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|“||I don't understand the feelings of the weak. The law of the world is survival of the fittest. It's how the weak are weeded out. It just means those people that died were too weak. It's only natural for the weak to perish.||„|
|~ Esdeath's most famous quote - expressing her philosophy on "survival of the fittest".|
General Esdeath (simply known as Esdeath) is the secondary antagonist of the manga, Akame Ga Kill!, and the 2014 anime adaptation of the same name. She is a high-ranking general of the Empire, one of the most powerful Teigu users in the world and the leader of the Jaegers.
Esdeath was responsible for the deaths of millions of people in the north of the country and several other conflicts and war on account of the rebellion against the Empire. She has committed the second largest number of horrible atrocities of any member of the Empire, behind Prime Minister Honest himself.
She was voiced by Satomi Akesaka in the Japanese version of the anime, and by Christine Auten in the English version.
Esdeath was a young woman with long light blue hair, and dark blue eyes. She wore a general's apparel with long sleeves, a blue scarf on her neck, and high-heeled boots. She also has a tattoo on her chest, which is the sign of her Teigu.
In the anime, Esdeath was shown to have a porcelain color skin (most likely due to the cold climate of her home village). Her breasts size were also inconsistent (at times appearing normal to being exaggeratedly big), compared to her manga's counterpart.
Esdeath was a sadistic, barbarous and manipulative woman who lacks empathy for people of whom she deems weak. Ever since she was motivated by her father's philosophy ("The strong survive and the weak die"), she has gone through torturous activities that involve putting her enemies through great pain, both physically and emotionally. She has no qualms about killing innocent people to get what she wants, and rationalizes her behavior with her father's old creed.
Despite all of this, Esdeath has shown a genuine and chrismatic side of her. She is known for treating her subordinates fair and well, letting them do as they please, which in turn inspires their intense loyalty and devotion; this makes her followers the strongest offensive force of the Empire. This side of her truly shines when expressing her love for Tatsumi, in which she offers a warm and comforting affection for him, even swearing to protect him from anyone that dare harms him and willing to clear up his name as a member of the Night Raid.
Esdeath has also shown to be quite honorable, as she enjoys to challenge an opponent that can give her a great battle. She holds special respect for strong opponents, which she shows when she openly recognizes Susanoo as a warrior rather than a simple Teigu. She also ultimately accepted her death when bested by Akame. Though because of this, she has a bloodlusted mindset that puts her in position of committing actions that would incite more hatred against the empire, in the hopes of being able to put down more rebellions. She has even stated that should the empire fall, she would simply start a war herself to satisfy her need for bloodshed.
Although she is unabashedly bloodthirsty and heartless, she keeps it from from dominating her judgment. If she sees that the battle is too much for her soldiers, she orders a retreat and doesn't risk heavy losses. While she will torture subordinates who fail, she can be forgiving to failed servitors, provided that they aren't complete failures, and gives them the benefit of the doubt if the failure wasn't their fault. However, this is later proven to be nothing more than facade of a psychotic, bloodlusted maniac, as shown during the final battle against the Revolutionary Army where she uses her real trump card to cover the Empire in a Russian Winter. Najenda notes that such a technique puts Esdeath's subordinates, as well as their families, at risk, but regardless of that, Esdeath ultimately didn't care as she responds with a wicked smile. On top of that, she rationalizes her actions with her belief of social darwinism, showing her cruelty and depravity.
Interestingly, prior to the final battle, Esdeath spoke of dedicating the battle in the fallen Jaegers group's memory. This is shown more clearly when she initially disregarded Seryu's demise, while internally admitted to missing them greatly and envisions the entire group in her memory. This shows that while she would put her men and their families at risk, she does fondly recall her subordinates, who she looked as more than just some lackey; especially those in comparison to Liver, Nyau and Daidara. Ultimately, despite her atrocious behavior, she secretly holds genuine regard for the people she loves and cares for.
The following summary is a description of Esdeath's storyline in the manga franchise. Her anime counterpart was generally consistent with her manga portrayal, despite certain aspects of the main storyline being cut or altered in the television viewing. For further details, see Trivia.
Esdeath was born in the Northern Frontier Lands of the country and is the only survivor of the Parthians Clan after their village was destroyed by a rival clan. She was a skilled and formidable fighter even as a child, she later became one of the strongest fighters in the village. Whenever she caught prey like animals, her father taught her to inflict pain on them without killing them, because of this, she became comfortable with the idea of inflicting pain on living creatures. She faithfully followed the belief that her father always said The strong survive and the weak die. One day, she came back from a walk and found her tribe had been destroyed. Her father was the only survivor, but he was seriously wounded. From that day forward she promised herself that she would become strong.
Some years later, Esdeath joined the Empire's Military, rising quickly through the ranks before she caught the attention of Prime Minister Honest and is allowed to choose an Imperial Arm for her use. After she chose the Imperial Arm known the Demon's Extract, her perversed mind counteracting induced madness, she learned of the arrest of General Liver and release him to serve as one of her Three Beast bodyguards. Some time later, she was ordered to go with the Empire to set an example for what happens to a tribe that rebels against the empire. Using her mastery over ice, she froze a river that cut her army off and created a bridge. After using the makeshift ice bridge to cross the river, she defeated the Ban Tribe and captured the leaders of the village.
After everything is finished, she sent the army to "violate this city until they were satisfied," the result was mass pillaging, beatings, and murder of hundreds of innocents as well as the burning of the entire village. She forced the leaders of the tribe to watch, and kept them alive to encourage future insubordination to the Empire, so she could be sent elsewhere to fight and kill more people. The anime version notably changed the order of events - she ordered the massacre after the ice was frozen, and simply captured the leaders at the end rather than have them watch.
Esdeath's recent mission was the subdue the Northern tribes that united under their prince Numa Seika. In the end, she buried over 400,000 people alive while shattering Numa's spirit and turning himself into a submissive slave before killing him with one kick out disappointed with the "hero" being weak. Upon her return to the Capitol, she declines Honest's offer of higher nobility for the request to find love, much to the chagrin of everyone in the room. She provided a short list of qualifications with the few men she knew, but it was very specific to the Emperor and the Prime Minister.
At Honest's request, Esdeath, she sends her Three Beast bodyguards to attract Night Raid while removing the last of Honest's political rivals. When her bodyguards fell, paying her respects while dismissing their deaths as proof of their weakness, Esdeath decided to create an elite counter-assassin group comprising of her own and other Imperial Arms users. Their mission primarily to hunt Night Raid, Esdeath named her group the "Jaegers."
Esdeath would later hold a tournament to recruit a member with the prize being the Imperial Arm Ecstasy. But Esdeath had ulterior motives to find an ideal lover who fit her specifications. That person turns out to be Tastumi, who participated in the tournament to both her intel for Night Raid while intending to send his earned prize money to his village. Esdeath, unaware of his association with Night Raid, immediately falls in love with him and outright abducts him taking him back to the Jeagers' base with the intent to make him fall in love with her. She keeps Tatsumi at her side at all times, even going so far as to make him share her bed with her. Although nothing serious happens between them, Esdeath steals Tatsumi's first kiss whilst also giving him her own, but from her attitude and the minimal amount of clothing she wears, when the couple is in private, it is clear that she desires more from Tatsumi. After a failed attempt to convince Esdeath to defect, Tatsumi escapes her a few days later while on a search mission. After he fled, Esdeath fell into a depression while taking out her frustrations on Wave for allowing "Incursio" to escape.
Sometime after Dr. Stylish's death, dealing with escaped Danger Beasts-hybrids that he created, Esdeath finds herself seeing Tatsumi on Mt. Fake before the two of them are transported by the mastermind being the hybrids' attack to an unidentified island in the Southeast. On the island, they encounter Stylish's Colossal Danger Beast hybrids. Once they dispatch the threat, the two explore the island before Esdeath eventually reveals her past with Tatsumi realizing she beyond any of redemption. When Syura's Imperial Arm reactivates, Esdeath and Tatsumi return to the mainland before the latter uses his Imperial Arm to evade her.
Later, Esdeath received a report of Night Raid sighted in the outskirts of the Empire. Along with the Jaegers, Esdeath headed toward them in expectation of finding Tatsumi. But she learned too late that was a set up that cost the life of her subordinate Bols. Following that, Esdeath is given orders to protect Bolic, an Imperial spy within the ranks of the religious order known as the Path of Peace. When Night Raid makes their move as expected, Esdeath reveals the Trump Card she created to keep Tatsumi from running away from her: Mahapadma. Once Bolick was assassinated, Susanoo sacrificed himself to enable the others to escape. Esdeath kills the humanoid Imperial Arm by destroying his core, promising to recognize him as warrior instead of a tool.
After subduing the tribes of the Western Nation, Esdeath returns to learn that the newly formed Wild Hunt squad led by Honest's son Syura had killed her subordinate Run who Kurome revived as an corpse. Esdeath retaliates by extorting Honest to order the immediate disbanding of Wild Hunt after obtaining evidence that Syura was the person behind the release of Stylish's experiments.
A week later, Esdeath learns the truth of Tatsumi's involvement in Night Raid and personally knocks him out when he attempts to escape the trap Syura set up for him and Lubbock. After threatening Dorothea and Suzuka to make no attempt on torturing Tatsumi, Esdeath makes an attempt to convince him to offer his loyalty to her for his freedom. But Tatsumi refuses while revealing his heart belongs to another. After another attempt to reason with Tatsumi to join the Jaegers, revealing that Lubbock died, Esdeath tells her captive that she will kill him herself in the upcoming execution if he is that stubborn to refuse her. While the execution was sent up as a trap for Night Raid should they attempt to rescue, Esdeath had her own plans for Tatsumi. She intended to fake his death by non-fatally injuring him and then spirit him away to have for herself.
When the time of the execution comes, Esdeath was about to mortally wound Tatsumi in agonizing way to make it seem he is dying slowly, Mine appears and Esdeaths immediately attacks her upon realizing the girl to be her love rival. Once the rest of Night Raid arrive while Mine frees Tatsumi, Esdeath activates her trump card. But she finds Tatsumi's evolved Incursio enabling him to move as she turns her focus solely on capturing him, only to be caught when Tatsumi landed a punch that slightly damaging her ribcage. As Night Raid escapes after Mine killed Budo, Esdeath is in shock over being actually wounded as she remains behind to ponder her foolishness over not taking Tatsumi seriously. Later meeting with Wave and Kurome to discuss battle plans to defend the capital, Esdeath reveals the Ice Calvary she created to deal with the approaching rebel army. When Wave questions Esdeath's feelings for Tatsumi, she admits that she still loves him despite accepting that she will never be loved by him in return. In that retrospect, Esdeath fully intends to fight Tatsumi when the time comes in a fight that will end with one of them dead.
Sometime after both Wave and Kurome leave the Empire, experimenting with the fluidity of her Imperial Arm to create her personal legion of ice constructs to support the defense of the capital, Esdeath is informed by a retainer that the revolutionary army had been approaching she immediately set out to rally her troops. As the fighting behind, killing Nuge when he made an attempt on her life, Esdeath comes across Tatsumi and battles him. The battle lasted until the Imperial Arm Primus Imperator is activated with Tatsumi leaving to fight it. Esdeath ends up fighting Akame, who intends to kill Esdeath final mission to assassinate the last remains of corruption in the now fallen empire. But Akame finds Esdeath to be a more superior fighter than herself.
After Tatsumi defeats Primus Imperator, he is completely consumed by his armour and transforms into a dragon, the form of the resurrected Tyrant. Esdeath sees his transformation into a mindless beast as a sign of weakness but is none the less still emotionally attached to him. She is then surrounded. But Esdeath reveals her ultimate power: Blizzard Commander in Chief, which engulfs the entire country in a massive snowstorm that kills everyone caught in it while enhancing her power. Killing Revolutionaries attempting to reach her, Esdeath has every intent to continue causing conflicts even if the empire no longer exists. The forces Akame, knowing the danger she poses on herself, to activate her Murasame's trump card to counter Esdeath. Tatsumi regains his sentience and attempts to aid his comrade, much to Esdeath's delight. Activating Mahapadma, Esdeath severely wounds Tatsumi before turning back to Akame. After a long and brutal fight, Akame succeeds in stabbing Esdeath through the chest with Murasame.
Fatally wounded, Esdeath encases herself in ice as the poison tears through her body. As she dies, Esdeath sees Tatsumi flying towards them, and thinks about his smile before succumbing to her wounds, noting that her one regret is that he never smiled at her affectionately like that. Her body disintegrates, ending her attack and marking the end of the siege, with only her severed hand remaining as it was spirited away by Suzuka.
Powers and Abilities
Esdeath is considered to be the strongest soldier in the Empire's army and the overall strongest character in the series. Even after her defeat by Akame, she was only defeated by her due to letting her guard down and her arrogance. She possesses not only great skill, but also power that potentially puts her at a continental threat.
TeiguEsdeath possesses a powerful Imperial Arm called the Demon Manifestation - Demon's Extract, which allows her to manipulate ice and create ice from nothing. She uses it to create icicles, freeze people to death and more. She has been able to freeze an entire lake within moments with her ability. Her trump card allows her to freeze time. In the manga version, she has another trump card known as Ice Calvary that allows her to create an army of ice centaur soldiers.
Physical CapabilitiesEsdeath usually carries a long rapier that she wields with her into combat. She has shown herself to be quite adept with this weapon even without having to resort to her Teigu. She is shown to be a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant as well, possessing great physical strength, such as when she sent Tatsumi crashing to the ground in one kick, or when she slammed Seryu through the ground in their first meeting. She was also able to slam Suzuka into a wall with relatively little effort.
Esdeath possesses a strong sixth sense, being able to sense others from long distances. She was perfectly able to sense that someone was spying on her, without even seeing who they are. Her sense of smell is strong as she confirmed that it was Tatsumi after checking his scent when she reunited with him on top of Mt. Fake from one sniff.
Esdeath also has an extensive knowledge of human physiology, based from her experience as a torturer. This is mainly shown when dissecting Chelsea's body. She also knows where exactly to strike in the human body at points that are fatal and where they're not. Overall, she is a creative, intelligent being that comes up with new methods of torture new torture and moves for her Teigu, such as her trump cards Mahapadma and Blizzard Command-in-Chief.
|“||Panicking leads to an early grave.||„|
|“||I won't let anything harm you, I won't take any other lovers, I consider you my only man, I won't let you feel lonely.||„|
|“||If you will never be mine, I'll at least give you death by my own hands. I won't let anyone else touch you. Tatsumi of Night Raid... you will die.||„|
|“||The weak are destined to lie beneath the boots of the strong. If that angers you, overcome your deficits.||„|
- Esdeath is a play on the phrase "S" desu, which means "I am an S(sadist)".
- She has a small book that she uses to draw Tatsumi.
- Her army has its own symbol: a cross.
- Esdeath also has a pet dragon she flies around on.
- Esdeath's English voice actor, Christine Auten, also voices Karasuba, who, like Esdeath, is a composed, extremely powerful warrior woman who is very sadistic and believes only the strong survive.
- Esdeath represents the type of villain more commonly associated with the early ages of cinema and animation, in that she is evil purely for the sake of being evil, and thoroughly enjoys it. In the modern era, many central villains possess some form of tragic backstory, which influenced them and turned them into villains. These people fit into several categories: they seek revenge for some previous wrongdoing, joined the bad guys simply because they were tempted by the promises of power and money, or are essentially good moral people that have been led astray and are fighting for the wrong side. Esdeath, by contrast, represents none of these. Whilst the loss of her father, and taking of a dangerous Teigu undoubtedly influenced her, she was shown to be sadistic and amoral even before these and following the collapse of the empire, noted that she would simply start another war in order to take part in the ensuing chaos that followed. Tatsumi and Najenda noting that if either of the previous circumstances had influenced her, then her actions may have been at least understandable. Both realized, however, that Esdeath was a monster to her very core and she remained so right up until her dying moment.
- Esdeath deviates from most other villains in that she is shown to actually care about the people under her command, treating them with affection and respect, whilst still remaining ruthless and cruel towards her enemies. She also does not manipulate the feelings of a hero for her own benefit, since her feelings for Tatsumi as stressed on multiple occasions were genuine.
- Esdeath's anime portrayal was generally consistent to her manga counterpart. As noted, however, certain aspects of the manga were cut from the anime portrayal (such as her confrontation with Wild Hunt and duel with Leone). In fact, most of Esdeath's storylines were actually featured and the only noticeable deviation was the manner of Esdeath's death.
- Esdeath's death differs slightly in both the manga and anime. In the anime, after being fatally wounded by Akame, she approached to Tatsumi's corpose (who had died against his battle with the Emperor) and cradles with it, while expressing her undying love for him one last time, before proceeding to freeze both of them, obliterating their bodies. In the manga, Esdeath dies bemoaning the fact that she can never have him, as Tatsumi remained alive (albeit in the form of the Incursio dragon).