Love of Kill needs more kills

broadcast season: Winter 2022

number of episodes: 12

Genders: Drama, Action, Mystery

Thoughts: As a lover of all things assassins, I jumped into love to kill faster than many. A love story between two murderers? Couldn’t have asked for more. It turned out there was a lot more could have asked for.

Chateau is an assassin who works for a small group of mercenaries of three people. While on a mission, he meets the mysterious but dangerous Ryang-ha Song, an infamous assassin with a long list of victims. Surprisingly, instead of killing her, Ryang-ha declares her feelings for her and starts pestering her for a date. As Chateau continues her life as an assassin with an unyielding Ryang-ha following in her footsteps, she begins to wonder if there was another reason the world’s most wanted assassin liked her.

The only thing the anime does well is the plot. The intrigue and mystery behind Chateau and Ryang-ha’s connection play out well and ultimately unfold with the events of the anime in perfect tandem. For all my other reviews of the anime, I found no fault with the story. Each arc connects well, and the eventual reveal of why Ryang-ha, a lone assassin with more enemies than my fingers and toes, continues to pursue Chateau romantically makes a lot of sense.

Excellent intrigue of what connects the protagonists

The cast of characters, on the other hand, is a mixed bag. Ryang-ha is by far the most interesting character between the two leads. His undercover past kept me on the edge of my seat, and his nonchalant attitude in determining ways to kill, escape, and rescue is appealing to many. One of my favorite scenes involves Ryang-ha casually closing a curtain. It’s a completely common activity to do at night, but exciting on the show because I knew it meant he was going to kill someone in that room. He is cunning, experienced, playful and dangerous. He fits the reputation assigned to him by history.

However, Chateau is considerably lacking when alongside his co-star. She is supposed to be a murderer, but we never see her murder a single person. In fact, she has no agency in the story until the very last arc. From the beginning, she is involved in a conflict due to her association with Ryang-ha. She continues to do what her company asks of her and rarely makes a decision of her own. Of all the fights she finds herself in, she only wins one. Even after she manages to gain some agency in the last arc, she doesn’t get the upper hand on her and instead she relies on Ryang-ha to rescue her once again.

I can say that I grew old outside of this story. As a teenager, I wouldn’t have minded if the story pushed Chateau wherever it needed it. I would find her admirable just because she wields a gun, she knows how to fight, and she acts in defiance of the hot killer chasing her. However, that type of writing doesn’t work for me anymore, and Chateau remains endlessly underwhelming for most anime. The well-written mystery of her past is the only thing that saved her from a more scathing opinion.

I need more of Chateau

That and his voice acting. Chateau shows little personality other than introversion throughout the story, but at least his seiyuu gets it right. Saori Oonishi did the best he could with the job he was given, and in moments of emotional expression, Chateau sounds genuinely broken, excited, or scared. However, the real teacher of the cast goes to Hiro Shimono for his portrayal of Ryang-ha. I’m sure many people only hear Zenitsu’s screams from Murderer of demons when they hear that name, but Hiro Shimono’s voice deliciously curls around the dangerous assassin. With a voice that barely wavers but leans toward amusement and curiosity, he makes Ryang-ha sound scary at his worst and silly at his best. Better yet, the tone of his voice never changes despite the clear shifts in attitude and emotion. He would say that this is one of Hiro Shimono’s best performances.

Still, art and animation fought. There is limited animation when fights break out; in fact, the opening theme shows better animation of those scenes than anything else in the entire series. The scenes that take place in the dark are then darkness that I wish would happen in daylight. Although even in daylight, the scenes that take place in dark alleys fade in color.

At least the soundtrack is great. The opening theme sounds exactly like the kind of music that would accompany an anime about assassins, and the melancholy longing of the ending theme fits into the intertwined past that Ryang-ha and Chateau share. A magnificent organ strikes different keys at once each time danger approaches, matching the sound of gun triggers.

I need better lighting

believe love to kill the issues are a combination of less than stellar production and actual characterization issues from the original source material. As far as the anime goes, even the most praiseworthy plot element is due to the source material rather than the actual anime. However, as critical as I am, the ongoing mystery of the plot still held me. The series ended on hold, so if it ever has a second season, I’d be more than happy to sign on just to see what happens.


Plot: 8 (Multiplier 3.5)

Characters: 6.5 (Multiplier 3.5)

Voice acting: 7

Art/Animation: 6

Soundtrack: 8