Akame ga Kill! Ep. 21: Sacrifice yourself for Tatsumi

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Sweet, I love Dragon Ball Z!

— Mine will stop at nothing to save Tatsumi. It’s an obvious trap, but she’ll go anyway! Akame thus can’t help but remark that the girl has changed. That’s true. She’s changed alright… she changed right into a haremette. Well, you could argue that she was always a haremette to begin with, especially ever since Tatsumi walked in on her changing her clothes, but let’s just be charitable. And you know what else is true? Akame hasn’t changed at all! No, getting mushier doesn’t count. So why is this series even named after her? Is it because she has a cool name? It must be, because the girl has remained static from start to finish. She’s shockingly not in love with the main character, and she has little to no personality. What do we really know about her? That she likes to eat? That she has a tragic history with her imouto? That she used to be a soldier in the empire? To be fair, a lot of them were, so this isn’t even unique to Akame. Honestly, Akame feels like a side character in a story that is named after her.

— That’s not even to mention the fact that Akame’s face is on most if not all of the promotional material. Tatsumi’s the hero, but even the people behind the show’s marketing knows that he’s too boring to really sell the story.

— Leone will also help!!! Of course she would. And Najenda too! And it’s just one procession of hot anime babes pledging to save Tatsumi, because the story went ahead and killed off every single male character on the team. And Susanoo doesn’t count; he’s an Imperial Arms. Hell, according to my commenters, he’s supposed to be dead as well! Oh well, I could be wrong, but I don’t see him surviving these last few episodes.

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— Predictably enough, Esdeath tries once more to recruit Tatsumi to her side. She even assures him that she won’t make him betray his friends. Even more predictably, however, he slaps her hand away and rejects her advances. No wholesome hero would ever join such a big-bosomed Hitler! The rest of the scene is rather boring. Tatsumi wonders why she is so infatuated with him, and honestly, she doesn’t have a good answer. He’s simply stolen her heart, you guys.

— Elsewhere, Wave seems highly perplexed at the idea that Esdeath could kill the person that she loves. I don’t think it’s a particularly difficult concept to grasp, but he’s supposed to be Tatsumi’s foil, after all. So it’s not surprising that he’s a little dense in the head. Plus, this is just a convenient excuse for Kurome to spill her guts to the guy. Apparently, she still loves her sister. Uh-huh. Sure you do. Anyway, we don’t see these two for the rest of the episode, so as you can see, they’re not terribly important in the grand scheme of things.

— We cut back to Night Raid, and they’re busy talking about the upcoming mission. Then at the end of the scene, Lubbock gets mentioned once. He’s been with Night Raid for far longer than Tatsumi, but, uh, less than five seconds of mourning is all he gets.

— And we get random crucifixion imagery for no reason. Maybe Tatsumi is really anime Jesus. And hey, he and his group are butting heads with an empire that is on its last legs… and hell, we’re even in a coliseum! What does this all mean?!

— Watching the young emperor deliver his speech, it’s interesting that the story hasn’t even tried to portray the kid in any light, positive or negative. Well, to be fair, the show hasn’t really tried to develop any of its characters either. Even Tatsumi is pretty much a blank slate.

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— I would say how hypocritical the emperor’s speech is, but like most sheltered members of royalty in fiction, he probably has no clue what goes on outside the palace walls… or even inside, for that matter.

— It’s time to kill the harem lead, but for whatever reason, Esdeath kicks things off by slicing away Tatsumi’s shirt, thereby revealing his manly shounen pecs to the world. Uh, okay… In the end, this pointless flourish just ends up buying his harem enough time to show up and save him. No, I realize she doesn’t really want to kill him. She keeps going on and on about how he should prove his will by fighting to survive.

— The whole thing is just horribly boring to watch. There are no emotions in such a pivotal scene, because both sides are horribly and woefully developed. Esdeath is just a one-dimensional killer who values strength, and Tatsumi is just a wholesome hero who fights for justice. Even if the show wanted to be compelling, it couldn’t. It has long since shot itself in the foot by creating these flat caricatures in the first place. So y’know, just have Mine strike a pose. That’s really the best that they can do.

— Najenda is soaring so high in the skies above that the winds are whipping around her. It’s okay, though. She can still carry out a casual conversation with her former ally. Having an Imperial Arms also means you have super hearing.

— Somehow, Night Raid has rigged the entire coliseum with explosives. That’s convenient. Najenda also simply states that Lubbock had planted these bombs a while back. Why didn’t he plant one where both the emperor and Honest would be? Because that would’ve been too convenient, that’s why.

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— What’s that, you say? We’re just episodes away from the finale, so the animation should look cool as hell? Nah.

— So it’s Budou vs. Leone and Mine, Esdeath vs. Najenda and Susanoo, and uh… some random soldiers vs. Akame. As for Tatsumi, well…

— We literally see electricity course through Leone’s body as she lays motionless on the ground, but she also painstakingly explains to the audience that she has been paralyzed. Show and tell! Nice!

— There isn’t even any good action here. Budou readies himself to attack Mine, then we immediately cut to a violently shaking frame of Mine as she can be heard screaming. I think they put more effort into the fight between her and Seryu, which is odd. This should be the penultimate fight before the big finale. On the other hand, Seryu was just some boring side character.

— And for the billionth time in this series, Mine explains to us and her opponents that her Imperial Arms gets stronger whenever she’s in a pinch. Good thing, too, ’cause I had totally forgotten! And I’m sure her enemies would love to know her strength and weakness. That’s just being a proper lady.

— Oh lord, the sound effects for when Akame killed those soldiers were absolutely terrible.

— Once again, Susanoo uses his trump card. Unfortunately, we’ve seen it once before, and storytelling convention tells us that if we’ve seen a special move before, its effectiveness must at least be halved the next time around.

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— And this entire time, no one has come to the realization that it might be a good idea to try and free Tatsumi from his prison. Yeah, he won’t have his Imperial Arms until Akame fetches it for him, but you can’t tell me that he’s absolutely useless without it. Nevertheless, our hero’s reduced to shouting helpful tips from the middle of the battlefield.

— Budou really does look like a character straight out of Terra Formars. Unfortunately, he simply gets his ass handed to him by a haremette. This guy is supposed to be one of the strongest fighters in the empire. Hell, his faction is supposed to rival Esdeath’s in power. Yeah, right.

— What gets me, however, is that it didn’t even take anything special to kill the guy. Again, the studio put more effort into the battle against Seryu. There, Mine actually went against the grain in order to defeat her opponent; she had to use her Pumpkin to slice the evil villain up. Here, the two sides simply power up as if they were Dragon Ball Z characters, then afterwards, they hurl gigantic beams of energy at each other. Somehow, one side comes out on top… the good side. There is hardly any choreography or thought devoted to this scene whatsoever. Mine simply lets her HP to drop to 1, which then allows her Imperial Arms to out-DBZ Budou. How lame is that?

— Akame finally frees Tatsumi just in time for him to romantically catch Mine’s injured body in his arms. Neato. With Budou out of the way, however, Najenda issues an order for her team to retreat. There’s no way Esdeath would just allow that to happen, so… you know what to do, Susanoo. You know what to do. There comes a time in every man’s life when he must realize that he no longer belongs in another man’s harem. It’s time for you to exit the story.

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— This quality, though.

— About to lose her boytoy, Esdeath finally pulls out her ridiculously overpowered trump card: she can literally freeze time and space. LITERALLY. FREEZE. TIME. AND. SPACE. Oh sure, she can’t do it over and over… but she can freeze time and space, man!

— And she uses it to simply stab Susanoo through the chest. That was exciting!

— Oh, is that so? I hadn’t realized! It’s also her trump card, she says. It’s so that Tatsumi will never escape, she says. Tell me more, Esdeath. There’s so much I want to know about your ability to enter in cheat codes.

— So Esdeath stomps on Susanoo’s core, and he’s now dead… not quite. Let’s asspull this shit some more. Najenda is basically sacrificing her life just to resurrect her Imperial Arms, but even she knows that this is nothing more than a distraction. We all know Esdeath can’t lose.

— Tatsumi infuriatingly sits there and screams “Susan!” over and over and over. For fuck’s sakes, either lend a hand or listen to your friends’ suggestions and escape. But seriously, this is the second time some manly, older character has had to sacrifice himself for Tatsumi’s sake.

— But right before he bites the dust, Susanoo still has the time to deliver a touching speech on how he has no regrets. Oh well. He’s such a meaningless character anyway. He had even less personality than Bulat. In any case, Susanoo was never a threat to Tatsumi since he was an Imperial Arms, but the hareming is nevertheless complete. All hail Harem Lord Tatsumi, Night Raid’s sole remaining male survivor!

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— As Tatsumi escapes with Mine, she demands that he put her down. When he does so, they share a touching moment in which she reveals that she’ll likely die. Would the upcoming anime-original ending have the guts to kill Mine off? I doubt it. This is just a cliffhanger in all likelihood. But here, take in this beautiful moment anyway with the sun just setting over the horizon!

20 thoughts on “Akame ga Kill! Ep. 21: Sacrifice yourself for Tatsumi

  1. gedata

    The reason why Esdeath cut off Tatsumi’s shirt isn’t because she wanted to see his pecks (well, OK, perhaps that’s one reason why), she did it because she wanted to be able to see the specific points to stab him whilst leaving him alive as long as possible (she’s an expert when it comes to human anatomy as a result of having tortured people many times during her career). Her plan was to test the tenacity he had plastered on his face by seeing how long he could survive the torture. I think it came across more clearly in the manga.

    Also, there’s no way Mine survived after a scene like that. It didn’t seem like a cliffhanger to me honestly.

    1. E Minor Post author

      Also, there’s no way Mine survived after a scene like that. It didn’t seem like a cliffhanger to me honestly.

      Oh well, we’ll see. It doesn’t make a difference to me either way.

      1. Anonymous

        And cue protag finding a newfound sense of vengeance and drive to finish the fighting and bring the evil to justice at the point of the protag’s sword.
        The story has been dreadfully predictable so far so why not go as predictable all the way to the end?

        1. Naota

          Basically, yeah. Everyone’s been predicting her death in the manga since she and Tatsumi became an item – the only unexpected development in the series because it actually happened. It just seemed overwhelmingly likely the longer they stayed a couple. I mean, it’s a harem/shounen series with its protagonist in a steady, honest relationship. That’s just not natural.

          Here, though, Mine just rushes to his rescue because being saved caused her to instantly fall in love. An unrequited love Tatsumi never knew about until she died, for bonus tragedy points. For a brief moment we had an actual couple saving the day together in a shounen series, no bullshit… and that’s the part they left out of the otherwise too-faithful adaptation. The one noteworthy thing. Terrible.

          In this absurd situation where hundreds of shallow characters have only their singular gimmick to entertain the audience, meaningful development = character death. To this author, Mine’s only other form of expression was getting killed. More death means more drama! More drama means the plot is moving. When the characters run out, more will appear! Are you not entertained?

  2. BoyTitan

    Ok well the one decent thing the anime had going the fights has been ruined. Because the first anime original fight we get sucked complete ass. If I did not have only 2 eps left I would drop this series.

  3. BoyTitan

    Only 2 characters who can not die are tatsumi and akame and as unpopular as tatsumi is There is a chance he can die in the final chapters. Its always akame saying Esdeath can be killed. She is still bland as fuck tho. So yea mine is very likely to die.

  4. eternia

    I heard rumor that the author originally wanted to make Akame the main character, but then realized that to be successful in shounen manga, he should better make a bland male lead, so that his pitiful young readers can self insert themselves in there.

    There’s a spin off, Akame ga Kill Zero, where Akame is really the main character.
    She’s still personality-less, however. She’s simply righteous.
    Yeah, right.
    This author has a lot of homework to do regarding characterization.

    1. Anonymous

      Wow, I shouldn’t be surprised about the rumor; after all, promise of commercial success have almost always overridden artistic integrity. But I still can’t help shaking my head.
      So no wonder the title doesn’t make sense when the character named is such a nobody and nothing. You’d think the writer would’ve been smart enough to change the title also. Maybe not after all.

      Akame could’ve been a Shana. Well, they’re basically the same thing: girl with katana. Eh, wait, neither of those characters are that great in the first place. This is what happens when people aren’t educated of how to make compelling characters.

      Pro-tip: go read some actual books, not just other LNs or manga.

    2. E Minor Post author

      She’s still personality-less, however.

      It looks like the word “zero” is in the title for more reasons than one.

  5. Pia

    I came here for the death of one Night Raid member, but I got two instead, neat!
    I think Mine is really dead this time around, they need to kill her anyway, otherwise the “ideal” Akame x Tatsumi could never stand a chance, she death flagged herself with that confession to Tatsumi two episodes ago: “I have to tell you something after the end of this war” or something like that.
    Also why Tatsumi doesn’t lied to Esdeath in order to escape later? it worked before, because he’s a wholesome hero that doesn’t lie? I though he were an assassin first then a hero, but meh, whatever, just keep sending to death more Night Raid clowns, we’ve an unlimited supply anyway.
    AkG keep delivering the essence of ridiculous.

    1. E Minor Post author

      It would just be especially dumb if Mine is dead. ‘Cause think about it. Why even bother to save Tatsumi if you’re going to lose two members in the process? Had it been a straight Tatsumi for Susanoo trade, then you can at least say you came out on top. After all, Susanoo is just an Imperial Arms. However, Night Raid basically put everything on the line to save the shounen hero, and if Mine bites it, they walk away with a net loss of members! Who’s bright idea was this!

      1. gedata

        If they didn’t mobilize, Mine would’ve gone anyway and would get herself killed. I guess they figured “why not maximize our chances at success?”

        1. E Minor Post author

          Two options, I guess. Knock her out or let her go alone. Going with her maximizes your chance of success… and at the same time, it maximizes your chance of total failure. They all could’ve died.

    2. Luis Alberto Toribio Nuñez

      ur right bro, itshould have been the correct way and went with akame and tatsumi together, buttt nooooo the author went full retard and actually made mine and him a couple, which is competly stupid and boring as fuck, the damm anime /manga is called akame ga kill but the damm character, which i love of course, is not getting any screen time, story nothing! lol!, i had such good bibes from this anime but the author is just ridiculus tryng to do what ever the hell he is doing, i offcially drooped the anime manga for this crap, and i was a fan bro, but until he doesnt gets shit right, with story character develeovment and correct and fun couple, im sticking to my guns and stay witj tokyo ghoul and parasite

  6. ryo256

    You know in the manga Esdeath wanted to keep the corpse because a dead Tatsumi can’t say no, right? But seriously though I think the whole part of her knowing where to strike her foe and keep him alive meant that she was probably gonna fake his death but I guess I’m reading too much between the lines.

    Anyway, this is where Anime diverges from the manga in a way that its hilarious because now the anime is now ahead of the manga (due to monthly chapters and story-arc skipping) and deaths of Budou and Mine being big spoilers for the manga readers (because anime and manga don’t differ in deaths so far, only in how they die) because the fight in the coliseum is still ongoing in the manga, where Mine max. damage shot couldn’t do shit to Budou.

    And I find this strange because the manga is making it appear like this fight will be there last, like it has only a few chapters left before ending whereas anime having the Night raiders retreat and prolong the conflict feels like it has a ton of episodes to fill in. It would have been better for the anime to make this the last fight and put the show out of its misery.

    Also Najenda launching her slow-ass punches on Esdeath, that’s top level anime exclusive creativity right there. Usually I don’t bring a manga into this anime stuff but this time is an exception due to how poorly they made the latest episode.

  7. jj

    My interpretation of Esdeath saying “fight to survive” to Tatsumi twice is that she’s trying to stoke his will to live because she’s about to put him through torture that will look like it should kill him 3 times over. But torture that he could also potentially survive. In the manga in this scene it was revealed through her thoughts that she was going to give him almost fatal wounds, and was skilled enough to put him into a false death state. Kind of disappointed that they cut that from this scene since it changes her character a bit.


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