As a fan of psychological thrillers like Madoka Magica and Psycho-Pass, it really is no surprise that I fell in love with the Akame Ga Kill anime. The extremely action-packed, extremely depressing emotional roller coaster that is the series may or may not get a follow-up, however a prequel spin-off was announced some time ago. Giving fans like myself a chance to not only see Akame again, we were also promised a story line that documents Akame’s life prior to joining the Revolutionary Army.
After being separated from her sister Kurome, Akame is trained as an assassin for The Empire. If she isn’t spending her time on a mission, she finds herself wondering about her sister. Kurome is also an assassin for The Empire under different leadership but has been given drugs that heighten her strength. Enemies vary in strength and teammates die, until Akame is eventually reunited with her sister and meets an enemy that claims she is fighting for the wrong side.
Gore and blood certainly has been attached to the Akame Ga Kill series. Never shying away from dismemberment or a chance to show the head of a character you grew attached to on a stake, Akame Ga Kill doesn’t give a fuck about our feelings. However, this new series is also extremely high in fan-service. Sure, there were sensual moments in the previous series with Esdeath but certainly not topless women chained in a dungeon or graphic lesbian sex scenes. However, the writing still manages to make the audience think of good versus evil which is especially the case for Mera Oarburgh.
Initially perceived to Akame as an enemy, Mera is a very formidable opponent. Using variations of deadly insects to do her bidding, to die by Mera’s hands is no kindness. She is against the Empire and is the one who tells Akame of the atrocities committed by The Empire, but that’s long after her same-sex attraction is apparent. Any woman she deems attractive is a woman she must have sex with and claims to be awakening women to the joy of being in love with other women. Her graphic sexual acts are definitely one of the reasons that volumes of this series are wrapped in plastic, but they also confuse me as to whether it is consensual sex.
Once her, (often), weaponized lust appears, Mera immediately suggests and initiates sex with the other woman in question. Mera loves women so much that she surrounds herself with beautiful women with only one exception and men who dare to stand against her die mercilessly. At first I thought perhaps viewing her as a potential rapist was a reach, until a cameo with Esdeath happens in Volume 6. At a young age, Mera was very aware of her lesbianism but also attempts to rape Esdeath to which Esdeath responds by nearly killing her. As time goes on in the manga however, Mera’s time with Akame leads to questioning the sexuality of Akame herself.
Mera is another example of inclusion of the LGBTQ community in the series, (most mainstream action/horror anime/manga still shy away from so I have to give a little bit of props), but unfortunately, not a 100% great one. Akame Ga Kill! Zero is still very much worth reading for fans of the previous work. Akame’s character development is beginning to shine after her time spent with Mera and after the end of Volume 7, there’s no telling what could happen next.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Featured Image Photo: RightStuf