Bulat and Tatsumi are trapped on a cruise ship with Esdeath’s Three Beasts. With nowhere to run, they will have to fight for their lives and Tatsumi is the only one without an Imperial Arms.
What did you watch?
This was episode 8 of Akame ga Kill and it was also the second part of a two-part episode. I’m hoping to see how the two mesh together. It can be tricky having a part two as the setup is in the first part and the second part generally deals with the payoff. Hopefully, it’s able to do that without sacrificing the flow of the story. If it’s done right, they can be incredibly powerful story devices, but there’s always the danger of it falling flat in the second half, especially as it would have originally aired a week apart. So, let’s see how it did. Don’t forget there will be spoilers.
Bulat had just deflected two attacks and killed Daidara in a split second. Tatsumi watched in awe and then shock as one of the Three Beasts revealed himself to be General Liver, Bulat’s former commanding officer and the reason he abandoned the military. It was a bittersweet reunion as Bulat believed Liver to be dead, but now they were on opposite sides. Liver took the chance to offer Bulat the chance to switch sides and join Esdeath, but of course, Bulat refused. Liver then revealed that he had an Imperial Arms that could manipulate any liquid. With them being on a cruise ship in a large body of water, it would appear that Liver had the advantage.
Nyau, the third member of the Three Beasts was about to use his Imperial Arms to assist Liver, but Tatsumi raced in, but without an Imperial Arms of his own, he wasn’t doing much more than stalling. Liver attacked Bulat with water jets, wearing him down until Incursio withdrew. Liver attempted to call out Bulat, but he’d received massive internal damages from using his trump card. The two continued their fight with swords, Bulat ultimately landing the killer blow, but Liver had injected himself with poison and as his blood sprayed from his body, he manipulated with his Imperial Arms, firing them at Bulat.
Injured and poisoned, Bulat collapsed onto the deck, leaving Tatsumi and Nyau as the sole survivors. Nyau was looking forward to killing Tatsumi, but Bulat made him take Incursio as his last command. The Imperial Arms changed, adapting to Tatsumi’s body, making him stronger. Nyau, his own body enhanced by his Imperial Arms attacked, but Tatsumi blocked and then killed him with a single punch. With the battle won, he ran back to Bulat’s side, but it was already too late.
What did you think?
Once more, this episode flew by and it was the end before I knew it. That’s a sure-fire sign that I am fully immersed. There were some things in this episode that didn’t sit as well with me, but the action was great and seeing Incursio accept Tatsumi was awesome, especially as he got to do his best impression of One Punch Man almost immediately after. I love that the series has started to paint a curious picture of Esdeath. She’s the most feared general and renowned for being sadistic and brutal, but we keep seeing her being kind to her troops. She rescued Liver from certain death and to hell with anyone that disagreed with her, the Minister included. This is what makes this series so interesting.
What was your favourite moment?
I thought it was awesome how Bulat kept pushing Tatsumi. He’s been making him stronger and stronger from day one, but also looks out for him, so forcing him to take Incursio isn’t that surprising. Seeing Incursio adapt to Tatsumi’s body was incredible and even Nyau couldn’t believe what he was witnessing. Then, seeing the power increase it gave Tatsumi was insane. He literally one-hit-killed the guy that had just beaten him convincingly. Bulat was right to be impressed. I also loved how we saw Tatsumi’s friendship with Bulat grow through these first eight episodes and his reaction to Bulat’s death was completely justified. He had been like a big bro to Tatsumi.
What was your least favourite moment?
One thing that I find completely infuriating is when fights are broken up by lengthy dialogue or even worse monologue. Why are they all standing around and letting their opponents blather on and on? Tatsumi had the right idea against Headhunter Zanko when he attacked him midsentence. There was even the point where Liver had been killed and Bulat was dying. Tatsumi and Bulat had a great heart to heart while Nyau stood there and watched. It wasn’t until Bulat pointed out that Nyau was there that he decided to reenter the fight. It just makes no sense to me. If you can’t find a way to integrate the dialogue with the fight, then you’ve got to cut it or move it.
Who was your favourite character?
It was Tatsumi and not just for his One Punch Man impression. He’s shown incredible growth through the series and not least in his relationship with Bulat. When they first met, he jumped at the information that Bulat was gay. Then, as time went on and he grew to know Bulat, his opinion changed. I’m not sure he was ever entirely comfortable with Bulat being gay but he definitely respected and mourned him as a friend… or even as his big brother. I mentioned in an earlier review about how Tatsumi was from a small village and had little experience of the world and now you can see how he’s opening up to new ideas. He’s still got a way to go, but I am enjoying his development.
Who was your least favourite character?
It was Nyau again for standing around and watching them chat instead of going in and finishing the job, but I don’t really want to talk about him. Instead, I’m going to highjack this space to talk about Esdeath. As feared and despised as she is, it’s not by her own men. They revere her and cherish her for the way she treats them. I’d imagine she works them hard, but clearly is a good person to work under, even if the tasks are questionable. Esdeath is one of my favourite characters of all time and it is things like this that make her so intriguing.
What have you learnt?
I mentioned in the last episode about how the fights have been fast and deadly, but then this episode drew out the fight between Bulat and Liver. At least, it appeared that way. There were actually very few attacks on either side and while some of the attacks took longer to show it remained believable in the context of the fight. That said, my takeaway from this episode is something it didn’t do so well. The constant talking between attacks.
I love writing fight scenes, they’re one of my favourite things to write about, so seeing things like this always annoys me. I try to make the fights feel fluid and real, even when people are performing unrealistic attacks. So, adding a paragraph worth of dialogue really throws the flow of the fight. At best, I’ll allow a couple of words from each person involved and usually, they are cut off or disrupted by an attack.
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
- 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!