Title: Akame ga Kill Vol. 15
Author: Takahiro (Story), Tetsuya Tashiro (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Publication Date: July 24, 2018
We have finally arrived at the final volume of Akame ga Kill. The volume was one massive final battle of epic proportions with no real in-depth story due to the majority of the volume being the final battle. The battle itself WAS the story with the small exception of Wave returning to help out Tatsumi against the Supreme Teigu. The majority of the story was told during the volume’s epilogue chapter which I don’t want to really discuss as it would ruin the ending of the series for those who haven’t read it.
I will offer some comments that the final fight was truly epic. Tatsumi (wither willingly or unwillingly) tapping into the power of Incursio to survive as well as the much-anticipated team-up with Wave made the fight against the Emperor and his Supreme Teigu a sight to behold. Honest’s mind control over the Emperor was taken to new heights here and you saw just how far gone he was from the mental standpoint. There was no reasoning with him whatsoever. In the end, Tatsumi was able to overcome the Supreme Teigu and bring the Emperor into custody. That only left Esdeath.
Akame engaged Esdeath when she tried to intervene herself into Tatsumi’s fight. Akame was able to go toe-to-toe with Esdeath who showed up just how insanely powerful she was. Covering the entire country in a snowstorm reminded me of playing World of Warcraft and having to beat a boss with a short enrage timer. It was a race against time at that point. Either Esdeath would die or the entire country would end up freezing to death in the cold of her storm. Najenda confronted Esdeath with the revolutionary army and ten Teigu users. They all surrounded her and acted as distractions to allow Akame to get the fatal blow she needed… or so she thought.
Esdeath used her power to stop the curse from spreading. At the end of the Emperor battle, Akame had a moment with Tatsumi and did something to awaken her curse. I don’t want to go into too much detail because, again, end-of-series spoilers, but she was able to use that power to finally put an end to Esdeath which is something that we all expected to happen.
Honest still survived; however, his final confrontation was something most fitting for a character like him. I’ll just leave it at that.
In the epilogue, we see what happens with the surviving characters and how their stories play out. While the manga did have a solid period to end the story, it still felt like there could be more. Not really a continuation of the main story, in a sense, but a small side story that could expand on one of the endings. I’d definitely be interested to see a full conclusion but even if we don’t get it, I’m still extremely satisfied with the ending that we got.
For those of you who are anime-only watchers, the ending in the anime is VASTLY different than the ending in the manga. Characters that died in the anime are still alive in the manga and some that were still alive in the anime had a darker fate. Some even make you wonder if they would have been better off dead.
Also, without spoiling one of the endings, after hearing how a certain couple ended up having a child, one has to wonder how it was physically possible given the size of each other. Once you read it for yourselves, you’ll understand what I mean. The only explanation was that they conceived before certain events happen, which I hope is the case because if not, I really feel sorry for a certain someone’s loins.
Some of the characters I don’t mind talking about here, especially since I wanted to pay special attention to Kurome and Wave.
You always felt some sort of sympathy for Kurome. Being torn from her sister, used and experimented on by the empire, living with a curse every day of her life… you hoped that something good would happen to her and it did in the form of Wave. The fact that Wave got her to change her mindset and live a life of her own where she can be free from the tortures of war was no easy feat but now that she’s living that life, she became an absolutely adorable character. She went from not trusting Wave, to falling in love with him, to only wanting to be by him to actually being comfortable and confident enough to allow him to return to the battlefield to help those in need in the capital. That’s how much she has grown as a character but even though she ended up in a good place doesn’t mean she’s faring well.
What really makes you feel sorrow for her is post-war, she has to live with thoughts of those she killed in the name of the Empire. She’s haunted by their thoughts and has nightmares about those she had killed constantly. Whether you want to call it a curse, karma, etc, it still is a bit unfair for someone who worked so hard to change. She finally came to know peace and she can’t even fully enjoy it. It is rather sad if you think about it.
The moment Wave had with Tatsumi was incredible. Despite their views on politics and the war, they still had a tremendous amount of respect for each other in the end. Their working together against the Supreme Teigu was a great moment which shows that enemies can co-exist and fight alongside each other. It was pretty hilarious when Wave left the battle when he knew Tatsumi didn’t need his help anymore. He blurted out how Kurome was the best girlfriend ever in which Tatsumi retorted with Mine being the best girlfriend ever. That friendly banter between the two just shows how two people were the fiercest rivals ended up as friends.
A fantastic end to a fantastic series. That’s how I would sum up Akame ga Kill. Even though the story did drag in certain parts it more than made up for it with some really amazing fights that got more and more intense as the series progressed. Between Volumes 14 and 15, dedicating nearly 400 pages to one battle is an amazing feat and truly worthy of being called a final fight. Everything about it felt epic and when these battles happened, you knew that it was the fight to end all fights. It wasn’t like the previous battles where enemies were introduced, spoke three lines and then died with little to no fanfare. These final battles actually felt like they meant something and it’s because of those smaller, quicker battles that you can truly appreciate how big these final fights were. Just in the fact that they felt different and were structured differently from previous battles clearly made you feel and understand the grand scale and significance of them.
The character development throughout the series has been a love-hate relationship with me. The characters that were in it for the long haul received amazing development to the point where you enjoyed watching these characters grow and develop. You felt like they were building their very own lives and every little nuance had great importance. On the flipside and especially early on in the series, character development was treated like a plot device to set up a death flag. Typically, when you saw a character’s backstory being told, it typically meant that they were about to die.
It’s a real shame because when characters had their stories built and didn’t end up dying, it was truly masterful and didn’t feel like a waste. Whether or not that was the intended effect of handling different backstories in the way that Takahiro did remains to be seen but I would have rather than the character development had not been so obvious in the beginning. If it was mixed up just a little bit, it could have kept the reader guessing as to who would live and who would die. Then again, when you have a series like this where the tagline is “don’t get attached to your favorite character,” was there ever a truly better way to handle it?
Despite its flaws, Akame ga Kill was one of the best manga series I’ve read to date. It was the only manga series I ended up giving a five-star rating to for a single solitary volume. Unlike video game and anime reviews on this site, I don’t hand out star reviews for manga volumes because I don’t agree with rating parts of a story. I would much rather rate the story as a whole rather than bits and pieces, but volume 10 of Akame ga Kill was so good, I broke my own rules about manga reviews and rated it five stars.
With that being said, here we are at the final volume of Akame ga Kill. The whole series is out and for its compelling story, amazing action, and (where applicable), in-depth character development, I give the manga an overall rating of 4.5 stars. Some of the early flaws with character development and quick battles did hurt the overall score but by no means should that deter you from picking this series up. Akame ga Kill is one of those series that deserves to be read!
Needless to say, it’s been a joy to have been able to review this series. I’m going to miss this one!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press
Akame ga Kill
Despite its flaws, Akame ga Kill was one of the best manga series I’ve read to date. Some of the early flaws with character development and quick battles did hurt the overall score but by no means should that deter you from picking this series up. Akame ga Kill is one of those series that deserves to be read!
- Great story
- Intense battles towards the end
- Some great character development
- Extremely solid ending
- Early character development used as a death flag plot device
- Early battles being short and unsatisfying
- Story did slow down a little too much at some points.