In a fantasy world, fighter Tatsumi sets out for the Capitol to earn money for his starving village, and finds a world of unimaginable corruption, all spreading from the depraved Prime Minister who controls the child Emperor's ear. After nearly becoming a victim of this corruption himself, Tatsumi is recruited by Night Raid, a group of assassins dedicated to eliminating the corruption plaguing the Capitol by mercilessly killing those responsible.
This series provides examples of:
Abuse Is Okay When It Is Female on Male: Esdese slapping a collar onto Tatsume, saying that he belongs to her, and literally kidnapping him is Played for Laughs, but imagine how such a scene would have been treated with a Gender Flip. Albeit, in the context of the setting, Esdese getting away with kidnapping a young boy in front of an entire stadium full of spectators was likely tolerated because she's a high-ranking member of the Empire's military, not because she's a woman, not because no one took the situation seriously. In fact, the audience seemed rather shocked.
Berserk Button: Never kill anyone innocent in front of Tatsumi or any Night Raid member unless you wish to DIE.
Black and Gray Morality: On the one hand, you have Night Raid and the Jeagers, two groups comprised of generally nice and friendly people (barring a few exceptions) who just happen to be self-admitted mass murderers who each easily have a body count in the double digits (Esdese and Akame likely much higher). Then on the other hand you have the Capitol, a Wretched Hive of corrupt nobles and crooked cops who regularly torture the impoverished and homeless and frame innocents for the crimes they commit. And way, way, way in the black is the Prime Minister himself, a Fat Bastard who manipulates the na´ve child emperor to ensure that all this continues.
It's outright stated in the second chapter that Night Raid aren't heroes, they are murderers. It's shown through their work that often times they have to kill people who have families or simply got in their way, like Tatsumi did. They also mention that any one of them can receive divine retribution for the people they murder. It ultimately comes down to the people who kill for the corrupt Capitol, or the people who kill to stop them.
Bloody Murder: The finger type teigu Black Marlin's secret skill is this.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: The characters sometimes deliberately do this, referencing other series in the same magazine they're serialized in. In fact, in one chapter Mein was jokingly threatening Tatsumi to banish him into other series in the same magazine with what looks like a Wheel of Fortune roulette. In case you are uninformed, this series is serialized in the Monthly Gangan Joker magazine.
Crapsaccharine World: Seems like a nice place so it can only get worse. Tatsumi is provided shelter by a family of nobles who turn out to do this so they can torture the poor country people who venture in to the big city. And that's just the surface.
Crapsack World: However, once The Masquerade is lifted, you can really see how bad of a state the Empire is in. The Capital as become a Wretched Hive, being horribly corrupt and run by a total madman. The countryside isn't much better, with the various villages being taxed into oblivion, and getting obliterated by Imperial troops and assassins when they rebel.
Cute and Psycho: Seryuu. Helps lost travelers around town and nearly orgasms at the thought of slaughtering bandits.
Esdese after falling in love with Tatsumi.
Cute Clumsy Girl: Schere, an assassin who mistakes salt for sugar and washes Mein with the clothes while doing the laundry.
Punch Clock Villain: Esdese may be a sadist who doesn't care for the empire's corruption, but she's a very sweet person when around someone she likes.
Bors is a massive man who walks around in a menacing gas mask, and it's his job to use his flamethrower teigu in order to burn traitors at the stake and wipe plague-ridden villages off the map, but he has a wife and daughter he loves very much.
Red Baron: Plenty. Zank the Beheader and 100 Man-Slayer Braht are notable examples. Even some of the teigu have these: One Cut Killer Murasame, Hundred-Beast-King Lionelle, Roman Artillery Pumpkin, Demon Armor Inclusio, Infinite Uses Cross Tail, Cutter of Creation Ecstasy just to name a few.
Ship Tease: Akame/Tatsumi, Tatsumi/Esdese and Wave/Kurome
No love for Leone? She pretty much flat-out stated that she'd "laid claims" to Tatsumi numerous times.
Vague Age: Esdese is the only character in the Jaegars we don't know the age of. Other characters either state the range or the exact age.
Now confirmed to be "younger than mid-twenties."
Villainesses Want Heroes: Played with. It just happens that Tatsumi falls into all the criteria of Esdese's perfect guy, and she encounters him when watching a public fighting tournament, not when in the battlefield. Because of this, the members of Night Raid are incredibly dumbfounded and confused when she snatches him up and takes him to the Capitol.
Villainous Glutton: The Prime Minister, almost never seen without something vanishing down his gullet.