Akame ga Kill! Episode 2: Kill the Authority
As with last week, we were treated to a fairly laid-back start to the episode – although I think the main difference was that things didn’t escalate as dramatically this time. It was very much an episode set aside to induct Tatsumi into Night Raid and properly introduce the weirdos already in the group, coupled alongside a bit of Akame fanservice and Tatsumi’s first assassination mission to seal the deal. I was sort of expecting a bit more character development, but with so many supporting characters introduced there was only time for a bit of Akame – it’s left the rest of them slightly bland for now, much like the cooking and fishing work Tatsumi was assigned. Hopefully that’s a work in progress, as I’m guessing Tatsumi will be making the rounds with various Night Raid members in order to get some training done – he’s onto the pink-twintailed, hostile and Yukarin-voiced Mine next. I didn’t actually expect Night Raid to be a subset of the Revolutionary Army – I thought they were something more akin to a completely independent vigilante force weeding out corruption by themselves. I don’t like the sound of them answering to a potentially dubious anti-imperial force – if the capital is able to breed such corruption, who’s to say the Revolutionary Army aren’t suffering from the same thing? Which would mean that all their efforts to build a better country would have been for nothing.
Akame ga Kill also seems a bit inconsistent on its moral stance so far, which is something I felt was reflected in both Night Raid and Tatsumi himself. While I’m glad that all the members clearly realize that they’re committing murder, which has no moral righteousness behind it, I don’t know about them claiming that justice isn’t part of the deal. When fighting Ogre, Tatsumi made it sound like he was killing for the very purpose of upholding justice – and Najenda and Leone both said something along the same lines about divine punishment. Putting aside his slightly flimsy reasoning for going ahead with his assassination, I liked how Tatsumi actually managed to succeed in killing Ogre, and all by himself as well! That potential death flag actually scared me there for a moment. Maybe I’ve been underestimating him – when push came to shove, he’s twice done what he had to do without much hesitation. And received a cute smile from Akame for his troubles.
On the whole, I felt that this episode was definitely not as dark as I expected it to be – admittedly I was hoping for something on par with the brutal events of last week. I’ve been completely taken in by all these stories of how the manga is like a blossoming fountain of gore and violence, so in that sense it’s my own expectations letting me down here, but on the other hand it’s also down to White Fox to meet the high standards they themselves set with the pilot episode. And to that end, fanservice of Akame and Mine ends up being slightly out of place with the sort of tone I was after – it’s nice, but ultimately it’s not necessary. Leone’s already quite fulfilling in that department. It’s far too soon to lose hope though – it’d actually be unfair to do that a mere two episodes in to a two-cour series. White Fox have delivered before, and I’m still confident they’ll do it again.