Kill la Kill is a 24 episode action anime series produced by Trigger. Trigger is an anime studio made up of ex-Studio Gainax and Studio 4°C members. Kill la Kill‘s director, writer and lead character designer worked together on Gurren Lagann, and it definitely shows.
Kill la Kill wastes no time in showing what to expect from it. Within the first four minutes, the tone for the rest of the series is set; fast-paced over-the-top action.
Anyway, the plot focuses on Ryuko Matoi, a new transfer student at Honnouji Academy. Honnouji Academy is ruled over by Satsuki Kiryuin and her Elite Four. The reason Ryuko goes to Honnouji Academy is to find the person responsible for killing her father; she does so with the aid of red half-scissor blade and a sentient uniform called Senketsu.
Simply put, it is a revenge plot. At least until around halfway through, where the focus switches to something much bigger. Saying anymore would be spoiling things, so just watch it to find out what exactly.
There is a lot of fanservice in Kill la Kill. From the extremely revealing Kamui to Ryuko’s opponents having their clothes torn off them after a fight, there is a lot of bare skin on show. That’s just the tip of the iceberg; an organisation called ‘Nudist Beach’ arrives on the scene during earlier episodes, and they stand against the Kiryuin regime by not wearing clothes.
Some people may struggle to cope with the fanservice, but there’s at least one thing out there stating that Senketsu is used to show that girls should be accepting of their bodies.
There is another lesson within Kill la Kill as well, which is that power corrupts as shown in episode 12.
The characters in Kill la Kill are a diverse bunch. Protagonist Ryuko Matoi seeks revenge for her murdered father as previously mentioned; she doesn’t allow anything to stand in her way. She will accept any challenge thrown at her, though she struggles with Senketsu’s revealing nature at first.
Satsuki Kiryuin serves as the antagonist. She is the student council president at Honnouji Academy. She seeks world domination by using superpower-giving Goku Uniforms. Satsuki also wields a sword, Bakuzan, that is able to withstand the strength of Senketsu. Satsuki does not like to be outdone, so she ends up wearing her own Kamui, Junketsu.
Arguably the best character of the entire series is Mako Mankanshoku. She is a No-Star student at Honnouji Academy who befriends Ryuko. She will leap into the middle of fierce battles in order to give advice to Ryuko, ensuring that she will not lose her way. As the series progresses, Ryuko and Mako grow closer and closer to each other.
Of course, there are the club presidents, the Elite Four, the members of Nudist Beach and many other characters besides. Of particularly note are Ragyo Kiryuin and Nui Harime, but saying any more would spoil things.
Just one quick note about the antagonists; they definitely serve their role as villains. People seem to either love them, or utterly detest the way in which they behave.
Everything Kill la Kill does is done with aplomb. The action is so brilliantly over-the-top; fans of Gurren Lagann will feel right at home. It even poked fun at recap episodes; Senketsu goes everything that had happened over the course of fifteen episodes in little over a minute.
The soundtrack may just be on of the best for any anime. Ryuko’s theme, ‘Before My Body is Dry’ serves as a brilliant power-up song, though some may not like the rap in the full version. Satsuki has her own theme, which suits her extremely well.
One brilliant instance is where Elite Four member Nonon Jakuzure weaponises classical music.
Oh, and there’s also the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus whenever Mako starts dispensing advice, no matter how insane it sounds. Mako’s state also affects how it sounds, which is a neat touch.
Kill la Kill has small touches that some may not notice due to being focused on the action or subtitles. There’s plenty of references to Marvel, and the cast of Pulp Fiction appears in one particular scene. Those things go by extremely fast; fortunately there are people out there who are extremely observant.
Other small things include the way Ryuko reacts to Mako. Fist time Mako jumps at her, Ryuko moves aside. Later on, Ryuko actually catches Mako and gently places her down. Once again, it’s the small things.
From start to finish, Kill la Kill is a fast-paced action-packed thrill ride that manages to improve with every episode. This should be a priority on everyone’s watchlist, no matter what.