Alright, alright. Here’s the belated Akame ga Kill! post.
— So what have I learned in the first five minutes? Suzuka is in love with Esdeath. Cool. Then Susanoo prepares everyone’s favorite meals. Great. Very interesting. Akame has a plate full of meat. Isn’t that funny? And dainty, little Mine eats nothing but a strawberry parfait. Fascinating characterization.
— On a related note, Tatsumi and Mine sure are spending a lot of time with each other. Man, he’s really going to pick the tsunderekko, isn’t he? I’m not going to pretend as though I take any interest in their brazen flirting, though. After all, they’re such a charming couple.
— Puh-leeze, she still has eyeliner on. You can’t convince me that her eyes normally look like that.
— Really? Seryu wants to fight Mine while Tatsumi is around? That’s a surefire way to lose. See, Mine’s a hot babe. She’s also a hot babe that Tatsumi can totally get with. As such, there’s no way you can kill her with Tatsumi around. He doesn’t protect everyone, after all. Certainly not Bulat. If you’re a dude, you get to die honorably in the field of battle. If you’re a haremette, however, you’re good to go!
— Besides, this is the perfect opportunity for Mine to get her revenge on Seryu. Not only that, Tatsumi will lend a helping hand, which will just make the girl’s heart go all dokidoki.
— Oh good, Seryu’s now a mobile SAM unit from Civilization. She’s also not alone as Suzuka has decided to tag along. She draws Tatsumi’s attention, which leaves one girl with a big gun to duel against the other girl with a big gun. Whose gun will prove to be more ridiculous in the end?!
— There’s not really much to say. Seryu has a bag full of tricks, and we’re just sitting through them. It’s obvious too that they saved everything — money, creativity, effort, etc. — for this particular encounter. So in a vacuum, this almost looks like a fun, exciting battle. But why judge things in a vacuum, especially when this is the nineteenth episode of the series. And the truth is, I don’t particularly care what happens here because Mine and Seryu are both boring, generic characters. All the gimmicks in the world won’t make me care about their fight. It would’ve been better served as a one-off animation that you see all the time on Youtube or, back in the day, Newgrounds.
— Mine’s mini-spiel can be applied to the rest of the Jaegers: “You… For someone who always talks about justice, you blindly trusted Ogre and Stylish. You couldn’t see that they were evil. And that twisted laugh of yours… It’s no different from those evil men.” C’mon, this isn’t complicated. This isn’t a complex play involving the various shades of morality. The Jaegers are comically, one-dimensionally evil. I can’t believe people are so invested in defending Wave and Bols, too. Who gives a shit if they’re just following orders? Do you seriously want to go there? Because the German soldiers at those concentration camps were just following orders. That is the weakest, most juvenile defense ever. It’s not my fault! It’s someone’s else fault! I just couldn’t do anything about it! Bullshit. They’ve all got Imperial Arms. They’re not weaklings. Who gives about whatever debt it is that Wave owes. You rather honor a debt than defy a bunch of mass murderers? That says more about his character than any bland shounen traits he can pretend to exhibit.
— I’m going off on a tangent here, but I don’t care. The fundamental problem is that we have a penchant for creating heroes. We want some chosen one to just show up and save the day. Jesus, Superman — and for the naive hopefuls six years ago — Obama… the list goes on and on. But the reality is that no one person can solve all of the world’s problems. How does the saying go? It takes a community to raise a child? Well, that’s just a child. You want to do good and you expect some superhero to do that for you? Not a chance. And the scary thing is, the flip side is true as well. Speaking of Hitler, he wasn’t some maniacal supervillain. He was an evil man who took advantage of a unique set of circumstances to rise to power, but let’s not fool ourselves. A countless number of people stood idly by to allow Hitler’s atrocities to happen. We want to pin all of the world’s ills on just a handful of dastardly supervillains, but it takes a community to commit genocide. Likewise, the amount of mental gymnastics it takes to defend the Jaegers — including Esdeath — is hilarious. Oh, she just values strength. Oh, she really cares for her soldiers. It’s really Honest who’s evil! We just have to kill him, then everything will be peachy keen! Yeah, sure. All those corrupt people that Night Raid has been assassinating this entire time will just magically slink away into the shadows! Wave will just retire to some fishing village and live to become an old man fileting fish on the beach! Now that’s hilarious.
— Blah blah blah, you’re taking Akame ga Kill! too seriously. Yeah, that’s the sort of attitude that would condone Wave’s actions.
— And every once in a while, the show falls back on the outdated shounen conventions.
— Plus, these characters are so simple. One side stands for absolute good. The other side stands for absolute evil. The fact that Seryu thinks she’s an agent of justice means nothing. She’s just flat-out wrong. So if a proper fight scene is an externalization of the conflict between the characters — and there is no interesting conflict at hand here — then this fight boils down to nothing more than a pretty light show. Again, it’s the sort of thing I might appreciate on Youtube as a demonstration of some amateur artist’s dedication and skills. In an actual story, however, this is just junk food.
But I like junk food. And there’s nothing wrong with junk food.
Sure. I indulge in a bag of chips every once in a while too. But let’s call a spade a spade: this is anime junk food, and if you’re like me, it’s not really satisfying to watch. And now that you know where I’m coming from, take my assessment with a grain of salt. If you enjoy it — if it meets your criteria — why does it bother you that I personally don’t? I don’t give a damn that people enjoy this anime or Sword Art Online. I really don’t. We like what we like. I take an exception when people defend someone like Wave, but I couldn’t care less what others enjoy.
— Elsewhere, Leone tries to get back at Kurome, but oh look, it’s boy hero Wave to the rescue! Thank god he’s there to defend a poor and innocent girl like Kurome. She’s just with the Empire to stay alive! She’s good in my books, guys!
— Well, I’ve always heard that they don’t like to keep things trimmed in Japan, but this is quite extreme of our evil general.
— Then in the middle of a fight, we get a shitty flashback. Great storytelling. Way to interrupt the pacing to suddenly get all introspective on these characters. But that’s the thing. One flashback isn’t going to convince me to suddenly buy into these characters. Mine is still a boring character, and a 30-second diversion changes nothing. It’s just filler to pad out the story’s length.
— Mine manages to cleave Seryu in half, but wait for it… waaaaaait for it. You think Mine will be able to survive this encounter without any help from the bland shounen hero? Hell no. Tatsumi’s gotta save the day, baby. Plus, Seryu will have some stupid hidden gimmick like last time.
— Because like the late magical shoujo assassin Chelsea, these characters are stupid. Why the fuck would you stand there and listen to Seryu cackle maniacally? I don’t give a fuck if she’s literally in two pieces. The piece of shit is still talking and laughing. I’d finish the hell out of her. But of course, Mine just stands there and does nothing, which give Seryu the time to do something about her little predicament.
But this happens all the time in anime!
Again, who cares? Just because everyone does it, it’s suddenly right? Man, let’s start holding ourselves to a higher standard and stop excusing shit just because other shows are equally shitty.
— Lo and behold, Seryu has a new final move. Gee, who would’ve guessed?
— The fact that Mine’s Pumpkin has overheated also doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a contrivance. It just means this highly-seasoned assassin carries no other weapon on her for whatever stupid reason.
— And of course, in Mine’s “final moments” — we know they’re not her final moments — she thinks of that bland shounen hero that all the girls can’t help but fall in love with! Awwww.
— When Mine opens her eyes, she finds herself in Tatsumi’s arms. Welp. That was easy to call. I’m done. Nothing else in this episode matters anymore.
See you guys next week.