How is Akame Ga Kill Zero different from the main storyline?

Akame Ga Kill Zero Colored Illustrations on the cover

There are certain anime that are guaranteed to be recommended to people who are beginning to watch anime. Akame Ga Kill is one of them. Bringing its audience to a vibrant world of cruelty, a crucial part of the story has been kept hidden. Akame Ga Kill Zero is a lesser-known part of the franchise that delves into the pasts of our beloved characters.

Akame Ga Kill

Akame Ga Kill tells a story of corruption and greed. When the nation is succeeded by a Child Emperor, there is bound to be some ploy enacted by the Court. Prime Minister Honest, driven by his avarice and greed for power, takes advantage of the young Emperor’s inexperience. This leads the nation to a state of poverty, strife, and ruin.

The Night Raid
The Night Raid | Courtesy of White Fox

Rising to the situation, the Revolutionary Army has a secret branch called the Night Raid. They are a band of assassins that carry out the dirty work for the Revolutionarys. Tasked with heavy responsibility to be history’s dark shadows, how will the new innocent member, Tatsumi, fare on this side of the world?

Akame Ga Kill Zero

Akame Ga Kill Zero is the prequel to the main franchise. It elaborates on the past of Akame before she joined the Night Raid. Brought to the Empire at a young age, Akame was raised as an assassin for the sake of the Nation. She carried out death contracts for the sake of the Prime Minister’s smooth regime.

The Elite Seven
The Elite Seven | Courtesy of White Fox

As time passed, she realized that her actions did not bring happiness to the nation. Faced with a dilemma between trusting the side of the world she always knew and trusting the other side of the world that screams for justice, what will she do?

Zero vs. Main Storyline – What is different?

There are many key differences between the two, mainly grounded in what one did better than the other. While under the same franchise, the stories have had significantly diverse effects on its readers.

  • The main storyline tells the story through the eyes of Tatsumi, while Zero is through the eyes of Akame.
  • The main storyline is their fight against the corrupted Prime Minister, while Zero is Akame’s life before Night Raid.
  • The main storyline focuses less on sensual appeal and more on driving the narrative. On the other hand, Zero has countless baseless scenes of sensual connotations.
  • The main storyline had well-drafted villains, while Zero had rushed villains.
Akame
Akame consumed by her blade | Courtesy of White Fox

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Where did Zero go wrong?

The main storyline served a purpose, its story was of the struggle of the nation. Zero was supposed to be about Akame’s reasons for joining the Night Raid and her connections to the Empire, however, it seemed more like a hentai with a prolongated plot. The author’s past experience in the field could clearly be seen, as unnecessary fanservice is thrown at the readers at every chance there is.

Themes like Rape and Sexual Assault are mature topics that require delicate attention to handle. Yet, the manga made a mockery out of such situations. The villains were not provided proper development, leading to half-baked motivations for their actions. They were villains just because time dictated that they needed one. While such reasoning often works wonders, the author could not pull it off. 

Akame Ga Kill has a penchant to kill off its characters. The same is found in Zero. However, unlike how better the characters in the main storyline are developed, the characters in Zero do not receive similar attention. This leads to their death losing meaning and significance in the story. This also makes the readers feel the story is redundant as characters drop left and right.

Conclusion

 

While decent at best as a standalone manga, Akame Ga Kill Zero could not live up to the expectations of its predecessor. Basking in its glory, Zero failed to reach the heights of story-telling the main storyline set the standards to. The only reason one would read Zero is mainly because they liked the franchise and wanted to know more about their favorite characters. While it is amazing to receive backstories of our favorite characters, all Zero provides is an exhilarated high on fanservice and disappointment.

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