Akame Ga Kill: Murasame, The One Hit Kill Imperial Arm
Imperial arms are weapons used by extremely skilled and dangerous people in the anime Akame ga kill. I won’t go into too much detail as I’ve briefly covered what imperial arms are in a previous article when I covered the imperial arms Incursio. In this article I’m going to cover the imperial arms belonging to one of the main characters and the person where the anime gets its name from Akame. In Akame Ga kill, Akame uses the infamous one cut-one kill sword Murasame.
Murasame had a slightly different history when compared to the other imperial arms in that it wasn’t created by the emperor as part of the 48 weapons that he had crafted. Instead, the origins of Murasame stemmed from outside the empire in a region known as Wakoku which was modeled after Japan and more specifically an island nation called Jinwa. In Wakoku, skilled craftsmen had access to advanced technology that allowed them to develop imperial arms like weapons but were identified with a different name as they were called Meihou in that region. Due to this, it was not revealed how Murasame was crafted and what danger beast was used as its base but based on its abilities we can reasonably assume that the danger beast must have had abilities related to poisons or a cursed flesh that could kill others on touch alone which would make it extremely dangerous.
As an imperial arm originating from a fictional east, Murasame takes on the form of a katana, the sword native to japan. The hilt, crossguard and handle are all fully red in colour with the handle having writing along the entirety of the handle. The blade itself is unremarkable and resembles a typical katana blade with no defining features. When not used the blade is kept in an all red sheath with a black tip.
Akame obtained Murasame from her former master Gozuki who was its previous wielder and mentioned that in order to bond to it an individual must see the blade as something of great craftsmanship such as thinking that the blade itself is beautiful or exquisite. To a normal person, the blade instead radiates a menacing aura invoking a sense of creepiness when seen. Murasame’s abilities are deadly and very much suited for battle, especially 1 on 1 fights. While not fully explained, the blade itself carries a curse or some form of poison. When a person is cut by the blade this curse or poison spreads from the point of contact to the rest of the body and ultimately the heart whereby it stops the heart and kills the victim. This means that even a small cut anywhere on the body would cause near instant death which would allow a skilled user to end fights extremely fast by being quick to attack.
The sword also affords its user 1 additional ability in its trump card called Little War Horn. This ability acted like a performance enhancer which gives the user increased capabilities using the curse of the blade itself. According to Akame, she gains access to this ability only when she has discarded her humanity and embraced her inner demon. In the anime, in order to activate this ability the user must cut themselves with the blade of Murasame and resist the effect of the poison following the theme of embracing their inner demon. When the user activates this skill their appearance changes with the most visible change being their eyes that develop a black tint. Markings also appear around the eyes and along the arms which turn into scars once the effects wear off. The negative effects of this boost is that the user is in constant pain throughout and the effect only lasts a short while, so a long extended battle would cause problems for the user as their body will be weakened due to the pain.
In Akame Ga kill, there are many imperial arms with strong abilities other than Murasame and while the ability to one shot kill is definitely a great strength the blade also comes with some weaknesses. The ability to kill with a single cut is a double edged sword as the curse does not discriminate friend or foe and if the user accidentally cuts themselves even a little they are also subject to its curse. This is why Akame fights with gloves and has to always be careful even while doing mundane things such as cleaning the blade. Knowing this actually causes a lot of anxiety for the user as any small mistake can be absolutely fatal.
Aside from that the blade curse also only works on living beings and those that have a heart and inorganic beings like corpse dolls or “living” imperial arms are largely unaffected by the curse. The curse also requires contact to be made with the target for it to be applied so any armored opponents are largely unaffected by the curse. Against these kinds of opponents, Murasame is just a typical katana as its one cut kill ability is largely nullified. The curse also needs to spread to other parts of the body for it to take effect and Esdeath has shown that quick reactions can somewhat nullify its ability if the affected appendage is removed before the curse completely spreads. However it’s worth noting that Esdeath had stopped time while doing this thus it could be in normal circumstances the curse would spread too fast for any normal person to react in time.
By the end Akame Ga Kill, Murasame is broken in the fight between Akame and Esdeath and is longer usable. The ability of the sword while powerful is only useful to users who are skilled enough to wield it due to its double edged nature. It’s likely that most combatants would find the double edge nature too risky and would prefer an ability that does not require as much finesse and skill. In the hands of a trained assassin however, the weapon is devastating and able to end fights in mere seconds if even a small cut lands on the target.