Don't get me wrong from the title, this show does have problems, but my God is it epic. I'd better start by talking about the overall premise.
[As always, SPOILER WARNING]
Now, Akame Ga Kill! focuses on a boy in his late teens called Tatsumi who we first see defeating a monster called a Danger Beast (these things are basically like the Elder Bairns from Blood-C), who's out on a quest with his 2 friends (who he's become separated from) to save his village. His buddies get murdered by a family of serial killers, and he ends up as part of the "assassins for justice" group Night Raid, who are trying to end corruption in the nation's capital city by systematically killing everyone who's a part of the problem and creating an opening for the Revolutionary Army to come in and bring justice to their nation for its people.
Night Raid itself is full of some really great characters. It's lead by a former general called Najenda who's basically a female Nick Fury, complete with eyepatch, an other members include the titular character Akame (who's a badass swordswoman trained to be an assassin since childhood... and looks a lot like Saya from Blood-C), Lubbock, a kinda pervy but entertaining guy who uses a metal-fibre based weapon pretty similar to the one Dietrich used in Trinity Blood, Budou, a gay Hugh Jackman lookalike with great hair, Mine (whose name makes me think of the seagulls from Finding Nemo), who kinda out of nowhere at some point ends up having a thing for Tatsumi, and Sheele, an airheaded but capable young woman who fights with a very original and memorable weapon - a giant pair of scissors.
Another main character is Leone. Now, Leone is worth a paragraph of her own because... well... she was at first used to introduce that annoying "anime boob humour" I hate so much. Then when the writers realised that wasn't working, they revealed her "Imperial Arms" (supernatural weapons carried by some characters in the show) to be able to UNLEASH THE BEAST within her. When I first heard this, I was expecting her to turn into some giant monster... but no. Brace yourself for the photo below, because THIS is what we got:
Plenty of new and interesting characters get added and plenty of original characters get taken away as the series progresses. One thing that this show does put across well is the concept of absolutely nobody being safe in the show's world, no matter where they are in society, thanks to all the corrupt murderous officials, and the giant "danger beasts" that roam the areas outside the human population centers and this is backed up by just how many innocent people and protagonists die in this series, even the ones you think that they're never going to kill off.
This makes the show pretty exciting and interesting, but it can be a little frustrating at times. One thing that the show did do very well was give us some great villains. The true main villain of the show is the empire's Prime Minister, a twisted Santa Claus lookalike called Onest (in the Crunchyroll subtitles, elsewhere he's given the ironic name "Honest"), who simply wants power and destruction, and he revels in corrupting the mind and morals of the young Emperor, who over time develops from an innocent kid into a very well written conflicted tragic villain, who I really did sympathise with in the final episodes, even when he did go too far.
With that said however, I think that the Emperor was a complete dumbass to have not realised that Onest was manipulating him, given the hundreds of people who tried to tell him this exact obvious fact, and given Onest's obvious lust for power and lack of empathy.
On a side note, some of the other villains are pretty awesome too, like General Esdeath, a psychopathic mass murderer who weirdly falls in love with Tatsumi, and my favourite character Serya Ubiquitous, a girl who comes across as really honest and decent and says she wants to be a "true champion of justice".
In fact, I thought at first that she was going to turn out to be a clone of Emiya Shirou from the Fate series, but instead we got one of the most original and awesome characters I have ever seen. Seya is in fact completely nuts, and will actively seek to kill anyone who she thinks has been corrupted by evil, somehow seeing this as morally right. If that doesn't make you excited every time she's in an episode, then this will:
Her body is modified (somehow) to contain the most absurd, badass weapons you can possibly imagine, from machine gins to rocket launchers to actual space rockets to nuclear weapons, to tank guns. Sure, it makes no sense but it's just so entertaining seeing this stuff in a lot of the fight scenes, and it's such a creative way to use this character.
With that said, there were plenty of villains I didn't like. For example, almost every villain in the first half of the series just kinda looked like the Joker and had a near-fixed creepy smile. While I liked this the first time around, the constant re-hashing of the "stock Joker character" really did get quite old, and the creepiness of the smiles kinda wore off on every character except Serya, who just got creepier and creepier as the show went on.
There's also Budou's old general who's basically a waterbender from Avatar, and another rip-off character in the form of Onest's son Syura. I'm just going to show you his design and you can kinda guess why I have a problem with this character:
Let's see, a grey-haired muscley man with dark tanned skin and a giant X-shaped scar on his face. He looks almost exactly like Scar from Fullmetal Alchemist. The difference? - While Scar was a complex and interesting character this guy acts like Dietrich from Trinity Blood. So, his appearance is derivative... and his personality is derivative. I didn't like this cahracter at all because he just came across as a failed rip-off of two far superior and more interesting characters, while he himself just came across as bland and pointless in terms of the story.
Oh, and on the subject of derivative, there's Eren Yeager, WHOOPS, I mean Dr. Stylish, who can turn into a giant humanoid danger beast that he controls with his regular human body inside its giant body. I totally can't tell where they got that idea from.
Actually he is a pretty strange and underused character, and not much like Eren at all apart from his ability.
While on the topic of villains though, most of the group "The Jeagers", lead by Esdeath, are really well written and really relatable character, and the show does do a very goo job of showing how the war really isn't "black and white" and how an why good and righteous people end up on the wrong side of a conflict.
The fight scenes in the show are also amazingly well animated, which is surprising as the animation studio, White Fox (who also gave us te superb anime series Steins;Gate) aren't really known for their action shows. The figts do have some problems though, as regular human characters often seem to suddenly develop superhuman jumping abilities, and characters often survive unrealistic amounts of blood loss. On a side note, how does Nyau talk while he’s playing his recorder? I want to know his secret!
The only other problem I have with the show is the way that its first theme song quite blatantly steals a whole section from the BlazBlue Alter Memory theme song. Let me show you:
First watch the Akame Ga Kill" theme from 1:15
Then watch the BlazBlue Alter Memory theme song from 1:17
With that said, they did expand on it, and the theme song itself was both pretty enjoyable and got me at least really pumped to see the awesomeness that was about to unfold in the next episode.
I will say this, in terms of animation style, and the general feel of the show, it comes across as a bizarre mix of Blood-C, Ga-Rei Zero, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and it perfectly balances the light and dark elements of the storyline while never being "too" depressing, nor ever becoming too lighthearted. The writers clearly knew what they wanted this show to be, and they delivered a great story from the first to the last episode... just be prepared for a somewhat bittersweet finale.
So, overall in spite of the flaws it does have, this show is just so thrilling and exciting and action-packed, and so well animated that you just need to watch it. I promise that you won't be disappointed! :)
Anyway, it's really late at night now, so I'm gonna sign off.
Have a great evening, dear reader :)