KILL LA KILL ep2!!: vagabond, drifter, coward and stripper
Uh… I didn’t really think this through. I got all hyped for this show, but the problem is talking about it and not screaming the entire time (figuratively of course). Also, how do you describe a show this stupid? Bah! Let’s just get on with this. My memories of this show will fuel my desire to write.
Gotta love how shameless this show is, in all ways. Even as Ryuuko threatens Lady Satsuki, she’s still forced to retreat with her tail between her legs when she realizes that she doesn’t have Senketsu’s backing. It just goes to show that she’s not a hero, yet. She’s more of a thug out for payback. Though in this case, I think a fair analogy would be that she’s a thug with a bazooka she can only fire once a day, and once she runs out of ammo she takes back off into the slums.
Speaking of the slums, that’s the exact place her half naked butt finds herself once she’s fled Honnouji Academy. And the way those scummy kids were leering at her, you’d think something bad might happen, but that’s not the case., quite the opposite really. What really happens is she’s scooped up by Mako’s family and nursed back to health. It seems Ryuuko’s problem is a real one called anemia. She’s a little light on blood, and after being forced fed some grody grool, she’s able to accompany Mako to school the next day. By the way, Mako’s family has a dog named Guts, you just know he’s gonna do something awesome eventually. And I loved how Ryuuko was more than happy to announce to the world that she was a vagabond and drifter when she thought she was threatened. Like I said, not a hero, just a thug.
Meanwhile, in the bowels of Honnouji Academy, we see the assembly line for the Ultima Uniforms being pushed out by the prestigious Sewing Club. Here we see Lady Satsuki inspecting the premises and giving some interesting commentary about how the traditional school uniforms we see are actually modeled after military ones, and how this perfectly fits the school’s aims, as they plan to subjugate all of Japan with their school-borne strength. I find it a bit strange of a title for this project of conquest to be called the Human Conquest and Liberation Project. But I’m sure that’s an issue to be addressed later. At the tail end of her inspection, the Tennis Club captain shows up, Hakodate Omiko. She’s a “sharp” looking one. Lady Satsuki bestows a two-star Ultima Uniform to her, in hopes that she’ll slaughter the club’s opponents in an upcoming interleague match. It seems even at this very moment, Honnouji Academy is already crushing opponents and taking over.
There’s an interesting little moment after this where Lady Satsuki sits down for tea, and the butler asks her why she doesn’t wear an Ultima Uniform herself. Her answer is that her sword is all the strength she needs, and the butler wonders out loud if that means that she thinks the Ultima Uniforms aren’t good enough for her?
Also that night, Mako is sleeping with Mako’s family when she starts thinking about how she first met Senketsu. In this flashback, we see what happened after Senketsu forced himself on her, how she knows it was made by her dad (who is apparently a crotchety old pirate), and that Senketsu is somewhat incomplete. At the very least, he doesn’t remember much before his hibernation.
The next morning, on the way back to Honnouji Academy with Mako, Ryuuko asks her about the stark difference between rich and poor that she sees. She just spent the night in Mako’s home, and it’s a terrible broken down shack, but the further up they go, the more luxurious and extravagant everything becomes. Mako tells her that it is because the housing is assigned based on a student’s position in school. So a No-star wearing loser like her and most of the students gets tossed in the slums. All this of course is set up by Lady Satsuki. Mako tries to finish their conversation by talking about Ryuuko getting to stay with them, but she’s relentlessly pelted in the face with tennis balls. It’s the Tennis Club captain, Hakodate Omiko. Apparently, Mako is in the tennis club and is getting punished for not showing up to practice the day before. The problem with this is that Mako was a HOSTAGE yesterday! She couldn’t have made it if she tried! But that’s not a concern for Hakodate as I’m sure Mako is just be punished for being Ryuuko’s friend. Ryuuko is able to defend her friend with her guitar case, and Mako is able to get to school on time. But when she tries to engage Hakodate in combat, Senketsu won’t wake up, and she beaten to a pulp, falling into drainage that leads to the sewers. She’s saved for a second time in this episode by someone, this time her homeroom teacher, the closet bishounen, Mikisugi Aikurou. Once she awakens, he explains (while posing super suggestively) that the reason Senketsu didn’t activate was because she didn’t use her blood to awaken him. He bestows a glove upon her to help remedy that problem and sends her on her way. I was really glad once this scene was over. I was just afraid he was mere moments from losing his pants.
Ryuuko wastes no time hoping back into the thick of things, interrupting the tennis clubs practice and punishment of Mako. Though things are a bit different this time, with one of the Four Devas around. Despite Ryuuko’s efforts to defeat Hakodate in battle, Uzu, the leader of the sports clubs tells her that she’ll have to win an actual match with Hakodate, not just a brawl. Even Ryuuko admits it’s a stupid idea, but goes along with it anyway. And things don’t go well for her at all, until she stops using the sh*tty racket they provided her and she uses one made with her Scissor Sword to crush Hakodate into a naked unconscious paste.
It looks like Ryuuko will have to fight an angry Uzu next, but to everyone’s surprise Lady Satsuki descends from the heavens (or the tippy-top of the school) to engage Ryuuko directly. Armed with just her sword, her presence and will is enough to scare Ryuuko off, as she grabs up Mako and vows to return again for her answers and revenge!
End of episode.
Well that was fun! Though I’m wondering how many more times she’s going to be knocked unconscious in that skimpy outfit, only to be awoken by a man on top of her. It just seems that keeping a towel around would also be beneficial for her at this point. Since it’s almost guaranteed at this point that she’s going to pass out in that outfit.
Usually at the second episode, if a show is done trying to explain a bunch of stuff to you, it starts to get in an episodic groove. And I could see some of that here, but the show is still keen on not being predictable, which is good since the show kinda shows us the path to be traveled by showing all the roadblocks in the way. It’s nice to see that surprises keep getting thrown in to the show. So I have to say it was a solid effort. The first episode is often easy enough to digest and accept, for a show like this I’m sure many wondered how the show would progress with such a manic pace and energy. And from what we see, it will keep that manic pace and energy for most of the episode, though there will be some interesting moments thrown in that are more subdued, but wacky. Mako’s family is a good example, she meets them, and it’s still balls out insane. But it’s not really violent, just spastic comedy, which is really at the core of this ridiculous show anyway. When we see the Sewing Club in action, it’s very much the most subdued part of the show, but just based on the character designs themselves, the scene still has an energy to it.
And then there’s the matter of Ryuuko and Mako’s homeroom teacher, Mikisugi Aikurou. I still can’t quite tell his angle. I don’t know if he’s a subversive third entity in the show, using Ryuuko and Senketsu to take down Lady Satsuki, or if he has good intentions. Though given his extremely exhibitionist nature and split personality, I get the feeling that he’s not one to be trusted, but used himself. He’s far too comfortable with Senketsu to think that he doesn’t have knowledge and interest in the godrobes, so I also believe that in the end they’re his main aim as well.
When it came to the episode’s main villain, Hakodate, I actually liked her ugly, vicious looking (no pun intended GURREN LAGANN fans) character design, and the attention to detail within it. Whether it be her uniform with the tennis balls perpetually laying underneath her skirt, or her monocle that would changing lens tints and would auto adjust focus, I liked how thought and creativity was evident in it. As for matters of good taste? It genuinely lacks that, but just looking at Ryuuko and Senketsu together in uniform easily blows everything else away when it comes to bad taste.
If I was going to place one lingering suspicion, it’s that somehow Isshin Mattoi, Ryuuko’s dad, actually turned himself into Senketsu, and that’s how he disappeared. It would explain the lost memory, the fact that both of them only have one working eye, and perhaps his attraction to her blood. It would also make that skeevy outfit a hell of a lot more creepy to look at! Ew! You know what? Maybe I want that theory to be wrong. Maybe I want it to be very, very wrong!