Alright! Let’s see who’s going to die senselessly this week? I can’t wait to find out!
— For some reason, Tatsumi and Leone are in the red light district. Once our heroes have infiltrated one of the many sordid buildings, they find that the bad guys are using and abusing these “dumb slum broads.” Basically, they get these girls hooked on drugs, take advantage of said addiction to force the girls into the sex trade, and if any of the girls refuse or are no longer capable of fulfilling their duties, they get beaten. Naturally, one of the victims just happens to be someone Leone knows personally. Wow, you know, this all sounds really horrible. I sure do hope our heroes take the bad guys out and help these girls. And that’s what happens… noooooot exactly. The reason why Akame ga Kill! feels so depraved is because it doesn’t actually care about the victims in its story. The anime continually conjures up all these horrific scenarios full of pain and suffering and for what? They’re just cheap justifications for our heroes’ relentless bloodlust.
Case in point, Tatsumi asks, “What’s going to happen to all those girls?” Good question, my shounen buddy! Leone’s compassionate reply? “That isn’t our responsibility, is it?” Wait, what? No one’s asking you to personally take care of each and every single one of these girls, but surely, you can do more than this. Leone then adds, “In the slums, there’s an old, retired doctor. And he’s still pretty skilled. I’ll explain the situation and have him take a look. He loves young girls, so I’m sure he’ll do it.” Oh, well, isn’t that just nice? The skeevy-sounding, retired doctor likes girls, so he’ll take a look-see. He’ll surely get to all these girls, and make sure they’ll get right back on their feet. And even though he’s retired, he’s “pretty skilled!” He’ll magically help them out! What’s that? You don’t buy it? Yeah, me neither, and this is the basic, fundamental problem behind the anime.
I mean, sure, you could get past the stupid characters. You could get past the lousy shounen action. You could even get past the comically pathetic villains. But my biggest beef with Akame ga Kill! lies in the fact that the anime is willing to exploit these incredibly horrible topics only to justify our heroes going on their vengeful rampage. The bad guys are this bad just so our heroes can kill them without any guilt or remorse. But when it comes to the actual crux of the issue — y’know, the part where you actually help the victims — all we get is a couple brief, throwaway lines. Oh, someone will look after those drug-addicted, physically and emotionally abused girls. It’s not really our responsibility, though. Our job is the fun job! We get to gut and torture the bad guys! As for the victims, eh… out of sight, out of mind, I say… I mean, c’mon, we’re badass assassins!
— The best part, however, is when the anime pats its characters on the back: “When all is said and done, you’re pretty nice.” Oh wow, way to go, guys. Way to put in 1!0% for the weak and the helpless! In fact, Leone even says the only reason she’s helping these girls out is because she knows one of them. Normally, she’d too cool to fucking help them and shit, but gosh, since she knows one of them, she may as well lend a hand to the rest of them. Uuuuugh, I can’t believe I’m even taking time out of my day to do this!!! Those “dumb slum broads” better be thankful!
— Leone then marks Tatsumi to be her mate. ‘Cause y’know, it’s the important thing to do right now. She then wonders if her friends are doing okay… uh oh, that can’t be good!
— The anime immediately cuts to Mine and Sheele attempting to make their getaway after a job well done (supposedly). Unfortunately, Seryu, the crazy dog lady we had just met last week, is lurking in the shadows. Alright, you just know someone’s going to die. Seryu looked so harmless in the previous episode, right? This just means she’s extra dangerous, because that’s ironic and unexpected! And the viewers will be caught totally by surprise when Seryu kills one of these two girls, or maybe even both! Well, probably not both. That’s just a waste of suffering that we can exploit later!
— Oh good, more shounen bullshit: “I didn’t feel her presence at all.”
— But despite the whole presence nonsense, Seryu blocks Mine’s hail of bullets by summoning a giant Snoopy reject:
She then fights back with a pair of, uh, well they appear to work like submachine guns, I guess:
Seriously, what the fuck am I watching? We haven’t even gotten to the part where Sheele pulls out her giant pair of fuck-off scissors. Honestly, in another universe, this shit would’ve been a funny parody of bad shounen action. Hilarious, even. But then I’m reminded of Esdeath forcing a warrior to strip down naked and lick her boots like some sort of bondage slave. When she was tired of him, she kicked him to death. And just like that, I know that the show isn’t a parody. Why? Because who on earth would think this sort of shit is funny?
The action is so unimaginative. First, Snoopy will punch the same area a hundred times, which Sheele will have no problems blocking by holding her scissors up in one place. Okay, now it’s your turn, Sheele! Attack the same area a hundred times! Don’t even bother to strafe, swing high or low, or any of that fancy shit. The audience won’t notice. Yeah, you’re right, DBZ popularized this nonsense… over twenty years ago. You’d think after all this time, shounens and their ripoffs could come up with something a little more impressive-looking. If you’re going to borrow from the past, at least put your own spin on it. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
— At some point, Sheele manages to chop off Seryu’s arms, but if you think the crazy dog lady is down for the count, you’re dead wrong:
Yes… she has, uh, a gun in her right arm. Don’t even ask me how this is supposed to work. I like how her gun is shiny, too.
— So Sheele chops Seryu’s arms even further, b-b-but you haven’t even seen my final form! And by my final form, I really mean Snoopy’s final form. Great.
— After slamming back a few protein shakes, Snoopy is now able to crush Mine in its hands–… uh, I mean paws. Wait, does that dog have opposable thumbs? Wow, Imperial Arms are impressive!
— Anyway, this forces Sheele, who had been fighting Seryu by herself, to hurry back and save Mine’s life. But even though these characters have shown off their super speeds and perfect reflexes this entire time, this minor distraction is enough to allow Seryu to shoot Sheele in the back:
But wait, do you mean to tell me Seryu has even more guns hidden in her body?! Yes, yes she does:
Seriously? What’s next?
Hey man, I wouldn’t put it past this anime!
— Oh wait, we haven’t killed Sheele hard enough! C’mon, a bullet isn’t enough! We’re talking about Akame ga Kill! The anime has a reputation to uphold! Quick, do something cool and bloody, Snoopy!
Aw yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!
— Mine wants revenge, but Seryu’s backup has arrived. But it’s okay, because even though Sheele has been severed in half by Snoopy’s vicious jaws, she still has enough energy to blind everyone around her with her stupid pair of scissors. This then buys Mine enough time to make her getaway. Man, imagine if the good guys had been smart and thus retreated from battle in the first place! But then we wouldn’t have this prolonged tragic moment to behold! Y’know, the super duper tragic moment where Sheele can still blind her enemies, turn her head, smile at Mine, and think to herself, “Mine, I’m glad I was useful in the end.” Jesus Christ, how are you still alive? Just fucking die already.
— Wait, wait, the dying victim now envisions her friends one last time! In fact, we get a montage of all the happy moments she shared with Night Raid, our group full of rascally assassins!
— She even apologizes to Tatsumi in her final, dying moments. Behold, history’s longest death scene.
— So I’m now actually watching a scene in which we see nothing but Sheele’s giant pair of scissors lying forlornly on the ground:
It even begins to rain as the camera pulls back slowly. Someone actually thought this would be a poignant way to cap off Sheele’s death. What a sad, powerful moment!
— And that’s that. Mine returns to the base to deliver the bad news, which gets Tatsumi super worked-up. To make it sadder, everyone has to discuss the matter out in the rain. No one has the foresight to go indoors first.
— Blah blah blah, Tatsumi wants revenge, blah blah blah, Night Raid tells him he’s stupid to jump into action without a plan. Heh, Mine and Sheele should’ve heeded that advice. But that’s the end of that, and I couldn’t care less. I mean, Sheele literally had half an episode of character development, so you can’t expect me to get too emotional about her senseless death.