Akame ga Kill!

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Akame ga Kill!
Akame ga Kill volume 1 cover.jpg
Cover of the first manga volume featuring Akame.
アカメが斬る!
(Akame ga Kiru!)
Genre Adventure,[1] dark fantasy,[2]
Manga
Written by Takahiro
Illustrated by Tetsuya Tashiro
Published by Square Enix
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Gangan Joker
Original run March 20, 2010December 22, 2016
Volumes 15[3] (List of volumes)
Manga
Akame ga Kill! Zero
Written by Takahiro
Illustrated by Kei Toru
Published by Square Enix
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Monthly Big Gangan
Original run October 25, 2013 – present
Volumes 10[4] (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Tomoki Kobayashi
Produced by Square Enix
Written by Makoto Uezu
Music by Taku Iwasaki
Studio White Fox
C-Station (ONA)
Licensed by
Hanabee
Animatsu Entertainment
Original network Tokyo MX, MBS, BS11, AT-X
English network
Original run July 7, 2014 December 15, 2014
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Manga
Hinowa ga Crush!
Written by Takahiro
Illustrated by strelka
Published by Square Enix
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Monthly Big Gangan
Original run June 24, 2017 – present
Volumes 2 (List of volumes)
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

Akame ga Kill! (Japanese: アカメが斬る!, Hepburn: Akame ga Kiru!, literally meaning "Akame Slashes!") is a Japanese shōnen manga series written by Takahiro and illustrated by Tetsuya Tashiro. It started serialization in Square Enix's Gangan Joker in March 2010. The story focuses on Tatsumi, a young villager who travels to the Capital to raise money for his home only to discover strong corruption in the area. The assassin group known as Night Raid recruits the young man to help them in their fight against the corrupt Empire. The series is known for its graphic content.

The series was licensed by Yen Press in June 2014. A prequel manga focused on Akame's backstory, Akame ga Kill! Zero, began serialization in Square Enix's Monthly Big Gangan in October 2013. A spin-off sequel, Hinowa ga Crush!, began serialization in 2017. An anime television series adaptation of the main series premiered in Japan in July 2014. This is the second work in the Japanese game developer MinatoSoft's Takahiro IV Project. The anime began airing before the manga was complete; as a result, the plot differed between the two, especially the ending.

Plot[edit]

Tatsumi is a fighter who, accompanied by his two childhood friends, sets off to the Capital in search of a way to make money to assist his poverty-stricken village. After being separated from his friends in a bandit attack, Tatsumi unsuccessfully attempts to enlist in the army and is swindled out of his money in the Capital. He is taken in by a noble family, but when an assassin group called Night Raid attacks, he learns that his noble hosts actually intended to torture and kill him as they had done with his friends.

As a result, he joins Night Raid, which consists of the swordswoman Akame, the beastly fighter Leone, the sniper girl Mine, the scissor-wielding Sheele, the string manipulator Lubbock, the armored warrior Bulat, and their leader Najenda, a former general of the imperial army. Night Raid is also part of the revolutionary forces assembled to overthrow the prime minister Honest who is manipulating the young emperor for his personal gain despite the rest of the nation falling to poverty and strife.

The members of Night Raid carry Teigu (帝具, anime: Imperial Arms), unique weaponry created 900 years ago out of extremely rare materials as well as legendary animals called Danger Beasts (危険種, kikenshu). The power of the Teigu is so overwhelming that it is said that when two Teigu users fight each other, one of them is bound to die.

Although Night Raid successfully assassinate some of Honest's cohorts, they lose Sheele during a fight against capital garrison member Seryu and then Bulat when Honest recruits the Empire's sadist general Esdeath and her Three Beasts. Tatsumi receives Bulat's Teigu, Incursio, as a result while Esdeath replaced her slain subordinates with a group of Teigu-using warriors called the Jaegers. Night Raid, along with new recruits Susanoo (a humanoid Teigu owned by Najenda) and Chelsea, fight the Jaegers with Seryu, Wave, and Akame's younger sister Kurome among its ranks. Over time, the two factions gradually lose some of their members.

When the revolution gains momentum, Honest forms a new secret police force, the Wild Hunt, led by his own son, Syura. But Wild Hunt heavily abuses its authority by killing innocent civilians for their own plans, antagonizing both the Jaegars and Night Raid. After a battle between Wild Hunt and the Jaegers, with casualties from both sides, Esdeath blackmails Honest into dissolving the rest of Wild Hunt. Syura is killed by Lubbock after he captures both him and Tatsumi. Lubbock is killed while attempting to escape, and Tatsumi is sentenced to death despite Esdeath's attempts to save his life. The remaining Night Raid members attack the execution site to rescue Tatsumi while being pursued by the imperial general Budo, who Mine manages to kill at the cost of her Teigu while falling into a coma.

Due to the stress he experienced while escaping the execution site, Tatsumi caused Incrusio to transform. It would be revealed that Tatsumi caused the Danger Beast which Incrusio was created from, Tyrant, to awaken with the doctor has predicting that Tastumi can use his Teigu a few more times left before it fully fuses onto his body and consumes him. As this occurs, Night Raid confronts the last members of Wild Hunt and finish them off, with Akame taking out big generals on the Empire's side. Akame leaves a message to Wave that she and Kurome intend to settle things as they promised each other. After his attempt to convince Kurome not to get through with it, fighting his way through Tatsumi, Wave manages to stop the sisters' duel and destroys Kurome's Teigu. With this, Wave and Kurome fake their deaths as they run off to start a new life together.

After hearing the news of the remaining Jaegers' deaths, Esdeath resumes her duties as general to hold off the Revolutionary Army when they begin a siege on the capital to remove Honest from power. As a last resort, Honest convinces the emperor himself to join the fight with his family's Teigu. After the remaining Night Raid members assassinated those in the government who have been pulling the strings behind the stage, only Honest and Esdeath are their remaining targets. However, Honest rigged the emperor's Teigu to go berserk.

To confront the emperor's Teigu, Tatsumi uses his last transformation to defeat it with Wave's help while changing into Tyrant. Before being fully consumed, Tatsumi asks Akame to kill him before he loses control and kills everyone. She does so during her battle with Esdeath, later revealed to have only killed the Danger Beast's soul so Tatsumi can live, managing to defeat the general at the cost of her own sword. Esdeath acknowledges her loss and uses her power to commit suicide while regretting that she never got Tatsumi to return her feelings. As the final battle unfolded, Honest attempted to flee before being mortally wounded by Leone after he fatally wounded her and she fused with the remains of her Teigu to give her enough time to capture him so the Revolutionary War can fully end.

As Honest is later brutally executed with slow dismemberment for his crimes against the people, the Emperor accepts his own public execution while taking responsibility for his inaction as Najenda begins to rebuild their nation into better place. Tatsumi, still trapped in his dragon form, returns to his village with Mine after she recovered and gave birth to their child, who was conceived prior to Mine's coma. Kurome and Wave end up together as well, with the former still scarred by her past while the latter lost one of his internal organs as a price for using two Teigu at once. As for Akame, still working as an assassin to defend the restoring nation from those who would exploit it, she heads eastward to protect her nation and find a means to restore Tatsumi's human form.

Conception[edit]

In 2007, Takahiro was asked to do a manga for Square Enix magazine. He originally came up with the idea of an "all-female band of assassins, and the protagonist is a boy who is captured by them and has to work for them." After his editor approved the idea, he waited on serialization until his company had stabilized and had released two other titles, during which he developed the characters, story and world. In August 2009, following the release of Majikoi - Oh! Samurai Girls, Takahiro looked for an artist for the serialization, and recruited Tetsuya Tashiro to do the illustrations. He liked Tashiro's ability to draw fast-paced action scenes and that he can draw cute girls.Vol. 1 postscript In developing a chapter, Takahiro would write the script first and then have Tashiro determine the panel layout. Takahiro would occasionally get feedback on plot ideas from Tashiro and the editor.Vol. 2 postscript

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Akame ga Kill! is a manga series written by Takahiro and illustrated by Tetsuya Tashiro. It began serialization in the April 2010 issue of Square Enix's Gangan Joker, sold on March 20, 2010.[5][6] The series ended in the January 2017 issue of the magazine on December 22, 2016.[7] The first tankōbon volume was published on August 21, 2010;[8] the fifteenth and last volume was released on February 22, 2017.[9] On August 25, 2017, it was announced that volume 1.5 of the manga, previously included with anime's home video release, would be published as a standalone volume.[10] The series was licensed by Yen Press in June 2014 and the first volume was released on January 20, 2015.[11][12]

A prequel titled Akame ga Kill! Zero (アカメが斬る!零, Akame ga Kiru! Rei) started serialization on 11th issue of Monthly Big Gangan magazine on October 25, 2013. The series is written by Takahiro and illustrated by Kei Toru.[13] The story focuses on Akame's past during the days she worked as an assassin for the Empire. It was licensed by Yen Press in September 2015.[14]

Takahiro launched a sequel manga titled Hinowa ga Crush! (ヒノワが征く!, Hinowa ga Yuku!) with art by strelka in the July issue of Monthly Big Gangan on June 24, 2017.[15][16] Yen Press has licensed the manga, and the publisher is releasing new chapters simultaneously with Japan.[17]

Anime[edit]

An anime adaptation of the manga was announced in January 2014.[2] The series was directed by Tomoki Kobayashi and written by Makoto Uezu. Takahiro is also supervising the scenario. Taku Iwasaki composed the series' music. The series premiered on the Tokyo MX, Mainichi Broadcasting System and Nippon BS Broadcasting television stations on July 7, 2014.[18][19] The anime has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks.[20] The anime was broadcast in the United States on Adult Swim's Toonami block, from August 8, 2015 to February 20, 2016.[21] The opening theme song for episodes 1-14 is "Skyreach" performed by Sora Amamiya, while the ending theme is "Konna Sekai, Shiritakunakatta." (こんな世界、知りたくなかった。) by Miku Sawai; for the proceeding episodes, the opening theme is "Liar Mask" by Rika Mayama and the ending theme is "Tsuki Akari" by Amamiya.[22]

Reception[edit]

The seventh volume sold 24,181 copies within the first week of release.[23] The eighth volume likewise sold 37,833 copies in its debut week.[24] Up until volume 11, the series has sold over 2.1 million copies.[25][26] The English release debuted at 19th in Monthly BookScan during February 2015.[27]

All five volumes of the English translation have appeared on the New York Times Manga Best Sellers list:

  • Volume one stayed on the list for twelve nonconsecutive weeks; for three of those weeks it ranked at number 1.[28]
  • Volume two stayed on the list for four weeks; for one of those weeks it ranked at number 1.[29]
  • Volume three stayed on the list for four weeks; for one of those weeks it ranked at number 2.[30]
  • Volume four stayed on the list for two weeks; for one of those weeks it ranked at number 2.[31]
  • Volume five stayed on the list for two weeks; for one of those weeks it ranked at number 1.[32]
  • Volume six stayed on the list for one week, ranking at number 1.[33]
  • Volume seven stayed on the list for one week, ranking at number 4.[34]

The first volume of Akame ga Kill! Zero also appeared on the list for three weeks, ranking at number 6 for one week.[35]

Both the main and prequel manga combined has 3.3 million copies in print as of August 2017.[36]

Kestrel Swift from the Fandom Post praised the anime's first episode for "harsh, brutal commentary on corruption and how likely it is that the more perfect someone seems, the darker the secret lurking within" as well as its production value by White Fox.[37] Robert Mullarkey from UK Anime Network also gave the series a similar response for its action scenes and violence displayed. However, he criticized some of its characters and claimed the anime needs to "ditch the comedy."[38] While reviewing the series' first eight episodes, Matt Packard from Anime News Network said that "it's stupid and childish" as "There's nothing mature about the idea that evil always takes the form of a psychopath or a power-hungry glutton, or that people become soul-dead assassins because something traumatic happened to them once, or that the physically weak are destined to become slaves and die weeping."[39] In the Goo ranking website, Akame Ga Kill ranked 36th with 9 votes in the list of Anime's Most Miserable Endings.[40][41]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Akame ga Kill!". Sentai Filmworks. Retrieved May 27, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b "Akame ga Kill! Dark Action Fantasy Manga Gets TV Anime". Anime News Network. January 20, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Akame ga Kill! Manga Ends in 15th Volume". 
  4. ^ "Takahiro, Kei Toru's Akame ga Kill! Zero Manga to End in 10th Volume". Anime News Network. Retrieved August 28, 2018. 
  5. ^ JOKER執筆陣コメント - スペシャル - ガンガンJOKER -SQUARE ENIX. Square Enix (in Japanese). Retrieved February 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ アカメが斬る!. Gangan Joker (in Japanese). Retrieved February 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Akame ga Kill Manga Ends on December 22". Anime News Network. October 29, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016. 
  8. ^ アカメが斬る! 1巻 (in Japanese). Square Enix. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  9. ^ アカメが斬る! 15巻. Square Enix. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  10. ^ Ressler, Karen (August 28, 2017). "Akame ga Kill Manga's Volume 1.5 Gets Separate Release on December 25". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  11. ^ "New License Announcements". Yen Press. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Akame ga Kill!, Vol. 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved June 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Akame ga Kill! Manga to Get Prequel in October". Anime News Network. July 21, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Yen Press Licenses Akame Ga Kill! Zero Manga". Anime News Network. September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ Pineda, Rafael Antonio (February 22, 2017). "Akame ga KILL!'s Takahiro Launches New Hinowa ga Yuku! Manga on June 24". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  16. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (May 24, 2017). "Akame ga KILL's Takahiro Teases New Hinowa ga Yuku! Manga's Story". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  17. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (June 23, 2017). "Yen Press Licenses Akame ga KILL Author's Hinowa ga CRUSH! Manga". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 16, 2018. 
  18. ^ "アカメが斬る!" (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs (Japan). Retrieved March 23, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Akame ga Kill! TV Anime's Supporting Cast, Staff Unveiled". Anime News Network. May 20, 2014. Retrieved May 21, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Sentai Filmworks Licenses Chaika - The Coffin Princess, 7 Summer Titles". Anime News Network. July 4, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Adult Swim's Toonami to Run Akame ga Kill, Michiko and Hatchin". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 2, 2015. 
  22. ^ "VIDEO: "Akame ga Kill!" Second Season Commercial". Crunchyroll. Retrieved November 17, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Japanese Comic Ranking, February 18–24". Anime News Network. February 28, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  24. ^ 2013年07月22日~2013年07月28日のコミック [Comics from July 22, 2013 ~ July 28, 2013] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  25. ^ "『アカメが斬る!』第18話登場のブドー大将軍と羅刹四鬼ビジュアル&声優公開". 
  26. ^ 『月刊ビッグガンガン』2014年Vol.11、スクウェア・エニックス、197、958頁。
  27. ^ "Akame ga Kill! #1 Debuts at 19th on U.S. Monthly BookScan February List". Anime News Network. March 6, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Best Sellers - Manga". The New York Times. May 15, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Best Sellers - Manga". The New York Times. August 14, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "Akame ga Kill! Ends in 15th Volume". Retrieved August 20, 2018. 
  37. ^ "Akame ga Kill! Episode #01 Anime Review". The Fandom Post. Retrieved July 8, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Anime Review: Akame ga Kill! - Eps. 1-6". UK Anime Network. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Akame ga Kill! Episodes 1-8". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 2, 2014. 
  40. ^ http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2016-12-02/grave-of-the-fireflies-tops-poll-of-anime-most-miserable-endings/.109432
  41. ^ http://ranking.goo.ne.jp/ranking/category/026/MemyBK1WczQX/p4/

External links[edit]