Monday Anime: Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill 2

Ya know, I’ve spent about six months now trying to figure out how to write a review of this show. I’m pretty sure I still don’t know how to properly tackle the series, at least in the format I’ve come to use, but what the hell?

I’m gonna do it anyway. Cause I’m a rebel. A maverick. A mavericky rebel.

That makes sense cause trump is President. Just go with it.

Truth is, there’s a handful of shows I’ve been meaning to write reviews about, but just can’t seem to find the right way to approach them. Either because of the content, or because of the depth, or because I’m not really sure what I think of them. Shows that, for lack of a better way to phrase it, just left me not real sure what to even say.

I mean, there’s shows that are just so dumb, I can snark the crap out of them for a thousand or so words without even trying. There’s shows that are so good, I just heap fawning praise for several pages, and call it a day. There’s shows that are decent enough, and do their thing well enough, I can relate my opinion, and off we go.

Basically, there’s a lot of anime out there, and good, bad, or just okay, I can figure out something to say about it. Usually.

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Not saying anyone is gonna like what I have to say.

Then there’s the ones that are a lot harder to tackle. For example, Evangelion. I have no intention of ever reviewing that series, as even trying to in the format I use would be a disservice to it. It’s a complex, deep, thought provoking show. Trying to tackle the many things it explores would be hard for me to do, the way I do things, without basically insulting the show as a whole.

That, and I’m pretty sure there’s nothing I could say that a lot of other people haven’t already said, far better than I ever could.

This show, it’s like that, and yet, here I am, doing this anyway.

Why? I dunno. Cause I really liked it a lot.

I was too old by the time I saw Evangelion for the things it had to say to hit me the way they would have had I seen it when I was younger. Had I been sixteen or seventeen when I watched it for the first time, it would have shaken my world. By the time I was already thirty, I just kind of wanted to bitch slap the shit out of Shinji, for being a dumbfuck. So, I kind of missed the train on that generation defining anime.

I didn’t really think I’d get a chance to see another.

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Course, someone is always trying to peddle something…

And I almost didn’t. I recall the hype around this show when it came out, and by now, you guys know how I am about hype. I skipped it, and after a while, forgot about it, until I saw it pop up in my Netflix thing of shows I might like.

I recalled hearing about it, and that there was hype, but past that, I honestly didn’t remember much of anything about the show at all, so I figured enough time had passed, and checked it out. Thus did I learn that sometimes, even the massive hype can fail to do justice to how good a show actually is.

Cause this show, yeah, it was better than the hype said it was. I know, cause I went and looked up the hype afterward, to see what it said. It said the show was great. It was great, but it was so much more than that. It was a new generational anime experience.

It was, if I may commit blasphemy, the Evangelion of this era.

Yes. Strike me down with your hate.

Oh, Sorry, Went Dark Side again. That happens to me sometimes.

You know how ti is when your soul is a shriveled, bitter kernel of cynicism and sarcasm. Hate is something you’ve moved beyond. Your now in a place of existential loathing towards God, the universe, and everything. You wish for the whole thing to be in a false vacuum state, so one day, it’ll all just blink out of existence, and finally, sweet oblivion can render all the works of man meaningless, along with their trivial differences.

I know, right? I’m a fucking rainbow made of puppies.

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Feel my joy!

Kill la Kill is a 24 episode, 2013 series from studio Trigger, which also brought us Little Witch Academia, Darling in the Franxx, SSSS Gridman, and Roy Rodgers entire career. It is an anime original series, based on no existing work, and was also the very first thing Trigger ever put out, ensuring that everything else they do, would only serve to be a letdown for everyone.

Well, maybe. I’ve head Little Witch Academia was pretty good. Doubt it’s Kill la Kill good, but when you launch your career with a show that rivals Evangelion in depth, you really have left yourself nowhere to go but down. This is why you should never aim high to start with, kids. You’re only doomed to fall, even if you succeed.

Wow. I’m way more negative than usual today. Wonder what that’s about?

Meh. Who cares?

Now, normally, this is the point where I offer a synopsis of the show. Trying to do that for this show is nearly pointless. There’s just too god damn much to cover, even briefly. The first episode alone has so much happen, it’s mind blowing. Hell, I doubt I can even effectively cover the cast in any meaningful way.

Let’s try to do it anyhow.

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What can go wrong?

The series is set on a fictional island in Tokyo Bay, where the prestigious Honnouji Academy resides, towering above Honno City, which takes up the entire rest of the island. It’s this whole giant pyramid scheme of an island, which is actually intentional on the writers part, as it is a giant visual clue for the how the whole thing works.

Basically, how well you do at the school determines how well your family lives. The best students get to live in mansions near the top of the island where the school is, where the poorest performing students have to live in squalor at the slums near the bottom of the island, which is far away from the school.

That matters because how quickly you can arrive at school sometimes determines whether or not you get to stay in school. Being tardy can get you expelled, and you and your entire family kicked off the island. Apparently, this is a bad thing, for some reason.

Actually, there is a reason everyone wants to go to school here. It’s because of the school uniforms. Do well, and you will be awarded a special uniform, called a Goku Uniform, that gives you superhuman abilities. Who doesn’t want that? Nobody.

So, kids from all over the world try to get into this school, for the chance to live like they are rich as hell, and have super powers. Cause that’s actually how everyone would react to a school like that really existing.

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They’d sell their own mother.

The whole school is ruled over by the iron grip of dictatorial Student Council President Satsuki Kiryuin, and her Elite Four, the Student Council. Even the faculty lives in fear of her, and allows her to rule the school like it’s North Korea, except less of a happy place.

Enter protagonist Kyuko Matoi, a vagrant transfer student who has come looking into the mysterious death of her father, who sent her this weird giant half a scissor sword just before he died. While she wasn’t exactly close to her dad, she still wants to know what the hell happened to him, and why he died, cause he was her dad.

Also, she kind of wants to know what the fuck is up with the weird giant half a scissor sword. That’s not a normal thing to give your daughter just before you die under mysterious circumstances. An inheritance or a car, maybe, sure, but not that.

While looking around the burned out remains of his home, she falls into a hidden chamber, and injures herself. Then she’s attacked by a sentient, blood thirsty school uniform. I know we’ve all been there.

In short, the sentient clothing is made entirely of Life Fibers, though the uniform, which she names Senketsu, doesn’t even know what that means, what it is, or how it came to be. While she is wearing it, however, Matoi has access to superhuman abilities that far surpass those of even the most powerful Goku Uniforms of the Academy.

She’s just gotta put up with being turned into fan service in order to access those powers. She’s less than okay with that.

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You’ve become a magical girl!

Still, with the giant half a scissor sword, and her super powered sentient sailor uniform, Matoi begins a crusade to get to the bottom of her father’s mysterious death. A quest that will bring her into direct conflict with Satsuki Kiryuin, and forces far more dangerous than even a dictatorial student council president.

At first blush, this is a really dumb sounding show. It has all the makings of being as good as Queen’s Blade, or Sekirei. A thinly disguised plot that’s only really serves to having boobs bouncing across the screen as much as possible.

The first blush would be very wrong. This show isn’t just deep, it offers up complex philosophical concepts, sociological commentary, and criticism of a wide range of topics reaching from education, to the fashion industry, to anime itself. It is a complex exploration of our global society, disguised as a shonen fighting anime.

I doubt I can effectively cover every topic the show delves into, but I am going to try to at least touch on as many of them as I can, and how each of them has relevance to not just each other, but to the deeper musings on human nature the show offers up.

One of the first things I had to get use to while watching this show, is that no matter what I thought it was doing, it was actually doing something very different. It sets itself up at first as being a bit of a murder mystery with kind of a magical girl fan service vibe to it. Then it just plain shifts gears into being a shonen fighting anime. Then it shifts gears again into being a political revolution story. Then it shifts gear yet again to be an alien invasion story. It jumps to a bunch of other things in between those, but those are the big things it does, and at no point, does it ever feel like any of that is the show actually changing gears.

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Yeah. Like… that…

Here’s what it does. It offers us, the viewer, our expectation, then flips it over. We all know we have expectations when we watch anime. Shows fit into genres, and sub genres, and we all expect those shows to follow certain rules. They do this, and not that.

They use that against us here. They present the expectation, then yank it out from under us, to reveal something else entirely. Then, once we adjust our expectation, they do it again. They just keep doing it, too. After the first couple of times, you kind of get to where it doesn’t throw you as much as it did at first, and gradually, you let go of any expectations at all.

Which is the whole point. Stop having expectations. The rules we are so use to anime, and pretty much everything else following, only exist because we insist on them. The genres and sub genres are only what they are, and follow those narrative beats, because those are the shows we want to have. Nice, safe, comfortable, and something where we know the rules, and can expect certain things from.

That’s not how it should be. That stifles creativity, and prevents properties from doing things that are daring. Even this show catered to those expectations, before throwing them out the window, in order to make the point that our expectations are what’s wrong.

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Those boobs have a point!

The whole structure of the series is set up to point out that the genres and sub genres aren’t “killing” anime, the way so many excitable reviewers like to claim. It’s our own inability to let go of our expectations that are limiting creators to do new, innovative, and interesting things. Because there’s no market for that. Nobody watches that.

Doubt me? Fine. Manglobe tired to break the rules. Now they’re bankrupt. Why? Cause there weren’t enough viewers open to the things they were doing to make them commercially viable. They didn’t live within the expectations of the viewers.

So, first and foremost, Kill la Kill is a series that actively subverts our expectations, in order to make us let go of them. It does it really well, too.

It adds to that a conversation starter about not just how women are objectified in anime, but how men are as well. Matoi is routinely put into fan service situations by her own outfit, against her will. Slowly, she begins to question why she is ashamed of her own body, and eventually, begins to realize that she has no reason to be. No more than anyone else does.

Societal expectations, and there’s that word again, have taught her that she’s not pretty enough, sexy enough, hot enough, to parade around in a skimpy outfit. She’s ashamed, because she’s been taught to be. For no real reason, other than to satisfy the, yes, expectations of people who don’t care about her as anything other than eye candy.

Once she grasps that concept, she takes command of her own body, and stops caring what people think. It’s her body, and she will use it as she sees fit, the world, and their expectations, be damned. Look, and drool, if you want. She doesn’t give a shit, because she doesn’t have to. She’s not there to satisfy you, me, or anyone else.

She exists for herself, and herself alone, to be happy with. She owes no one else an explanation, or an apology, for her appearance. No more than anyone has a right to judge her over how she dresses.

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Clothes do not define our value.

Not content to make that point, however, the show also tackles the opposite side of things, by presenting us with a sloppy, slouchy looking teacher named Aikuro Mikisugi. When we first meet him, he looks like a classic nerdy character, with thick glasses, and a disheveled appearance. However, he soon reveals to Matoi that he’s a spy for a resistance against Kiryuin’s dictator rule, and they call themselves Nudist Beach.

As soon as Mikisugi drops his guise, literally everything he does is a slow striptease, showing off washboard abs, and sexy, sexy manhood. Hell, the guys nipples even glow. As does his junk. Cause how men are expected to appear is just as fucked up as how women are expected to appear.

Be sexy as fuck, boys, or you have no worth. Which is a real thing, by the way. I’m aware of how women have lived their entire lives in the shadow of marketing expectations. Just as I am aware of how I have lived my whole life in the shadow of the same. I don’t have eight pack abs, so I’m undesirable, to all women, everywhere. Hell, I’m a fucking disgusting slob who doesn’t deserve to live because of it.

What, you thought they presented Mikisui like a disgusting slob, only to reveal his sexy sexy self later just cause it was funny? Come on. That was deliberate, to highlight our own reaction to him. He goes from creep nobody wants, to the top of the hottest anime character chart in under six seconds, pointing a giant spotlight at how screwed up our perception of masculinity is, too.

Really, our perception and expectations of genders, as a whole, is damn fucked up. That’s very much a thing the show is saying.

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Yeah, I got nothin to add here….

Still, the show doesn’t stop there. It could have, by the way. It’s already tackled expectations, and how messed up they make everything, on a couple of levels. Most shows would call that good. Not this one. It’s just getting started.

Soon after arriving at Honnoji Academy, Matoi ends up befriending a girl named Mako Mankanshoku, who’s basically a total idiot. She’s excitable, hyper active, and a silverware set short of having any silverware at all. She lives int the slums with her family, where her dad runs a back alley clinic. He’s even got a sign declaring it to be so, cause her whole family is a bunch of idiots, too.

The live on Mako’s mom’s ability to make edible mystery meat, her little brother’s scams and schemes, and her dad’s questionable medical practices. Despite all this, they welcome Matoi into their home, and treat her like family, without knowing a thing abut her.

Sure, they aren’t the smartest people, but they are good people. They aren’t rich, but they eagerly share what little they have with strangers. They are decent folk, more or less.

Right up until Mako and Matoi start a club. A fight Club. Club Presidents are awarded Goku Uniforms based on how well their club performs, and since Matoi is doing all the fighting, the Fight Club ends up doing very well, leading to Mako, who is the President, getting bumped up into the ritzy section of town. Now wealthy, her family slowly changes into distant, selfish people, who are only invested in their own self interests, and barely speak to each other.

When Mako is given her two star uniform, and turns against Matoi, the same people who welcomed her into their home with open arms, cheer for her death. Matoi refuses to fight her best friend, and takes one hell of a beating, before Mako herself begins demanding to know why her own family isn’t trying to stop her.

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They make out later, so it’s… okay?

She’s hurting her best friend, someone who is part of their family, and they are letting her, because it serves their selfish interests. They stopped caring about anything, but themselves, the moment they were handed everything they wanted. Why? Because they didn’t earn it. They were given it.

There’s a huge difference between being given things, and earning them for yourself. When you earn something, you have respect for it, and yourself. When you are given something, it means nothing, except that your whim of the moment was satisfied.

I’m not talking about birthday gifts or shit like that. I’m talking about big things. Life altering things. Earning that kind of stuff creates a sense of empathy for those who are still struggling to attain it. Being given it just creates more selifhsness.

Humbled by Mako’s outrage, her family realizes how caught up they became in what they had been given, and how they had lost their own self respect. They reject it all in favor of regaining that self respect, and the drive to better themselves, through their own hard work.

People these days except to be given everything. I know that makes me sound old, which I am, but it remains true. There’s a guy I work with, who expects to given respect, even though he treats no one around him with any, and in fact, doesn’t conduct himself in any sort of respectable manner. Yet, he still expects to be given that respect. And a raise. Even though he doesn’t do the job he’s being paid for, because he expects everyone else to do that stuff for him.

Same goes for this young woman I know. Everything is about her. Adore her. Love her. Praise everything she does as perfect and right. Make her the center of your world. Because she thinks everyone should. Because she expects them to.

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A bit of an extreme reaction, but not inaccurate.

I could go on listing examples taken from people I have met, and deal with on a regular basis. The point is, all over the world, people have forgotten what it is to earn things for themselves. They expect things to be given them, just because they want it. They won’t fight for it. They won’t stand up for it. They just sit there, demanding, wanting, and holding their hand out, crying because nobody will give them everything they want.

They have expectations that are not realistic, and don’t have the will to fight to earn those things, or even to create a world in which those things are given to everyone equally. They want it for themselves, selfishly, because they are selfish.

Are we picking up on a theme? Something about expectations? Yeah, this show kind of keeps running with that.

It doesn’t limit itself to that, though. It also tackles the imbalance in how education works, not just in Japan, but elsewhere in the world. It tackles the fashion industry, and how it plays into the unrealistic expectations of men and women both.

Actually, it takes that last one to a whole other level, and doesn’t just ding the fashion industry, but the very concept of fashion. The willingness of people to adhere to some sort of arbitrary rules about how they should dress, even if it means sacrificing their own sense of individual taste, and even their entire personality, in order to fit in, and be part of the crowd.

Late in the show, Kiryun’s mother, a fashion mogul, is revealed to the show’s true villain, and in cahoots with evil aliens. These creatures exist in a thread like state, and have manipulated humanity almost since we first started walking, in order to be slaves to their needs.

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Anime hair on crack.

Now that the time is right, the alien entities overwhelm humans, and use them as a power source, basically as food, engulfing them in fashionable attire, where they are slowly consumed, unable to fight back. The whole thing is a metaphor, obviously, for our own surrendering of our very sense of self in exchange for looking good.

This plays back into the gender stereotypes the show is already criticizing the crap out of, as well as the rest of the expectations it is trying to undermine. Because when you get right down to it, the entire show has a beef with the looksist nature of society as a whole, and is daring us to question our own acceptance of how fucked up all of that is.

Which, and this is the part I like, is a rather deep sociological commentary, and exploration of human nature, specifically the desire to fit in, even though we claim to treasure individuality much more highly. We don’t, and never have.

The entire build of the Academy most of the show revolves around is a visual pyramid scheme, as I mentioned before. Fit in, and you will be rewarded. Fit in better, and you will be rewarded even more. Sacrifice your sense of individuality, your own self expression, your own thoughts, dreams, and sense of self, to be rewarded even more.

Be one with the herd. Don’t stand out. Do as you are told. Dress alike, walk alike, and you will be given things. People by the droves fall in line with this, and obey, because deep down, they want to be like others, and be rewarded for it, with things that they don’t have the will to fight to earn on their own.

Yes, it all ties together in a grand exploration of humanities worst traits, as well as our best, as Matoi rejects all of it to walk her own path, and even more surprising, when we learn that Kiryuin, despite her tyrannical appearance, has simply played the game, to build an army, to fight her own mother’s evil schemes, and liberate the world from the very thing she has long appeared to support.

Much like the show itself played into expectations, in order to tear them down.

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Obviously.

Which is where the show delivers yet another theme, on top of the many it has already explored. Kiryuin and Matoi spend most of the show at odds, unaware they share the same goals. Because at no point did either of them just talk to each other. They were too certain that they were right, and the other was wrong. Too set in their own determination to see that the person they were fighting against was someone they should be helping.

Ultimately, neither of them accomplishes anything of substance, until they abandon their own pride and arrogant belief that they, and they alone, have the answers. It is only when they team up, putting their differences, and even bad history aside, that they are finally able to accomplish anything of value.

They do not sacrifice who they are, or their sense of self in doing this, either. They retain who they are, both in strengths and in flaws. They simply stop fighting each other, and combine their strengths, to compensate for each other’s flaws.

Ya know, the way people all over the world should.

Working together, being a global community, doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice that which makes us unique. It doesn’t mean we have to change our entire sense of self, or abandon it to be like someone else. It doesn’t mean we have to change who we are in any real way.

It just means that we accept that those things need not make us enemies. That perhaps, what we all can bring to the table, those very differences, may make us all, as a species, stronger, and better.

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And more supportive… maybe? I guess?

 

This show explores a lot of things, and never stops playing with our expectations, or showing us how flawed those very expectations are. It delves rather deeply into the nature of not just who we are as a species, but what we are, and why. Mostly, though, it shows us that we need not change as much as we think, to make the world around us a better place, for everyone.

We just have to be willing to fight for that, and earn it, with our own two hands, because there will always be those who gain far to much from keeping things the way they are.

Yeah. This show is deep. Like I said, it’s worthy of being called the Evangelion of this era, addressing the problems, attitudes, and difficulties of the modern age. That’s what a show deserving of being called a generation defining series should do, and just as Evangelion defined the generation of it’s era, so too does this one, with the current generation.

Now, don’t ask me to decide which is the most fucked up, cause honestly, I dunno. I think humanity has always been kinda messed up. Doesn’t look like we’re getting any better, either.

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We may be slightly less violent.

Which brings me to the animation, and… uh… I really have no idea what to say here. This is not in any way typical anime. The whole thing is constantly shifting from an almost American cartoon feel, to hyper deformed, to intricately detailed, to… I don’t even know what.

It is insanity. I mean, the animation is brilliant, and cleverly subverts all the expectations we might have, while also visually developing the themes and concepts the show is exploring. But it looks like insanity.

I admit, at first, I was not down for the animation. I kind of cringed, and wanted to just say never mind. Of course, I’ve gotten to use to the very slick look and style of modern anime, and that was kind of the point behind doing this so wildly different. Once I got use to it, though, I have to admit, it is genius visual work.

It’s just really fucking hard to explain why, cause it looks like insanity.

Now, there is one thing to that, that I feel warrants being mentioned. The overall intent of the show is to present all these expectations, and concepts, that are part of our daily life, as being inane. So, as the show plays into, then subverts, our expectations, the animation used does the same, drawing us into this fever dream style, and slowly, changing our own perception, not just of the look itself, but the very preconceptions the show is challenging, by making the show look normal, and those things look insane by contrast.

Got that? Good. Cause I’m not sure I can explain it better.

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Not that it made sense before.

The series was directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, best known as being the key animator on Evangelion, and for directing the classic, and much beloved, Gurren Lagann, as well as the incredibly irreverent Panty & Stocking With Garterbelt. Which is one of the most fucked up shows I’ve ever seen, and I will never review it, because I would like to hang on to my last shred of sanity.

I’m not gonna lie. Imaishi is god damn genius. I can’t even begin to describe, or explore, the brilliance with which he directs. It’s not even that he’s technically skilled, which he is. It’s that he takes everything he does, and just elevates it to this whole other level. He delivers both style, and substance, in a way most directors can only have wet dreams about.

I honestly don’t know how to describe him as a director. I really don’t. He combines the visuals, and narrative, and character arcs, and everything into this frantic, feverish, brilliance, that just dances across the screen with such a vivid dynamic and chaotic style. It’s almost hypnotic.

He’s amazing. You guys know that. You’ve seen Gurren Lagann, and probably this, too. You already know. He’s a madman, but damn, he is a brilliant one.

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But maybe crazy.

The series was written by Kazuki Nakashima, the same guy who wrote Gurren Lagann. Now, he’s also a playwright, and a novelist, as well as being a major figure in anime production, both for television and film. He wrote the play Oh! Edo Rocket, which was later adapted into an anime, which he also wrote.

Basically, the guy is a powerhouse writer, able to do things mere scribblers such as myself can only dream of. Yes, they are wet dreams. I admit that. His skill and ability to balance character arcs, plots, and overall story composition is a thing of beauty. Not just for Kill la Kill, but in general.

Specifically to this show, he blends multiple themes into an overall exploration of modern human nature, and society, through both comedy and drama, with dazzling dialogue and characterization, non stop plot twists that keep coming right up the very end, and just flat out amazing world building. The guys a legend for a reason.

Cause he does shit like this.

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And this.

The music is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, who also composed for shows such as Zombie Loan, Sengoku Basara, Guilty Crown, Attack on Fucking Titan, Aldnoah Zero, The Seven Deadly Sins, Seraph of the End, Juni Taisen, and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress.

Whatever the quality of any of those, we all know the music for every last one of them was great. Hell, Juni Tiasen wasn’t the most original thing ever, but the music was damn good. Same with Kabaneri. Then there’s god damn Attack on Fucking Titan. That music is flipping legendary.

And so it the music here. I have wanted the OST for this since I first saw the show. It’s amazing work, that plays to the thematic and character aspects, the world the story is set in, and just delivers on every level. Don’t Lose Your Way, one of the central theme songs of the show, still gives me chills. It is an amazing soundtrack, for an amazing show. It’s rock and roll, mixed with industrial, and unlike many OST’s, frequently uses vocals, and actual lyrics, that play to the characters, or themes, they work with.

Shit, Kiryun’s theme music is the very epitome of epic, and is the only thing I’ve ever heard that even remotely compares to the Imperial March in terms of sheer intimidation power.

I love this soundtrack.

The show has two OP’s and ED’s. The first OP does nothing to prepare you for the crazy ride you are about to take, though it does a decent job of presenting the aniamtion style and major characters. The big problem, really, is that the song, Sirius, performed by Eir Aoi, does not at all fit the feel, theme, and attitude of the series. It isn’t bad, it just doesn’t jive, and as the show goes on, feels more and more out of place.

It really messes with your expectations.

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Lack of approval will not be tolerated.

The second OP plays much better to the overall themes of the show, and character arcs present in the show, though the music, Ambiguous, by Garnidelia, still feels a little too happy and boppy for me. Again, it isn’t bad, the visuals play very well to the music, and it’s an overall better OP, I think, but it still likes to mess with your expectations.

The first ED, now, is a thing of beauty, as it explores Matoi, the price for true individuality, and the overarching themes of the show through clever visuals. Set to Sorry, I’m Done Being a Good Girl, by Miku Sawai, it’s a fantastic ED that encapsulates everything great about the show, and Matoi as a character.

The second ED is a fever dream I cannot explain, and is super cutesy, and all about Mako, for some reason. Set to New World Symphony, by Sayonara Ponytail, it is one of the most baffling things I’ve ever seen, and really, has absolutely nothing to do with the show at all.

Way to mess with my expectations, guys.

Overall, Kill la Kill is a piece of brilliant art, that explores modern society, human nature, the concept of individualism, and a crap ton of other things, through trippy visuals, epic battles, amazing character work, and a plot that refuses to be just one thing. However huge the hype was for this show, it wasn’t huge enough, cause this is, in every way, a generational anime on par with Evangelion, or Gurren Lagann.

It is so complex, that I have only just barely scratched the surface of what it does, and how amazingly well it does it. I haven’t even really touched on even a few of the characters, as even the antagonists get amazing character arcs, and are explored as deeply, and meaningfully, as the protagonists are.

It is a show that has to be seen to really get, and has to be seen more than once, to be fully appreciated, for all the stuff it does, and how it does all of it so very right.

Of course, ya can just watch it for the hooters, but then you’d be a dick.

Don’t be a dick.

That’s my job.

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Damn straight.
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5 thoughts on “Monday Anime: Kill la Kill

  1. I never have managed to get to the end of this one. For whatever reason I never get into the characters or the story and usually abandon it a little into the story and just never go back. I keep reading posts like this one and it goes back on my watch list but inevitably, when I sit down to watch it, I don’t finish it. At this point I just have to accept Kill la Kill and I are not on the same wavelength and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Actually, I kind of get that. As I mentioned, I almost dropped out on this fairly early on myself. It’s hard to stay with it, and only really starts paying off a good quarter to half way through.

      Which, I grant, is a big ask from Trigger, considering this is not a typical anime at all. I only got through it because I watched it while I was on my hiatus last year, and didn’t feel the need to only watch stuff for review purposes. I think I mentioned before how time is not a thing I have, so anything I watch, is for review these days.

      Point being, I could afford to stick with it to see where it went, without that little blogger voice in my head telling me I was wasting time I didn’t have. That’s just me, though.

      That said, everybody is different, and what we end up enjoying is never gonna be the same thing. That is not a bad thing.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. “I never have managed to get to the end of this one. ”

      That borders on tragedy, because the series’ climax is one of the most appropriate and satisfying endings of any anime I’ve ever seen.

      It. Just. Fits.

      It’s a bummer it’s not clicking with you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I only have one single nit to pick with your review.

    You didn’t mention that Hiroyuki Sawano also wrote the OST for Re:Creators!

    “the Evangelion of this era”

    After reading the evidence you presented? You’re right.

    It was just that good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed he did.

      Usually, when picking a selection of works for writers, directors, and composers, I try to stick to stuff I think most people will know. I’m not sure how popular Re:Creators is, so that’s the only reason it got left of.

      Speaking of, however, that’s a show I really do need to review. The premise is my kind of nutty, which is a compliment, even though it probably doesn’t sound like one.

      As for Kill la Kill, considering it came from pretty much the same team that brought us Gurren Lagann, I can’t really say I’m surprised that they hit such a high mark. They certainly knew what they were aiming for, and I admit, they pulled it off. Few shows really can be compared to Evangelion, but this one, it does deserve to be.

      It’d be nice to see more studios, and creative teams, tackling such complex issues, with so much style. The sheer creativity of the show is something we don’t see enough of these days. Granted, there’s a reason for that, as marketability is always a high hurdle to pass.

      Still, this kind of unfettered creativity is something truly beautiful, and rare. I admire them for what they did, and for what they said in doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

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