Esdeath is putting together a team of Imperial Arms users to hunt down Night Raid! She is also hosting a martial arts tournament, which will give Tatsumi the chance to see her in person and he could use the money.
What did you watch?
After the action-packed two-parter, it’s back to the standard format with episode 9 of Akame ga Kill. I’m expecting a fairly sombre atmosphere from the group having just lost Bulat. At the end of the last episode, they showed us Akame’s sister Kurome who has been summoned to the capital for a new team. As much as I have loved this series up to this point, this is where it gets really good. It’s great before this point, but just you wait. As always, there will be spoilers.
Mine has finally recovered from her injuries in the battle against Seryu and Coro, and she’s anxious to get back to work. When she finally finds the rest of the team, Tatsumi and Lubbock are doing push-ups with Akame and Leone on their backs. Then, Najenda shows up with a backpack and the Imperial Arms they recovered from the Three Beasts. She’s heading to Rebel Headquarters to recruit some new members.
Meanwhile, Wave arrives at the capital with a bag full of fish. He’s excited as he’s been recruited to be a part of a special police force, however, when he gets to the meeting room, there is just one other person there and he looks like a freak! Eventually, Wave musters up the courage to go in and sits at the furthest point from the strange person, who is staring at him. Then Kurome arrives, followed by Seryu, Dr Stylish, and finally Run. Before they’ve got comfortable, a woman in a mask enters the room and attacks them. Of course, it’s Esdeath and this is her new team, the Jaegers.
Tatsumi meets up with Lubbock and Leone in Lubbock’s book shop in the capital. He discovers that Esdeath is holding a tournament and that there is a cash prize. It seems like the perfect opportunity for Tatsumi to see Esdeath for himself and win some money to send back to his village. He enters, pretending to be a blacksmith and easily defeats a much larger opponent. To his surprise, Esdeath comes down to the arena and approaches. Even more surprising, she puts a collar on him and says that she now owns him and takes him back to her room in the castle!
What did you think?
I was expecting a real sombre affair, but this was the funniest episode in the series. There were so many great moments such as Akame making a comment about Leone being bigger than her, which is factual, but Akame has no filter. This is where we really start to see Esdeath shine and it further brings into the light the differences between good and bad and how sometimes good people can end up on the wrong side and vice versa. Then, we also had the Minister and the Emperor going over Esdeath’s demands for a lover and agreeing that it will be almost impossible to find someone like that. Worry not, however, as Esdeath has already started looking for herself.
What was your favourite moment?
I wanted to talk about Wave meeting Bols for the first time, staring back at him through his mask, but I’ll get to Wave later. For this moment, I’m going to choose the point that started the most interesting thread of this series. Tatsumi entered the tournament, pretending to be a blacksmith. He was up against a monster of a man with the head of a bull. The bull claimed to be a martial artist that was kicked out of the Iron Fist temple, presumably for being too much of a badass.
At this point, Esdeath was getting bored of the tournament which was set up as a chance to find a potential user for the scissor Imperial Arms that Seryu recovered from Sheele, however, Esdeath had other reasons. When Tatsumi won, Esdeath took notice and decided to go down and commend him personally on his victory. Tatsumi grew nervous as she approached, as did Lubbock and Leone who were watching from the stands. Then, Esdeath placed a collar on Tatsumi and dragged him out of the arena, knocking him out as he struggled. She had found her man!
What was your least favourite moment?
I’m not quite sure why the guy that Tatsumi faced in the tournament had a bulls head. To my knowledge, there isn’t another instance of any character being part animal. I may be wrong, but everyone so far has been distinctly human. If this is a one-off, it’s a very odd thing to do and would have been easily corrected. It feels out of place too and left me pondering this situation for most of the actual fight. That’s not what you want. The fight should demand complete attention, so this was a weird decision.
Who was your favourite character?
It’s hard to choose, but I think the story following Wave as he arrived at the capital was excellent. One of the great things about Wave is when you realize that Tatsumi could have just as easily been him. Tatsumi came to the capital to join the army but didn’t make it because of his impatience to progress. Had he been accepted, he could have been in this situation. It makes Wave a really interesting character as he’s the what-if guy, showing the other route that had been available to Tatsumi.
I love how it adds another element to the story and shows the progression of both characters. Wave also fits the list of requirements for Esdeath, but I assume he was overlooked as he was already closer to her. I loved his reaction to Bols when he entered the room and then how he desperately tried to find someone normal to talk to, but each time another member entered, they ended up being crazy too. It’s the same reaction, Tatsumi had to the members of Night Raid.
Who was your least favourite character?
I was a little disappointed with Kurome in this episode. Wave attempted to great her and all she could do was to warn him off her candies. Now, there is some relevance to this which will become apparent later, but I felt like she needed a little more. Then, when Esdeath attacked them in a mask, it was Kurome that broke the mask and revealed that it was Esdeath. Admittedly, she was wearing her usual outfit, so it shouldn’t have been that big of a surprise. Anyhow, I just wanted more of Kurome and I think she deserved a better introduction as last week she was sitting on top of a pile of corpses eating her candies. This felt flat in comparison.
What have you learnt?
All good stories involve conflict. Now, conflict doesn’t just mean one side fighting against another. It doesn’t even have to be two people arguing about something. Conflict can occur in a million different ways and between a million different things. In this episode, Wave was introduced as a mirror of Tatsumi. Now, we will get to see how Tatsumi would have acted had he joined the military, in the form of Wave’s internal conflict as he sees the events around him. It’s also a great way of making the enemy relatable and creating conflict in the reader. We know who we should be backing, but the more you begin to understand the villains, the more likely it is that you’ll relate to them.
This episode also set up one of my favourite conflicts of all time when Esdeath decided that Tatsumi was the man she’d been looking for. Part of me wants to really dive into this now, but I don’t want to spoil the remainder of the series. I will make a promise, however, that I will really look into his issue in a later post. That’s something to look forward to!
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!