Kill la Kill

Rating: 3.5

At Honnouji Academy, the student council rules supreme: its members wear special Ultima Uniforms that give superhuman strength and combat abilities. Thus is the will of Student Council President KIRYUUIN Satsuki carried out.

But a new student appears! MATOI Ryuuko, carrying a scissor sword and a vengeful grudge: her father has been recently killed, and she will find the people responsible, and make them pay.

Of course, Ryuuko gets to Honnouji, and after she tries to fight her way through, Satsuki tells her that yes, she killed her father.

Ryuuko has no hope of prevailing against the super-powered guardians of the Academy, until she discovers, under her burnt-down house, a school uniform that her father left her: the sentient God Robe Senketsu. With this, her combat spirit, and the moral support of classmate MANKANSHOKU Mako (and all of Mako's family), Ryuuko will discover the truth, have her vengeance, and save the world.

I'm still not sure why I watched this series: it has all the marks of the standard fighting anime, that I usually try to avoid. Every episode is mostly fights, character progression is measured in terms of combat power, half the dialogue happens between people who're beating up each other. But I watched it till the end, and I'm almost glad I did. "Almost", because many of the interesting aspects of this series are counter-balanced by sadly over-used tropes.

There's about 20 named characters, all of whom take active roles in the plot throughout the story, but in practice only three of them really count, each of the other ones is subservient to one of them.

There's a big plot twist that completely changes the perceived motivations of the main characters, but the way they explain their past actions stretches credibility to the breaking point.

There's a level of nudity (both male and female) that feels motivated more by the standard fan servicing than by the plot, even if the plot (and the big twist) does revolve around clothing and the effect it has on society. And the level of creepy, incestuous, sexual harassment (only directed at the girls, of course) is really uncalled-for.

What else? Mako is funny, and she's not just a comic relief character; the music is good, although some themes become a bit repetitive after a while. The pacing is good, but I think 24 episodes are a bit too much.

In summary, those of you who like fighting anime will probably love this series. The others may well like it, as long as you can ignore some of the disturbing aspects I listed above.

Oh, and if you notice a strong resemblance to recent Gainax work, like Gurren Lagann: Kill la Kill was written, animated and directed by ex-Gainax staff, who left and founded their own company, Trigger.

This review was originally published at:
DatesCreated: 2015-03-08 16:16:00 Last modification: 2023-02-10 12:45:24