So this has been bothering me for quite some time, and I’m gotten rather fed up with this new trend of action. And with Akame ga Kill! set for a Toonami airing in August after Kill la Kill wraps up, now’s as good as time as any to talk about it.
I’m going to go on the record by saying I’m getting tired of all this edgy crap that been happening with action media nowadays. All the dark moments and setting isn’t worth dick if I don’t care about the story or any of its characters. I’ve noticed it more in anime, but this doesn’t limit to just that.
One of the things that’s driving me away from DC Comics’ Cinematic Universe, and Zack Snyder movies in general, is they’re making it too damn serious that I don’t care about it. We already had to deal with Superman and Zod wrecking half of Metropolis and Smallville in Man of Steel, I know it sounds crazy but it made Superman Returns a bit better in my eyes, because it was actually felt like a Superman film. Now Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gives us badass, but so-edgy-I-cut-myself lines such as “Tell me, do you bleed?”
Probably the worst example of edginess I’ve seen is last year’s Akame ga Kill!, which is the main target of this. As you know, it got a low spot on my Bottom 10 last year. For good reason: It felt like some damn teenager wrote it while listening to Linkin Park all day. It had all the cool stuff you’d see in most action movies, but no substance to it. It had no idea of maturity to its themes and treated killing off its characters like it was just Tuesday. As a matter of fact, all the edginess only did was show how worse the writing was. Sword Art Online has that same problem too. I mean, you can’t get any more edgier than a discount Darth Vader who, and his own weapon, is named “Death Gun.” I’ll just stop right there.
I’ll quote Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) for a moment: “Look at how their eyes light up. People, they love this shit. They love blood. They love action. Not this talky, depressing, philosophical bullshit.” Maybe that’s why those two shows are so popular. And let’s be honest, that quote does describe casual Toonami viewers in general when you think about it.
And then there the edgelord Yuichiro Hyakuya of the currently airing Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign. Never mind the fact that the show is how Attack on Titan could’ve been if it had vampires (that use armed helicopters and kamikaze planes, because being a superhuman bloodsucker wasn’t enough) and was handled terribly. But the boy acts like yet another edgy teen that I don’t even bother to take him seriously.
Now don’t get me wrong, there have been some moments where I don’t usually care that it’s edgy because it’s has its fun withit or takes itself serious enough, likeKill la Kill, Deadman Wonderland, Attack on Titan, and (some but not all of) Hellsing Ultimate. Matter of fact, Prison School an anime I have on my watchlist for next summer has me worried for the same reason. I once said that this could be the OW THE EDGE show of the summer season. I could be wrong, but I have a certain track record of me being right that I’m not very proud of.
Edginess is no excuse for terrible writing. If anything, it shows how worse it really is. If you don’t make any effort to make us legitimately care for your characters or story, then it’s completely worthless. Take a hint from Black Lagoon to know how to be a legitimately serious story for once.