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Akame ga Kill!: Collection 2 (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)

akame-ga-kill-c2-coverAkame ga Kill! (アカメが斬る!) is based on a manga series written by Takahiro and illustrated by Tetsuya Tashiro. The story follows the male protagonist Tatsumi, a fighter from the countryside who sets off to the big Capital city to try to help his village, which is struggling under an enormous tax burden. When Tatsumi arrives in the Capital, however, he is stunned to find a city overrun by corruption and supernatural forces. Still, Tatsumi finds himself the unlikely ally of a group of rebel assassins calling themselves Night Raid who are fighting to bring down the corrupt government officials controlling the Capital, restore justice and control to the people.

The members of Night Raid each carry special weapons called “Imperial Arms” created by alchemy. They carry great powers and enable them to perform great feats and fight against some of the most powerful supernatural opponents. Tatsumi begins training under the tutelage of the Night Raid members, with the hopes of earning the ability to use Imperial Arms, but it is an ability that comes at a high price, because the power is so great that two Imperial Arms users fighting against each other are sure to die. It is the only way, however, for Night Raid to kill the corrupt puppet now controlling the Capital.

Akame ga Kill! is a brutal series that doesn’t shy away from violence in the slightest, yet it is never overindulgent in this regard. The violence always makes sense and fits in with the story and the fact that the characters and akame-ga-kill-still-2story are engaging keeps it from ever feeling superficial. So does the more than sufficient amount of comic relief in the series. There’s almost an One Piece sense of humor, not necessarily in the look or feel, just in the way the humor comes across. And speaking of the look, this series has a great look about it too. It’s edgy and dark, even if not exactly cutting edge. But the character designs and backgrounds are outstanding, especially the female characters and the many supernatural altercations our heroes in Night Raid find themselves in. This is eye-popping animation

Collection 2 left me absolutely shocked. I did not watch this series streaming or on the Toonami programming segment, so this is my first time seeing it all the way through. Needless to say, I would not have expected the even darker turn Akame ga Kill! Would take in this next set of episodes (13-24). Night Raid and the Revolutionary Army launch their final assaults on the Capital in this second half of the series, and without giving everything away, the Imperial Arms offers the wielders major amounts of power, but it doesn’t grant them immortality. The carnage inflicted on the characters we have come to love is unbelievable. These last episodes are, like in any war, filled with death; not just the death of tertiary characters either, but of main characters. The writers should probably be given props for that, because, unlike a lot of productions – and I’m not talking about just anime – it seems like practically an unwritten rule to always make sure your protagonists survive, or most of them anyway. Collection 2 solidifies Akame ga Kill! in my mind as an instant classic anime series.

The Video

akame-ga-kill-still-1Nothing really changes here over Collection 1. Some very mild color banding is still present, but Akame ga Kill!’s digital animation still looks excellent, with clean and crisp detail in an AVC 1080p encodement on Blu-ray from Sentai Filmworks.

The Audio

Akame ga Kill! Collection 2 comes with the original Japanese-language soundtrack in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0akame-ga-kill-still-3 stereo and the English dub in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. For purists like myself, the Japanese track offers excellent sound even though it is not 5.1I still find the Japanese cast to be far better than the English cast, who are just hamming it up or falling flat, no in between. Unfortunately the English track does have the edge with what is a very well done 5.1 mix that is balanced and atmospheric and very decent use of the surround channels for some solid sound effects. Still, given that the 5.1 mix is hardly the greatest I have ever heard, the 2.0 mix with the superior Japanese cast more than does the trick.

The Supplements

This second collection again comes with the AkaKill! Theater shorts.  After all of that carnage these comedic, chibi shorts based on the episodes proper are a nice diversion.

  • AkaKill! Theater (Available in Japanese and English)
  • Japanese Promo (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:01:42)
  • Clean Opening Animation
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Sentai Filmworks Trailers

The Final Assessment

There’s really no question about it – if you’re a fan of this series, then you have to complete your collection by getting this second, even edgier half of Akame ga Kill!. If you’re new to the series, be prepared for one of the darkest, coolest anime series around, with edgy action and lots of mayhem.

Akame ga Kill!: Collection 2 (TheaterByte Blu-ray Review)
4.3 / 5 TheaterByte Rating
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 5 User Rating (0 votes)
Kobayashi TomokiDirector
Uezu MakotoWriter
300 Mins.Run Time
$69.98MSRP
17 May 2016Release Date
1.78:1Aspect Ratio
AVC 1080pVideo
Japanese DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo | English DTS-HD MA 5.1Audio
TV-MA (VL)TV Rating
The Creative Content
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements
Summary
By daring to go darker and edgier in its second half, Akame ga Kill, an already action-packed series, solidifies itself as one of the better, (and perhaps more violent) anime series to come along.
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