Anime Review: Kill La Kill

Introduction:

Kill la Kill is a Japanese animated series, produced by Trigger. it ran from October 4 2013, to March 28 2014. The tv series has total 24 episodes, but there is an OVA released in 2015 as an epilogue.

I’ve been wanting to review this series for a while now, since I have often heard rumblings about this on the internet, since it is the primary source for anime here, given that TV channels don’t air anime anymore, aside from few exceptions.

So, let’s dive in!

Plot:

Ryuko Matoi, a vagrant (Whatever the hell that means,) transfer student armed with a scissor-shaped longsword that can cut Goku Uniforms, arrives to Honnō City in search for the murderer of her father Isshin Matoi and assumes Satsuki might be connected. Following a failed attempt to challenge Satsuki on her first day, Ryuko stumbled across a sentient sailor uniform in an underground complex beneath her father’s home. She names the outfit “Senketsu”, later learning that he is a Kamui as he increases her abilities while transformed. Satsuki responds by donning Junketsu, accepting Ryuko’s challenge if she can defeat the two-star student club presidents that would target her. Ryuko is joined by her hyperactive classmate Mako Mankanshoku, a no-star student who lets Ryuko move in with her impoverished family, and her homeroom teacher Aikuro Mikisugi, who is actually an undercover agent of the paramilitary organization Nudist Beach.

Ryuko later gets her chance to confront Satsuki when she reorganizes their student council through a battle royal and king-of-the-hill event known as Naturals Election, requiring her to first defeat each member of Satsuki’s Elite Four. But the event is interrupted by Nui Harime, a member of the global REVOCS Corporation run by the academy’s director and Satsuki’s mother Ragyo. Harime reveals herself as Isshin’s killer while revealing the other Scissor Blade, provoking Ryuko into nearly killing herself before Mako intervened. Ryuko becomes reluctant to wear Senketsu soon after while learning that Satsuki used her to refine the Goku Uniforms for the upcoming Tri-City Schools Raid. Harime, having been banned from the academy, tricks Ryuko into putting Senketsu back on before shredding the Kamui to pieces and then is driven off by Satsuki. As Satsuki commences the Tri-City Schools Raid to annex the remaining independent schools in Kansai, with its actual purpose to locate and destroy Nudist Beach’s base, Ryuko follows to retrieve the pieces of Senketsu’s body that Satsuki gave to her subordinates.

Ryuko succeeds in restoring Senketsu but fails to stop Satsuki’s agenda, learning from Mikisugi that her father founded Nudist Beach and created Senketsu from Ryuko’s DNA to fight the Life Fibers, revealed to be parasitic aliens that played a factor in humanity’s evolution to later feed. Ryuko and Nudist Beach storm the Honoujji Academy festival held in Ragyo’s honor before she awakens the Life Fibers, only to find her attacked by Satsuki. Satsuki reveals to her plan of destroying the Life Fiber threat to avenge her father and younger sister’s death from being experimented on by Ragyo. But Satsuki’s plan falls apart when Ragyo, revealed to have turned herself into a human/Life Fiber hybrid and also ordered Isshin’s murder, defeats and captures her while ordering the Covers to consume every human present. Nudist Beach, the Mankanshoku family, and Satsuki’s inner circle are forced to retreat as Ragyo reveals Ryuko as her discarded daughter, having been raised by her ex-husband Sōichirō Kiryūin under the guise of Isshin.

A month later, Ragyo and the Life Fibers have devastated Japan as the Elite Four and Nudist Beach rescue both Satsuki and Mako. But a bitter Ryuko is captured and brainwashed into attacking the heroes, only to be freed by Satsuki, Mako, and Senketsu as she gains the other Scissor Blade and cripples Harime. Ryuko and Satsuki proceed to intercept Ragyo before she and the Primordial Life Fiber, the source of all Life Fibers, can reach Honoujji Academy to launch a command signal to a satellite for all Life Fibers to cover the planet and destroy it as part of their lifecycle. But Harime completes Shinra-Kōketsu, enabling Ragyo to command all pure-Life Fibers with only Ryuko and Senketsu unaffected. The heroes destroy the transmitter, but Ragyo absorbs Harime and the Primordial Life Fiber while ascending to space to manually issue the command. But Ryuko pursues her mother after everyone offers their Goku Uniforms to power up Senketsu, managing to have Senketsu absorb Shinra-Kōketsu to rescind the order while a defiant Ragyo commits suicide. But Senketsu begins breaking down from absorbing Shinra-Kōketsu and uses the last of his strength to ensure Ryuko safely returns to Earth.

In the follow-up OVA episode, Ragyo’s secretary Rei Hououmaru uses leftover Life Fibers to create doppelgängers of Satsuki and the Elite Four to disrupt Honnouji Academy’s graduation ceremony and avenge Ragyo. But the clones are defeated while Satsuki convinces Rei to abandon her struggle as Ryuko using the Scissor Blades to Honnouji Academy is shut down during the sinking of Honnō City, and everyone leaves to live out normal lives.

I tried writing a normal plot summary. But I just couldn’t do it. in the end, I just copied the entire thing from Wikipedia.

My watching experiences:

First, when Ryuko finds Senketsu, it kind of reminded me of the scene from Hellsing when Integra found Alucard in the basement of her complex. Why? because of blood drinking of course. One is a vampire, the other is a blood drinking piece of clothing.

I actually like the concept of using clothes as power up. Except… the things which we learn later, not to mention, Ryuko has to dress scantily to get that power, and her enemy lady Satsuki has to do the same? Okay then.

Then, we’ve got clothing fibers themselves being villains and Aliens from outer space, who came to earth, and modified humans. Please don’t give those idiots at Ancient Aliens more fuel.

I must give props to Ami Koshimizu and Erica Mendez, the Japanese and English voices of Ryuko, given how much screaming they have to do for this show.

Also, seeing Stephanie Sheh in a villain role was also great for me, since usually she plays the heroin.

Conclusion:

I was rather skeptical of this show, because it is classified in the magical girl genre, something which I like to avoid. But if you compare it to traditional magical girl series, you will find that this show has nothing in common with them.

Despite the plot getting ridiculous at the end, I deeply enjoyed the show. It has enough action and fights to enjoy, great villains who are entertaining to see whenever they appear, all complimented by high quality of voice acting in both Japanese and English.

I never felt that the show ever dragged on for too long. The story is rather tight, and is neatly concluded in the end. Even though the show moves fast, you won’t feel lost, you will be able to keep up with it without a problem.

I would also like to mention here the soundtrack. If you exclude heavyweights like Naruto, cult favorites like Monster, most of the time, the soundtrack is forgetful. There might be few chimes and themes which may stay in my head, but they will be forgotten in few days. But the soundtrack of Kill la Kill is memorable, I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

If you don’t mind a girl being the protagonist, (Which I most certainly do not, as long as it is a great story, I could care less what is the gender of the protagonist,) you should watch this series if you have the chance. High quality offerings like this one don’t come by so easily.

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Published by Tanish Shrivastava

I'm a guy who likes programming, chess, and writing.

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