Manga Review: Akame ga KILL! Volume One

Akame ga KILL! Volume 1 focuses on a character named Tatsumi, who has left his poor village with his two childhood friends. They intend to go to the Capital and find a way to make money to assist their village.

Akame ga KILL! Volume 1
Written by: Takahiro
Publisher: Square Enix Co., Ltd.
English Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: January 20, 2015

At the beginning of Volume 1, Tatsumi has become separated from his friends, Sayo and Ieyasu. We see that he possesses strength when he takes on an earth dragon, but that he’s also rather gullible when a woman in the Capital cons him out of most of his money. Tatsumi seems to be more about brawns than he is about brains.

Unfortunately, Tatsumi is now out of money. At first, it seems that fortune is smiling down on him when a rich young woman offers him a place to sleep for the night. But when his host’s home is attacked by invaders, he learns an awful truth about his hosts that also solves the mystery of what happened to Sayo and Ieyasu.

Tatsumi discovers the invaders are members of Night Raid, a group of assassins. Akame ga KILL! Volume1 shows him joining their ranks, since he has nowhere else to go. His transition into Night Raid is anything but smooth, and Tatsumi starts learning some lessons along the way. But he does seem to acquire some determination and direction after he joins Night Raid’s ranks.

Overall, it seems that Akame ga KILL! is off to a promising start. While this series has a darker feel to it, there’s still some humor included to help balance out how dark the story is. With Volume 1, the series seems to have the right ratio of dark storyline and humor. For the humor, one of the most memorable sections is when Leone swindles Tatsumi out of his money, because Tatsumi is so clueless about what she’s doing while it’s blatantly obvious to the reader.

When it comes to the art, every character has a distinct design, so there’s no way to confuse who is who. There are also a number of panels where artist Tetsuya Tashiro obviously put a lot of effort into detail for the images. I also thought that there were some panels where it almost looked as if the characters in it are about to literally jump off of the page. The art definitely catches the reader’s eye, and helps to illustrate and enhance the story.

Akame ga KILL! Volume 1 perfectly utilizes both the writing and art to present an engaging story that readers will want to follow. This is a series that should appeal to manga readers who enjoy stories with a darker tone that include fighting and some humor. I hope that at some point in the future, I can get the opportunity to read the next volume in order to find out what will happen to Tatsumi and the other members of Night Raid.

The reviewer checked out a copy of this item through the King County Library System

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