Blood Shower Anyone?

I’ve been meaning to watch Akame Ga Kill for some time and I finally bit the bullet. This was the conversation at the start of the anime I had with my husband.

Me: Oh God is this a harem?

Him: Just watch it and find out.

Me: (sees blushing female) This IS a harem!

Him: Why do you write off anime because it is a harem. It is more than a harem.

Me: Do not!

Him: (Looks at me)

Me: Fine, I’ll give it a chance.

End verdict: It is a harem with a lot of blood showers.

However, I am proud of myself that I finished a harem. Usually I give up once girl number three falls in love with the male potato.

And it really wasn’t all bad. I’m a fan of darker graphic anime so bring on the blood showers! Spoilers ahead matey!

The Good

Jaegers

There were a lot of good things about this anime. I honestly think if they would have taken out ALL the romance it would have been fantastic. (I know weird to hear me say that. I just commented on another blog that another anime needed more abs and romance).

I mentioned this in my other blog about antagonists and I think some of the stronger parts of this anime were well developed “bad guys.” They had motivation and conflict and I found their reasons for fighting a lot more believable than Night Raid.

My major issue is that they have a freaking bad ass psychopath as the leader. Esdeath doesn’t even care about the minister just just wants the strong to survive. Then they make her get all blushy over a man? PLEASE GOD WHY??? WHYYYYYYYY?????? She is psycho just let her kill things! Character ruined.

Esdeath_Hugs_Tatsumi
Welcome to your fulfilled wet dream.

I guess we can’t have a crazy killer female have purpose unless she loves a man. *takes deep breath.

Another good thing I really liked about the anime is the magic. I thought the story behind the “weapons” and how they were used was quit unique. My favorite was Susanoo.

susanoo
You ordered another blood shower?

I mean all is fair in love and fan service and it was about time we got a hot male. I loved the fact that he was probably my favorite character from Night Raid. I think I just wanted one for my own. This guy can build a house and cook dinner. Also with his OCD my house would be super clean. Whenever Susanoo appeared on screen I glared at my husband who sat on the sofa eating potato chips. I asked him if I could trade him for Susanoo and I don’t think he appreciated it.

Anyway…. The magic of organic and inorganic weapons and the bonding process was a hit for me. I liked the fact that if you insulted it or thought it was ugly it wouldn’t chose you. I mean that really does make sense.

So I liked the magic and most of the villains. And honestly I really liked what the plot could have been. I’m a fan of those who are trying to over throw a corrupt dictatorship. The conflict and motivation were really there. Then they had to add in all this romance. Sigh.

The Bad

I'm sorry

Cool characters focusing on a boy. This is honestly where all my hatred comes from for harems. Honestly, they are not my thing. If you love them I’m so happy for you. I don’t know if it is just because I’m a woman or I hate that a female characters agency is always taken away from her when she “falls in love.”

I think there are good harems out there I really did like Re: Zero. There are a few reverse harems that I honestly love (Host Club and Yona of the Dawn). When I look at those what they did right is that the male characters still had purpose and a story to tell besides their crush.

I would have been okay with most of it, but honestly there were a few moments that just ruined it.

They decide to risk their lives to go save him from his execution. Earlier in the anime they told him that he couldn’t run off and kill himself to save someone and now they run after him. Taking huge losses to save him. This was not a wise decision in a war and they should have let him die. Seriously. This rescue went against everything they preached up to that moment. Yeah they claimed it was to save moral… But they were okay with losing others before. WHY DIDN’T YOU CARE ABOUT MORAL THEN? Because it is a WAR people DIE.

Honestly I’m surprised that they were still alive at this point if they made choices like this.

Then another weakness is when there is so much death in an anime there needs to be more time for us to like the characters.

At one point you really just don’t care that they die. Then when you start hoping they will die so the anime will end you start to question your moral character.

We got some backstory but it wasn’t enough to make us care. We mostly got face in boobs and that left me not caring much about the characters in Night Raid. I was more sad when anyone in the jaegers died.

 

In the end it was a gory watch. Which I didn’t mind. I rate this 1000 eye rolls because that is all I did when another girl fell in love with Tatsumi. Or should I call him Tatsumi the promise maker. Because that kid kept promising that no one would die, and kid sorry to tell you people die in wars.

 

So this harem did not change my mind about harems. Do you have any suggestions that would?

Until then

Happy Watching!

 

A Debt Paid

Always in my writing and in watching anime I love finding ‘villains’ that are more than just one note. It goes from watching sports anime where I feel bad if the rival team loses to those characters who I really don’t want to see die. Those are the stories that I love to read and watch.

If you are planning on watching akame ga kill– this will not be spoiler free.
You have been warned.

Also in my writing I want to make sure my antagonists are moving and changing. You never want a static character. It is tempting to have them be bad just to be bad. The antagonists need powerful motivation just like your protagonists. In using Bols from akame ga kill as my example on how to give your characters agency.

Background

In Akame Ga Kill there are basically two forces opposing each other:  Night Raid and the Jaegers. They are both tools in the bigger pictures of the rebellion against the capital. We are viewing Night Raid as those who are trying to free the people from a corrupt government and the Jaegers are those who are fighting for the government.

Bols is a part of the Jaegers.

Humanize your antagonist

Bols father

In the anime so far we are introduced to many antagonists and there is a brief history of Liver but nothing as in depth as what we get from the introduction of the Jaegers. What this anime does well is that Bols, who can look scary, is humanized.

First we find out that he is actually shy. Aww. Also he is a good cook. Then we find out that he has a wife and daughter. Who come into bring him lunch. It is a sweet moment. So we start to wonder if we are supposed to hate the guy. When he is giving these small human traits it helps us sympathize with him. We start to care about this strange man in a mask that has this adorable family.

Give your antagonist a backstory

Bols_4

Sometimes when we write it is easy to spend days writing out the backstory for our protag. Give your antagonist just as much time. Giving your characters a backstory helps in giving them motivation.

In the anime they don’t take forever to explain Bols backstory (Nothing ruins a story like too much exposition!). They give just enough hints about where he came from. We learn that he was part of the incendiary squad that burned down villages. We learn that he had to ask his wife out multiples times. We learn that he can cook. These are just small hints that help the watcher form this strange character in their minds and connect with him.

Because even as we learn that he burned people alive, it is in his tone and stature that we see his regret. This deepens Bols so much. We start to wonder… “Why is he part of the Jaegers? Doesn’t he want to pay his debts in a different way?

You want the reader/view to ask these questions about your characters. That is what makes them interesting. If you keep the readers wanting to know more then they will keep reading.

Give your antagonist motivation that makes sense in their story

Bols eating

The most powerful development in any good character. Motivation.

Again if your antagonists are just being bad to be bad or if they are just soooooo evil, it turns into a snore fest.

The reader and viewer need to believe that your antagonist has legitimate reasons for their choices.

In Bols case he is part of the Jaegers for a couple reasons. One is is protecting his wife and child and two he believes that if he follows these orders and helps his teammates he is getting some retribution for his past deeds. He also knows that he will pay for his crimes of killing others someday but with his wife and child he hopes it isn’t too soon.

So we have motivation for our character. We can then understand why he does what he does even if we don’t agree with it. This in itself is powerful. I think most can understand that as a husband and father that is very powerful motivation for Bols.

Make the death (if they die) bittersweet

Bols Dying

When or if your antagonist dies you want the reader to care. Its seems strange but if you have humanized and given your character motivation, there is a large chance that the reader/viewer will feel sad at their passing.

I think Bols death was one of the saddest that I have seen in a long time. Before this moment there were other ‘good guys’ who died and yeah it was sad but it didn’t have the heart wrenching feeling the same as Bols death.

In his final moments he shows that he understands why he was killed. He knew that he deserved this death in some way. But he starts to crawl home and reaches for his wife and daughter. He wants to see them one more time before he goes.

The build up of Bols is what makes this moment so bittersweet. We know that he is working for the wrong side but inside we want him to see his wife and child. It saddens the viewer that he doesn’t get his final wish.

 

So if you are writing out your characters don’t ignore how powerful it can be to have an antagonist that we can care for… even if it’s just a little. It will let the reader/viewer have that moment where we question why we care about them. It lets us see that even if they are evil, they are still human. In that way we can see their struggle. We can see our own struggle and how maybe if life was different we could have ended up in the same situation as them.

That is an antagonist that we can get behind and maybe in some small way we hope that they get redemption.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed my writing lesson and thank you all for your kind words and your support in a darker time these last few months. You all really are Me Reasons Why.

Happy Watching!