What’s it about ?
Generic videogame-style heroic-fantasy that takes a sudden turn into wholesale slaughter. (Adapted from a shonen manga series.)
Seriously, TRIGGER WARNING : there are some utterly brutal deaths in here that will take you completely by surprise. It’s a very bloody show that loves its shock tactics.
Tatsumi, our generic sword-wielding hero, fresh from the countryside. (Wearing a modern high-school sweater, for some reason.) He’s come to the Imperial Capital to raise his profile and find a way to save his village from poverty. He had a couple of pals with him originally, but he lost track on them on his way after some bandits attacked. He’s been warned the City has more dangerous monsters than the Dragons he’s been offing by the dozen until now… and they’re human beings.
Boobs Leone, a nice girl who just happens to have the right connections to make him rise quickly in the Imperial Army’s ranks ; the rube just has to give her all her money and she’ll make it happen. /ZOINKS/ It takes him the whole day to notice he’s been swindled.
Fortunately, there are some good souls in this city after all. He’s invited off the streets by Aria, a cute rich girl who lives in a mansion with her equally nice family. Sure, he has to help her shopping, but but they do have actual connections, and they provide him with a nice exposition dump.
Enter “Night Raid”, a band of assassins led by the titular Akame. They target the wealthy, and are borderline impossible to stop. They strike quickly, violently, and without remorse, leaving a trail of bodies behind. Tatsumi immediately realize they are a whole other level above him. He’s fortunately not on their list, but his new benefactors are. That just won’t do, eh ?
Those are some seriously awful character designs. Ugly, generic, and making no sense whatsoever with the setting. The action sequences are decently animated, but hardly worth your time on their own. Also, copious fanservice, and people being sliced in half are regular thing. (And why the heck is that one freakout completely devoid of animation ? Doesn’t it just cripple the scene’s raw emotion ?)
… And then the music starts kicking in, and I realize it’s by Taku Iwasaki. Darn it, I never drop anything he scores.
This series is mean and nasty and it just stole my lunch money. Not only is the writing quite awful (“You’re the boobs from earlier !” is actual dialogue), but it’s downright deceitful and sadistic. It revels in its excessive violence. Sympathetic characters are thrown away for shock value. It’s exploitative trash, and it knows it.
It’s a rare series where I feel insulted after watching the first episode.
I’m giving it one more episode to convince me there’s some substance beyond the shock value, but I’m not hopeful. Otherwise, I’ll just stick to the soundtrack.