Akame Ga Kill: Incursio The Evolving Imperial Arms
One of the things I really enjoy in any anime I watch or manga or comics I read is the power system or weapons used by the people in the universe of that particular story. Much like my zanpakuto overview series, I thought of going over some of the fabled weapons called imperial arms from the Akame Ga Kill series as I think that each of them are unique and all have very interesting backstories & abilities.
So first let me generally explain what an imperial arm, or teigu, is for those of you who don’t know. A teigu or imperial arms are weapons created by the first emperor of the empire to ensure that his empire would last after his death. The weapons were created using rare minerals and materials collected from rare beasts which give them very unique properties. In total there were 48 crafted but due to after a civil war most were lost and it is not known how many remain. Imperial arms typically take the form of weapons like swords or lances but this isn’t always the case, and can sometimes take on the form of other objects like rings or even non solid objects like blood.
The imperial arms used by the main protagonist, Tatsumi, and the subject of this article is Incursio. In Akame ga kill, Incursio was crafted using the flesh of tyrant which is a super class danger beast that had a reputation for having an incredible life force and the ability to rapidly evolve its body to adapt to any environment. Its ability to adapt was so strong that during the time of the first emperor, it had evolved the ability to go invisible in order to evade the emperor’s attempts at capturing it. Tyrant was shown to be very large and had blue fur covering its body with 4 red glowing eyes when seen in a cold winter environment but could change to a rocky type body in a desert environment due to its adaptability. Tyrant was also known for its ferocity and would attack or devour anything that would cross its path. This ferocity paired with its overwhelming life force led to the beast being ‘alive’ in the Incursio imperial arms even after it was subjugated into the form of a teigu.
In the form of imperial arms, Incursio had 2 different modes, the first being its sealed state and the 2nd being its activated state. The sealed state took the form of a short sword the user can use as a weapon and is sometimes referred to as incursio’s key. The second form is a full body of armor and it is in this state that the user gains access to most of its abilities. Due to its ability to evolve and adapt, the abilities incursio provided its user were very well suited to use in battle but also had utility functions outside of it.
In Akame ga kill, Incursio improved the baseline abilities of its user such as their speed, strength and overall agility. In addition, the armor itself is very durable and could withstand attacks from conventional weapons taking practically no damage and could only be damaged by other imperial arms. One of the first abilities that tatsumi had access to from the armor was its ability to go invisible much like the beast itself which gave incursio the flexibility to be used as a tool even outside of battle such as for reconnaissance or infiltration missions and even bodyguard duty. This ability is presumably accessible to any incursio user as its the final evolution before the beast was adapted into an imperial weapon and the tatsumi was easily seen using it without much practice. The imperial arms also allows tatsumi to summon a long spear called “Neuntote” to use as a weapon which when paired with the armors strength enhancing ability allowed tatsumi to cut through enemies with ease.
Incursio has 1 more ability which makes it one of the more versatile imperial arms and that is the armors ability to adapt and evolve much like its danger beast. Because of this, it’s sometimes believed that the danger beast is ‘alive’ within the armor due to how the armor can feel and adapt even when its user did not actively engage this ability. The armor can take different forms to suit its user like how it adapted to suit tatsumi’s more agile fighting style. During time with tatsumi, the armor has also been shown to manifest the danger beast itself in different parts of the armor to protect tatsumi passively. This ability is very powerful as it essentially allows the user to fight with practically any opponent as they can evolve to suit the abilities of the person they are fighting, at least in principle. Throughout the course of the anime, we see many instances where the armor takes on different forms to suit the needs of the battle. Each time the evolutions would manifest a very different characteristic such forming wings, developing more armor to even providing immunity to poisons and regenerative capabilities some of which also changed the appearance of the armor.
This ability to change and adapt did not come without a heavy downside however, outside of needing a lot of energy and stamina to even wield incursio effectively each transformation posed more risk to the user as the armor would slowly but surely begin to meld with the user. This caused problems as the more the user forced evolutions the more the armor or specifically the beast in the armor would try to take over its user. This would manifest itself in the armor merging with its user and to some degree forcibly changing them as well. Tatsumi initially started exhibiting draconic features such as claws, horns or scales but by the time of the final battle he had merged so much with the armor and had pushed it evolutionary ability so much that when scanned he couldn’t even be categorized as human anymore. At this stage, the danger beast would start to overpower its user in an attempt to take over and revive itself which would cause the user to ultimately die.
Only shown in the akame ga kill manga, incursio initially this imperial arms belonged to a high-ranking imperial officer by the name of Gensei. Gensei who was the master of Bulat had passed it to him with which Bulat created a name with. Incursio and Bulat were such a well known pairing due to him gaining the moniker of the 100-man slayer that whenever people saw incursio they would assume it was Bulat. Before Bulat died, he passed on incursio to tatsumi who had a higher chance of compatibility due to how much of a positive first impression tatsumi had for the imperial weapon as he thought it looked cool which according to Bulat was important for compatibility. Incursio is assumed to have been destroyed after the final battle with its last known user to be Tatsumi.