LONGGG rant ahead PLUS SPOILERS cause I’m basically discussing the entirety of the characters and the death in this episode.
As if I haven’t said it enough, go read the manga, forget about the anime divergences.
They close off Kurome’s character in this episode with her death. Kurome ends up being a significant turning point as a symbol of the capital’s corruption. She and her sister started out impoverished and ended up being preyed on by the capital, taken in and used as tools for the capital’s horrific deeds. It’s evident throughout the series that Akame was always stronger than Kurome who had mostly been dependent on her older sister for most of her childhood. Kurome ends up inextricably tied to the capital because of her need for the drugs but also because she felt a close bond with her comrades. Akame on the other hand left everything behind to join the revolutionary army because she followed her own ideals. Kurome probably did want to follow Akame but there were so many factors hinging on Kurome’s stay. I guess separating them earlier in their training was beneficial to the capital in that they didn’t lose the younger sister even when the elder left. In the end, Kurome’s character isn’t tragic in that she never realizes how horrific the capital truly is, she’s always known that as a kid. Kurome knew she was dying from the side effects of the drugs and probably preferred to die at the hands of her sister, to fight her sister for one last time out of love and regret.
Now, while the emotional build up to the fight was all well and dandy, I didn’t like how there was a Danger Beast interruption. In the ten seconds it took for the sisters to take down the Danger Beast, we can discern two things – one that the sister fight wasn’t intended to last that long anyway because Akame was clearly in better physical shape than Kurome plus I would argue that Akame has always been a better fighter in general; and two that the writers wanted to show us how well Akame and Kurome still function as sisters. The pacing with the Danger Beasts, Tatsumi and Wave’s interruption AND the in-between sisterly pre-combat taunt dialogue makes all the events seem rather disjointed and laggy. We had all this angst in one moment and then random interruption and then happy sisterly teamwork and then MORE ANGST. Akame saving her sister from the Danger Beast was probably unnecessary in terms of how they downgraded Kurome’s defense abilities. I mean, she was saved once by Natala and once by her sister. I expected her to have better self-defence rather than relying on dolls’ defense. Akame saving her sister was mostly to reinforce how much love there STILL is between the two and how the dynamic really hasn’t really changed… ish. Well…hmm… Seriously, Kurome didn’t even get any actual hits in and Akame made the final “ELIMINATE” kill. However I did think Kurome’s ACTUAL death was anti-climactic but perhaps deserving of her character because after all the death and destruction she’s seen, all she really wants to do is be absolved of her duties and actions, to return to her sister’s arms in death, what she sees, as blissful sanctuary.
I’m majorly impressed with Akame’s ability to steel herself long enough to deal the final blow but it HAS been a long time coming and I’ve been looking forward to this final sisterly showdown for a while. The person who gets THE WORST end of the stick is definitely Wave. Kurome was so consumed in her conflict with Akame that she couldn’t spend enough time exploring her feelings for Wave (and neither did the story explore that ship either). Wave ends up just WATCHING Kurome get stabbed in battle. I would have thought that for a guy perhaps crushing on a girl or at least feels strongly about his comrade would make more of a fuss, like PHYSICALLY interrupt. I don’t care how much Tatsumi preaches to you about letting the sisters settle their own things, DON’T LET HER DIE IF YOU DON’T WANT HER TO DIE.
I loved Kurome for her quirks and girly moments but I felt that at times her character came off immensely inconsistent in this show. What I’ve deduced above is what I can piece together from some of the vague sisterly “I can definitely understand you” dialogue despite the contradiction of the “loving you so much I want to be the one to kill you” stuff. The backstory was sufficient, but it wasn’t well-rounded enough for me to sympathize enough and cry about Kurome’s death and I DID want to cry about all this because I initially liked the sisters’ character-side-plot set up. It was an information dump that was about twelve to fifteen episodes LATE IN THE TELLING. The girls teaming up in perfect sync to fight the Danger Beast was just really off in terms of atmosphere.
ALSO That moment Akame had with Tatsumi after the battle had WAY too many romantic undertones in my opinion… or was it the animation style and Tatsumi’s expression? I felt like all the characters were killed ALL TOO QUICKLY near the end just for dramatic impact and most of the time the remaining characters and THE AUDIENCE weren’t given enough time to grieve the deaths of their comrades or favourite characters before ANOTHER DEATH was thrown in our faces. I’m almost 100% certain that no one who read the manga and is caught up with the story would ship Akame and Tatsumi like the anime adaptation is trying to hint at.
And after all this, TATSUMI HASN’T CHANGED. He’s supposed to be the MAIN PROTAGONIST and he hasn’t changed AT ALL. Every time someone dies, he goes from sad to happy in the span of about five minutes. The adaptation doesn’t show him grieving, having moments of vulnerability or even distant thoughts about his fallen comrades. Just because other characters (who are all military or assassin-trained) SAY you should put aside your feelings for the battle ahead, doesn’t mean you can just DO IT. Tatsumi hasn’t questioned his ideals or monologued in his head, or spoken to Akame. An extra Tatsumi and Akame night time heart to heart would have given him more depth and provided an opportunity to reveal Akame’s back story but we got none of that. Even after ALL THIS DEATH Tatsumi is able to life up a sword. I really wanted issues of morality to surface through these characters but for all the screen time and attention Tatsumi and Akame get, they have turned out to be poorly developed characters. I swear if Tatsumi goes into enlightened nirvana mode after the epic finale battle explosion, I’m going to throw my laptop because that boy DIDN’T SEEM THAT CAUGHT UP on the violence and the deaths. It doesn’t even seem like he’s portrayed as desensitized by the bloody fighting because he doesn’t show visible signs of being stoic or cold-blooded about it. He’s just easygoing AND HE’S STILL EASYGOING after EVERYTHING that’s happened.
Since this is all original animation storytelling I would like to point out that they should have added SOME emotion into Akame’s face when Akame was holding Kurome who was slowly dying. At one moment I thought Akame’s teigu didn’t work on Kurome because of some happy sisterly feelings that the teigu felt through Akame but NO Kurome JUST DIES and WAVE HAD TO WATCH. At least make Akame shed a single tear dramatically and have it streak down to touch the tip of her sword that was wedged into her sister’s body. No blood too which means Akame just scraped her and let the curse take place. Kurome did die with a smile on her face which is reassuring… STILL this makes Wave INTENSELY reconsider his position with the capital.
Now AFTER ALL THIS… remember dat baby Emperor? The one who sat in his chair sucking on a lollipop for most of the anime? Well, the previews hint that there’s a huge robot mecha thing he’s going to control. It seems like there’s going to be an all-out battle with the Emperor and the revolutionary army… or at least Night Raid, which has like… four members left? Now AFTER ALL THIS… remember dat baby Emperor? The one who sat in his chair sucking on a lollipop for most of the anime? Well, the previews hint that there’s a huge robot mecha thing he’s going to control. It seems like there’s going to be an all-out battle with the Emperor and the revolutionary army… or at least Night Raid, which has like… four members left? Hmm…
Now I’m just curious. Who will be left standing? Who’s going to die next? Will Akame or Tatsumi be the last one standing? Might be Tatsumi cause he’s the main character BUT Akame’s name is in the title so… don’t know where this is all going to go. Well now that they’ve basically killed my last favourite character I have no reason to even keep watching but I do want to see how this anime is going to attempt to make me FEEL BETTER about killing every single one of my favourite other characters so… you do that anime, go and give it your best shot.
What are you pondering today?