Now somewhat forgotten, Akame ga Kill! was once the talk of the town among anime fans for various reasons. Initially, the slick and stylish show was beloved, with many viewers drawn in by the characters and their harrowing circumstances. By the end of its second part, however, the show had squandered its veritable goodwill and become despised.
This is not unlike the evolution of HBO's Game of Thrones, which was a similar critical and ratings darling until an infamously divisive final season. Both Akame ga Kill! and Game of Thrones feature ample character deaths, significant changes to the source material and much-derided endings. Here's more on how the anime failed to live up to the initial hype and how this mirrored the HBO fantasy epic.
Why Akame ga Kill! Became Hated
Initially, some viewers were quite enamored by the anime adaptation of Akame ga Kill!, but this quickly gave way to unrelenting hatred. Even more so than the manga source material, Akame ga Kill! has a sometimes disorienting tone that switched between grimdark and strangely comedic. This isn't helped by the fact that the characters, who the show treats as being very deep, are in fact rather stock and bask in anime tropes. Its attempts at displaying depth and commenting on those in power are also rather trite and elementary in nuance.
The subpar at best writing for the characters means that they are eventually killed off one after another, but that these deaths ultimately mean absolutely nothing. What should be a dramatic series full of gravitas instead comes off as tryhard or even unintentionally a joke due to how little emotional impact many of these have.
There are also several changes from the then still running manga which were especially egregious to fans of the source material. Certain characters die who shouldn't, while other characters who are supposed to die end up surviving. This includes Akame's own sister, who goes on to be a huge part of the manga while dying in the anime. Even some of the deaths that are supposed to happen are done under different circumstances in the show. Then there's the fact that whole story arcs are skipped entirely, eschewing key characters and central character development.
This factors into some of the cast's relationships from the manga, which are not fulfilled in the anime. When combined with a terrible ending that fails to live up to even the lower quality to which the show sinks, it's no wonder that Akame ga Kill! become the reverse of what it once was.
How Akame ga Kill! And Game of Thrones Are Similar
As mentioned, the deaths of main characters in Akame ga Kill! are rampant, much as they are in Game of Thrones. It was this appeal that initially made the show such a hit, but as more and more fan-favorite characters were killed off, viewers began to turn against it. Likewise, the many changes that both Game of Thrones and Akame ga Kill! have from their source material stem from being made at a time where said books were still running. Thus, with a lack of material to adapt, both shows had to run in wildly different directions in order to continue their stories.
This resulted in horrendous endings that are varying levels of infamous among fans, especially the George R. Martin adaptation. Game of Thrones at least does good by its general themes, with the dark, gritty and violent corruption in the story and the often duplicitous nature of several strong characters, making the many deaths all the more tragic. Akame ga Kill!'s far more stock characters and the handling of its "deep themes" that a lot triter in the long run, on the other hand, doesn't help at all in shielding the blow of its horrid second half.
Thankfully for fans of the original A Song of Fire and Ice books, they at least have an eventual ending to the series to look forward to -- one that will surely be much more satisfying than that of the show. In the case of Akame ga Kill!, however, it now has only a spinoff still running, with the general interest in the franchise all but gone due to its anime's disappointing ending.