Tatsumi finds himself at the base of the band of assassins known as Night Raid. Leone is determined to recruit him and introduces him to the rest of the group. Each has some sage words of wisdom… or was it a threat?
What did you watch?
I’m back for more Akame ga Kill with episode 2. This is part of my rediscovering the shows that have impacted me and putting them under some serious scrutiny. Taking the time between episodes to write up my thoughts leads to a very different experience to bingeing them. It’s not necessarily better or worse, just different. I’m sure it will depend on the series too and whether it has a strong throughline that would benefit from watching them back to back. If I want to write about them individually then this is the way it’s got to be as even with my photographic memory, it’s hard to separate them in my mind. Anyhow, get ready for more spoilers.
Tatsumi took a moment to talk to Sayo and Ieyasu as he pondered his future now that they’re dead. Before he’s even given it much thought, Leone has grabbed him and is dragging him around the Night Raid base. She introduced him to all the other members and asked them to give him some incentives. Sheele was first, and she warned him that they would have to kill him if he didn’t join… Having met the group and the commander, Najenda, Tatsumi agrees to join, seeing it as a chance to enact justice on the corruption in the capital.
He began his training with Akame which included cooking and hunting, much to his annoyance. Then, with most of the group out on a mission, he accepts the role to assassinate the corrupt captain of the Imperial Police, Ogre because his face is still unknown in the capital. Akame and Leone take care of the merchant that has been bribing Ogre, while Tatsumi attempts his first mission.
What did you think?
The second episode felt a little slower than the first one but was still a lot of fun. It had more humour and mostly at Tatsumi’s expense. His interactions with the other assassins were fun and revealed a very different side to all of them. I particularly enjoyed the moment that Tatsumi agreed to join them after making a big hopeful speech about how they were performing some sort of public service and bringing the corrupt to justice, and then how that made the rest of Night Raid burst into laughter. Leone summed it up best at that point by saying, whatever way you look at it they were still a bunch of murders. That’s one of the really interesting things in this series. Sure, they are on the side of right, but they are a band of killers.
What was your favourite moment?
It had to be Tatsumi confronting Ogre. I liked the way he drew him into an alley and then begged to become a part of the Imperial Police. With his ability to conceal his aura, he was able to get Ogre to let his guard down, it only for a moment and then the beg was convincing and threw him off completely. Tatsumi may have given himself away at the end, but his attack was so fast that Ogre couldn’t react. Happy with his successful first mission, Tatsumi almost let his guard down as Ogre got back up. The fight after that was excellent and ended when Ogre mocked the people that he’d gotten rid of. That was enough to fire Tatsumi up and his next attack was fatal.
What was your least favourite moment?
There was the moment that Tatsumi was introduced to Bulat and as he was about to shake his hands, Leone revealed that Bulat was gay. Tatsumi jumped back as if he could catch it from Bulat. Now, here’s the important thing about this moment. This is a character’s reaction, not the author’s opinion. Tatsumi is from a small village and I’d imagine knows no better. Now, this isn’t an excuse, but what it does is it sets up Tatsumi for some growth and shows that experiences and knowledge are the way to change behaviours and beliefs. Bulat is a strong character and will have a lasting impact on Tatsumi, so while it’s not a great reaction, it does have a purpose. The oddest part about the whole interaction was that Leone mentioned it in the first place.
Who was your favourite character?
We got to see a lot more of Akame in this episode which was great, but as always Leone stole the show. Her interactions with Tatsumi were great. She seems to run the role of the crazy aunt to the group. I’d say a mother, but she’s too cheeky and wild. Leone has some of the best lines and they’re always hilarious. When she and Akame killed the merchant that had been bribing Ogre, she said, “killed by two hot babes, lucky you!”
Who was your least favourite character?
So, we got a couple more one-note villains in this episode. Firstly, you had the merchant that was presumably at a brothel or something similar making jokes about how he’d just destroyed a toilet. On top of that, he looked like a cross between a jellyfish and a baked potato. Clearly evil. Quickly killed. Nothing to worry about here.
Ogre, on the other hand, was a big menacing looking guy with one eye and that eye was black with a red iris. He couldn’t have been more evil. On top of that, he gleefully taunted Tatsumi and revealed pretty much everything he’d been up to, giving Tatsumi the drive to kill him. Now, Ogre was much more of a challenge that the rich girl from the first episode, so even though he wasn’t much of a character beyond being evil for evil’s sake, he did show us that it’s not going to be completely easy and given that he’s just a captain, there’s far worse to come.
What have you learnt?
I could talk about escalating villains and slowly making them more complex and interesting as they get harder to defeat, but that seems to easy. So, I’m going to focus on growth opportunities. There were a number of these moments in this episode, including the obvious one with Bulat. Peppering the story with small things that can be overcome in time is a great idea and something that allows the character to grow and develop. No one is ever fully formed or else they will become boring. They need obstacles to overcome and not always physical ones. Beliefs and prejudices are just are important and often show much more growth in a character than them getting physically stronger. It’s all about creating opportunities for the characters to change.
Other reviews in the series
- Episode 1 – Kill the Darkness