KILL LA KILL ep4: sometimes I just want to watch a good cartoon.
It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to have a point. And no message is necessarily required. When do these rules apply? When all a show sets out to do is entertain me and make me laugh.
Another week of KILL LA KILL, another simple set up. Ryuuko wakes up from her disturbing dream of seeing Senketsu cut to ribbons to learn that she and Mako have to leave immediately (this is 4 AM) to get to school. Why?! As Gamaboo– Gamboo – That guy in charge of discipline explains, today is NO LATE Day. A day when all No-Star students have to make a perilous trek to their homeroom class before roll call at 8:30 AM (a pretty lenient time if you ask me). So why the need to leave so early for so many of these loser students? It’s because the entire trek up an already steep, mountain-like city is littered with deadly traps all the way to the top. And if the students getting there don’t make it in time, they’re expelled from school. A scholastic death for all those who dare to be tardy on a day like this! To make matters even worse, Ryuuko’s uniform isn’t with her, as Mako’s mother found it IMPERATIVE that Senketsu get a proper cleaning – in the morning, before school. GEEZ! Is this woman working for the enemy?
Handicaps aside, Ryuuko and Mako still have to get their butts to class in less than four hours. As they make their way through the obstacles, they meet an injured student name Maiko Oogure. She’s obviously up to no good, but Ryuuko and Mako aren’t exactly a pair of “bright lights” if you know what I mean? They fall for her routine and drag her along with them, even as she goes out of her way to sabotage Ryuuko’s trek through the maze of traps. If anything, this makes me admire Ryuuko’s god-given atheticism, as she’s able to pull herself from danger on multiple occassions without any help from Senketsu.
This is perfect time to explain where the hell Senketsu disappeared to during this time. Mako’s family has been trying to get her her godroobe, but everytime they get close, Maiko “trips” and “accidentally” exposes Maiko’s panties, causing the guys to lose control, crash, and pass off the duty of delivery to another as they bleed out, eventually leaving only the idiot dog, Guts to complete the mission.
The traps along the way are all ridiculous, but my favorite moment of the episode came when the three girls saw a One-Star bus that was slowly but safely making its way through a mindfield ahead of them. Maiko actually takes it upon her self to head off the bus and fall right in front of it, allowing the girls to know out the driver (and all the passengers) and hijack the bus. This action doesn’t go unnoticed, as they make it to the Two-Star residences and all the people living there pop up with weapons of their own, firing on the bus with everything they have. It was a display only an American could truly enjoy, as wanton gunfire was everywhere, even the bus itself had what looked like a freaking anti aircraft gun in it that Mako got to fire into the buildings!
YAY! GUN VIOLENCE! (no sarcasm)
Once at the top though, things get nasty. Guts finally shows up with Senketsu, only to be sabotaged by Maiko, as she exposes Ryuuko’s panties again to full effect. Maiko then shows her true colors by stealing Senketsu, outing herself as the head of the Trap Divison of the school (whatever happened to being in a club) and forcing Senketsu onto her body! Her goals are clear, and so is her insanity, as she proclaims that she’ll use the godrobe not just to move up in the ranks, but to overthrow Lady Satsuki herself! But that’s only after she’s pummeled Mako and Ryuuko into paste.
Thankfully, Senketsu has some loyalty in him, he’s able to stop her movements and allow Ryuuko a chance for counterattack, forcing the episode’s villain to give up her hard won prize. All seems to end well until the girls learn that they’ve been duped and are actually standing in another one of Maiko’s elaborate traps. A trap designed to take them all the way back to the start, no matter what. The plan would have worked if not for the convenient positioning of a high class mode of express transport designated only for the elites. This time it’s Ryuuko who does the hijacking, forcing the machine’s operator to send them as far to the top as possible. The real enemy now becoming time, as after all this insanity, there’s only one minute left to get all the way back to the top. Ryuuko manages to accomplish this goal by simply cutting the line near the top and allowing them to be catapulted straight into their homeroom. Problem solved. Meanwhile, Gamaboo- the discipline guy finds Maiko and tells her that he’s heard all about her treasonous plot, expelling her on the spot! Yay! Justice!
End of episode!
I loved this episode! I loved everything about it! And best of all it didn’t leave sick feeling in the pit of my stomach like a similar episode of Deadman Wonderland did. Everything about this episode was pure fun! Hell, even the trial itself looked like fun! This whole endeavor was non-stop action and fun with not really any plot progression in it. It all just felt like a good, extended Looney Tunes episode to me. And I think that’s a very high compliment for any anime I’m watching, because it means I laughed my butt off and couldn’t wait to show people some of the stuff in this episode.
I also thought this episode was a perfect follow up to the megaton hammer that was the previous episode, as we saw Ryuuko take on Lady Satsuki in a battle that would make Dragonball Z characters take notice. In an episode like this, we’re completely distracted from such a thing, because this entry makes no attempt to test “power level” or strength in any form. This is a silly episode about guts, panties and loyalty. Though Lady Satsuki was missed, she was in no way a part of this, and I’m glad. This just shows the different ways this show can entertain us, as action and slapstick have been juggled very well in this show so far. I don’t have anything grand to say this episode like I did for the last, but I don’t think that’s necessary when I can tell you how good this episode was as purely a cartoon.
Oh! I guess there was something I needed to say that I almost forgot about. The animation, or the lack thereof. I really, really appreciate it. Some may see it as a cost saving measure, but I really do believe it adds to the show, especially its slapstick nature. On top of that, the character designs in this show have never been very dedicated to staying “on-model”, but Maiko’s character design fluctuated so much that she put even the infamous Dr. Ver of Symphogear G to shame with her distorted mannerisms and megalomaniacal cackles performed her duty perfectly as this episode’s primary antagonist. It’s just another example of how this show is a triumph in animation, even when it’s using as little or as much of it as possible.