Before I get to what I think of the show as a whole, I want to give my two cents on the last episode which streamed hours before I started writing this post.
Let’s start with Akame’s power-up, which makes no sense in context with rest of show. Akame cutting herself to activate her trump card is nonsense. Earlier in the series, she claimed that polishing her blade was nerve-racking because the slightest mistake would kill. Which means she had no idea that it would activate her trump-card. In episode 24, she cuts her neck with all confidence in the world and received a power-up, like, what? Adaptation-induced inconsistency aside, where was this trump card before anyway? Given how there’re no drawbacks, can’t we assume it would be smart to have used this earlier, like during her battle with Kurome for example. As it is, it definitely feels like a plot-device power-up here. Esdeath not killing Akame immediately with her Magahatabmabamahoozle is also kinda dumb, but hey, anime villains man. They always gotta drag it out so they can taunt their foes to bolster their ego or some shit like that. Also, she explodes into sparkly dust after encasing herself in ice with Tatsumi after losing to Akame. OK.
There was also the matter of the way things wrapped up, like Leone’s death, why didn’t she try to save herself? She had hours between killing Onest and kicking it in some alley, why did she seek medical attention for those wounds to the gut? Cutting the Emperor Makoto’s head off was rather ridiculous too, but hey, I don’t think the middle ages had much of a youth penal code I guess. It would’ve been more satisfying to see Onest in that position instead, the actual cause of all the corruption and misery. Also, why is Akame being hunted down anyway? She helped liberate the goddamn country! Why aren’t Wave and Run put to death for supporting the comically evil regime that was just overthrown? Instead, we get a final scene with two of them talking about how great Captain Esdeath was, y’know, the same sadistic lady responsible for deaths of thousands and who makes no qualms talking about how she loves torturing people. They even think she has a chance at Tatsumi on the “afterlife” and won’t burn in hell for being the worst type of person imaginable, how cute. Anyhow, there’s an epilogue with a bunch of people I don’t care about.
The idea of a revolution that White Fox tried to go for honestly should’ve been the aim of this show from the beginning. Instead, the anime adapted all the forgettable and pointless turf wars with comical goons until they decided to finally cobble together an actual plot. It just didn’t work here since this anime has no idea what an actual revolution would take. Sure it’s fiction, but c’mon, are you telling me the only actual power structure in the Capital was just some kid and his fat uncle? That’s ridiculous! Anyone can write such a simplified story, and that leads into my problems with the rest of the series. That everything is painted in such broad strokes, good and bad. The only in-between are characters like Wave and Run who seem like nice dudes, but ally themselves with an oppressive regime for arbitrary reasons. That’s not good writing folks.
As for the rest of this show, I can’t say I’m impressed with it in the least. I don’t mind “anyone can die” being a selling point, heck that’s a good thing. Akame ga Kill went about it in the wrong way entirely. What I mean here is that with something like, say Gantz for example, you knew a lot of people were going to die in that series, but it did a great job with blindsiding you with said deaths. In Akame ga Kill, asides from a few characters in the beginning (to set the tone) and some towards the end (Tatsumi especially), they all felt predictable and formulaic. This is a result of tossing in intrusive back-stories for characters right as their about to die. This isn’t an effective way to create tragedy, it’s simply an exercise in sending one poorly developed character to the slaughter, one after the other. The plot itself was fairly linear and uninspired. No plot-twists (what you see in the first few episodes is all you get), just kill the bad guys and toss in a few more characters to fill body bags with later on.
I can’t even say this show was a success as an adaptation. I have read the series and even if I was a fan of it, I would still be upset with how this adaptation turned out. Not really because of how it shifted from the manga’s storyline (it was inevitable and I knew it would happen myself), the direction and production values were, for the most part, mediocre or bad (speedline central). It’s a vapid, unfunny, and weakly directed piece of 3rd rate popcorn entertainment, and that’s all as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure if this is as bad an action title as that shitfest that we humans call Tokyo ESP from earlier this year, but it’s down there.