Alternative Names Kill la Kill, KLK, キルラキル
Directed By Hiroyuki Imaishi
Original Run October 4, 2013 – March 27, 2014
Genre Action, Comedy, Drama, Ecchi, School, Science Fiction, Seinen, Supernatural
Seventeen year old student Ryuuko Matoi transfers to Honnouji Academy as to search for the owner of the other half of her scissors that murdered her father. She then receives a powerful sailor uniform named Senketsu, fated to fight against the life fibers that lie in the academy and beyond. Meanwhile, during her school journey, she eventually learns more shocking revelations about her father, his death, and the rest of her past.
There is so much to love about Kill la Kill more than a page essay can describe. One of the aspects to love includes how the anime is seen as a metaphor – particularly when the fashion contest has turned into a fashion war filled with battles and sword fights on stage now turned battlefield. Yet the life fiber clothing proves to have the most implications among the included imagery. It is seen as a source of beauty, glamour, power, and high social status, while perceived as evil given the materialistic values it influences upon the bearers and the evil deeds that come with them (e.g. it is revealed that life fibers further lead to chaos and war, given their nature in choosing a bearer and fighting another life fiber that will lead the bearers to fight themselves). The “humans slavery to clothing” philosophy is sure not to be neglected, and is a perfect portrayal of humans being slaves of clothes and other material possessions in real life.
Other worth-tuning imagery in the series includes “No Late Day,” a wacky portrayal in episode 4 wherein the daily challenges of not coming late to class is translated into a literal amazing race. The student who comes the class the earliest after a series of victory in different encountered contests emerges as a winner, although Ryuuko and Mako are the ones to show up late despite winning these contests and beating their fellow classmates (could it be just a dream?). Another interesting imagery lies in the school popularity ranking based on worn uniforms (Three-star Goku uniform, Two-star Goku uniform, Jengetsu, No-star..), wherein the popular students in the council happen to be the chosen bearers of life fibers and the unpopular ones wear an ordinary school uniform.
It appeals me to see how woman take major roles in a fighter anime. It is rare for women and men to be main characters and sidekicks respectively in the anime of same genre, although Kill la Kill is more about the fashion trend which is a typical hype for females. This alone already makes the series unique and distinguishable, being the sole male-oriented fight anime with women as main characters. Not forgetting to mention that Kill la Kill has taught many lessons on importance of human relationships over ambitions and material possessions (as seen through Ryago’s defeat, who is only interested in fulfilling with ambitions and using her kinsmen to achieve them in contrast with her daughters claimed to fight together) and any related virtues – friendship, sacrifice, compassion, teamwork, and fighting for justice together. Self-discovery and acceptance of discovered past (as seen through Ryuuko and Satsuki who are trying to cope with their learned past, despite learning it the hard way) also reveal to be the anime’s two of the most crucial themes.
And finally, it is the overall entertainment (the wackiness, the “ecchi” scenes, the full-loaded action, the gore and morbidity seen through Nui’s ripping of heart, regeneration of wounds, cut arms, and separation of head from the rest of the body) and the unpredictable well-crafted plot that make Kill la Kill worth-tuning to. There is a whole lot of progression in the second half of the series, despite the generic, repetitive, and sometimes confusing episodes that dominated the first half. The interesting characters, the enticing ships (well..thank you fanservice!), the inclusion of French terms like “La vie est drole ” (life is funny in itself) and “oui maman ” (yes mommy) that emphasizes the fashion culture environment (France is typically known as the country of fashion, perfume, and gastronomy) and the background music that well fit the fighting scene atmosphere and the overall theme of the anime are as worth-appreciating. Its old school anime vibe (the pre-2000’s art, action, and comedy style and a few references to classic fighter and mecha anime) makes Kill la Kill identifiable from the rest of the modern anime, enticing old school fanatics to watch it further especially with such progressively driven plot.
The ending, however, is not as good in contrast with the popular belief. It would have been better if the finale is less of a cliffhanger (Ryago would have been defeated for a deeper reason than just ripping her own heart after a sudden realization that humans can never be fused with clothing), and involves more exposure on Senketsu’s disintegration teary eyed scene. Likewise, it would have been better if Ryuuko would have made more efforts in her fights until her mother gets defeated, and the life fibers should have disappeared by actually having the original fiber defeated (and not when Ryuuko calls on them that humans can never be fused with clothing). Another flaw in the anime lies in the repetitive episodes at the first half which makes the audience think that he or she is wasting his or her time (no matter how entertaining they can be). Despite the presented flaws, Kill la Kill still remains an anime series filled with awesome “feels”.
“Yeah, we’re neither humans nor clothing. But at the same time, we are humans, and clothing, and EVERYTHING ELSE. Humans can’t becoming clothing. Humans are humans and clothing is clothing! THAT’S JUST WHO WE ARE!” – Ryuuko and Senketsu (credits to littlecloudcuriosity.com).
My favorite ship in the series ~
Overall Rating 4.75/5 stars (9.5/10)