this at the start, that I am only going to review manga that I buy. Since I buy manga that I like enough to buy it, I will do my best to be as least bias then my normal reviews since entertainment factor plays more of a role for what I find entertaining. If you feel this is a problem for the manga reviews, then I would like to apologize, but you can at least get the perceptive of someone who enjoys it to the point where they bought it, although I am making sure I do point out its flaws so it does not look like I am not giving it just praise. At the same time I will make a brief say on my thoughts before the final score that if this holds up to later or prior to the point in the series, this in no way will affect the score of the review since it did not happen yet. With that said, time to get to the actual review.
Akame ga Kill, I honestly feel like I am bringing it up almost every week if not every other week here. As I have mentioned time and time again it is my favorite manga. When the manga was announced to get an official English release I did my high pitch joy screech that not only put twelve-year-old girls at their favorite boy band to shame but has my family questioning if there is something wrong with their twenty-two year old son. The high pitch screech nearly returned once more in the store when going to purchase it and I think I frightened one of the customers. However, will going back down memory lane for my favorite series be a good thing or will it make me question liking this series as a whole. This is reviewed as a Dark Fantasy, Tragedy.
Akame ga Kill begins with Tatsumi, a young man inspiring to become a great soldier in the capital sets off with his friends to make a living in order to save their poverty-stricken village. Although him and his two friends set off together, they arrived at different times. Tatsumi was unaware of what the Capital was like. He fails to enlist in the army, and then some woman swindles him out of all his money. He starts to see the darker side as people tell him that the Capital is nothing but corrupt and that the people are dying. Eventually when given a place to stay by some people he finally starts to see that the Capital is not at all what it seems. Time passes and the notorious group known as Night Raid show up killing nearly everyone. They fail on the daughter, the one who save Tatsumi. Yet, he soon discovered, the darker side to her. As it turns out she not only views anyone beneath her as her playthings, but killed Tatsumi’s friends. Grieve striking Tatsumi takes the first blow, without second though the members of Night Raid accept Tatsumi into their ranks. There he meets a girl known as Akame, a ruthless assassin. There he learns the truth and wants to help their effort in putting a stop to the corrupt in the Capital once and for all.
I would like to say although all the members of Night Raid were introduced, very few where the main focus in this volume so I will only be covering the ones that were given development and were properly introduced as characters.
Tatsumi: He is the main character and is from a country side village far away from the Capital. He originally set out to the capital with his two childhood friends to earn money for their village. He inspired to go through the ranks of the army. After joining Night Raid Leonn made note that he could easily go right to the rank of Captain if trained properly. He is still trying to understand what is going on and wants to remove the corruption from the capital in any way he can.
Akame: The Title character of the series. She wields the sword teigu known as Murasame and a single cut from it will inject an incurable poison killing the person instantly. She is often silent and at times rather cold-hearted. At the same time she has shown that she is often very caring for the members of Night Raid, specifically Tatsumi seeing he is the newest member. She is often seen wearing black. (Her back story is in greater detail in Akame ga Kill Zero, which if it was licensed I would get, since it is not I will not review it here).
Mine: She is a self-proclaimed “Genius Sniper.” She is often short-tempered and tends to tease Tatsumi rather often. Her Teigu is a gun, which works that the bigger the pinch the stronger it is, known as Pumpkin. She is half-foreign, which made her discriminated against when she was younger. She wants to help Night Raid get rid of the corruption and perhaps get rid of discrimination as well.
As I stated before there are other characters, those three are either important or received more back story in this volume. In the Volume 2 review, which probably will not be until October since I want to read it slowly for pleasure and then in one go for a review, I will add the other characters there and not add these ones.
When reading it for the review, it was my third time reading this volume. The first was all the way back in December 2013, when I first got into the series, and second just finishing a biweekly reading of it the week before. Looking back, really got the nostalgia going, I’ll touch upon that later. The series has a start, that well, is solid, that much is clear. At the same time information, such as the Teigu is not really talked about much in the first four chapters. Although this could be the fact that the next volume features the first antagonist with a Teigu, that is most likely why. At the same time the darkness and tragedy aspect have not made a major appearance yet. It seems more dark comedy, in a sense. The comedy is present often in this volume, and it has not adapted the full darkness yet.
Bonus and Minus Points
– Teigu are not really explained (they will be in volume 2)
+ Art is good, clear and honesty the anime sometimes spoils me, but the art is always some of the best I have seen.
– Evil being the main corruption is a little generic, and as of right now has not shown anything different
+ Interesting how all bad guys at times look like monsters when drawn, adds to the villains in terms of design in some scenes.
+ They (Night Raid) acknowledge the fact what they are doing is wrong (Killing), and although they are doing it for the better of people, they know that does not make them good people, which feels like some series would pass over.
+ Each character is introduced, with no character being similar to one another and each seeming just as important as the next
– (?) A Little too humor filed. (Still going with the fact that is to portray Tatsumi’s innocence to the world, where later the jokes disappear since he has become more self-aware and serious)
? The manga joke of all the other titles by Square Enix’s (Yandere Kanajo especially)
+ The deaths are always well done in drawings
Does it hold up:
This part in no way affects the review. All the manga series, as I previously mentioned, are series that I own. This also means that in ninety percent of the time I am up to the recent chapters that have been released. So, this is just my way of saying how much changed or some things like that. Right away I can say that the first manga volume, although is fairly solid and is starting to world build, does not have the dark fantasy and tragedy that the later chapters have. This is something that defiantly builds up over time. I think it was well-played on this part to holding back on something like this, giving suspense, and misdirection with humor the early chapters have that the later, specifically the last chapter (Chapter 57), have lost since it is entering the final arc.
85/100 The humor brings it down. It is a Dark Fantasy Tragedy.
The manga is licensed by Yen Press for North America. I will also made known, although not all the manga series do have an anime series, Akame ga Kill does have an anime out, which people probably already known, which has an original ending and complete story.