Title: Akame ga Kill Vol. 2
Author: Takahiro (Story), Tetsuya Tashiro (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
In volume two of Akame ga Kill, we are introduced Night Raid’s next target, which was teased at the end of the first volume: Executioner Zanku. Zanku possesses a Teigu and it is stated that when two Teigu users clash, the unwritten rule is that only one will come out of the battle alive. Battles against Teigu users will always be a fight to the death. This also brings us to some information on what Teigus really are. The first emperor wanted to protect the land, knowing that he wouldn’t live forever. He called the world’s greatest craftsmen to the kingdom and spared no expense creating forty-eight different weapons, each with special properties. After a civil war, a lot of the Teigus went missing. Night Raid’s sub-mission is to collect Teigus and it just so happened that Zanku is both a target and a Teigu user.
After their battle, Tatsumi is given Zanku’s Teigu as a reward; however, it is incompatible. Tatsumi gets fired up and wants to collect all the Teigus hoping that one of them can restore the dead. Bulat breaks the bad news to him that there is no such Teigu with a power like that. This segues into Sheele and Tatsumi having a bonding moment.
In the back half of the volume, Tatsumi and Leone are paired up, but get separated. Tatsumi runs into Seryu, one of the imperial guards who has a Teigu in the form of a dog named Coro. Tatsumi is an unknown member of Night Raid so Seryu doesn’t suspect him, but her mission is to smite out evil with justice and that includes Night Raid! She leads Tatsumi to the bar where he is rejoined by Leone. The two of them go on a bust where they take out a bunch of drug traffickers who were using women as test subjects, some of which were Leone’s friends when she was a child. Leone wonders how the others are handling their mission which brings us to Mine and Sheele heading back from a successful mission only to get ambushed by Seryu!
The volume ends with a bloody battle and the return of a new character to the capitol… General Esdeath!
The second volume of Akame ga Kill packed a LOT of information into one volume and took you on a bit of an emotional roller coaster. You got to understand Tatsumi’s feelings a bit more as well as got some backstory on a myriad of characters. While all of these missions seem like one off ordeals, the manga does a great job tying them into the main overarching story of the revolutionary army vs the imperial capitol. It’s one of those situations where you feel like the story isn’t moving forward, but then you realize it has been this entire time.
We received a lot of character development in this volume and by a lot, I mean each character got a little development, but there were a lot of characters that were developed… if that makes sense. I guess the better way to say it is quantity over quality.
Tatsumi grew a bit as a main character in a way that I rather enjoyed. He showed that he does have a spine, but he can be a bit hot-headed and irrational. His heart is in the right place, but his inability to keep himself calm is a bit of an issue. The biggest example of this comes after the events at the end of the volume where Tatsumi is filled with an unquenchable rage and was ready to brazenly storm out of Night Raid in an effort to take revenge. He had to be brought to his senses by the rest of them and make him realize that what happened was inevitable and there is a time and place to enact their emotions. A lot of main characters in manga (and anime) are typically passive and timid. They’re always afraid to get their hands dirty they will usually develop a spine as a series goes on. Tatsumi isn’t like that. He has the character design of someone who would like timid, but he is not afraid to get his hands stained with blood. He just needs to control his temper and Tatsumi could be a true powerhouse of an MC.
Sheele received her backstory in this volume. She was always clumsy, causing people in Night Raid many headaches so she’s the only person who is exempt from daily chores. She burned Akame’s food, made a mess while helping Bulat clean and even threw Mine into the washer when doing laundry, which was absolutely hilarious! When one of her childhood friends was being assaulted by her drugged up ex-boyfriend, she remained calm and jammed a knife into his neck, killing him instantly. It was then she discovered that killing people was the only thing she could do without any kind of error. Sheele’s personality is rather sweet, though as she is very thoughtful and caring, but when it’s time to kill, she’s cold and ruthless! She’s a pretty well-balanced character, in my opinion.
We didn’t get much backstory on Leone when it was her time to be paired with Tatsumi, but she is a tom boy through and through. We learned that she does care about her friends as she protected them during that drug bust, but outside of this, we don’t really know too much about Leone’s past. Seeing how she’s on the cover of volume three, I suspect we’ll know more about it then.
Seryu is a loose cannon. Enough said. When she helped Tatsumi, she seemed like a person with a good heart like the sweet, innocent girl next door. However, when she ran into Mine and Sheele, she was anything but that. She reminded me of a religious zealot screaming bloody murder in the name of God thinking that she was doing the right thing. The whole insanity over justice card has been played many times in series, but they seem to be playing it right with Seryu. Her mind is completely broken and as long as she believes she is doing justice, she will not stop at anything to see her opponent killed off. Girl next door has more screws loose than Sheele!
Finally, we get introduced to General Esdeath. Her Teigu has the power to manipulate ice and she is being called the imperial army’s strongest warrior. She is revered for slaughtering 40,000 men by herself alone over her time as general. She conquered the northern tribe and even vanquished their strongest warrior, The Hero of the North, like he was nothing. Now she returns to the capitol at the end of the volume as she was summoned to deal with Night Raid. She has a sadist’s personality and often wonders if there is anyone alive that can match her power and give her a true battle! Seems like our main villain has been introduced!
The second volume of Akame ga Kill accomplishes what good second volumes should. It continued to introduce new characters at a decent pace, advanced the story forward, established conflict and developed its characters on a couple of different levels. The reader is still being introduced to the world of Akame ga Kill and with a cast as large as this, each character is getting enough time to shine and the reader has time to digest the information about them. Most series would rather spend an entire volume on action and then an entire volume dumping information into our laps, but Akame ga Kill finds that harmonious balance between the two to keep the reader entertained.
The major events at the end of the volume was a bit shocking. I was shocked when I saw the same events unfold in the anime as well. I didn’t think this series would go that route so quickly, but it raises the question of how many times these events will play out from this point forward? It raises the flag that nobody is safe and that puts a really interesting spin on the series. You could open up the next volume and things you have grown accustomed to could change forever. That alone should be enough to keep someone reading!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press