July 6th, 2014.
Light and Fun and Well-Directed!
Time for a “mature and edgy” manga-based anime, which comes highly recommended! In other words, time for what will probably be a shlocky series, that will hopefully be fun, even though “mature and edgy” usually means “Tries too hard, and takes itself seriously.” But if I thought it’d be bad, I wouldn’t be checking it out – my time is far too precious, so let’s see.
Screenshot album! Lots of nice shots here.
OP – I liked the generic slightly heavier metal music. The vocals… they needed more energy, or they needed to shift the balance so they wouldn’t get drowned out by the music. As it is, it was almost good. The visuals began boring, then standard shounen action stuff, and ended with some really pretty sights.
ED – A nice little number. Nothing much to say – liked it more after it picked up some. The grain effect and the stuttering as if it’s an older film were nice.
The soundtrack was good. Not the fight music or anything of the sort, but all the small tunes? Very well-done, and so many of them.
There were also all the reaction faces, the “comic-deformed” ones. That’s a very manga thing. Reminds me of when I’ve read Fullmetal Alchemist, and almost all of the manga-based anime out there, and I actually found them amusing, or at least smile-worthy.
The gore was mostly amusing to me, when it wasn’t part of a really well-styled shot, where I did like it.
Theme / Mood / Narrative:
I could see the boy being swindled and the “kind hosts” going to turn out evil from a mile away, but no one said this will surprise us, right? Especially when Aria said she’s sure he’ll join his friends soon.
Referring to the Earth Dragon as “Danger Beast Rank One” made me wonder if we’re inside a video game for a moment, but hey – fantasy settings and arbitrary stuff! It’s fine. Oh yeah, considering how he knew he couldn’t defeat Akame but chose to fight her anyway, young boy coming to the big city… they’re definitely setting him up as a hero. So, are Night Raid the good guys, or will he be subverted into a villain/anti-hero? Cause he’s sort of a jerk, even if he’s “fun”.
This was fine. It was mostly light, I know. This combined with the manga-esque round-face art, during the early section, and the light of day. It was light entertainment, and it was light in terms of tone, and it was fun. Things flowed with a good pace, and I found myself smiling with or at the poor country bumpkin in the grand city quite a few times. And even during the action, we’ve had deformed faces, silly Leone, caricature villain, and a soft within while hard outside dragoon to keep us from being too serious.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this show this much, but I did. I do wonder though. Such shows often have really strong openings, Shingeki no Kyojin, Nobunagun, Tokyo Ghoul, and now this – with a varying level of “Silliness” versus “Grimdark” early, but they often come out of the gate roaring, only to falter somewhat as it keeps going. The light atmosphere here really reminds me of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, and stuff like Chaika. And I was fine with the “hints of darkness”.
So I’m in!