Akame ga Kill! Ep. 7: Obvious death flag is obvious

Akame ga Kill! - 0712

So the meganekko is dead, Esdeath has returned to the capital city, and everyone in Night Raid is super pissed off. What now?

— Honest flat out tells us that Esdeath, despite all her strength and leadership prowess — or so I’m told — “has no interest in authority or politics whatsoever.” Boy, isn’t that just convenient. Here, we have possibly the strongest female character in the entire Akame ga Kill! universe. Hell, from the way some of my readers have put it, she’s one of the strongest female characters in anime. And y’know what? She’s completely loyal to a bastard like Honest. The conflict here is just so… simple and dull. I mean, let’s face it, Akame ga Kill! is not the bloodiest mainstream series out there. There are a lot of really brutal stories floating around, but y’know what they also do? They have their characters mired in a complex struggle for power. There are backdoor dealings, political machinations, strategic alliances, so and so forth. You watch just to see who ends up being strange bedfellows with whom. In Akame ga Kill!, however, there are the good guys and there are the bad guys. Nothing more, nothing less. And oh yeah, the bad guys are all loyal to one big, bad guy. Everything is black-and-white, everything is straightforward. All Esdeath wants to do is fight. This makes her just another boring, robotic character. See enemy. Kill enemy. Rinse and repeat.

— The emperor looks like an idiot in his lil’ boy shorts.

— But speaking of the emperor, he wonders if Esdeath would like anything more than just gold as a reward. She voices her desire to fall in love. Uh-oh…

it's happening

Prepare some lube, Tatsumi, ’cause Esdeath looks like she gives the fucking and not the other way around. And how do I know she’ll fall in love with Tatsumi? Well, who else would she fall in love with? Butat’s gay, and Lubbock has practically been non-existent. Honest? C’mon, anime would never waste a hot anime babe on a fucker like Honest. Look through some doujinshi if you want to scratch that itch.

— Speaking of honest, this is Esdeath’s reasoning for turning the bastard down: “…given the minister’s high blood pressure, he may not live to see tomorrow.” Whoa! Have you not heard of HAES, shitlord?! Naturally, Honest believes he is in perfect health. I’m sure he thinks he’s an athlete because he can walk for twenty minutes without stopping.

— According to Esdeath, she has very specific requirements for a lover. Oooh, ooh, lemme guess. He has to be A) the main character and B) the main character. Am I right? Or am I right?!

— But let’s check up on the good guys for just a second. Tatsumi thinks it’s odd that Akame can be so calm about Sheele’s death. Shrug, everyone deals with tragedy differently, buddy. It doesn’t mean they’re not hurting on the inside. In fact, I bet Akame is really hurting, so we’ll have some trite moment where she reveals how torn up she is, and this calm facade she’s projecting is just a coping mechanism. After all, the anime wants us to sympathize with the girl, so she’s not going to be some cold-hearted killer who can’t feel emotional pain… y’know, as much as that would make sense for a long-time assassin.

Akame ga Kill! - 0713

— Aaaaand we’re back to Esdeath and all that love talk. Uguu, what is this strange, perplexing desire to love another human being? Why is it that I, a strong, powerful female general, feel the need to throw myself into the arms of a man! Meanwhile, all the Esdeath fans out there instantly sit up and think, “So you’re telling there’s a chance!”

— It appears Esdeath will send these three dorks after Night Raid. I wonder who’s going to die this time. Sadly, Mine is injured, so she won’t even participate in the upcoming battle. So I guess we can safely rule her death out.

— Welp, there it is. Tatsumi tells Akame he finds it amazing she can be so well-composed and instantly — INSTA-FUCKING-LY — she drops the plate of dango she had been carrying. I WAS WELL-COMPOSED. WAS. BUT YOU, THE GORMLESS SHOUNEN HERO, HAVE SHATTERED MY STONY FACADE IN JUST A SINGLE SENTENCE. A-BLOO-BLOO.

Akame ga Kill! - 0703

…this is just stupid.

— I’m just an anime shoujo! If you spend time with me, will I not be tsuntsun to you? If you pat my head, do I not uguu? If you compliment me, do I not blush and yell, “Urusai!”? And if my friend dies, do I not cry?!

— Look, my problem here is not that Akame actually feels great emotional pain. My problem here lies in the fact that this was hilariously predictable. Even when the characters are imprisoned by their immense feelings of anguish and pain, none of these things shine through. The anime is too cliche for me to connect with any of its characters. In fact, everything is so by-the-books that the story is funnier than it is tragic.

— And now Tatsumi’s crying too, because gosh, he’s such an idiot for moping around. Ugh, I GOTTA GET STRONGER. So y’know what he does next? He punches himself. Tatsumi fucking punches himself because he thinks that doing so will somehow give him the proper motivation. Yeesh. Don’t worry, buddy. Someone’s going to die next to give you that little push you need to finally take this shit seriously.

— The guy then promises Akame he’d never die. This way, he’d never make her sad! Of course you won’t die, dude. We wouldn’t even have a story without you!

Akame ga Kill! - 0714

— And nearby, Leone is listening in on everything. She then lets out a contented grunt like she’s some sagely character who just saw her disciples mature before her very eyes. THEY’RE GOING TO BE OKAY, GUYS.

— The next day, we get a short and boring training scene with Tatsumi, Akame, and Bulat. Yawn.

— Elsewhere, Esdeath’s three dorks kill some political opponents. A girl even gets skinned alive. That’s just Akame ga Kill! for you; shock value over substance. The three dorks then pass out flyers to pin the murders on Night Raid. That’s all it takes, I guess.

— Groanworthy: “Okay! The more experience I again, the stronger I’ll become.”

— Najenda assigns Leone to watch Esdeath’s movements in the capital. Leone then thinks she can take Esdeath out if there’s an opening. Hm, I wonder if she’ll die next. Hey, I wouldn’t complain.

— Najenda reminds her team that the people being targeted are pivotal for the new government! Pivotal! All the good guys are wholly good! All the bad guys are scum of the earth!

Akame ga Kill! - 0715

— Najenda: “Teach them the principles of an assassin.” Assassins with principles. Yep.

— The rest of the team split up to guard two different sets of political officials. So, uh, what does Najenda do? I mean, she’s the boss, yeah, but when everyone’s out in the field, what does she do?

— Akame and Lubbock find nothing where they’re at, so by process of elimination, Tatsumi and Bulat will run into trouble. Okay, nevermind what I had said earlier about Leone. I’m sure she’s safe since the hero won’t be there to hold her as she has her last breath. As for you, Bulat… it’s been fun… but seriously, you gon’ die, son. It became all too obvious when Akame started looking up to the sky, praying that her friends will be safe. You jinxed them, girl.

— Hell, we even get to see a tragic flashback from Bulat! He’s so dea–

Akame ga Kill! - 0706

Wait a minute, that guy looks familiar!

Akame ga Kill! - 0707

Oh man, you’re so dead, Bulat. After all, the story probably thinks there’s nothing more poetic than for you to die fighting someone you used to look up to.

— Elsewhere, Leone can smell the evil just emanating from Esdeath’s body. See? She’s not a Mary Sue character. She can’t even bathe properly.

— This dialogue is just so cringeworthy: “They didn’t take the bait, huh? A pity. I wanted to test some new torture techniques.” It’s like something a teenager would write. Plus, if Esdeath is so fucking strong, why doesn’t she just attack Leone first and get it over with?

— Apparently, one of the three dorks can debilitate people just by playing a flute. Tatsumi tries to escape to the outside, but Daidara — I think that’s his name — challenges our hero to a duel. As strong as these guys are, I don’t think it’s wise to be destroying significant parts of the ship…

— Bulat then interrupts the duel as he’ll be taking Tatsumi’s spot in the battle instead. He even goes, “…pay close attention to how I fight, and burn it into your memory.” The anime is basically just screaming the obvious in my face now.

Akame ga Kill! - 0710

— In one swift move, Mr. “I need EXP to get stronger!” dies like a chump. And hey, Bulat and the old man do know each other. But it’s okay, because the episode’s finally over. I’m free of this shit for at least another week.


18 Replies to “Akame ga Kill! Ep. 7: Obvious death flag is obvious”

  1. Well at least the action scenes are decently choreographed this ep. I can put up with complete shit and predictable dialogue as long as it comes with well choreographed fights. They even subtly showed how the guy Bulat was going to fight next ep was fine with him being the only one to have the reaction time to block bulats attack. I feel it is hard to write a complex villian in general. When ever a series does give its villians motives and feelings it usually only does so because a much bigger villian appears who makes said villian seem good in most cases. This is a little on the extreme with being predictable but it is watchable. Also most fans of this type of stuff realize the writing is horrible, stuff like this is everywhere. Some examples Expendables,Step up etc people know the story is crap,.Also even FOTN did not start out with the factions and back handed politics and opposing view points. It started out as a story of revenge with a generic ass villians.

    1. Also most fans of this type of stuff realize the writing is horrible, stuff like this is everywhere. Some examples Expendables,Step up etc people know the story is crap,.

      I’m not trying to claim otherwise. In fact, I don’t really care about the fans.

  2. I never seen this anime but my friend told me to watch it because I like action but after reading your posts on it, I don’t even want to check out the 1st ep… It does sound like this anime would have been better off as a comedy or parody, like making fun of other action anime or something. Like you said, in another post.

    1. Well, it doesn’t have action, but to stand out from the rest of the shounen crowd, the villains here like to rape and torture their victims. I think it’s cheap, but shrug, I watch it only to write about it.

    2. His post seems pretty damn bias dont listen to him watch it for your self

      sounds like he/she watched it and got all pissed off because his/her favorite person died

  3. so that the anime becomes better

    Well, the anime won’t become better just because I post my thoughts, but…

    would it actually be considered a good thing that tatsumi and akame are actually getting development, I mean sure it might be predictable but at least they don’t feel as flat now.

    Allies are supposed to feel sad over the loss of a friend or a loved one. The anime has shown me nothing but the bare minimum. At best, i.e. assuming the scene had been executed better than it was, the scene between the two of them gets an average grade, because it is perfectly average and expected. You have to show me something interesting, nuanced, refreshing, or thought-provoking before I consider these characters anything but flat.

    furthermore, Tatsumi in the manga actually becomes extremely developed by the later chapters.

    Well, wake me up when that happens in the anime adaptation, because I’m not remotely concerned with what happens in the manga.

    Also regarding Esdeath, this was just an introductory episode so her backstory will be explored further later.

    I’ve said nothing about her backstory. I’m merely laughing at how convenient it is that she’s no threat to Honest for the foreseeable future.

    however I do appreciate that there is less plot armor in this story.

    All this means is that the meaningless side characters get to die, and then their deaths are exploited for sadness points. Yes, it’s a step-up from everyone being invincible, but nothing more.

  4. The source material may be beautifully written, but we’re talking about the anime here exclusively. And we’ve seen time and time again how for one way or another, the animation studio fucks with source material to produce a less than stellar product. Either by rushing the hell out of or omitting something entirely that may be of importance. Blame resource constraints slapped on the studio or an exec’s retarded decisions, either way shit can get VERY wrong in the adaptation process.
    So, honestly, you can bring up the source material all you want, but the anime thus far has been pretty unremarkable and flat. That’s the unfortunate fact.

    1. The anime is remarkably flat, I agree. In this case I blame the direction more than anything – the manga was clearly over the top, ridiculous, and very aware that this was the case, while the anime continues to play everything straight and serious. The entertainment factor in the source material isn’t its gripping drama or masterful plot the way the anime wants to believe – it’s that it’s completely freaking absurd and revels in it. Without any such reveling or absurdity, well… it’s just plain ol’ dumb.

      This change in tone is the reason the guy with the axe from this episode seems like he’s just regurgitating dumb anime logic when talks about fighting to gain experience. Originally he was a caricature of a player character in an RPG – literally filling up his exp bar by killing anything he feasibly could, ignorant of the plot and blind to everything but his next level up. There he was all played up and I got a laugh out of it. Here it was just dumb generic anime-isms.

      This is what happens when you take the silly out of a parody.

  5. If you look at a cast of characters and can divide them into the two camps of “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys”, then that story is fundamentally weakened. I’m not saying that it immediately becomes trash, but it is hampered to a degree. But more often than not, for me at least, it does break or make a story.
    Look, if you’re writing a sentai show or something for kids, then great, make it simple. But if you’re honestly trying to create a more sophisticated piece of work, then that character divide is a very obvious tell of an amateur. And often that distinction is what creates our very own Gary Stus and Mary Sues, which I think is one of THE biggest failures a writer can make.
    And like the post mentions, what’s important are character traits like desire for power or self-preservation that dictate their actions. Case in point? The Game of Thrones series, in which everybody and their mom seem to cream themselves over the complexity of the show’s characters. And rightfully so.
    What happens to idealistic and positive characters? They either end up dead or they become so betrayed and tarnished by reality that they become cold-stone hard-asses. The universe doesn’t bend to the will of characters like we see in so many pathetic Gary Stu-dominated shows. The universe puts characters in a headlock and it’s the characters who have to deal with that reality or suffer the consequences. There are no “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys”. These are characters that are filled to the brim with both vices and virtues. The balance may tip more of one way, but that’s how characters differ from one another. That complexity of characters DIRECTLY influences the quality of the story drastically.

    PS: I’m not seeing what’s so great about Esdeath. People in other venues are talking mad game about her. First thing, really? ES-DEATH? I don’t care if it’s a real name or not, but somebody somewhere should have tried harder. Like, I’d laugh at the name if we were watching BOBO-BO or something, and it sounds worse in Japanese. “Esu-desu”? Very convincing. Secondly, so she’s a psychotic domineering powergirl in a military uniform. What a very novel idea, never seen that before. /sarcasm
    And don’t get started with her “love” with the MC. That’s just baby-writing right there. One of the most powerful characters in that universe deciding to fall in “love” with the MC simply because that’s how anime stories flow? Not just kicking him to the curb because realistically that’s what anyone in her position would do? Can we expect naked aprons and bento lunch boxes complete with egg, sausage octopi and pink rice shaped into a heart?

    PSS: Maybe it’s just me, but these death scenes go from flat to funny. Maybe I’m a desensitized bastard, but the supposed shock-value of blood and people dying that this show is attempting to convey feels cheap like movie amputations in pre-CGI films. Maybe it has something to do with the characters… Hmmm… Maybe.

    1. PS: I’m not seeing what’s so great about Esdeath.

      She’s hot, she’ll probably fall in love with the main character (who’s the primary audience identification character), and even though she’s a murderer, she picks on the weak and rewards the strong. Hurr hurr survival of the fittest. I, uber anime nerd, is totally one of the people who would survive a zombie apocalypse, so obviously, Esdeath would’ve loved me.

  6. I’ve always like agk’s comic as a guilty pleasure, I’ve always known how just silly and nonsensical it was but at the same time I thought it was still entertaining because I wasn’t expecting a sophisticated show with death note level of deepness, just an edgy and campy battle shounen.

    But after waiting and watching the anime I’ve noticed that the problems with agk’s are way more apparent and harder to bear when animated than on pages and are almost cringe worthy to an extent.

    1. When reading comics or manga, you always had luxury of imagining things to suit your preference. But animation comes with every detail, where you have no choice than to take it how it is given. You don’t have luxury to fix things up if you find them ridiculus.

  7. “I’m just an anime shoujo! If you spend time with me, will I not be tsuntsun to you? If you pat my head, do I not uguu? If you compliment me, do I not blush and yell, “Urusai!”? And if my friend dies, do I not cry?!”
    This part just plains out killed me! This reminds me of that other maniac gurl from Addams Family Values, who wanted her barbie ballerina and instead she got a car! hahahaha, uguu. Fantastic post!

    1. For some reason, the quote also reminds me of another quote in a Shakespearean play called the Merchant of Venice:

      “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?”

      (Act III, scene I)

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