Akame ga Kill! Vol. 5 Review

Title: Akame ga Kill Vol. 5
Author: Takahiro (Story), Tetsuya Tashiro (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 208
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Publication Date: January 26, 2016

The Story

The fifth volume of Akame ga Kill focused on two story arcs. The first was wrapping up Dr. Stylish’s attack on Night Raid’s secret base. It was made clear that Dr. Stylish acted on his own here without orders from General Esdeath. He has his own army of modified humans at his disposal and decided to take action himself. The humans were all former criminals that were offered a choice of either dying on death row for their crimes or signing a contract with Dr. Stylish and to become permanent experiments/slaves to him. As long as the desire to live is there, it’s a no brainer as to what the choice would be.

Dr. Stylish was losing the battle so he employed one of his two trump cards by launching poison into the air. Tatsumi’s Incursio and Leone’s Beast transformation negated the poison, but the rest of Night Raid became affected rather quickly. Just when things looked bleak, Najenda returned on a flying manta ray danger beast (yes, you read that correctly) along with two new members of Night Raid! We learned one of them is named Chelsea, but she didn’t get involved due to the poison, but the other named Susano’o did. Susano’o is a human Teigu so the poison didn’t affect him all. He took care of Dr. Stylish’s pawns rather easily which forced Stylish to unveil his second trump card… the ability to turn into a danger beast!

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Even though Akame was weakened, she rode on Tatsumi’s back and sliced Stylish with her sword, ending the battle. After this, they went into an unexplored part of the world and staked a new hideout. It was here that we got to learn about our two new members of Night Raid.

We then transition into a backstory for Night Raid’s newest mission. A man named Back claims to be the new master of three girls. His true intent is to sell them to members of the Imperial Capitol so they can play out their perverted fetishes. One of them escaped and hired Night Raid who took care of them in quick fashion. The volume ends with Esdeath recognizing their handiwork and reaffirms his desire to eliminate Night Raid.

Honestly, this ending wasn’t much of an ending. We already know that Esdeath has a mission to exterminate Night Raid and if they used this story just to reaffirm that, then it was kind of a waste. What was baffling was that none of their other missions had this much backstory and detail to them so why did they go this route all of a sudden? They introduced 5-6 new characters and killed them off all in the same chapter. Night Raid killed more officials… yay… but outside of that, what purpose did that last chapter serve?

Characters

It’s another volume so that means there are new characters to talk about.

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The first is Susano’o. As a human Teigu, he is Najenda’s weapon. Outside of having incredible combat skills, he’s a neat freak and a perfectionist. He’ll cook, clean, do the laundry, straighten Mine’s hair and stick Tatsumi’s pocket lining back into his pants (creepy.) Outside of this, he has a rather silent personality as one would expect from a Teigu. He follows orders well and gets the job done. Susano’o looks like he could be a fun character!

The second newest member of Night Raid is Chelsea. She hates optimism because that is what got her unit killed. In fact, they hinted at this last volume when Nanjenda said that the revolutionary unit they’ve been in contact with went silent. Turns out Chelsea was from that unit and was the sole survivor. Her Teigu allows her to transform into anything that she wants to, making her perfect for stealth and infiltration missions. She has a rather brash personality only because she cares about Night Raid and doesn’t want to see them die like her last team. Tatsumi is the first one to understand this after a hilarious stunt where he tries to sneak up on her while she’s bathing. Outside of this, nothing to really report as of yet. If we get her full backstory then watch out!

Final Thoughts

I’m not counting the characters in Back and Fall’s chapter because the French vanilla cappuccino I was drinking while reading lasted longer than them. That was my only gripe about this volume. Other than that, the battle with Dr. Stylish was well done and I was very happy to see a battle that lasted about half the length of a solitary volume. As I said in a previous review, this is what the series needed and that’s what we got! I’m hoping the fights with the rest of the Jaegers end up this way!

One interesting thing to note is that the manga is now giving member counts for The Jaegers as well as Night Raid. It said the remaining members of The Jaegers is 6 (which may confuse some, but you still have to count General Esdeath) and Night Raid is 8. Najenda even spoke about how these are the last reinforcements they will receive so we are looking at the final Night Raid roster. That one little line by Najenda and the addition of the remaining member counts was a subtle yet impactful turn in the series. That means that the upcoming battles will be intense and when Esdeath fights, it could very well be the true final battle. How much of each side will be left after it’s all said and done remains to be seen, but it also means more deaths are coming… and by more… I mean a LOT. Makes me wonder if Takahiro is a pen name for Gen Urobuchi!

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This item was provided for review by Yen Press

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.