The battle appears to be over, but not for Chelsea. She’s not going to miss the chance to take out Bols and Kurome. Noticing Chelsea’s absence, Najenda sends Tatsumi and Akame to back her up, but will they make it in time?
What did you watch?
This is episode 17 of Akame ga Kill and it follows on immediately after the epic battle in the last episode, which ended with a massive explosion thanks to Bols. We’re entering the final third of the series and things are going to get serious. Not that they haven’t been up to this point, but get ready. I know what’s coming and I’m not sure I’m ready. This is one of those episodes that really stand out for me and has some of the truly memorable moments in the series. Are you ready? Let’s do it and beware the spoilers.
Leone managed to shield Akame from Rubicante’s blast with Wall’s shield. She took quite the beating in the process and passed out shortly after. With Kurome and Bols gone, Night Raid retreated their base to recover. Bols walked through the forest, searching for Kurome. He was disappointed about losing his Imperial Arms, but making it home to his girls was the most important thing. Then, he spotted a little girl lost in the woods and with a scraped knee. Bols reassured the girl, but she appeared to be terrified of his appearance. He bandaged her knee and asked her if she was all right. The girl transformed into Chelsea as the poison needle pierced Bols’ neck.
He realised that his day of reckoning had arrived and he would finally pay for all the things he’d done, but what about his wife and daughter. Bols dragged his body across the ground reaching for them, even as far away as he was. Chelsea reflected on her past and this aspect of the job as Bols died. Lubbock caught up with Chelsea and told her the others had gone back to the meeting point. However, she was determined to take care of Kurome before she could acquire more puppets. Lubbock told her which way she went and ran to get help.
Kurome thought back to her childhood with Akame and how they had to fight to survive. Then, once they had, they were split up and each was put through a series of brutal tests and experiments. Chelsea caught up with Kurome and approached, disguised as Bols using her Imperial Arms. She managed to fool Kurome thanks to Tatsumi’s intel on the Jaegers. Then, once she had an opening, Chelsea stabbed Kurome with a poison needle. She turned to head back to the meeting point, but Kurome somehow got up and sent her two remaining puppets after Chelsea, ordering them to kill her.
What did you think?
This episode is brutal and I loved it. One of the things that I think sets this series apart from many others is that you’re able to develop a connection with both sides. The time we spend with the Jaegers, thanks to Esdeath’s interest in Tatsumi, gives us a chance to see them in action and as a team. Unlike the one-note villains that we see at the beginning of the series, we see them having dinner and interacting like normal people. Sure, some of them have very dark pasts, but in those moments, they are just like anyone else. It creates a fantastic dynamic and makes the battles that much more interesting. Seeing Bols dying was heartbreaking and then things just got worse…
What was your favourite moment?
It’s hard to call this a favourite moment, but it’s more of a most impressive moment. I loved the way that the series manages to flip the portrayal of the good guys and the bad guys. Bols had just escaped from the blast from Rubicante and his thoughts were of concern for Kurome and whether he’d make it home. These are the thoughts you’d expect from the usual villain. Then, when he found a little girl in the woods, lost and hurt. He helped her, reassured her, and bandaged her injuries. She then stabbed him in the neck with a poisoned needle.
Of course, the little girl was Chelsea in disguise. Rather than trying to fight her, Bols accepted his fate and wondered if it was his retribution for his acts. But then, he thought about his wife and daughter and how he couldn’t leave them. He saw an image of them before him and crawled towards them, reaching for them with the last of his strength. Chelsea stood there and watched him die. From this one scene alone, who came across as the villain? It certainly wasn’t Bols. This was a beautifully written scene.
What was your least favourite moment?
Again, this is a tricky one to qualify, because I thought the moment was incredibly powerful, but I can’t help but name it as my least favourite moment. Akame and Tatsumi had been dispatched to track down Chelsea and back her up as she tries to take out Kurome. They’d been unable to find her, but a trail of blood led them to the nearby town. Tatsumi used Incursio’s invisibility to enter the town and search around. It had started to rain and the streets seemed empty which was understandable, but then Tatsumi reached a square where a crowd of people gathered in the rain. He stopped and followed their gaze to find Chelsea’s head on top of the spike in the middle of the square.
Chelsea hadn’t been with Night Raid for long, but her interactions with Tatsumi had endeared her with me and that made this seen hard to watch. Not just because of her death, but that it was Tatsumi who found her like that. Of all the members of Night Raid, Tatsumi would take it the worst and he did, dropping to his knees and staring through the rain, unable to move. It’s been a while since anyone significant died and to get hit with Bols and Chelsea in one episode was brutal. It’s even more impressive that both are impactful considering that they are on opposing sides.
Who was your favourite character?
This is a weird one, but it was Bols. He has been a fascinating character right from his introduction with the way that he flaunted the stereotypes. With his terrifying mask and large build, he was an imposing and scary-looking guy, but when he spoke, he sounded like a regular guy. He had fears and hopes, he was shy with new people and also didn’t get upset when others saw him as a monster. I loved the depth and detail that this series gave to a villain and as I said, it’s one of the reasons I love this series and wanted to revisit it.
Who was your least favourite character?
Part of me wants to say Lubbock for letting Chelsea go after Kurome alone and the other part of me thinks it should be Chelsea. Again, it’s tough because I can see the justification for tracking down Kurome. She’d just lost most of her puppets and it’ll take her a while to build up a team as strong. In reality, there wasn’t a better time to do it and Chelsea’s Imperial Arms gave her the perfect chance to do so. I didn’t like that she’d become reckless because of meeting Tatsumi and wanting to protect him. It’s certainly not something he would have wanted her to do. Knowing the outcome makes it that much worse, but as I said, it was the best time to do it.
What have you learnt?
Other than the need to give characters depth and desires, good and bad, I think the thing that stands out in this episode is about characters making decisions. It’s easy to look at the decisions they make with hindsight bias and call them bad decisions. Would a character really make that choice or not? In the end, that’s what it really boils down to. In this instance, I think it was the right choice for Chelsea. She saw an opportunity that was unlikely to present itself again and made the decision to take it. Of course, it would have been better to wait for back up or not pursue the target, but that’s not in her character. So, your characters can make good and bad decisions, that’s fine. Just make sure you can justify those choices.
Other posts in the series
- Episode 1 – Kill the Darkness
- Episode 2 – Kill the Authority
- Episode 3 – Kill Your Cares
- Episode 4 – Kill the Imperial Arms User
- Episode 5 – Kill the Empty Dream
- Episode 6 – Kill the Absolute Justice
- Episode 7 – Kill the Three Beasts – Part One
- Episode 8 – Kill the Three Beasts – Part Two
- Episode 9 – Kill the Lust for Combat
- Episode 10 – Kill the Seduction
- Episode 11 – Kill the Mad Scientist
- Episode 12 – Kill the New Recruits
- Episode 13 – Kill the Hindrance
- Episode 14 – Kill the Giant Dangerous Beast
- Episode 15 – Kill the Religion
- Episode 16 – Kill the Dolls
- Episode 17 – Kill the Curse
- Episode 18 – Kill the Demons
- Episode 19 – Kill the Fate
- Episode 20 – Kill the Pandemonium
- Episode 21 – Kill the Despair
- Episode 22 – Kill the Little Sister
- Episode 23 – Kill the Emperor
- Episode 24 – Akame ga Kill!