Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens

July 15, 2018

Judging from the name of this anime, I thought Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens would be an anime about ramen. Which feels pretty weird because in that same season, another ramen themed anime was aired (Ramen Daisuki Koizumi-san). So why the heck do they need to show 2 different ramen anime in a single season? Is it ramen appreciation month? It doesn’t make sense and even more confusing when I saw the promotional poster that does not indicate any relation to ramen whatsoever. Even more baffling reading the synopsis that this series’ setting revolves around assassins, murderers, professional and hired killers. I don’t think that the ramen in Hakata are that good that it is worth dying for. Just saying…

Episode 1
A guy is in danger of being assassinated by this hot chick. Oh wait. It’s a cross-dresser! He tries to bribe him to spare his life but Lin Xianming is one who sees through his contract because he is a professional killer. But to his dismay his mission isn’t over yet as his employer gives him another target. With this, he hopes to free his little sister, Qiaomei. However upon arriving at the spot, the police already cordoned off the area and it is believed the target committed suicide. Oh well, job is done then. Meanwhile this nice and meek looking guy, Saitou joins a company that hires killers! Is he up for the job? Detective Shigematsu is talking to his freelance colleague, Zenji Banba that this isn’t suicide but one that is setup to make it look like one. He knows the man well so he knew something was off in his ‘suicide note’. There is a photo of a mayor candidate, Shoutarou Harada and his female bodyguard, Reiko Asakura. Speaking of which, they are in town campaigning. Banba pops a balloon to see the reaction of Reiko. If she shielded him, she is his bodyguard but however the stance she took was definitely a hitman’s reaction. Reiko returns to her colleagues. They will have their hands full again because the mayor’s idiotic son, Yuusuke has killed a woman he has a fling with and wants them to clean up. Banba sees his informant, Enokida to find out more about Reiko. She worked at Red Rum Inc until 5 years ago. Everyone in their line knows that this company is just a cover up for Murder Inc, a hitman organization. Her specialty is poison. Reiko tries to advice the idiot Yuusuke to be more careful and not cause his father more problems but he doesn’t care. Not that he likes his father anyway. More problems because dimwit college boy has footage of his friends beating up foreigners and he plans to upload it online. She quickly unplugs the power and wants the names of all his friends involved.

One of the foreigners takes out his complaints at Bar Babylon. This is no ordinary bar as it is one who accepts requests for vengeance. His friends got hold of one of the attacker’s name card, Jun Murase. Jirou accepts the avenger job. Saitou gets his own fake name card as a wine salesman and is warned of a hitman who kills hitman. But Saitou doesn’t need to be concerned with this opportunistic Niwaka Samurai as he only kills those worth their salt. Should he be insulted or relieved? Banba does more investigation and meets up with Yamato. He talks about a guy killed this morning because he cheated his host club millions. Lin is not amused he didn’t get the agreed amount so he calls Zhang his employer about it. In such a bad mood already, he punches passing Yamato for swiping his ass. Lin didn’t realize he stole his purse. Saitou is tasked to kill Murase so his great plan is to hide in his room. Oddly somebody else rings on the door. Being an amateur, he opens it but Jirou mistakes him for Murase and punches him out. Lin is face to face with Zhang and complaining. He is warned if he keeps this up, he’ll have the Samurai deal with him. If he wants cash, go kill this Banba guy as he is sticking his nose around his business too much. When Banba returns to his office, Lin is already waiting for him. However he is not here to kill him but to protect him.

Episode 2
It seems Lin rejected Zhang’s offer and will kill whoever he hired to kill Banba. Saitou wakes up and sees Jose “Maru” Martinez torturing and skinning a guy like how he did to his cat. Horror. Luckily Saitou is given a chance to speak as he clears his name he isn’t Murase. So where is the real one? Dead in an accident. Looks like DUI. Of course this is set up to make it look like one. Lin will not let Banba leave as part of his protection plan but Banba complains about spicy pollock roe he needs. If he can’t go get it, maybe he could on his behalf. Of course it’s a wild goose chase because there are so many varieties to choose from. Should have been more specific. With this distraction, Banba sees Enokida to find out more about Lin. Lin faces off with Maru but after the latter punches his face, he leaves. Claiming he is an avenger, they don’t do more to the target than was done to the client (Yamato in this case). When Banba returns, Lin just finished beating up a killer who was waiting to ambush him. Banba smoothly returns his purse and makes it look like he left it on his chair. Zhang sees Munakata and they make a transaction for a human trafficking girl. Munakata pays him the cash but Zhang wants something else instead. Kill a hitman who used to work for him. That poor girl becomes the latest plaything for that idiot Yuusuke.

Munakata’s team is on their way to kill Lin. He talks about the Samurai and nobody knows his real identity because those who do are all dead and killed by him. Saitou calls Jirou as he saw Murase’s death reported on the internet. Was he involved? Nope. They were together at the same time, remember? Saitou then sees his bank account. Looks like he got a windfall from killing Murase?! At first his conscience tells him to return the money he did not earn but after seeing those astronomical figures, it’s time to party! He hits every boob touching joint in town. Banba is surprised Lin likes to watch romance dramas. His reason is that in this line of work, he needs to know the lives of regular people. Can he tell fiction from reality? Banba further asks why he became a hitman. Was it out of debt? Sort of. It seems he needs 5 million to clear it. Banba suggests if he could pay off his debt right now, what would he do? There. Cold hard cash right in front of you. This has Lin answer more of his questions like the organization he works for (a bunch of yakuza who were exiled plus a few Chinese mafia) and it is mostly involved in human trafficking. Showing him a picture of a man, Lin recognizes him as Wang Longfang and the head of the organization. Banba now connects the dots as to why the mayor doesn’t want anyone seeing them together. Saitou must really be having a great f*cking spree. He wakes up naked with bed and next to him is a naked girl. Last night must be a blast, huh? Well, sh*t is going to hit the fan because this girl is dead!!! OMG!!! Lin leaves as he contacts Zhang. He is confident he can pay off his debts now. However Zhang tells him he didn’t see the news. Conveniently it is playing right before his eyes. A Chinese girl named Qiaoming is found dead in a hotel and they are finding a man who was sharing the room with her. Zhang further adds a good buyer showed up recently to buy her and had he been more cooperative, they could have reunited. I guess the money doesn’t mean a thing now. He is going to kill him and his sister’s murderer.

Episode 3
Saitou is actually framed by Munakata and Reiko who really make it look like he did it. Lin barges through and kills mercilessly Zhang’s men until he reaches him. But Zhang isn’t worried. He further reveals the money he sent back to China for his mom, he pocketed it all. Distracted, Lin is restrained by giant Ivanov. Zhang claims he is just a killer and not a professional, that’s why he cannot kill him. He leaves it to Ivanov to settle this. Lin pulls out a hidden knife to stab him but it doesn’t work. But a knife pistol did the trick. Banba then walks in. He had a tracer on Lin and will now put it on Ivanov. Saitou pours out his woes to Jirou. He didn’t really kill her. He explains he almost killed somebody while playing baseball. It was unintentional but that incident scarred him. But Red Rum seemed to accept that and hired him. Saitou requests to be avenged. Frame the person who framed him. Zhang is disappointed that Lin still lives. Munakata wants to take this responsibility so Zhang tells him to capture him alive so he can kill him. Munakata knows Ivanov wasn’t done in by the Samurai as he only uses swords. He remembers seeing the Samurai once but it was only from the shadows. He was to snipe his target but the Samurai got to him first. Paralyzed by his killing intent, the Samurai threw a dagger and blinded an eye of his. He quit his hitman job and got employed by the mayor as he thought it would be a less risky job. Banba agrees to help Lin find his sister’s killer but wants 5 years’ worth of spicy pollock roe. Zhang calls Genzou Gouda who supposedly knows the Samurai and wants him hired for a job.

Banba and Lin see Enokida who show hotel footage that Saitou came in to the room with a completely different girl (Reiko) and then a man (Ivanov) came in with a giant suitcase that could hide a corpse and put it in place. A recorded conversation from the tracer that Yuusuke brokered to buy a girl. Yuusuke has a bad record of dabbling in shady things but is of course covered up and never made public. Lin wants to kill this guy as he is the one who murdered Qiaomei but Banba as a different idea. Noting they want to buy another girl, Lin agrees to play that girl. He is perfect for the part, no? Banba talks to Genzou as he reveals he and Lin have been targeted. He has to follow through this job but doesn’t want to see him dead. He asks if he can introduce the Samurai to Kakyu Association. Banba gives him the green light. What about him being killed? Maybe he’ll play dead. Munakata and Reiko ambush Enokida to find their target’s location. Enokida is willing to sell them information for a price but just this time, he gives his info for free and tells them about Banba helping Lin to kill Yuusuke and that Qiaomei is Lin’s sister. But he doesn’t need to worry about finding them because they’ll come to him. Banba becomes Lin’s broker as they meet up with a henchman for an exchange (Lin is hiding inside the suitcase). When Lin is brought to the place and emerges from the suitcase, looks like Zhang has anticipated their ‘reunion’. We meet again.

Episode 4
We see in detail Enokida selling out to Munakata and Reiko. Zhang tells Lin that his informant sold him out and as proof, there is Banba’s decapitated head from the Samurai! But Lin notices something off. Does Banba have ear piercing holes? Before he has his head cut off, the Samurai then whispers about the 5 years’ worth of spicy pollock roe. He decapitates Zhang and swiftly avoids all bullets to take down all his henchman! But what if a bomb is thrown? Hit it back like baseball! Munakata knows if he escapes, he will regret this. So he faces him and gets sliced. In the aftermath, Lin seeks an explanation about the fake head. He went to see Dr Saeki to get a corpse and do a bit of cosmetic surgery. He also got the corpse to make its hair like him from Jirou since he was a hair stylist. As for his status and nickname as the Samurai, he once accepted a job to kill hitmen. A few kills here and there and suddenly he got that nickname. He is still a detective, though. They make their way to Yuusuke’s place. But first Banba calls Reiko. He tells her he killed her comrades and their target is Yuusuke. Reiko is smart enough to leave and will not sacrifice her life for this piece of sh*t. But at the door is Jirou and Saitou. Saitou identifies her as the one so Jirou punches her out. Banba and Lin go in to find Yuusuke. He is hiding in the closet. So why didn’t he shoot Lin on sight? Heck, Lin even taunts Yuusuke to shoot him since he is going to get killed by the Samurai. Yuusuke gives in to his taunts but before he could fire, Saitou couldn’t stand this violence and throws a curveball knocking Yuusuke out.

Yuusuke is tied up and made to confess all the girls he murdered. This recording is streamed live all over Japan! But streaming is stopped when Yuusuke tries to describe the Chinese girl and this riles up Lin as he beats the sh*t out of him for killing his sister. Then Maru takes over the rest of the torture. With that done, Banba talks to him about what will happen next. Like with Yuusuke’s confession, the mayor will be in ruin as his collusion with criminal organizations will come to like. Reiko will be framed that she killed Zhang of Kakyu Association and the abduction of Yuusuke. Lin plans on leaving tomorrow since he has no reason to stick around. Banba reminds him he is breaking his contract. That 5 years’ worth of spicy pollock roe. Looks like he is going to be around now. Lin now joins Banba’s baseball team called Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens (HTR). It includes Genzou, Enokida, Yamato, Maru, Jirou, Shigematsu, Saeki and loli Misaki as manager. Lin and Saitou have joined as newcomers. Lin isn’t impressed since he doesn’t know how to play baseball. But Saitou might relive his glory days. He looks a bit different since his original face is known to public as a serial killer so Saeki gave him a cosmetic surgery. HTR is up against Dazaifu Sanders.

Episode 5
An order is out to kill Saitou since he knows the company’s secrets. Meanwhile Shunsuke “Saru” Saruwatari is dissatisfied he only gets weak targets and threatens to live. They let him go seeing he isn’t popular and even warn he will regret it. Wait. Shouldn’t they kill him? So now he is wandering around and he meets his old right hand man, Naoya Nitta. He is a hitman consultant. Yeah, there’s such a thing. Hearing out Saru’s wish to have strong targets, he has the perfect place for him. How does going up with the Samurai sound? Enokida meets up with Gwen for information about Saitou since he is his target. Saru thinks Nitta is making fun of him since he is introducing ninja weapons. So a samurai and now a ninja? He gives a list of hitmen from some organization and to pick a few to kill. They’ll eventually pick up on somebody killing their men. Lin learns that Banba will temporarily stop working while he is away participating at the local Yamakasa festival. Since Genzou fired a couple of guys for killing the wrong target, Banba thinks Lin could cover for him but he won’t. Nitta is surprised Saru killed everyone on the list. Well, they’re all weaklings. Nitta reveals he is meeting with his client from Kakyu Association as they want the Samurai dead. This could be his big break. Enokida calls Saitou to tell him someone is waiting for him at his home to kill him. Bye. Yeah, what kind of dumb killer leaves the windows open and waits right in plain sight for his target to return? Naturally Saitou runs and calls Banba for help but since he is out drunk, Lin takes over and is willing to help. He has Saitou run and hide in a train. That’s the problem with killers talking instead of killing. Because this gives Lin enough time to fight him. But Gwen takes Saitou hostage. WTF?! Aren’t you supposed to kill him? For the first time, Lin uses Banba’s baseball advice to get the better of Gwen and kill him. Luckily nobody is on the train. I bet somebody is going to freak out when they see a bloodied corpse. Saru is given a chance to kill the Samurai. He will do it since he is strong.

Episode 6
Hey. Lin is impersonating Samurai as he faces off with Saru?! Regretting of taking on the job in Banba’s stead? Halfway through, a couple of punks (the ones fired by Genzou) kidnap Lin into their van. Thanks to Nitta paying a hefty amount to Enokida, he manages to track the van down. However Saru is not going to be happy when he learns from the guys that this Samurai is fake and is already dead. It seems they hired a torturer to beat him up to spill the beans that he isn’t the real deal but then the torture went overboard and now he’s dead. A picture of Lin is posted and for the real Samurai to show up. Genzou has to interrupt Banba in the middle of his festival and this dude is willing to ditch his festival to go rescue Lin. When Banba arrives, he meets Saru and is told about the circumstances. But before they fight, the Kakyu Association interrupts. Change of plans. Their boss, Wang wants to kill him instead. Saru is left fuming over Nitta’s betrayal but since that guy dares him to kill him if it makes him feel better, reverse psychology works. But Nitta also betrays his employers as he has placed a tracker on Kakyu Association. Lin wakes up alive back in Jirou’s place. When they saw Lin’s picture posted, they had to scramble for a plan. They had to find a similar dead body and doll it up to match his. Maru was called to torture and did the body switch. Lin apologizes for trying to be the Samurai so when he calls Genzou and he learns what happened to Banba, he rushes out. His turn to do the saving?

Saru kills the lowly guards to save Banba. He can’t kill him if he’s dead. Yeah, I figure that too. With the Kakyu Association guys hot on their tail, suddenly they get news that Wang is dead and stop their pursuit. Apparently had he not busy f*cking his mistress and went ahead to kill Banba, it wouldn’t have happened. Did he die during sex? Now Banba and Saru can fight to their heart’s content. But it has to be a draw since Saru almost fell off the building and Banba saved him to repay his debt. Another time, okay? Nitta talks to his colleague, Sayuri. There was an insane request to assassinate Wang but how did she manage to slip pass the guards because all women who sleep with him will be subjected to a thorough body check. Yeah, they didn’t check the poison in her nails. Lin gets his vengeance as Maru beats up the guys who torture him. Lin finally finds Banba when it is all over. They talk things out and he apologize for impersonating him. But Banba is most upset that the festival is over. This year is particularly special and he waited all year for this. Now it’s gone. Like Lin cares. Don’t worry. He’ll treat him to ramen with spicy pollock roe. HTR is against Ogura Fried Udons (OFU) in another baseball match. It seems Saru is on this team and Sayuri as their hot manager! It gets heated between Banba and Saru so they trade blows. Their headgear falls off and they realize who they are! It’s a small world after all.

Episode 7
Kazuo Matsuda gets a blackmail telling him to bank in millions or his secrets will be exposed. Yagi his butler knows someone who can deal with this. Saeki is baffled as he shows Banba and Lin a few photos of homeless guys being beaten to death. Also, Saitou has been arrested because for cybercrimes? Thankfully Enokida liaised with the police to get him released as Saitou explains how some remote virus hacked his PC and made it look like he did all those cybercrimes. Some guy sees Chegaru and wants this person named Macro Hard taken out because he has been snooping around politicians they have been supporting. Chegaru returns to his henchmen, Siva the hacker and Irasawa the washed up boxer to begin their operation. Yagi sees Banba and Lin to find a long lost person. Doesn’t that look like Enokida? Speaking of which, here he is! They know each other and immediately he runs. Yagi shows us he is no butler to be messed with as he jumps down the window to catch up with him! Siva hacked into Macro Hard’s PC and finds something interesting. Of all the people he has hacked and blackmailed in his folder, Matsuda’s name popped up. Siva knows he has a son who hacked into the Metropolitan Police site during the heat of an election but that case was covered up. He goes by the name Black Leg Nameko and lucky him he has found a footage that shows he is around town. Yeah, it’s Enokida.

Enokida still holds a grudge against his father who tried to kill him. Well, Yagi was ordered to kill him (for the hacking) but did not. He let him flee to Hakata where he has some friends should he stumble into trouble. Enokida doesn’t want to have anything to do with this but Yagi says he is here to hire him. If he is a professional, he shouldn’t let his personal matters disrupt business. Saeki calls Banba and Lin as he receives another dead body again. However this isn’t a homeless guy. This guy is Macro Hard. They check out his address nearby and Enokida is also here. It seems his PC is gone as they notice a hidden camera watching them. Watching it, they see several men coming in to beat him up and then take away his PC. Chegaru reports to his employer Macro Hard has been taken care of but warns of Black Leg. Considering him a threat, he wants him taken out too. Enokida receives a call from his friend in the police that M3 is targeting him. It is an organization of hitmen targeting hackers. In no time, a bounty is put on Enokida’s head on the shady website. Thank goodness Banba sees it because otherwise he wouldn’t have rushed to save Enokida’s ass being ambush at the alley. How the f*ck does he know where he is? He didn’t bring up that tracker thingy. Unless it’s given. As Enokida tries to take down the post, he realizes too late it is a trap to track his every move. How about going offline? That too is a trap and what they expect him to do because how useful can a hacker be without his computer? But Enokida gets an idea when they talk about bait. He parts ways with Banba and goes on his own.

Episode 8
Siva tracks Enokida’s movements from time to time. When Irasawa is sent to get him holed up in some public toilet, only his laptop is there. Siva realizes he used a remote virus to hack the laptop and then control it from his handphone. Enokida has hacked the site to remove his name but he put Saitou’s name as distraction. Poor guy now has mercenaries after his ass but thankfully Enokida sent Yagi to protect him. Siva uses the ol’ street cameras and manages to pinpoint Enokida’s whereabouts. As he is hanging out in a café, the cue is made for Irasawa to kidnap him when he temporarily cuts off electricity. Irasawa beats the crap out of Enokida in his personal boxing ring. Then it’s time to kill him. Chegaru is satisfied with the death of Enokida from the video he downloaded. Next day he waits for his employer to tell him about his done mission but is shocked to see the real Enokida coming to talk to him.

Enokida reveals his brilliant plan. The one Irasawa beat up was Lin in disguise. Yeah, he really took a beating before it was his cue to cut him up. Lin also had a different camera and this one was used and edited to make it look like Irasawa killed him. It all started when Enokida during his walkabout sent a coded message to Banba and Lin’s handphone. Banba was able to decipher it to send Yamato to swipe his wallet at a certain intersection at a certain time. Inside his wallet contains his following plans. While waiting at the café, Lin came in and sat a few tables away. After Enokida made a few distracting calls and entered the toilet, Lin then followed. Both exchanged clothes and places. The rest is history. Irasawa is tied up and tortured by Maru for the details of his colleagues. When Chegaru downloaded the video, it had a virus that would allow Enokida to steal all his information as well as those he is connected to. This means he got his employer’s detail as well. All that is left is for the police to arrest him. Siva is ruining people’s lives by editing fake photos of them. He is stopped dead in his tracks when Samurai knocks him out. Enokida sees off Yagi at the train station. He noticed on Macro Hard’s PC all the details pertaining to Matsuda’s case many years ago. Why did Yagi bought a plane ticket in his father’s name after faking his death? Yagi reveals it was part of his orders to fake his death and let him escape. Enokida always thought his father saw him as sick and incurable. Yagi lets him know the other half of what he said. The best way to cure it was to set him free. Dad’s birthday is coming up but Enokida won’t go back to that place. Rather, he sends a prank happy birthday message and his father knows it is him. He realizes he has been pranked and has Yagi search the entire room for bugs. Enokida has his sweet revenge while enjoying his BBQ with the rest.

Episode 9
Lin just finished a job that returns the favour to the culprits of betraying the ones they trusted. This seems not to sit well with Lin. Lin looks like he is getting the hang of HTR’s complicated baseball coded signs. But this teamwork action has him remember his gruesome past. Living the poor rural life, a broker tried to coax his sick mom to sell her children. Of course she refused. One day, Lin (real name, Maomei) and other boys were taken from the village. Lin was the only one left in the long journey and was sent to a facility that trains assassins. His partner is Fei Lan. Apparently his partner committed suicide so they brought a replacement. On many occasions, Fei Lan helped Lin out when the going gets tough. Lin reveals he sold himself and lied to mom he got a job. Fei Lan on the other hand says he was born to a prostitute and she thought she could use him for the trade but couldn’t. So ending up here was the best thing for him. Both agree to work together for 5 years and get out of this joint. They train hard, suffer hard until they are the best among the teams. On the day they are supposed to take their final exam, it is a fight to the death. No time limit. No holds barred. The winner is the one left standing. Or both die. Lin thought of a plan to pretend fighting each other to keep hitting and break the chains. However Fei Lan betrays and stabs him. He reveals his former partner’s suicide was a lie. He overheard how the finals were to be conducted and killed him thinking he would get out of here but then Lin came as a replacement. Lin becomes mad over this betrayal and slices his left eye before stabbing him. Lin ‘graduates’ with flying colours. Of course right now, Fei Lan is still alive and a professional killer in Beijing. He has info about Lin’s whereabouts and is going to see his old partner.

Episode 10
Banba and Saru coincidentally see each other at the batting centre. You bet sparks are going to fly. Sayuri comes to see Banba but only Lin is in. She tells him she was Banba’s girlfriend and is here to hand him a list of Kakyu Association’s executives. Yup, Banba plans on taking them out. Nitta sees Lau of Sheung Wan. He wants his organization’s presence here and since Kakyu Association is in disarray after Wang’s death, he plans to strike in this confusion. Nitta suggests Saru for the job but Lau wants to test him by taking out a few simple targets. Coincidentally, Banba and Lin as well as Saru select the same targets. Although assassinated at different times, when they get to their next target, they are shocked to see the target dead. Kakyu Association has the executives shipped to a save place and has Suzuki in charge of overseeing a hired killer who can take out these guys. That killer is of course Fei Lan. His condition to work for them is that he wants to know the whereabouts of Lin. Of course they want to test his worth too so Fei Lan easily kills a spy in a convenience store. Lin thought he spotted Fei Lan in the streets. So that’s why he now has those nightmares? Because of that, he plans on running away, fearing he has become complacent and almost falling into that trap. Get out before Banba betrays him? Unfortunately he bumps into Enokida who ‘threatens’ to tell everything if he doesn’t help do a favour to keep his mouth shut. Enokida needs him to take out a killer who killed one of their informants. Lin is shocked to see from the CCTV that guy is Fei Lan. With Suzuki providing details on Lin, Fei Lan agrees to do whatever he is told. But he goes overboard and kills all the Sheung Wan people in their hidden drug stash. Then Saru enters. You know what happens to people who kill his prey, right?

Episode 11
The fight is getting good until Suzuki misfires and sends Saru falling into the sea. Of course that won’t kill him but guess what? He can’t swim! Thank goodness for Banba passing by. A couple of abducted Sheung Wan guys are forced by Fei Lan to fight to the death so that the survivor could bring the head of the loser back to Lau. Inside his mouth is a ring in which Lau suddenly understands and changes his orders not to attack Kakyu Association. Lee who is now the boss of Kakyu Association calls Suzuki as Sheung Wan proposes a ceasefire. Both sides meet up and agree for Sheung Wan not to encroach into Kakyu Association’s territory who will in turn not prevent them from entering other areas. There is also another condition: Trade their hired killers. Lin realizes that Enokida has told everyone about his story with Fei Lan, that’s why they’re giving him lots of gifts. A call from Shigematsu for Lin. A couple of murders with guys of the same named, Hayashi (pronounced as Lin if kanji is read in Chinese). Both have nothing in common except their names. Because he describes the way the victims died, Lin knows this is Fei Lan’s doing and is a message. Lin asks Enokida a favour to find out the next Hayashi he will target. It seems the other thing in common is that those guys buy medicine from the same pharmacy in which the list is sold to Kakyu Association. Looks like there is another Hayashi on the list. Lee tries to poison Fei Lan but he can smell poison and quickly injects some virus into him. If he wants the cure, he must do as he said. Meanwhile Nitta puts sleeping potion in Saru’s drink. When he wakes up, he is mad at Nitta’s betrayal. But Lau is going to kill Saru instead of trading him. This isn’t part of Nitta’s deal, that’s why Lau will compensate him with money. After all, all assassins are tools, right? Nitta gladly accepts the money but then shoots all of them. After he frees Saru, he gets punched. Nitta explains he was just acting and saved him instead of betraying. Not sure if that’s a lie too but whatever. Sure, all assassins are tools but Nitta takes care of his tools, especially ones that are valuable. By the time Lin arrives at the next Hayashi’s house, he is already dead. Fei Lan is seen waiting. He explains Lin messed up in killing him. The one who picked up the corpse noticed he wasn’t dead and sold him to a sick man who loved torturing him. So is he here for revenge? He wants Lin to team up with him and go around the world killing and making a fortune. But Lin refuses and it’s not about the money. He loves this place and the people he has met. In that case, Fei Lan will destroy this city and his friends.

Episode 12
Lin doesn’t want to kill him so Fei Lan fights him to force him to remember his old self. Lin is smart not to tackle him in close quarters so he makes his escape albeit at the price of spraining his escape from that leap out the window. When he is about to call Banba for help, that guy is here. He heard from Enokida and of course there is a tracker on Lin. Sorry to cut this reunion short because Fei Lan shoots Banba in the gut. He has Suzuki and his men take them in. They wake up in a cell in Kakyu Association’s HQ. Banba’s doing fine. Who patched him up? Were the baddies kind enough to do that? Banba learns from Lin about his fear, that’s why he wanted to run away. Banba doesn’t consider his act as stupid. After all, he was also betrayed. But he wants to trust the people he wants to trust. Even if Lin fears of being betrayed again, he believes he will trust again. You can’t play baseball if you cut everyone out after making small errors. With Fei Lan here, we can see where this is going as he unlocks a cabinet full of weapons. They will kill each other and the survivor walks free. Lin won’t do it but Banba walks up and picks up a baseball bat. Lin knows he never kills with that weapon and knows the baseball signs he is sending to him. But when he picks up a knife, Fei Lan shoots it off his hands, knowing he would do something like that. He then threatens to kill Banba. Here is where he reminds us his awesome samurai skill again. When he shoots, he uses the bat to deflect and hit a henchman! WTF?! So damn precise to go through the bars?! Lin uses the knife pistol to pump a few bullets into Fei Lan. Then in precise timing, Banba pushes Lin into the cabinet before a big explosion occurs.

Flashback 30 minutes ago, Jirou at the front gates of the HQ wants the sole dumb baddie to let Misaki use the toilet. Of course he didn’t care but when the gay guy got mad, I guess he relented. Misaki then unleased a mini robo vehicle in which Saeki controls to go around the HQ with Enokida’s hacking. The gang could relay to Banba since he has a transmitter in his ear. That’s why the timing of the explosion was precise. Big holes in the wall and cage but no Fei Lan. Lin wants to settle this by himself and assures he could do it. Since Genzou was once a famous hitman, he comes out from retirement just for tonight and goes guns ablazing in his trench coat mafia style. Stupid goons just show up to be gunned down. Enokida does his hacking while Maru reliefs his boredom by being his bodyguard and beating up weaker goons. Saru is looking for Fei Lan but bumps into Banba. Banba offers to be his opponent and will not let him get to Fei Lan. Saru sees his wound and is in no condition to fight so he gives up. So he is done targeting Fei Lan? Meanwhile Lin follows Fei Lan’s blood trails. They meet again as Fei Lan gives him one last chance to join forces. Again Lin turns him down. He loves this city and people and wants to stay here for real. This time Lin is willing to kill him and is not his old self anymore. A short epic knife bout before it ends in an undramatic fashion with Lin slashing a big one across his body after some candy spitting distraction. At this range, Lin will not miss. Fei Lan’s last words are he was envious of everything Lin had that he didn’t. Was he talking about his freedom? Whatever. Dead body doesn’t need to know. In the aftermath, Lin returns to Banba’s groupies and nothing says peace like having a friendly baseball match. It’s HTR against OFU. Can Banba strike a homerun before Saru strikes him out? By the power of spicy pollock roe…

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger
Although this is a great anime, I don’t want to spoil it but I can’t help feel a little disappointed with the ending. Not to say it is bad but it isn’t satisfying either. Like as though it is a bit rushed. So does that mean I want a so called winding down episode that lasts an entire episode of its own? Well, the fact that Fei Lan can be considered as a thorn and blot in Lin’s past and for them to get it over quickly with this short reunion makes it look a bit rushed. I mean, Fei Lan got killed as quickly without any fanfare. Yeah, I was expecting the fight to last longer but I realized we’re out of time. Besides, dying a fast death without any distraction seems pretty legit. As a professional killer, you don’t want to drag out a fight that you are almost very sure of winning. Because you know in movies, bad guys always rant when victory is at hand only to give time to the hero to snatch it away and turn the tables. So maybe yeah, the ending might feel unsatisfying but at least it isn’t too cliche. And then we get to see this happy ending of the main characters playing baseball together. Because it’s like they all lived happily ever after playing baseball. Until the next hit job then.

This series is pretty interesting as it reeks familiar elements found in other anime series like Hamatora, Baccano and Durarara. I feel it reminds me a bit more of Hamatora because of that baseball thingy. Just take away the supernatural elements. The enigmatic and interesting characters, the intriguing setting as well as the undeniably lively jazzy background music, this series might not be the most original or fresh of plots but with all those creative elements and great pacing combined, it is surprisingly one of the better series of the season. It even has its own brand of humour especially the names of certain organizations like Red Rum which I assume they parody that iconic word in The Shining. Yup, you would have guessed it is murder spelled backwards. And then you have online websites ShadyJobs.com. Just hilarious.

Divided into several small mini arcs is one of the reason why this series is entertaining instead of dedicating the entire series with a dozen episodes to just a single storyline. Although the arcs can run independently of each other, they are built upon the last arc in the sense of the character dynamics and relationship. Although some of the twists and turns in the plot are itself interesting, sometimes I feel that the revelation of things might feel a bit hasty. Like as though it is for the plot convenience. You know, it’s time to reveal to the viewers what the heck is going on so here is an explanation to put things into perspective and the pieces of the puzzle together.

While the plot is interesting and not hard to follow, the biggest flaw that this series suffers from is the characters. There are a few comrades working together with Banba but this series mostly has its focus on Lin. Sure, he is one of the main characters and the star of this show, having the first and the last arc as him as the centre of attraction. Though we have a mini arc that focuses on Enokida and this is very much welcomed as we get to know more about this enigmatic hacker, this means the other characters are tossed aside and we do not get to know more about them. For example, it would be interesting to know more about Jirou’s background and how he came to adopt Misaki. Or it would be entertaining to know how Yamato became an expert pickpocket and Saeki entering this shady surgery field. What about Genzou who was lately revealed as a once famous hitman? In his line of profession in which he must have been such a pro, he must have stepped on many toes and hence many would like to kill him. So why is he retired so easily running his ramen stall? Unless he killed them all. Hence it makes them nothing more than just plot conveniences and shallow characters that we don’t want to care about. Ultimately, they’re just characters that exist so that baseball crazy Banba could complete his HTR baseball team. Play ball!

Even Banba who is supposed to be the other half making the supposedly dynamic duo, feels lacking. We know he is cool and has his own ways of solving problems. Personally, him being Niwaka Samurai caught me by surprise since I wasn’t putting my thinking cap. I was thinking this Samurai dude would later show up as a potential antagonist and face off with our main characters. So I’m not sure whether to feel disappointed when his identity is quickly revealed by the end of the first mini arc. Because after that, Banba being the Samurai feels less relevant. When it started, the mystery and enigma surrounding this Samurai dude was curious. Everybody was talking and warning about the rumours of this mysterious guy and after we viewers know his identity, it slowly fizzled out. Like the Samurai alter ego didn’t really matter so much anymore.

Lin obviously gets the most screen time and focus. Introduced to us as a quirky cross-dressing killer to save his sister and the only other one (other than Enokida) who has a full flashback of his past. So I guess this is what it means when the past catches up to you, huh? It is a pretty sad but motivating at the same time to learn about Lin’s past because he overcame all the obstacles to earn where he is now. Although his profession isn’t really a glamorous and commendable one. Learning his past makes us understand the choices he made and how he ended up where he is. I suppose his cruel destiny turned out to be a blessing in disguise because he has never met such nice people in Hakata that we would never expect this cross-dresser who at first was not interested in anything the groupies are interested in, to say out loud he loves this city and the people in it. Yes, he loves Hakata and his friends, not because of that spicy pollock roe contract thingy. Yeah, he is truly a fellow Hakata boy now. Fans hoping to see Banba-Lin yaoi relationship might be confused since Lin is predominantly in his female dress. Too bad nothing very gay between them too.

Saitou feels like the comical relief of the gang because of his slightly bungling behaviour. I can’t really think of any skill he is good at. Can you? So he is like the extra there to fill in the extra spot. Because HTR would be incomplete if not for that one member. On a side note, I wonder if the Red Rum Inc name reference was borrowed from The Shinning. Saru also feels like a comical character since he is impatient and he has this angst to want to kill somebody. Trying out his ninja persona and failing at his shuriken aiming feels like a running joke of the series. Sometimes it feels like Saru can never be part of Banba’s groupie because we all need that rival-cum-ally. It would have been an even more awesome team had he been part of it. Hence Saru’s clash always feel like they’re allies but on the wrong side of the coin. Even if Saru won’t kill Banba whenever they stumble upon each other, I’m glad they’re taking it out on the baseball field.

Something buts me about Hakata being the hotbed for killers alike. Assuming that killings, murders and assassinations take place every other day, how come the city is still filled with so many people? If killers kill killers and assassins assassinating assassins, shouldn’t Hakata be close to being a dead town now? Unless new people move in every time after somebody dies. It would be real weird because it’s like nobody senses something amiss with the reducing numbers of the Hakata residents. With all the crimes and body count every day and every night in the city, surely there is going to be a significant drop in population. Last a checked (fast Google, that is), the population of Hakata itself is about 230,000 people. Give or take a few thousands of other people moving in and out from neighbouring wards, if people from professional killers to ordinary citizens alike keep dying like flies, I wonder how Hakata replenishes itself. Even more so when the city is famed for professional killers in this anime. Where do they get their replacement? I guess there is no mass deaths like a plague or something so a few deaths every day is like negligible?

Oh, Fei Lan’s death in the end (assuming he really died but it is unlikely Lin would screw up) is like killing 2 birds with a stone because now Lee can’t have the antidote to the virus and so he’ll die too, putting Kakyu Association in disarray again. Yahoo. Like we cared. Damn, whoever is the head of this organization sure meets his death in weird ways. Imagine such shady organizations have a high turnover in their bosses, it’ll be so unstable. Well, you rise to the top fast, you also fall fast.

Another good point of this series are the action bits. They are quite entertaining although not to say that the fighting scenes are the best in the world. Entertaining enough to compliment the plot. Because if you have professional killers in your anime, it would be weird if there are no killings at all whatsoever. This means you are going to see a lot of blood spilled as our main characters slash, slice and dice the unimportant minor extra henchmen who only exist to be killed in that scene and satiate our blood craving lust in the name of entertainment. The most unbelievable one has got to be Banba in his Samurai form because he really could dodge bullets or hit them with his sword. Don’t say his practice with baseball did the trick!

Art and animation feel pretty good. Of course, since it is done by Satelight who did Fairy Tail, Log Horizon, Nanbaka, Mouretsu Pirates, Madan No Ou To Vanadis, Shugo Chara, AKB0048 and the Symphogear series. Not really sure about the Hakata city but with the details given to it, it sure looks gorgeous in its own way. Well, that is if you don’t take into account the murders and all the blood spill around in the dark alleys and corners. As for the character design, I just want to say that Banba reminds me of a discount version of Cowboy Bebop’s Spike. Is this where he ended up after retirement? And doesn’t Enokida look like Estonia from the Hetalia series? Just take away the glasses. Saeki and Nitta look close enough that sometimes I confuse between them. Better keep that white coat doctor wears, Saeki.

A few recognizable seiyuus include Daisuke Ono as Banba, Yuuki Kaji as Lin, Yuuichi Nakamura as Saru, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Yamato, Sayaka Ohara as Sayuri, Kenji Tsuda as Chegaru, Natsuki Hanae as Siva and Takehito Koyasu as Harada. The one that caught me by surprise is Aoi Yuuki as Misaki. I blame this loli having not enough lines (even so, they were mostly soft spoken) and I did not pay serious attention to what she has to say because I thought she was unimportant to the whatever plot. Shame on me. The other casts include Nobunaga Shimazaki as Fei Lan (Kaito in Ano Natsu De Matteru), Kensho Ono as Enokida (Slaine in Aldnoah.Zero), Daisuke Namikawa as Jirou (Rock in Black Lagoon), Tomoaki Maeno as Maru (Schubert in ClassicaLoid), Daisuke Hirakawa as Saeki (Muneakira in Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls), Kenji Hamada as Shigematsu (Jouji in Paradise Kiss), Yuusuke Kobayashi as Saitou (Itsuki in Imouto Sae Ireba Ii), Kousei Hirota as Genzou, Maasaya Matsukaze as Nitta (Ren in Jigoku Shoujo), Hiroki Touchi as Munakata (Pantherlily in Fairy Tail), Natsumi Fujiwara as Reiko (Chihiro in Shonen Maid), Atsushi Imaruoka as Irasawa (Dallas in Baccano) and Motomu Kiyokawa as Yagi (Tippy in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka).

If you are very familiar with the rock style of Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets, you will feel very much at home with this series’ opening theme, Stray. It fits the crazy and intriguing pace of the series well. But the one that takes the cake is the ending theme, Dirty Bullet by Tri4th. This is one of the very few pieces for anime themes in which it is instrumental. The very lively fanfare and jazzy nature of the song definitely feels like this is the theme of the series.

Overall, this is quite an enjoyable series but of course only for mature audiences since the body count and blood spills are recurring themes. It could have been longer and lasting another cour to flesh out other interesting characters and personally this is the only downside of the series. Otherwise, the interesting as well as not complex plot (it’s just about killing others and who to kill, right?) and jazzy music make the series alluring and dangerous at the same time. I bet your view of Hakata won’t be the same after watching this. You won’t be heading there to try ramen or watch a local baseball team. It’s a lively city where you shouldn’t be taking it for granted. Because for the most part, it is a city where lives are taken literally. Yeah, the irony of killers making a killing for a living.

Akame Ga Kill

August 9, 2015

What happens when the system becomes so corrupted that the people who are supposed to protect you are the ones that you fear of? More importantly, who will be there to judge them and bring the hammer of justice on them? Why, you use assassins! Isn’t it no different from being a villain, you ask? Something like Robin Hood who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. Because a thief with a cause is still a thief no matter the reason. As in the same case of Akame Ga Kill. I suppose everybody is so corrupted that you need assassins to do the dirty job done. Hey, somebody needs to do it. Somebody needs to die for their crimes. So when a young boy from the countryside comes to the capitol with dreams of making a living to save his poor village, all that comes crashing down when he finds out about the deep corruption that is plaguing the country inside out. He’s no saint but I suppose he has his conscious clear in not making dirty money. Dirty hands okay. Not dirty money. Where’s the justice in that?

Episode 1
Tatsumi impressively kills a Danger Beast singlehandedly. Boasting to the guards that he plans to make it big by joining the army at the imperial capital, they warn him of even more dangerous ‘beasts’ there: Humans. As narrated, the imperial capital which has prospered for a thousand years is now on the decline. Corruption is rife and the poor are marginalized. Such evils that cannot be judged by the heavens are dealt with in the darkness by those who are known as assassins. Tatsumi hits a dead end when he goes to the recruiting office. He gets kicked out for expecting too much. Busty girl, Leone claims she knows a few connections that will get him into the military. Tatsumi gives all his cash as instructed. This should be a ‘valuable lesson’… He waits for her to return but never did. Till the bartender had to tell him it is closing time and he has been conned. Well, he only has himself to blame for being too trusting. Nowhere to go, he sleeps out in the streets but a kind rich girl, Aria picks him up. Although he is already learning to be sceptical, but what else has he got to lose? He is taken in by Aria’s family as he explains his goal coming here. Apparently he didn’t come here alone but with friends, Ieyasu and Sayo. However they got separated during an ambush. They are confident he will see them again. Tatsumi accompanies Aria shopping the next day. More like her lackey to carry all the shopping bags! Rich people… Tatsumi learns from one of the guards that the emperor of the imperial capital is only a child. However he is only a puppet as the one pulling the strings is the prime minister, Honest (don’t be fooled by his name). He is the reason why this country is rotting. There are posters of members of an assassin group called Night Raid. They target high ranking executives and the capital’s upper class. As their name suggests, they attack at night.

That night, Aria’s mother got beheaded by a Night Raid member, Sheele. The alarm is sound and Tatsumi sees Night Raid outside the mansion. All the other guards got easily killed. Leone kills Aria’s father and does not even intend to listen to his plea to spare his daughter. A guard takes Aria to a warehouse, supposedly the safest place. Akame is here to kill them. Tatsumi is scared but tries his best to defend Aria. To his surprise, Akame skips him as he is not the target and kills the guard. Because Tatsumi will still defend her, Akame will kill him. She won’t get to do it because Leone pulls her back. Also, his village charm protected him when Akame’s sword pierced his heart. Tatsumi has a score to settle with Leone but she shows him the warehouse to change his mind. Inside, lots of tortured and dead people! The owners take in people from the outskirts and toy with them till they die. Hey look. Ieyasu and Sayo are unfortunately part of it! Sayo feigns she doesn’t know until Ieyasu who is barely alive blurts out everything. This causes Sayo to rage rant about their different status and her jealousy over Sayo’s beautiful hair. Without hesitation, Tatsumi cuts her down! Before Ieyasu’s last breath, he tells Tatsumi that Sayo never gave in. He too won’t… Since they can’t leave Tatsumi around after knowing their identity, they recruit him as a member. Tatsumi has no say…

Theatre 1: Short web clips lasting around a minute of random nonsense from the characters of the series. After Tatsumi puts up a tomb for Ieyasu and Sayo, he is furious of Leone’s swindling so she thought she could get away by letting him sleep in her boobs. But the other girls aren’t impressed and got the wrong idea of what he is doing. Dead meat…

Episode 2
Back at their base, Leone introduces him to the rest of the other members of Night Raid. Some aren’t too happy in accepting him like Mine the sniper and Sheele. Some easily accept him like Bulat (because perhaps he is gay!) and the perverted Lubbock. And finally there is Akame who is just a bundle of mystery. Their leader is Najenda and she wants their report of their recent mission. She offers Tatsumi to join them but he is still in a dilemma over his mission to join the imperial capital. Bulat was once from the imperial capital’s military. He thinks it is better to eliminate evil rather than working for the corrupt. But will killing all the baddies change the world? Najenda explains of the Revolutionary Army that is the main group against the imperial capital. Due to their sheer size, they need a smaller group to carry out covert operations. Night Raid is that small group. Tatsumi gets his hopes up thinking they kill in the name of justice but the rest laugh at it because no matter what, they are still committing murder. There is no justice in that. To start Tatsumi’s training, he is put under the care of Akame. Well, cooking and getting its ingredients can be a form of training. Leone gets a requested from a woman of a village who is terrorized by the merchant Gamal and Ogre the swordsman. They even framed people and execute them to cover up their corrupted ways. Tatsumi wants to finish those guys now but they caution him of talking big. Despite he made his first kill, that was out of hatred. Is he saying he can kill any time without hesitation? Akame warns him that his arrogance will cause his death. Leone and Akame easily take out Gamal while Tatsumi goes up to Ogre under pretence of wanting to join his army. Just when he thinks Ogre’s guard is lowered, Tatsumi strikes. But Ogre also could tell he is bluffing although he gets a big cut across his stomach. That scratch won’t be enough to kill him. Ogre continues belittling him and how he is superior to others. When he blurts out his future plan of framing others and the likes, this riles up Tatsumi about such selfish people. In his rage, Tatsumi kills Ogre. He vows to eradicate the world of such people. When Tatsumi returns to report his success, Akame suddenly strips him! She checks his body to look for wounds and is glad he doesn’t have any. A friend of hers died because he was too proud to report his wounds. Akame passes him. Tatsumi learns that she was hard on him during his training was because she doesn’t want him to die. But that is not the end of his training yet. Because Najenda assigns him to Mine next.

Theatre 2: Leone’s cooking looks horrible. Is this even edible? Well, Akame gives the thumbs up! Leone even saved his portion. Here goes… Hey! It isn’t that bad after all! And what do you know? He sees his dead body on the floor. You don’t even know you’re a ghost now…

Episode 3
Some bandit group has discovered Night Raid’s base. Everyone engages the enemy and eliminate them without hesitation. No mercy. Not even if you’re a girl. As Tatsumi waits for Mine, she still isn’t here and is told to go wake her up. Apparently he didn’t know about knocking so he enters her room to see her changing… Is it no surprise she wants to blast a hole through him. Too bad for the wall… Tatsumi becomes Mine’s lackey as they go around the capital (her face is not on the wanted posters like Akame, Najenda, Sheele and Bulat). She shows him the harsh reality where people have this sad looks on their face. They also stop a couple of punks harassing a little girl. Mine doesn’t want her thanks and tells her to learn to protect herself. So what it seems like a date outing between them before Mine reminds him she is the boss. She is on top and he is below. I hope there aren’t any sexual innuendoes here. They see a public execution of people being crucified. It is believed the current cabinet minister did this and without remorse. Meanwhile, a minister under the emperor, Shoui is sentenced to death for speaking out against his policies. He tries to warn the emperor that he is being deceived by Honest but since the kid views he is never wrong, that is the end of him. Najenda tells her team of a new mission to assassinate Iokal, a distant relative of Honest. He kidnaps women and beats them to death. Tatsumi wonders if Mine can hit her target because Iokal has a large entourage surrounding him. She might hit innocent people. Don’t be such a pessimist. Mine isn’t a genius sniper for nothing. A shot directly into his head from a distance. The guards go in search of the assassins. Mine takes this chance to tell Tatsumi about her past. Since she is half foreigner, people used to bully her. It was a tragic childhood. Because the Revolutionary Army is allies with the western foreigners, once they take over and open up the borders, others won’t go through like what she did. Also, she’ll get rich and live the luxury life while at it. Akame and the rest take out the guards but realize one is missing. That one almost kills Mine but Tatsumi was fast enough to save her. He holds him down and believes in her genius sniping to take him out. And no, not because he wants to die for her. Mine puts a hold in his chest but this has Tatsumi furious because that shot glided over his hair and is disappointed she isn’t genius sniper like he thought. They quarrel but the rest are glad they are safe and are getting along well.

Theatre 3: Leone is furious that they are having hotspring fanservice in this section. How can you call it fanservice when everyone is in chibi form? How is this appealing? Here is a realistic Bulat in his naked form… Okay! Enough of that! Leone tries to bounce her boobs to get us stimulated. Lubbock got baited by the temptation and is kicked away into the mouth of a Danger Beast.

Episode 4
Zank the Beheader is back and beheading random people at night. He was the imperial’s execution head and used to behead people. It became a habit that he started killing others to satisfy his urge. He disappeared when a punitive squad was formed but is now back. However he is an Imperial Arms user. As Najenda explains to Tatsumi, a thousand years ago the king was worried about his legacy so he created 48 weapons from Danger Beasts and rare metals. All retainers received them and made them very powerful. But a civil war 500 years made scattered some of them throughout the land. She explains each one of the Night Raid members’ Imperial Arms and its abilities. Thanks to the immense power of these Imperials Arms, when both users clash, it will result in one of them dying. As Night Raid goes out to hunt Zank, Tatsumi goes take a piss but sees Sayo. He follows her and cannot believe she is alive. It turns out to be an illusion from Zank. One of his Imperial Arms’ ability is to read the thoughts of others. Whatever Tatsumi does, Zank is always a step ahead. He knows what he is going to do even if it is just a bluff. Tatsumi’s bravery could only get him so far but thankfully he didn’t get beheaded. Because now it is time for Akame to jump in and take over. Zank can also read her thoughts and even if she blanks her mind, Zank can still read her muscle movements. He goes on ranting the voices he hears in his head of those he executed, telling him to join them in hell. However Akame heard no such voices. He is disappointed and thought they could relate. He then reads her heart and puts up an illusion of the person she loves most, Kurome. Thinking she will not be able to strike the person she loves, to his surprise she did just that. How come? She loves her enough to kill her! Zank realizes his blades are breaking and needs to end this quickly. But Akame is faster and after they shatter, she cuts his throat. The voices in his head stop and he couldn’t be more grateful to her. Tatsumi wonders who she saw but she will only tell him when the time is right. She lets him know that everyone in Night Raid is important to her. Including him.

Theatre 4: Lubbock hosts a TV shopping channel trying to sell Murasame, Akame’s sword. He will only sell this free to women provided if they give their photo, 3 sizes and contact number. Mine shoots him.

Episode 5
Tatsumi dreams that Sayo and Ieyasu are saying goodbye forever. Today he will be under Sheele. But can she be reliable as she is blind as a bat without her glasses. Not only that, Sheele reveals she is clumsy and a klutz in normal chores. Her flashback reveals she was never good at anything and often ridiculed. But she had a friend who never belittled her. One day, her ex-boyfriend high on drugs resented her for leaving him and strangled her. Without hesitation, Sheele takes the knife and slit his throat. Her mind was calm but her friend was obviously shaken. That was the last time she saw her. A few days later, that guy’s men came for revenge and killed her parents. Again, Sheele was calm and killed them all. She realized that she is good in taking out trash and it was something she could do. She was a freelance assassin before joining the Revolutionary Army. Najenda gives Tatsumi Zank’s Imperial Arms. He uses one of its abilities to see through clothes! Wow! However he loses strength and it is a sign it rejected him. Najenda will hand it over to the Revolutionary Army to research it further. Tatsumi is given a book on the Imperial Arms and told to learn as many as he can since it is part of their job as Night Raid to collect them. Asking for the strongest Imperial Arms, Najenda personally feels it is the one that controls ice. Numa Seika is the hero of the northern race and wields it. They are a threat to the imperial capital and as they speak, an army has been arranged to subdue it.

Tatsumi is excited because he believes that one of them may have the ability to resurrect his friends. However they dash his dreams because in the end you only have one life. The king is proof of this when he created Imperial Arms to leave behind a legacy. They warn Tatsumi to give up on this or it will hold him back and kill him. Tatsumi is disappointed so Sheele allows him to cry in her arms. She’ll keep this a secret. Meanwhile General Esdeath has subdued the northern race and even turned Numa into a naked obedient dog licking her feet! She feels disappointed there is nobody stronger. News that several generals have defected to the Revolutionary Army. The emperor calls for calm since it will be easier to attack them all once they’re gathered. Of course for Honest, the bigger problem is traitors closer to them because his close aides, relatives and even Zank have been killed. He suggests recalling Esdeath to return and eliminate the traitors. Tatsumi follows Leone to town. Because a group of people want her to pay her tabs, they run and this causes them to be separated. Tatsumi meets Seryu Ubiquitous of the imperial police. He notices her strange dog, Koro but she explains that it is an Imperial Arms that somehow only she is compatible with. Don’t worry, it won’t attack those who are good. They part ways after leading him back to the main road. Seems Seryu is a disciple under Ogre and she wants revenge on Night Raid for killing him. She has a strong sense of justice and wants to rid evil but that evil has killed her master. She’ll never forgive Night Raid.

Theatre 5: Sheele loses her glasses (again) and wants Leone to help pick one from her spare box. She has got so many so does it matter? Well, different glasses design give about different character… Unknown to Leone, there is a pair of glasses caught underneath her boobs and a ghost hand is going to retrieve it…

Episode 6
Leone and Tatsumi are in a red light district. But it’s to have fun. They’re going to kill those drug dealers who have been drugging prostitutes and make them continue to work for them. Those who are broken and addicted too much will be disposed and replaced. And indeed it is a bloody affair with their torsos split in half. Mission accomplished. Though it is not their responsibility to look after the prostitutes, Leone knows a doctor from the slums who can treat them. Mine and Sheele are done in their mission killing another drug dealer. However they are ambushed by Seryu. She is glad to have finally meet Night Raid and is going to serve them absolute justice. Her obsession in this might have just made her face broken… She’s really bent on getting her revenge. With Koro as her absolute offence and defence, it seems it can regenerate no matter what damage taken. As it is a biological type Imperial Arms, as long they don’t destroy the core, it will regenerate. Sheele tries to kill Seryu. To avoid a fatal blow, Seryu sacrifices her arms. Although she has modified body parts as weapons, Sheele is able to avoid. Seryu uses her last resort to turn Koro into a monster dog and crush Mine. Sheele cuts off its arms to save her. However Sheele got shot by a hidden gun inside Seryu’s mouth. She gets devoured by Koro. Holy cow! She died?! Sheele makes one last move to allow Mine to escape as imperial police reinforcements have arrived. And when you’re at the last leg of your life, you see all the happy times, right? Indeed, those were happy times in Night Raid. It is where she belongs. In the aftermath, Seryu continues to be broken and happy she has defeated one of the evils. Mine breaks the sad news to everyone. Shock. Despair. Anger. Tatsumi wants to know who did this and get revenge. However he gets punched by Bulat for being disgraceful. Running in without a plan will hasten his death. Everyone knew what they were up to when they joined Night Raid. Even him. Najenda views Sheele’s death not in vain because now the capital should understand it takes Imperial Arms users to fight one. This means more chances to fight and collect them.

Theatre 6: Esdeath is not amused how her men torture others. She solves it all by freezing everything. Everyone is enlightened by her sadistic soul. WTF.

Episode 7
Esdeath has returned from her conquest as the emperor rewards her with gold. He wants to give her more so is there anything specific she wants? She wants to fall in love. Did I just hear that right?! However she is a picky person and will have a list of the kind of person she wants to fall in love with up. Tatsumi sees Akame holding a snack. It is supposed to be Sheele’s favourite. Her name probably won’t be written in the Revolutionary Army’s records so she’ll do as much as she can to remember her as she is the kindest of the lot. Tatsumi is impressed she is this calm but that is when she loses it and snaps back at him. Of course she is in pain. It is unbearable. She has to act calm because it will affect their next mission. Tatsumi is shock to see this reaction. He realizes being miserable won’t bring her back. He needs to move forward. And by that he means punching his own face? So he trains hard under Akame and Bulat to be stronger. Elsewhere, a politician visits a poor country and intends to go against Honest. However his convoy is confronted by Esdeath’s loyal subordinates, Daidara, Liver and Nyau who are known collectively as The Three Beasts. They killed everybody! Then they scatter posters of Night Raid around. Najenda reveals the bad news that Esdeath is back and wants Leone to go the capital and observe her. Also, there has been a spate of murders of politicians opposing Honest and it seems posters of Night Raid were found at the scene. This is a blatant attempt to frame them and Esdeath’s subordinates are believed to be doing this to lure them into a trap. Of course they can’t sit back and let their name be sullied.

Since there are 2 potential politicians targeted, the team is split to Akame-Lubbock and Tatsumi-Bulat. The former team has no suspicious movement on their part so which means the latter’s team might run into trouble. On this extravagant Chinese ship, Bulat explains this Imperial Arms armour, Incursio he is using is like a partner. He used it to fight in the south. A general he admired got dismissed. Although he did nothing wrong, he went to the capital to defend himself albeit it all fall on deaf ears. Bulat was made the scapegoat but he escaped. Leone knows it is tempting to strike Esdeath who is alone. However she knows it is a trap and could feel her evil aura. She feels scared and follows her guts to retreat. Good move because Esdeath was waiting for that chance. Tatsumi suddenly feels weak after hearing the sound of the flute (played by Nyau). Everyone else collapses but as he heads outside, he is confronted with Daidara who fights to gain experience so he can be stronger. Tatsumi almost falls for his boomerang axe bait when Bulat beats him up for that. Is this time to joke? Anyway Bulat wounded himself to avoid the flute’s hypnotism. As they attack, Liver and Nyau also simultaneously attack. However all in that single moment, Bulat kicks the old guy and vampire kid away and slices Daidara in half! So awesome that Tatsumi is just dumbfounded. Then he realizes who Liver is. Isn’t that his ex-general? Why am I not surprised?

Theatre 7: Tatsumi and Bulat are exploring the Chinese ship but Bulat is more interested in looking at his ass… The attacks by The Three Beasts narrowly misses Tatsumi but Bulat dismisses them as some sort of performance.

Episode 8
Liver swore his loyalty to Esdeath since she saved him. While the power battle between Bulat and Liver rages on, Tatsumi takes on Nyau. Liver’s ultimate move isn’t enough to kill Bulat and could have been done for had not Nyau intervened. What happened to Tatsumi? That wuss lost. He is still alive, though. But Bulat is impressed since he can hold his own against an Imperial Arms user. With Liver and Bulat using up their energy and can’t use their Imperial Arms, Liver wants Bulat to join Esdeath. He refuses because Bulat considers himself defender of the people. Working for Esdeath means working alongside Honest. Since it’s come to that, Liver injects some vile into his own neck and they continue their power punches. They don’t look injured to be this fast, do they? When Liver uses his ultimate blood squirting technique, Bulat could sense something is wrong and took evasive action although he still got hit by some. His blood contains poison from that vile and Liver laments this last ditch technique didn’t work. Liver’s final words are the reasons he joined Esdeath because he idolized her, the way she expunged his fears and insecurities. Bulat is weakening from the poison but it’s not over yet since Nyau plays his flute to turn his skinny self into a macho dude. I don’t know, he looks funny like this. Bulat lends Tatsumi his Incursio to fight but Nyau plays it down that anybody random holding an Imperial Arms will die and wouldn’t risk it. Bulat punches Tatsumi for listening to the enemy. Remember his training. He is more qualified to use it. So when Tatsumi uses it, it seems Incursio that was made by some super Danger Beast starts evolving itself to fit him. Nyau thought of striking first but Tatsumi’s single power punch sends his body splattered all bloodily over the wall. Bulat is glad he is already this strong and will surpass him. He closes his eyes as Tatsumi apologizes for doing stupid things to earn his punch. He promises to grow stronger and learn how to use it. So it’s okay if he cries all his heart out now. Meanwhile Kurome sitting on a pile of corpses is eating her snacks. She receives word to return to the capital because she has been chosen as one of the 6 to form a new organization.

Theatre 8: In this twisted folktale version of Momotarou whereby Esdeath is the titular character, she owns and dominates everybody! Nobody can rule over her! When Honest opens one of the boxes from spoils of her victory, it contains lots of glasses.

Episode 9
Mine is now well and wants to help train. But she’s too late because the girls are already helping the guys train especially with Tatsumi who is determined to train and become stronger. Najenda is going to the Revolutionary Army’s base to return Imperial Arms for research and also to find new recruits. Tatsumi apologizes for being weak as Bulat’s death but Najenda wants him to be proud because he survived the onslaught of the Three Beasts. In the mean time, Akame is to take charge. Wave makes his debut at the capital and is full of confidence although everyone around sees him as some country bumpkin. In the conference room, his confidence takes a dip when he sees a weirdo sitting there. Is Bols a masked wrestler? Awfully quiet and sitting there staring at him. Oh sh*t… Kurome comes in next and Wave thinks she is normal. She won’t let him have her snacks. Not normal. Is lively Seryu normal? She’s scattering a rose path for Dr Stylish who claims he is a man of etiquette. Oh, he might be gay because he hints he likes Wave. Wave is already giving up by the time Run enters but surprisingly this pretty boy is normal! Thank goodness! Even more shocking is that Bols serve them tea and admits he is a shy person although he is from the incineration squad. Esdeath comes in wearing a mask and immediately attacks them. Nobody is able to stand up to them till Kurome cuts her mask with her Imperial Arms sword, Yatsufusa. Everyone recognizes her. She calls their new group Jaegars as they will be a special police force hunting down traitors. Noting that there is a spare Imperial Arms (Sheele’s scissors), she decides to put it to the test or else Honest will claim it if nobody does.

Now that Mine’s face is up in the wanted posters, only Tatsumi, Lubbock and Leone can run free within the capital. Learning about the formation of Jaegars, Tatsumi wonders how powerful Esdeath is. They explain an expedition to the south to eliminate some tribe who opposed them. The capital thought it was easy victory but the land was too intense to make headway and the tribes attack at every opportunity. Till Esdeath was sent. Najenda was also part of her group. With Esdeath running amok, she even insulted the tribesmen by not killing them and letting some live. Because she wants them to get stronger and kill her. Najenda had her conscious and felt she can’t be among these people who enjoy such savagery. Esdeath intends to have more rebellions and prolong the war she enjoys so much. Besides, there is a martial arts tournament organized by her. Meanwhile the emperor and Honest are going through Esdeath’s strict list for the person she wants to love. I don’t think many will pass the first requirement. Esdeath is bored during the tournament. Everyone is too boring. Till the last match that pits Tatsumi and some bull guy. After what he has gone through, this is nothing as Tatsumi easily subdues him without much effort. At that moment, Esdeath is attracted to him, especially with that sweet smile (one of her requirements). She goes down to meet him personally and is going to hand him the prize. She puts a collar and leash on his neck, claiming that she belongs to him now and knocks him out to take him to her room! Lubbock and Leone are shock and report back to Akame. They aren’t sure if Esdeath has found out he is part of Night Raid. But for now they have to move their base further into the mountains. They can’t rush in to save him and need a plan.

Theatre 9: Honest is running an interview for the Jaeger recruits. However all of them are so weird that it scares him off. Finally when Run comes, he is disappointed this pretty boy is male. Not a single one who is normal…

Episode 10
Tatsumi is not only Esdeath’s lover but Jaeger’s reserve member. He is taken to see Jaegers in action and they’re pretty brutal in their methods, slaughtering all the resistance fighters. Since Esdeath wants to personally train him, he thinks she has a soft side and wants to convince her tonight. He didn’t expect to end up in her bed… After getting Esdeath to assure she loves him (that kiss says it all?), he asks that he is unhappy with the current situation in the capital. He is thinking of joining the resistance army when Esdeath slaps him. She assures she will always protect him, including his family as well as her promise to not take on any other lover. However she cannot understand the feelings of the weak and believes in the survival of the fittest principal. Tatsumi tells her she should change her outlook if she loves him but on the contrary she says it is he who will change. He excuses himself to go take a shower but is warned not to escape or she’ll kill him. She remembers introducing Tatsumi to Jaegers and asked if the rest has a significant other. Surprisingly Bols is married as he gives her advice never to give up, etc. She’s taking those notes down seriously. Tatsumi learns that Kurome is Akame’s sister and the reason she wants to meet her is so that she could kill her. As part of Esdeath’s plan to impress Tatsumi, she is going to hunt Danger Beasts in the mountains. She splits the team with herself pairing with Kurome and Tatsumi with Wave.

Tatsumi and Wave are attacked by some tree Danger Beasts. Although the menace is quelled, Tatsumi uses this chance to escape in Incursio. Wave realizes Esdeath will kill him for this so he too dons his Imperials Arms armour and goes in search of him. When the armoured guys come into contact, Wave believes this guy is a Night Raid member, not knowing Tatsumi is underneath it. Wave calls Night Raid evil and Tatsumi is upset, tempted to fight back but he needs to remain cool and escape. Tatsumi takes a blow in his stomach. Wave thought he escaped down the river but Tatsumi was just being invisible where he is. His armour wears out and just his bad luck that a Danger Beast is going to eat him. Akame cuts it down and Akame is glad to have him back. Wave is punished for not only having Tatsumi go missing but a Night Raid member escape as well. She gives him one more chance and if he fails again, she will administer the punishment herself. Run wonders what will she do if Tatsumi becomes their enemy. Even now, she is still in love with him. She believes he is strong enough to survive and will meet again. Then, he will not resist her feelings. Tatsumi reports back Jaeger’s strength to his comrades. Akame now knows Kurome is there. When Akame fled the capital, she wanted her sister to come along but she chose to stay. In her eyes, Akame is a traitor. As for Esdeath, although she is on a different level, Akame believes she still has a weakness. As long as she has a heart that beats, she will take her down. Meanwhile Dr Stylish who has suspected Tatsumi from the start has his army of enhanced humans trace his steps back to Night Raid’s base.

Theatre 10: A commercial on the promotion of Incursio toy… Najenda seems to be replaying it so Leone believes she really wants it in which she admits. Little did she know that Leone bought it in advance and is hiding it in her under boob.

Episode 11
I guess Tatsumi’s homecoming party was too much that everyone passed out. Leone tried to wash her face at the pool but a guy stabs her knife in the face! Dr Stylish’s S&M foot soldiers begin their full assault with Akame taking on Toby who has blades and guns in almost every part of his body. With a little help from Lubbock, they win of course. Tatsumi fights Kaku but what makes him angry is the fact Kaku is in possession of Sheele’s scissors. Not as angry as Mine, thought. Kaku thought he could withstand her blast. He thought wrong. Bye-bye big guy. Mine is happy to have the scissors back in possession. The guy who killed Leone is aiming for Mine but Leone beats him up. He thought his hidden knives could take her out but she grabs them by her teeth! That is how she survived the surprise attack. Now he’s a goner. Dr Stylish is losing men and foot soldiers fast but he is not worried as he has many human experiments as soldiers. Besides, he is here to test out the compatibility of Imperial Arms and collect data. Najenda returns by riding a tamed manta ray Danger Beast and she has brought back a couple of new recruits. As Night Raid reunites, all members go paralyze due to Dr Stylish’s poison in the wind except Tatsumi (because he is wearing Incursio). It is time for newbie, Susanoo to do his job. With a club with spinning blades, he rips through the foot soldiers like paper! Dr Stylish detonates all the bombs inside the foot soldiers. Susanoo still stands and all his limbs regenerate. It dawned to him that Susanoo is a living Imperial Arms. Once Najenda has located Dr Stylish, she orders Susanoo to eliminate him. Dr Stylish injects a serum into himself and turns into a gigantic monster. He then eats his remaining foot soldiers to grow stronger. Tatsumi carrying Akame as well as Mine’s gun help Susanoo fight him. Eventually Akame’s sword cuts through his core and the mad scientist is left with dying regret that he wanted to do more human experiments. This is bad luck? I thought he got karma.

Theatre 11: Tatsumi and Lubbock plan to climb the stairs of adulthood by visiting a girl’s bar. However greeting them is Dr Stylish in a cheongsam and his merry gay men. They are so screwed…

Episode 12
Najenda brings her team to the mountains where they will train and make their new base. She introduces the newbies, Susanoo (neat freak) and Chelsea (she loves pissing off Mine and bribes Akame with her candy). She has Susanoo demonstrate his abilities. He chops wood, creates the base, cleans and cooks! He’s great to have household chores! Esdeath deduces Dr Stylish is dead instead of ran away because his lab equipment is left behind and all his soldiers are missing. This greatly affects Seryu who looked up to him as a supporting figure. She is sad that he is dead so Esdeath gives her an assuring hug. Tatsumi can’t believe the Revolutionary Army could give Susanoo to Najenda. Actually he was inactive and only responded when Najenda was around. She thinks it is her charm. Susanoo says she reminds her of his old master which is male instead. A cute kitten starts sucking up to Mine. Taken in by its cuteness, the cat then steals her cake and she turns out to be Chelsea. Her Imperial Arms allow her to change into anything. I think these 2 are going to hate each other. Tatsumi and Leone fight Danger Beasts as training as Leone notices Tatsumi has powered up that he is closely resembling Bulat. Najenda asks for Chelsea’s opinion of the team. She admits they are better than her former team but strength alone won’t ensure their survival. She read their records and how they lost a couple of members. She notes they are failures as assassins and if they want to survive, they must change their carefree attitude. This doesn’t sit well with some of them for badmouthing their friends so Mine wants the guys to teach her a lesson. Lubbock comes up with an idea for Tatsumi to become invisible and splash water while she is bathing. Of course he is using her to test if she is the type who gets mad when peeked at. Tatsumi uses Incursio’s invisibility but as he closes in, he sees Susanoo in the bath. Did he get the wrong bath? Susanoo says although he is invisible, he could sense his presence. Tatsumi thanks him for that great advice and will remember it in battle. Susanoo then changes into Chelsea. She knew he was there all along since deception is her skill and it would be unwise to think he could best her. She adds her cruel analysis of the team was because she doesn’t want to lose anyone here. She recently lost her entire team. Tatsumi is glad she is thinking about everyone and thinks she is also naïve. She splashes the water at him and warns if he peeps the next time, she’ll cut it off! Esdeath has this unsettled feeling in her heart. Is it because she misses Tatsumi or is a final battle looming? Run has some ulterior motive and is keeping an eye on her. Finally, the first deaths of this episode. Miners are being eaten alive by some Danger Beast and a mad guy getting his hands on some toy in which he will enjoy to the fullest.

Theatre 12: Another shopping channel with Lubbock as he has Chelsea demonstrate her Imperial Arms. He has her turn into the ladies of Night Raid and saying embarrassing things they normally won’t. And when they find out, they beat the crap out of him.

Episode 13
The emperor is impressed with Jaegars that they are keeping the rebels in the capital down and thus Night Raid has remained out of sight. Though, he laments he still can’t find a suitable man for Esdeath. Rest assured, she is still passionate in getting Tatsumi back. Honest has Esdeath on a mission. There are new Danger Beasts that closely resemble like humans, barging their way into homes and devouring people. He would like her to get rid of the menace but save some for him alive to experiment. Wave is sad that people judge Bols by his looks (is he any different?) but Bols says he is not a good guy like Wave said because he has killed many despite it was part of his job. Therefore those scornful reactions are punishment. Even more surprising are his beautiful wife and daughter showing up and they know about his past and continue to give him support. Susanoo is helping Tatsumi the finer points in fighting when Akame tells them of an emergency meeting. They are to take out those new Danger Beasts while moving to their new hideout. Najenda adds their numbers have been increasing and despite the capital is struggling to contain them, this time only they will help the capital eradicate them. Chelsea thought of leaving it to Jaegers to deal with it but Tatsumi still believes in his ideal to side with the people. All that coolness went down the drain because his fly is unzipped! Run talks to Esdeath about the new Danger Beasts. It seems they were once humans. Could it be Dr Stylish experimenting them in hidden lab? But he is away too long and if he was the one behind this, their numbers should be limited instead of increasing. Or there could be an Imperial Arms using responsible for this. More importantly, did those things escaped on their own or did someone release them? While Tatsumi patrols with Lubbock, he learns the latter was the son of a wealthy merchant and got everything he wanted easily. He was bored with the world. Till he saw Najenda and it was love at first sight. He joined the imperial army just for that reason and also the same reason he followed her to Night Raid. Of course he made sure the records stated said he is dead and everything. He vows to win her heart one day. But first he has to stop peeking at women bathing, right? Tatsumi heads up to the summit to have a better look of the area. Esdeath happened to be taking a night stroll. She thought she saw somebody below and it would be better if this was a Danger Beast to take out her frustration. What do you know? It’s Tatsumi! Holy sh*t! Not the moment he wants to reunite with her. Bad timing has powerful Danger Beasts appearing. But Esdeath cuts them all in one strike! So much about using them as distraction and running away.

Theatre 13: Najenda shows her new hideout. It looks cool as it is activating-cum-transforming. Hmm… Does it feel like some sentai show? Tatsumi is launched into the sky. And his fly is open…

Episode 14
Esdeath is so glad to see him and won’t let him go again. Tatsumi lies he was training to become stronger. She senses somebody hiding nearby and out this mysterious guy comes. He wants them to clean up some ‘big toy’ and uses his Imperial Arms to teleport them to a deserted island. Tatsumi thought this is an illusion and wants Esdeath to hit him to wake up. She kisses him! Everything is real. I’m sure Esdeath would love this date only to be interrupted by a giant Danger Beast that resembles like the one Dr Stylish became. Esdeath thought she could impress him but Tatsumi nails the first one before Esdeath herself gets a chance to drop some giant ice comet on the second. So these are the big toys they’re supposed to clean up? As they explore the island, it feels like a date (at least to her). Esdeath knows where this island is and is the farthest from the capital. She thinks she knows a way of returning. Observing that guy’s Imperial Arms, seems it is limited and such. It is concluded they can return once he opens the gate back here again. But now it is time for more flirting. Tatsumi uses this chance to get to know more about her and hopes to make her change her mind and join him. Esdeath was from a tribe that hunts Danger Beasts in the north. She learnt about life that the strong lives and the weak perish. One day when she returned from her hunt, her entire tribe was eliminated by another. She accepted they lost because they were weak. She continued hunting herself and when Danger Beasts became scarce, she moved to the capital and slowly it shifted to killing humans.

Wanting to see her Imperial Arms, it is a mark on her chest. When Honest wanted to give her an Imperial Arms, none seem to fit her. She noticed an urn containing the blood of some Danger Beast. Many who drank it became insane instead of getting its ice power. Esdeath dares take up the challenge as she felt it was calling her. She drank the entire urn and suddenly heard voices telling her to kill and destroy. As she was already this crazy, she won’t be subdued and takes control of it. Learning that Esdeath’s affinity for torture was way before this and her hobby, Tatsumi realizes it is hopeless to change her. That mysterious guy activates some portal and he hints he is Honest’s son who will someday surpass him. As Esdeath is trying to catch a Danger Beast to ride back home, a portal opens. Tatsumi thinks of sneaking in but feels bad for leaving Esdeath alone since she helped take care of him. He calls out to her but heads in first. They return right to that summit. Esdeath is stumped that Tatsumi is not around. She thinks he has been transported to a different place. She feels sad to be separated again and wonders if they’ll meet again. Actually, Tatsumi is using Incursio to become invisible. He can’t move or else Esdeath will sense his presence and will wait for her till she is gone. Now that he has realized she cannot be changed, the next time they meet, it will be as enemies.

Theatre 14: Tatsumi and Esdeath alone on the deserted island but with a dating simulation twist! I don’t think his options are any much of an option either. Because anyhow he chooses, Esdeath always gets what she wants on him. And the final sexy moment where all the choices are only “Take her on!”. Tatsumi cannot escape or quit! NOOOOO!!! Happy ending?

Episode 15
Chelsea just killed another rich ruthless bastard seconds before Jaegars came in. Thanks to her Imperial Arms, she managed not to be detected. Najenda has Night Raid assemble for a mission. The Revolutionary Army will be making its first move to bring down the capital. There is a religious group called Path of Peace gaining popularity among the people. They are going to use this chance for the uprising. Tatsumi is against it because this means many people will die. Najenda adds that with Esdeath in charge, strong organizations will still be no match and be suppressed anyway. The Revolutionary Army has allied with the western tribe and they will raid the capital. As there are many guard towers that stand in their way, because some of the soldiers are unhappy (being demoted, etc), they have been bribed and so advancing through to the capital will be easier. Once they get in, Akame will kill Honest. Swiftness is the key to their plan. But Path of Peace as the crucial key is currently unstable. Although their leader is charismatic, his advisor, Bolic is actually a spy from the capital sent to quell the uprising. Night Raid’s job is to take Bolic out. Esdeath summons her Jaegers as they move out. She senses Night Raid might be putting up a trap because they have been spotted on the outskirts of the capital. It is like as though they are purposely trying to be seen and even split into groups. She splits her group to take out Night Right. Wave, Kurome and Bols are riding along the canyon when they see a strange scarecrow in the middle. Definitely a trap. Mine snipes at them but Kurome’s super human reflex dodges it. Susanoo bursts out from the scarecrow to attack her but Wave blocks it and is sent flying away. The rest of Night Raid appears and they realize Esdeath’s group was a decoy. The sisters prepare to face off but Najenda realizes her gamble and plan is useless because Yatsufusa is able to control dead corpses and become Kurome’s puppet. Even this dead skeletal Danger Beast.

Theatre 15: Seryu teaches us what to do when confronted with assassins. Don’t beg for your life or give in to them or run away. Blast them to smithereens with no mercy!

Episode 16
Kurome even has a dead former friend and comrade, Natala fighting by her side as a corpse. I don’t know. The few other warrior corpses she summons to fight Night Raid, they look pretty fresh for a corpse, don’t they? While Susanoo handles the Danger Beast, Mine takes on gunslinger Doya, Tatsumi against Apeman and Hentarr, Akame fights Bols and Woll while it is Leone versus Rokgough. Natala stands guard by Kurome as she watches. Leone let her guard down and lost her left arm when Kurome strikes in swift fashion. She is told to go support Akame while she wants to face Rokgough, her former comrade. Merely stabbing the corpses won’t do anything good so they have to cut them into bits to immobilize them. After Najenda is done with Rokgough, she helps Susanoo and allows him to use a secret technique. This means absorbing her life force to turn into some badass God and reflect the Danger Beast’s landscape changing blast and slice it in half. Tatsumi gets help from Chelsea who impersonates as Hentarr’s ex-comrade to sneakily take him out. Tatsumi is able to finish Apeman himself. After Mine finishes Doya, she is eaten by a hidden giant corpse frog. Its stomach acid can dissolve everything. However Mine blasts through it and climbs out. Tatsumi, Najenda and Susanoo come to her aid but Kurome will kill them all at once. Akame and Leone team up to fight Bols and Woll. Bols is focusing too much on Akame after she has immobilized Woll so Leone thought she could attack him. However Woll had a hidden weapon and shot through her hand. Bols turns his attention to Leone but she manages to bite off part of his Imperial Arms. Now that it is useless, Bols is going to destroy everything by detonating his giant canister. Is there an atomic bomb inside it?!

Theatre 16: Wave when he was young saw a mecha toy advertisement and wants mom to buy it but she won’t since she doesn’t have money. Wave went to sleep sad but the next morning he is happy that mom left a present by his side. Unfortunately it turns out to be an action figure of Bols! Why can it contort into S&M positions? This suck… Thanks anyway, mom…

Episode 17
Kurome escapes thinking she has no chance if Bols is dead. Leone protects Akame with some shield that I personally think looks flimsy. However Bols is very much alive and somehow escaped. He remembers Esdeath asking why he prepares meals for them but refuses to join in. Thinking he fears them seeing his face, she unmasks him but is disappointed of his ‘normal’ face. She orders him to join them. Bols meets an injured girl and treats her. However this is Chelsea in disguise as she sticks a needle in his back. This girl is one of those he killed as suspected grounds of joining the Revolutionary Army. Bols knew such retribution would come but he wants to also get back to his family waiting. Unfortunately he couldn’t. Chelsea then copies his form and will go take out Kurome. She wants Lubbock to report back to Najenda and request for reinforcements. It might be dangerous but she can’t let Kurome regain her full strength and control puppets. They might not win the next time. As Kurome rests and eats her snacks, she remembers she and Akame were one of the hundreds of children kidnapped to be trained as assassins. Of course other kids fell like flies and they were the part of the 7 who made it out alive. Because they don’t want the siblings to rely too much on each other, they were separated. As Kurome was the weakest, she was given some sort of drug. When Lubbock returns and reports, Najenda orders Tatsumi and Akame to go support Chelsea. She has now met up with Kurome but will wait for the right moment to kill her. Just as she starts weakening (because she has not eat enough of the snacks), Chelsea takes the chance to stick a needle in the back of her neck. Mission accomplished. Chelsea remembers of wanting to work her way up but realizes her employer is corrupted and hunts humans for sport. She discovered an Imperial Arms in his basement and learns it was sealed because nobody could use it. She took it as her own and killed him. She thought of using this ability to restore the world into a better place. But she is in for a shock when Kurome revives. She likes like a scary mad ghost! I’m not sure what super drug they inject her but she says if you want to kill her, you must either destroy her heart or decapitate her. Although she is feeling the strain, she sends Natala and Doya to hunt her down. Chelsea has her arm slashed off and shot in the gut! She thinks this is her retribution. So much about getting praised when she returns. Her last thoughts are about Tatsumi. Speaking of him, he thought Chelsea might have accomplished her mission and returned to base and just missed them on the way back. As he checks around town, he sees a crowd gathering near a square. To his horror, it is Chelsea’s head sticking on a pole! HOLY SH*T!!! CHELSEA, NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

Theatre 17: Lubbock tells everyone a scary story in his puppet theatre. Tatsumi and Mine enter a haunted house. Tatsumi’s girly screams sound so weird. The scariest thing they meet at the end is Bols. Everyone feel cheated of this unscary and incomplete story and beats Lubbock up.

Episode 18
Tatsumi is still reeling from Chelsea’s death but he needs to put it together because they are now here at Path of Peace’s base for their mission. Jaegers are also here and meet Bolic who introduces the Four Rakshasa Demons that Honest hired and sent to him for protection. These are assassins trained to gain full control of every part of their body and do not use any Imperial Arms. Wave notices Kurome is still weak and regrets not being there at the crucial moment. He wants to take her off the mission but Kurome won’t allow it for fear of being disposed. This is not her purpose. If she is to die, might as well die in battle. Akame meets up with a few allies to confirm a secret entrance to Bolic’s basement. However they are taken out by Rakshasa’s Ibara. Time to fight. She tricks him into taking Murasame and because the cursed sword is not compatible with him, she takes this chance to slice him up. Run makes a futile surprise attack on her but he is only here as reconnaissance and has gained great insights on Murasame’s abilities. Meanwhile, Lubbock is spying around but they can’t fool Mez and Sten as they attack him. Lubbock plays dead and his attackers would have left him alone had not they pick on the girl spy Lubbock was supposed to meet. He gets up and fights them with his flashy wire moves but this is just a distraction so his ally could run away. Once done, he also runs away but Sten won’t allow it and goes after him. He gets trapped in his wire trap as it completely crushes his heart. He might have trained every body part but he never trained his heart to be that strong, right? Now Lubbock gets trapped in Mez’s sweat trap and takes a direct hit. One more blow and he is dead. However a retractable wire knife trick turns the tables and he kills her. Tatsumi and Mine are staking out. So peaceful that they got time to argue. They are met with the founder of the Path of Peace, The Lord who believes they should confess to each other and become a couple instead of fighting. Yeah well, this only increases their heated argument and vehement protest. Bolic is about to do some ‘special ritual’ (sex) on an admirer who has been ‘chosen’ (she’s cute) to be his ‘noble disciple’ (sex slave) when he receives bad news that 3 of his Rakshasa members are dead.

Theatre 18: After Mine spots a cockroach and Susanoo takes it out by punching the wall! Tatsumi never thought Mine would scream like that but she says that wasn’t her. Turns out it was Najenda…

Episode 19
Susanoo cooks everyone’s favourite meal and it’s freaking awesome! I hope this isn’t the last meal or something. Tatsumi and Mine are staking out at the outskirts of the city. Seryu spots them and is disheartened to see Tatsumi with that evil. She is going to serve justice. She wastes no time in firing all her missiles! Overkill! Mine faces off Seryu in a grudge match while Tatsumi fights Suzuka, the remaining member left from Rakshasa. He also does an overkill by destroying the entire ruins to bury her. The assault on the temple begins with Susanoo and Leone against Wave and Kurome. Bolic panics so Esdeath tells him to not move from this room if he wants his ass protected. A clash of ideals of justice between Mine and Seryu. Although she knows Koro’s moves and weakness spot, she is still no match for their combo. Lying as though she is defeated, she remembers her past of being discriminated just because she is half foreigner. But she won’t be defeated now as she draws her powerful emotions which power her gun to slice Seryu in half and render Koro unable to regenerate again. Seryu’s final weapon is a super bomb planted inside her head. She laments she couldn’t rid the world of evil and have to die early. Mine tries to run away but her injuries are slowing her down and her gun has overheated. Well, she didn’t say she would die happy after getting her revenge, didn’t she? After the freaking huge blast, Mine is surprised she is still alive. Tatsumi has saved her. After failing to save Bulat and Chelsea, he vowed not to let anyone die. Najenda confronts Esdeath and informs her that Bolic has ignored her warning and secretly fled. Because of that, he has been taken out by Akame and Lubbock. Mine wants to tell Tatsumi something once this war ends. She can’t say it now. I think I know what it is :). So he better promise to stay alive till the end.

Theatre 19: Rakshasa’s stand up comedy is being usurped by Lubbock’s shopping channel. But Mine points out where this is going and can predict his plan. Spot on! She knows he is trying to take the spotlight to get his ass kicked again.

Episode 20
Some of the generals are concerned that the viceroys in remote regions are surrendering without a fight. Honest is not surprised as those are demoted and their betrayal is expected. Great general Budo isn’t pleased about this either so Honest introduces a new elite team that is led by his son, Shura. This will prove if he is worthy to be his successor. Tatsumi and Lubbock meet a girl from the resistance to meet up with the rest. However they have been slaughtered by Shura’s team. Recognizing Tatsumi, he answers his question of why he let those Danger Beasts free. He was bored. He’d do anything to have fun and wants to change the world by taking over the throne. Tatsumi is enraged and attacks but he has to deal with Budo who possesses great fighting skills. Try not to get too close to his lightning powers, though. Lubbock fights Shura who is out to have fun with his prey. So much so, he reveals his Imperial Arms ability to transport anywhere he has marked. At first it was tiring but with a new drug, he has managed to mark lots of places in the capital including the air. There is no escape. Resistance girl holds back Lubbock to let Shura kill him in hopes he will let her family free. However he kills her because he told everyone not to interrupt. Shura thought it is his victory when suddenly his right hand gets cut off by his wires! Lubbock wasn’t just running around but placing his wires. Since Shura was showing off his teleporting, Lubbock was able to mark those places. Resistance girl uses all her strength to stab Lubbock but her wish will never be granted because Shura says her family was dead a long time ago. Shura then teleports Lubbock into another dimension where he will spend eternity there. Lubbock has tied Shura to his wires and drags him in. Shura tries to escape back but Lubbock stabs his heart and crushes it. Looks like he won’t be the next king. They return to the real world but they are free falling. Lubbock knows his time is up as his Imperial Arms breaks. He didn’t fall to his death. Defeated Tatsumi sees before his eyes how Lubbock lands and gets impaled by spears! Honest shed crocodile tears upon Shura’s death but eventually doesn’t care. They want to make an example of Tatsumi to make the resistance back down. Esdeath who has just returned from an excursion wants to handle this. She won’t let anyone else have Tatsumi. A notice is all over the capital that Tatsumi will be publicly executed.

Theatre 20: Mine hosts a game show to execute Lubbock for hogging the shopping channel. This wheel of fortune will decide his death. But there is a small chance he might get a hotspring bath with boss Najenda. Lubbock eagerly gambles on this chance and a miracle happens! He gets it! But Mine reveals it is a trick. He gets a hotspring bath with Bols! Worse than death… Enjoy…

Episode 21
Esdeath sees Tatsumi in prison and knows all about him being in Night Raid. Still, she wants him to be by her side. He refuses and is even prepared for death. He doesn’t want to be with a person who spreads destruction. Esdeath has no choice to execute him personally tomorrow. So come tomorrow after the emperor makes his speech, Esdeath is about to execute Tatsumi but here comes Night Raid. The stadium is evacuated. Najenda and Susanoo fight Esdeath while Mine and Leone take on Budo. Because Leone got electrocuted and her body temporarily paralyzed, it is up to Mine to fight the big general alone. But thanks to her Imperial Arms’ trait, the more she is in danger, the more powerful her weapon is. It is risky putting herself in danger but what to do, she really wants to save Tatsumi. And after all that exchange, Mine fires a freaking powerful shot that blasts away Budo. It took a toll on her body. Akame was in charge of retrieving Incursio and then frees Tatsumi. Najenda has Susanoo turn into his God mode to fight formidable Esdeath but even so, not a scratch on her. With Tatsumi freed, Najenda orders to retreat. Esdeath won’t allow Tatsumi to run again and uses her secret technique she recently developed just for this. She freezes time and space for a short while to stab and destroy Susanoo’s core. Najenda uses her life force to rebuild that core. Tatsumi wants to help Susanoo but is made to remember what their mission was. Night Raid flees as Susanoo stays back to company Esdeath. He knows he can’t win but it buys his comrades time. Mine knows she has not long to live so she has Tatsumi put her down. You can tell those are her last words but all I remember was that she finally confessed she is glad to have fall in love with him. And then a last kiss… NOOOO!!! MINE!!! :’(

Theatre 21: Yet another twisted folklore. You know, the one about the crane. Tatsumi saves one and Lubbock thinks karma will repay him with a hot chick. That hot chick turns out to be the cool Snow Queen, Esdeath! She starts making love with him! Lastly, I’m not sure about this one but Lubbock is a fox that got shot by Mine.

Episode 22
Tatsumi cannot believe a few died just to rescue him just so as to protect the Revolutionary Army’s morale. But he must not give up now or else those who died would be in vain. Najenda is hardest hit since she lost Susanoo. By right she should have lost her life because she used it to power him. But Susanoo used his own to let her escape. He wasn’t a mere weapon but her partner. The citizens of the capital are in an unrest for the capital to protect them. Wave is frustrated he can’t do anything as Run explains the reason why he joined Jaegars was so he could change this rotten kingdom from within instead of foolishly protesting from the outside. The emperor is worried he might have made the wrong decisions but Honest’s smooth talk has him convinced that they need to use force to demonstrate his true strength and authority. Several rebels are crucified and Akame notes that one of them has a coded message personally for her. She knows it is Kurome and looks like time is not on her side as she wants to settle things. They meet at a chapel, a place where they reunited and Akame betrayed her. A fitting place to kill her sister. After being separated and carrying out their assassin missions, they were reunited simply because to replace fallen comrades. They become the best combo ever and Kurome was the happiest sister ever till Akame left and joined Night Raid. Akame realized what they have been doing is wrong and the capital is the source of it. Kurome was miserable after she left so she is going to kill her so that Akame could always be hers. Their fight awakens some giant monster. It takes out her zombies. The sisters cooperate to take it down. Just like old times. Then it’s back to more fighting but Wave comes to stop her, only to be stopped by Tatsumi who is here to prevent others from interfering. He believes everyone has a reason or else they can’t move forward. Kurome is grateful that Wave came and wished they could have been closer in a different time. In the final blow, Akame stabs through Kurome. She dies with a smile. But Wave is sad. He couldn’t do anything for her. But at least he came for her. He is confused what he is fighting for now. Tatsumi’s soothing words that he is done losing what is precious to him has Akame break down in tears. Cry your heart out. It’s raining anyway. Honest brings the emperor to activate the capital’s supreme Imperial Arms. This giant mecha is the ultimate weapon?

Theatre 22: Run mediates an interview with the sisters but Kurome cannot help mock Akame and talk bad about her. Especially about being the main character but being upstaged or have no role in certain places. The last straw came when Kurome says some profanity. Outside now! I think this radio station is haunted because you see lots of strange things and dead people passing by in the background!

Episode 23
Wave is at Kurome’s grave. Telling his story how he joined the army because he was saved by the navy and admired them. He is supposed to protect the people but is not sure what to protect now. Najenda gives Night Raid’s final mission to eliminate Honest. Inside the palace, they run into Run (pun not intended). He admits the capital has been corrupted for so long and that he was once a teacher of a poor village. Everyone was killed by bandits and the capital did not deem it a crime to stop it. That is why he joined Jaegars to change it from within. Till Night Raid had to show up. He doesn’t approve their ways because it involves too much bloodshed. Leone’s fist does the talking. She buys time so Akame and Tatsumi can press ahead. Honest continues to convince the emperor he has done right when Akame and Tatsumi bust in. Tatsumi tries to tell him what he is happening but Honest plays it all down as he summons Shikoutazer, the first and most powerful Imperial Arms. Man, it’s freaking huge! Its single blast can destroy a very huge area!!! Better than the atomic bomb! Puny Tatsumi fights him and tries to open his eyes that he is destroying and harming the people. The citizens are suffering. However that damn kid decides to listen to Honest instead (because this fat ass is always right). Tatsumi takes a beating but Wave comes to his rescue. He hasn’t defected but remembers his responsible to protect the people. Leone and Run put aside their fight to save the people. As Tatsumi and Wave cooperate to bring this huge thing down, it is like they hit some nerve. Tatsumi remembers Susanoo’s words of everything have a weakness. Because they kept attacking the same place, it is worn out. Plus, it takes a lot of burden to control this big thing. The emperor continues to beat him up and hoping he would just fall but Tatsumi won’t be beaten. He will not fail his fallen comrades. With Bulat’s voice giving him determination, Incursio evolves into a golden dragon to punch right through Shikoutazer! Now that big thing comes crashing down. Damn, I hope it would fall on Honest but instead it is threatening to plunge on the people! It seems ridiculous that Tatsumi is trying to stop it with all his might. Maybe he should have waited because it crashed a few metres away from them. Or could it be thanks to Tatsumi’s little push? Anyway he is bloodied all over. Akame is sad he didn’t keep his promise to live. And Esdeath, where the hell have you been all this time?! Your beloved Tatsumi is dead before your eyes now!

Theatre 23: Tatsumi is picked up by his dead Nigh Raid comrades to go over to the other side. But why is Akame here? To say goodbye? But it is just a dream she had…

Episode 24
Esdeath accepts Tatsumi’s death as he is weak but what is this unsettling feeling in her heart? The Revolutionary Army thought they could get her but they’re wrong. She freezes them all in her ice wall. Now it is the final fight between Esdeath and Akame. It is the capital that has lost, not her. The war is over, she’ll merely move on to another battlefield. The exhilarating fight begins with Esdeath pulling all swords of ice tricks and weapons. Finally, someone who can land a hit on Esdeath! But she won’t give in yet. Despite her hand being stabbed by Murasame’s curse, she cuts it off before it spreads through her body! Akame then stabs herself. Devil version? The curse from all the grief and pain that Murasame remembers flow through her. Esdeath uses her time stopping technique but when she tries to stab Akame, it is just an after image. She looked everywhere for her except up! Akame is able to cut a nice one across her body. Seems it Akame was waiting for her to use this. The after image she saw was her bloodlust that she inflated via the curse. Esdeath admits her defeat and since she gets to choose how she dies, she lies next to Tatsumi, crystallizing themselves in hard ice before breaking apart into nothing. I don’t know. I thought it looked like they vanished instantly. I hope they won’t come to a revelation that they transported to another world where they lived happily ever after. Honest thought he could run away but Leone corners him. He feigns fear to use his Imperial Arms that nullifies hers. But no matter how much bullets he pumps into her body, she still stands because she trained her body hard. Then she clobbers his face till it becomes some smashed flatten piece of sh*t! Leone later sees Akame and they part ways since Night Raid is over. When the Revolutionary Army takes over and brings peace, Leone quietly goes to one dark alley corner and dies. The emperor is in a public execution. He will be beheaded via guillotine. He realized he has failed his people and accepts this way of death. This is the only way to reclaim his honour. Wave and Run are at Kurome’s grave and they vow to make the new kingdom a better place. Tatsumi’s village receives a huge amount of gold. They believe those kids are successful and can’t wait for their return for a big celebration. Hate to break this to you, but they’re never coming back… As the townspeople pick themselves up and slowly rebuild their future, Najenda speaks to Akame for one last time. Najenda will be part of the rebuilding team while Akame will leave the place. She accepts all the wrongdoings of the Revolutionary Army to befall on her. Akame continues to wander and does what she does best: Assassinating.

Theatre 24: An after party for all the characters in the series, dead or alive. Everyone is having fun with drinks and food. If they were only like this in real life. And what’s this?! Tatsumi and Mine together?! Holy cow! Who says you can’t be a couple in the afterlife?

Kill Everybody! Kill The Anime!
I read that certain comments call this a poor adaptation of the series. I don’t know. I have not read the manga and thus I don’t have anything to compare or the right to say if it is better. Maybe it is because they didn’t follow faithfully to the plot or some of the chapters like how some of the characters who died are supposed to be alive as the manga is still ongoing. But I do know that the action and all that blood spilling, guts cutting violence are what made this series entertaining. That’s right. If you want to watch this show, stay for the action and violence. Not for the faint hearted because like I have said, there are lots of people being cut apart and blood gushing out like as though that there is a mini geyser waiting to burst out whenever you cut off limbs, torsos or the head. Also, I am guessing to show how ‘serious’ the action and violence are, a death is guaranteed in every episode. At least somebody dies in every episode whether that character is a major character, supporting character or a side extra character who is just existing for this unfortunate moment to be cut up. You can tell when the title of each episode is to kill something.

And though I also expected Night Raid to lose its members, I never thought Sheele would be the first to go and that was so freaking early in the series. A quarter into the anime, she’s gone! WTF?! I thought everybody should just die in the end then. No, don’t get me wrong Sheele is my favourite character but you will see why later on… That is why I was baffled why there are ‘so many’ survivors in the end. I was expecting only Akame to be the survivor of this deadly war since at least this is her anime and one that is named after her. But what the heck, not only Najenda is alive but Wave and Run as well? Why did you let them live?! Tatsumi dies but Wave lives? Nothing wrong with that but like I said, this anime kills off everybody like how Game Of Thrones does so I’m expecting the worst case scenario finish where there are no survivors left.

The uniqueness of each battle and some of the characters are thanks to the different Imperial Arms and its unique powers. They are interesting to note at first but you realize that with so many things going on and the fights that normally don’t last long, you don’t really see much variations of the Imperial Arms. Mostly they pack a punch and it is like you don’t waste time in using all you’ve got to bring out the best in that weapon and everything ends quickly or drags on just a little longer. Otherwise, why wield it in the first place? And some are just crazy like Seryu who is able to equip almost every part of her body with weapons that it blows your mind away. At least they provide flashy extravagance during the fight with some oohs and wahs but that is about it. Once the wielder is defeated, you will usually never ever see it again. Where do such Imperial Arms go? Well, Najenda did say they end up in the Revolutionary Army for research but that just feels like convenience never to hear from it again. I have not been keeping count of how many Imperial Arms users that have appeared, but they said there were 48 of them so my guts tell me that we have seen quite a number of them. Does this mean there are all to it?

But I suppose that is why some people do not consider this anime to be great because of the stereotype casting of the plot in which the ruling government is made to be truly corrupted and thus must be eliminated by a group of justice assassins who go around assassinating corrupt people. Like fighting fire with fire. Then they cover up with all the clichés and filling it with blood and body count to make it look badass and dark enough to make us think that this should be okay. Well, if you’re going to nitpick how it fails in other areas like the character development (too many characters, too little screen time) and pacing (refer to character development problem), then I am sure you can find faults in every other area too. Especially if you are a loyal manga fan. It may not be the perfect anime but at least I was entertained by the fighting bits so the rest didn’t bother that much.

Sure, the dark concept of killing people makes you think if this is the only way to get things done and change the world. Because if people themselves are open to talks, you wouldn’t have all this corruption in the first place. Night Raid is made to look like the hero only because we are made to think and believe that the capital is such a rotten place. No doubt Honest is the true villain and puppet master here. But are Night Raid’s actions something to be condoned for? The evil people they took out had taken many innocent lives before their time is up so sometimes you question if this is the right case for using fire against fire. Because for all you know, they themselves may become corrupt and the vicious cycle repeats again. After all, what do assassins do when the war is over? Don’t say it won’t happen especially to our heroes. Just look at what happened at Nanatsu No Taizai. I rest my case.

So basically character development is close to impossible when you have so many characters dying. Why give a character a long winded past or even half an episode focus for their flashback when they are going to die? Such a waste it would be. But I guess for those that matter like the main characters such as Tatsumi, I guess like any other main characters, a boy from a poor village powers up to become the champion of justice for the people. That sounds so typical and so cliché in this kind of genres but I guess when you put yourself in Tatsumi’s shoes, it is not easy to be where he is now. He may be the luckiest man on Earth to survive this far and also the unluckiest kid around to watch all the tragedies and many of his comrades die in battle. Yeah, how is he going to have a harem once the war ends? Haha! Girls like Chelsea and tsundere Mine definitely have a thing for Tatsumi but I suppose it sucks that they leave it too late to realize or tell their feelings. Heh. If Bulat was still alive, he would be a great contender too!

Oh, I just found out that Tatsumi and Mine did become a couple in the manga. Maybe that is why some don’t like the anime adaptation. Because our hero dies in the arms of Esdeath. Uh huh. Esdeath might be seething in anger in the manga but at least she died happy in the anime. Personally I think Esdeath remains the most awesome and powerful character in the series because of the inability for anybody to even lay a finger on her. Untouchable. And when she strikes back to those weaklings, she doesn’t even need to break into a sweat and in fact is so bored that killing them is just like an obligation to entertain us viewers with blood. Besides being a vicious blood killer, she has conflicted sides that makes her interesting. Like a part of hers wanting to fall in love which really surprises us because we never thought a person who loves conflict and fighting would ever be able to love. There is always an exception and Tatsumi must be one hell of a guy to be that exception. She is also always cool and oozing with confidence in anything she does. That is what makes her great and powerful.

Other characters in Night Raid also feel like some sort of stereotypes like Akame the emotionless one, Najenda the cool boss (I believe most of her roles are just giving orders), Leone the flirty sexy animal-feature type, Mine the tsundere, Lubbock the typical pervert, Bulat the big brother type, Sheele the klutz, Chelsea the pretty girl and Susanoo the all-rounder that can do anything and everything. Speaking of Akame, I thought it was just me noticing this but she did even say to herself (in the theatre) that as the main character she lacks a decent amount of screen time. Yup. Akame isn’t as much focused as Tatsumi as the series builds up. Till his death, it is only then Akame takes back the spotlight and shows us why she is the star of an anime that is named after her.

Some of the other supporting characters may not have their deep background but at least they are enough to give them a bit of character although ultimately it doesn’t matter in the end. Like Wave and Run with their own version of justice and from their past tragic stories, you can say that they are good guys in a way too but on the wrong side of the divide. I suppose that there are many characters like them who are not sure which side to pick so the best way is to stick with your beliefs. Can’t believe that those two are still alive in the end… Therefore Night Raid and Jaegars are ‘fun’ groups of people because they have an equal amount of weird and amusing characters. It is just sad that they are pitted against each other just because of the side they are on. I am sure if they would have gotten along well had not for this war. Because Bols is actually a nice and reliable guy (something tells me he also has this macho gay potential…) while all Kurome wants is just to be with her sister. Seryu might be obsessed with justice but can you blame her for the influence of this justice she believes in? But to normal people like us, she’s just crazy… Freaking crazy… Make that super freaking crazy!

See? When the big bad people are those at the top and those at the bottom suffer. The further down the line you are, the greater your suffering. That is why the common poor folks are the ones experiencing the greatest agony. So there was no love lost when Honest died a gruesome death because you know this fatty who is the one pulling all the strings behind the scene, one day he would get what he deserves. Too bad it came after so many had died. Including his own son that he doesn’t even care the least bit. At least even the emperor himself had some honour. But pretty much most of the time he is being misled so you can’t blame him entirely. I noticed that there are other weird looking generals by the emperor’s side. Weird enough to even think that they may be freaks with certain powers to join in the fight. And get killed. Guess that didn’t happen.

Drawing and art are rather okay. It goes well with the action scenes. The effects that go with it are also good. The designs of the characters as well as the unique Imperial Arms are also okay. The colourful and some even outrageous character designs do add personality to the character like Bols who might look like some S&M freak with his mask always on. See how crazy Seryu’s face contorts when she is in crazy mode? Is this how crazy people look like to us? The designs of the Imperial Arms can range from absurd (Shikoutazer – how on Earth did they keep it under the palace grounds when it is so bloody huge?) to freaky (Koro – don’t be fooled by its cute looks. It gets creepy when it is in its ferocious form). But I suppose that is why only certain people can wield them.

So another reason why I wanted everybody to just die in the end is because of this silly reason. Just when I thought I could hear Mamiko Noto’s voice on a regular basis as Sheele despite not as the main character and good enough she is casted as a supporting role, then she got killed off! The first in Night Raid! After a quarter of the series’ duration! What the hell?! Where is the justice?! It is like they don’t need her anymore!!! WHERE IS THE JUSTICE, YOU TELL ME???!!! Ahem… It was no more ‘fun’ anymore in the voice acting department so I’m going to make this quick. It is a freaking lost list anyway since there are so many characters because when you have a show that kills off everyone and on average one per episode, your cast list is going to grow longer than your mother’s grocery’s list. Believe me. It is that long. So the obviously recognizable ones to me are Yukari Tamura as Mine, Kana Hanazawa as Seryu and Jouji Nakata as Liver. Yeah, that’s about it. There might be others too but I wasn’t so keen in identifying them anymore :/…

The rest of the line-up includes Souma Saitou as Tatsumi (Touji in Zankyou No Terror), Sora Amamiya as Akame (Asseylum in Aldnoah.Zero), Satomi Akesaka as Esdeath (Arsene in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Yuu Asakawa as Leone (Rider in Fate/Stay Night), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Lubbock (Kirito in Sword Art Online), Shintarou Asanuma as Susanoo (Yoshiyuki in Da Capo II), Kaori Nazuka as Chelsea (Nunnally in Code Geass), Katsuyuki Konishi as Bulat (Laxus in Fairy Tail), Risa Mizuno as Najenda (Shigure in Nabari No Ou), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Wave (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Junji Majima as Run (Ryuuji in Toradora), Ayaka Ohashi as Kurome (Momoka in Sabagebu!), Eiji Takamoto as Bols (Mitsunari Ishida in Sengoku Musou), Ken Narita as Dr Stylish (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha), Kouji Ishii as Honest (Fisher Tiger in One Piece), You Tachi as the emperor (Sayori in Love Lab), Hozumi Gouda as Budo (Kaien in Vampire Knight), Masami Iwasaki as Bolic (Iemitsu in Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn), Ryohei Kimura as Shura (L-elf in Valverave The Liberator), Hitomi Nabatame as Nyau (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana), Anri Katsu as Daidara (Tsuchimikado in To Aru Majutsu No Index) and Satoshi Tsuruoka as Zank (Caster in Fate/Stay Night).

Skyreach by Sora Amamiya is the first opening theme and the rock pace of this outfit befits the action genre and gets you into the mood of this series. Although the second opening theme, Liar Mask by Rika Mayama is also another rock piece, I didn’t quite like this one. Perhaps it was because I am used to the first opening theme but in this second one, the pace becomes like a waltz somewhere in the middle of the song so it really feels odd. Miku Sawai sings the first ending theme, Konna Sekai Shiritakunakatta and I prefer this slow rock piece compared to the rock pop second ending theme, Tsuki Akari sung by Sora Amamiya. Although the latter doesn’t sound bad but I just personally prefer the former.

Overall, I didn’t really find this anime bad although there are parts that it could be improved. But that would probably drag out the entire series and turn it into another 2-cour and run for the entire year. Especially the character development part if you don’t kill them off. I suppose it is sad to see your favourite and amusing characters go before they are fleshed out properly. All for the sake for blood and action. Yup. If you want to watch this series with some sort of expectation, it is just that and nothing more. It feels like I’m the villain liking to watch all that death and suffering that despite they are just 2D animation. I hope it won’t come a time where they send people like Akame or Esdeath to eliminate ‘harmless’ otakus like us just for ‘watching wrongly’. Between those 2 babes, it is like between the devil and the deep blue sea. Or like when a dragon and tiger clash and you’re just an ant. You know you’re screwed…

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