KILL LA KILL ep3: is proof that you’re doing it wrong!
Through just three episodes, I’ve found myself utterly satisfied with this show in just about every aspect. Everything is literal and on display; the blood, the guts and the pride are all there on tremendous display. and now even the most embarrassing aspect of the show has been held up in glorious display to the world as an actual aspiration to all. Is there any defeating this show?!
It’s a bit soon for an editorial post on this show, there’s still so much more than I suspect I need to absorb first. But I can’t help but marvel at the job this show has done to satisfy us anime fans who loved shows like GURREN LAGANN, FLCL and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. It really says something when a show forces you to take something embarrassing and accept it as an amazing display of your commitment to a cause, any cause. And the fact that you allow a godrobe to fully don you means it doesn’t have to focus on petty things like making you feel comfortable to wear it. You should be comfortable wearing it because IT MAKES YOU A GOD!
Also I’m skipping past the synopsis because the plot for this episode (as all of them have been) is very simple. After having Aikurō Mikisugi assist her so much in episode two, Ryuuko finds herself staring down her co-conspirator in class and stalking him through the hallways. He slides her a note, and they meet up at his hangout outside of class. There he explains that he was an assistant to her father, who left him instructions on getting Senketsu to his daughter. He also explains to her the secret behind her outfit and the Ultima Uniforms, Life Fibers. Living fibers that draw out the wearer’s strength and special abilities. Though from his explanation, and a very EVA-like scene in this episode where a uniform with 50% saturation of Life Fibers attempted to be made, the making and use of these items is a very hard, unstable process. And not just anyone can handle all that power.
And speaking of someone who can handle power, the next scene involves Lady Satsuki raiding her own estate to retrieve a godrobe that her family has kept under quarantine. Once she has it, we see that even she has trouble adapting to such a beast of a creature. The stark contrast between her acceptance of her godrobe and Ryuuko’s is pretty big, as Senketsu did force itself on her, but after that remained relatively calm and helpful, while Lady Satsuki fights with all her being to survive the merger of the two. It makes me wonder greatly what’s the difference between the two godrobes, and their relationships with their wearers.
But all of this just feels like setup for the crux of this episode, the titanic battle between Ryuuko and Lady Satsuki. This whole encounter is something best seen and not told. In it, you see something that perfectly encompasses why other, lesser shows fail to meet this level of hype excitement. It’s the ANIMATION! It’s just so viceral, so passionate and active. EVERYTHING is done right in these scenes. The action is still fast, incredibly fast! But as the fight goes on you see the power and weight behind the blows being thrown between these two. There’s a moment where the two of them are exchanging full strength blows, and whether they hit or not, the walls behind them are still crushed! As sword swipes cut through the air, they slice anything that’s within a football field’s length of distance. Simultaneous clashes between these two are treated like bomb explosions! I dare say, any crappy anime fight you’ve ever seen, you could point to this fight to show you what they did wrong and why. And again, this is only episode THREE of this show! There’s not much character development, or plot here, it’s just a fight done right! WATCH IT, OR YOU HAVE NO SOUL AND NO PASSION FOR ANIME – NAY! YOU HAVE NO PASSION FOR ANIMATION!
I guess I should mention that Ryuuko does lose the fight, even after coming to the realization I talked about at the beginning of this post about “getting naked” and shedding her embarrassment to fully unite with Senketsu. Though it was by a narrow margin, and may have only been due to her having a somewhat weaker will and fighting spirit than Lady Satsuki. And maybe Lady Satsuki realized this, because she allows Ryuuko to go, telling her that if she ever hoped to get an answer to her questions, and to fight her again, then she would have to crush every student in the school who goes after her before that would ever happen again. And Ryuuko gladly accepts that challenge.
End of episode.
Now I do question the logic of pitting Ryuuko against a bunch of goons who are clearly much less powerful than Lady Satsuki, seeing as Ryuuko should wipe the floor with all of them before that, but I won’t complain because I want more of these fantastic and energetic fights. Matter of fact, I just want more of this show’s energy. It feels right. It feels exciting and familiar, but fresh all at the same time. I’m sure plenty of people after this episode will find some deep psychological meaning in Ryuuko, Lady Satsuki and their philosophy and roles in donning their godrobes. But for me, KILL LA KILL is just good anime. It’s not the definition of good anime, as there are as many different ways for an anime to be good, as there are different entries in an anime fans favorites list. But for a good action anime with quality, passionate animation, I just can’t see how you do it better than KILL LA KILL at this point.
Note: I gotta give love to Mako and her role in the show. For a show that already has a ton of energy, she still brings this up a notch. The way she just does nuts all over the screen at random times just adds a ton of fun and levity to situations in this show that can get a little stuffy and high and might at times. She’s this show’s Pinkie Pie, and I feel like the show would lack that bit of x-factor it needs to be truly great.
Note 2: I gave Watamote last season a lot of props for its great direction, but KILL LA KILL is really stepping things up in the direction and cinematography categories. My word! There are some shots that really take me back to amazing scenes from all sorts of different movies.
Note 3: I got a bit of a Optimus Prime vibe from Lady Satsuki’s godrobe when it awakened, well actually, it was more the vibe of the other truck transformer that somewhat resembled Optimus. He died in the moving trying to open the Matrix. I can’t remember his name for the life of me. Oh well, the point is that those giant shoulder blades on their uniforms are awesome.