「修羅を斬る」 (Shura wo Kiru)
I have mixed feelings about this week’s episode – both good and bad. For the main part, I thought the episode was entertaining once again and true to the Akame ga Kill sayings, a character does not last very long after revealing his or her history. Flashbacks, romance stories and future aspirations should be a clear warning that someone is going to die. The action was nonstop and watching Lubbock take down another opponent singlehandedly was amazing. He’s quick on his feet and he thinks before he acts which is more than I can say about Tatsumi. Lubbock’s Imperial Arm is so diverse that it’s no surprise how he came this far. When we were first introduced to him, I kind of brushed him off as your typical pervert in the group. Now I know he’s much more than that and quite capable on the battlefield… it’s just unfortunate that he was backstabbed (literally). No Imperial Arms is perfect either, so no matter how smart Lubbock was at using his, even he couldn’t save himself from falling out of the sky. I think seeing Lubbock’s death will take its toll on Tatsumi… this would be the second(?) time he’s seen a comrade die in from of him and he couldn’t do anything about it. I’d like to see Tatsumi man up and become a more prominent character these days; after all, isn’t he the protagonist? Although I saw Lubbock’s death coming, it’s still bittersweet to know that Lubbock’s last thoughts were of Najenda. Being dragged into this fight just because you love someone, and then killed before they knew? That’s just heartbreak all over. I feel for you Lubbock, I really do.
Now come my gripes with the episode, or just the general storytelling for Akame ga Kill. I’m not a manga-reader; but I’ve heard that since last episode, the anime has deviated quite a bit from the original story which eliminates an entire arc. This arc revolves around Shura’s gang called the The Wild Hunt and to save you some research and digging, they’re a very brutal group that have no sense of humanity and the arc is probably being skipped due to the amount of heavy censorship that White Fox would have to include. So, simply put, I don’t think that the rest of the story will be completely “anime original” since everything else has been straight from the manga so far. However, adjustments will be made so that the outcomes are the same; at least, that’s what I’m hoping. My issue is then, how they go about that… because right now, I see a disconnect between the last episode and yesterday’s. There’s this giant gap between what happened during the last showdown and the current day that doesn’t bridge in my mind – like, what happened to the fight between the Night Raid and the Jaegers? Why did the group split up again? And where are they? The only part of the story I found comprehendible was seeing Lubbock and Tatsumi in the capital, but that still doesn’t explain why they’re there and what they were trying to achieve with this back-stabbing lady. I managed to piece together the pieces in my mind but Akame ga Kill should be more straightforward than that.
This episode officially introduces Shura (Kimura Ryouhei) who was seen in earlier episodes but then disappeared after sleeping with some girl. At the same time, it introduces another villain – one strong enough to rival Esdeath herself, Budou (Gouda Hozumi). This left me confused because Akame ga Kill has always been a very linear story with one enemy for the Night Raid at a time. It’s unlike them to present two antagonists who don’t even have the same agenda, not to mention the entire team behind Shura whom remain nameless. It was hard to focus on which villain would be the ultimate one to beat in the long run – but it’s obvious now, Budou is incredibly powerful. Then that leaves me wondering, why bring back Shura at all? I understand that they probably wanted to tie the Wild Hunt somehow someway and not leave any loose strings, but it felt so short-lived and only to bring the demise of Lubbock. This was the only part of the episode that didn’t jive very well with me since it felt like such a cop out and at the same time, an unfitting addition. I can forgive this slight hiccup if the rest of the series is still delivered well. Hopefully White Fox will still produce a great finale now that we’re in its last stretch. It’d be a terrible fate for the series if it were to fall on its face now but I shall remain skeptical until I see it happen.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: So our new antagonist didn’t last very long… But why would #AkamegaKill bother introducing two then? Ugh not a fan of the new guy >_<