With the whole of Night Raid back at their base, Tatsumi prepares for the next part of his training with Mine. She’s been the least receptive to him joining the group and the most vocal about it. This should be fun!
What did you watch?
This was episode 3 of Akame ga Kill and it looks like it’s time to lay down some more world-building. So far, I’ve really enjoyed revisiting Akame ga Kill to see what worked and didn’t work. It’s a lot of fun writing down my thoughts on the episode and trying to extract a piece of advice that will aid me and, hopefully, anyone else interested in writing their own fiction. These reviews are a little longer than normal, but I think they’re worth doing and I am certain that I will benefit from the process in more ways than one. So, let’s dive into episode 3 and see what they’re all up to. Don’t forget, there will be spoilers.
Some of Lubbock’s early warning alarms had been activated, alerting Night Raid to potential intruders. Believing them to be tribal assassins, Najenda sends the team to take them out. It is imperative that the location of their base remains a secret. The team split up to take on the intruders, Tatsumi going with Bulat as he’s still relatively new. It isn’t long before they’ve encountered the assassins and quickly take them down. Tatsumi gets to see first hand just how deadly the group are and is introduced to the Imperial Arms.
With that messy business out of the way, it’s time for Tatsumi to resume his training… this time with Mine. She’s made it no secret that she doesn’t want him around and is less than impressed with his abilities. The training is a little unorthodox and involves Tatsumi assisting Mine as she goes shopping. While at the capital, they witness a public execution of a half-dozen people, all at the request of the Minister, the evil force behind the Emperor.
Night Raid is sent out on another mission, which involves assassinating the Minister’s cousin who has been capturing and torturing women, aware that his family ties make him untouchable. Or so he thought. Tatsumi provides cover for Mine as she uses her Imperial Arms, a long-range sniper rifle that gets stronger the more danger she’s in, to take out the target. The rest of the team kill the bodyguards, but one gets past them and heads for Tatsumi and Mine.
What did you think?
It was another great episode for me. This was the first time I was consciously aware of the fight music which is awesome and made defeating the invaders that much more exciting. That’s one of the real advantages of video over writing. It’s impossible to add backing music to written words so you have to rely on pace and flow to achieve a similar result, although it’s rarely as effective. We also had some more details of the world with the Imperial Arms and while they didn’t exactly go into the history of them, it was a good tease. I know what they are and I still want to know more. The episode also had a couple of moments that helped to develop Tatsumi’s relationships with the other members. We’re already seeing some small growth in them which is nice.
What was your favourite moment?
I really enjoyed the opening scene with Night Raid racing through the woods to track down the intruders. They were ruthless and clinical in their actions. Even Lubbock, when faced with the only girl in the group, refused to hesitate. These guys mean business and they are masters at their craft – killing people. Of course, there was also the up-tempo music track which really adds to the atmosphere and maintains your focus. I also enjoyed the moment between Bulat and Tatsumi where Bulat told Tatsumi to call him Handsome or Big Bro. Tatsumi replied with all right, Big Bro. It’s a small bit of growth after his reaction to him in the first episode and was a pretty funny exchange.
What was your least favourite moment?
I’m still not quite sure of the shopping trip. It was interesting that it mirrored the outing that Tatsumi had with Aria back in the first episode and also gave us a chance to get to know Mine. We saw a glimpse into her past, her present, and her future… or potential future. I liked how it built up the bond between Tatsumi and Mine and if that was its only goal it certainly achieved it. It would have been nice to see it develop something in the same way Akame’s training translated into the Ogre assassination. This is still a pretty minor criticism at this point, so I’m not concerned with the overall flow.
Who was your favourite character?
I guess it will have to be Tatsumi as the episode was focused largely on him and Mine. I like Mine, but she can be fairly annoying. She’s overconfident and arrogant, even if she is incredibly talented. With regards to Tatsumi, I like how he’s growing and showing his potential with the decisions he makes and how he put his trust in Mine to shoot the bodyguard without hitting him. His interactions with all of the group are getting easier and you can see how he’s changing around them.
Who was your least favourite character?
We finally get to see the Minister. It was just for a little bit, but it should tell you what Tatsumi is up against. On the face of things, he appears to be another one-note villain, but you don’t get to that position by being easy to read. The fact that none of the other ministers spoke up as the one that had been arrested was dragged away to be drawn and quartered speaks volumes. They know who has the power and are not going to challenge that. Not now anyhow. They portrayed the Minister as a bit of an oath constantly eating and drooling, but appearances can be deceptive.
What have you learnt?
That I’d really like to be able to add a soundtrack to my writing… I know, wishful thinking! Other than that, I’m going to talk about the repeated scenario with different outcomes. In this instance, it was the shopping trips. Both were fairly innocent, but the second time you see something like that, your mind starts to race. You’ve seen this before and you remember how it played out in the end. I think it’s a clever way to heighten the anticipation of the reader. It’s a similar idea to having the hero fail several times before winning. We all know the hero will win in the end, but seeing them fail and then overcome makes it that much more satisfying. I’m not sure whether it’s because it creates doubt in the reader’s mind or at the least leaves them wondering if this will finally be the time they win, but it changes their expectations and creates tension.
Other reviews 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