kill la kill 1



Looks like the Dai-Gan battleship from Gurren Lagann. In fact, every two minutes or so, I’m like, “Didn’t I see this already in Gurren Lagann?” No, it’s not a complaint. Kill La Kill is finally Gainax realizing what they do best (minus Anno-san), and doing it. It only took them, oh six years and a new studio to realize this, but I’m glad they did. Gainax is a husk of their former selves. The Eva teams broke off with Hideaki Anno to form Studio Kara to work on Rebuild of Evangelion while most of the Gurren Lagann team left to form Studio Trigger. Studio Trigger was quite impressive in their debut of Little Witch Academia (which earned them over half a million in Kickstarter funds for LWA 2), and this series, Kill La Kill, is not only their first anime series, but an original story to boot. And Kill La Kill is impressive.


Everything about Kill La Kill oozes style, brutality, and Gurren Lagann. It’s just a series of over-the-top moments followed by over-the-top moments punctuated with scenes that ask you, “Are you having fun yet?!” Sure, the plot is totally nonsensical… but… I don’t care. It’s fun. That’s something anime has forgotten recently. There’s shows like Free! that tries too hard, Monogatari has somehow turned into weekly sermons, and most shows are either drama, bad fanservice comedies, or moe type shows… where’s the fun genre? That’s what Kill La Kill is. Fun. And it’s going to stab you to make sure you are having it.

(At least the plot makes more sense than Nagi no Asukara. Wait, what? They live underwater but go to an above ground school? What happens to their books?! What about their TI-85s? How can you boil water underwater? I’m okay with a premise, i.e. people can live underwater, but shit needs to make sense past that. Like even if they live underwater, I want an explanation of how they can bring books back and forth… or why can’t they go to school underwater? It’s not like there’s no room, and there’s only like four kids who go to school… it can’t be that hard.)


The plot is simple. Spunky new girl tries to topple oppressive student government that compares itself to Nazi Germany and spouts lines from Animal Farm. No, I’m not kidding. They quote the fucking pig. (Also, aren’t fascism and communism on different ends of the political spectrum?) Anyway, it’s basically the Shu-led government from Guilty Crown, and the leader girl bestows school uniforms that give powers to select students. The weakest uniforms have no star rating, while the strongest is three stars. Of course, this is almost the same as the beastmen structure from Gurren Lagann, with four three stars generals under the leader who knows something, and each of the three star generals representing an aspect of school or beastmen society. Kill La Kill follows the same power structure as Gurren Lagann, and, if you didn’t get it, they show you this structure as a spiral in the show. It cannot be more blatant what they are doing, and it makes me think there is a twist coming.


Another reason I think there’s a twist coming? After bombarding us with spiral graphical designs, Matoi’s first opponents secret special weapon is a fucking drill. And guess what? Matoi smashes the drill. Demolishes it with no effort. And then her opponent pulls out his real secret special weapon: a box. A fucking box. And then, there’s a lot fewer spiral references. Even the spiral nipples of the ‘Murica ring girl gets cut down.


The animation quality is excellent. The animation has its own style and flair, and everything about it screams Gurren Lagann brought to the modern age. This scene where we are first introduced to the fucked up city and Ryuko Matoi is excellent starting with a pan out and down from the school to the docks. Of course, the city is built as a spiral, with the school at the tip, and the conditions getting worse and poorer on the way down. Along the way, there’s plenty of interesting architecture (Shaft has a competitor!), interesting meta text (again, Shaft has a competitor!), and the final reveal of Ryuko Matoi. It’s fantastic, and it’s a great contrast to all generic, tropetastic, “Hey, this is new transfer student X” scenes that you’ll see in any other show this season.


The costume looks exactly like a poor beastman trying to get the jump on Kamina. At this point in the show, I realize everyone is basically screaming at each other. Only an estimated 20% of the dialogue is done at normal voice levels with the rest being manly (or womanly) screams of manliness. Also, no, I don’t see any similarities… I mean, this show has a protagonist who finds an artifact in her dad’s basement that gives her the power to stand up to some inhumanly powerful creatures with similar powers that dwell within a huge wall. That other show… well… the protagonist has yet to reach his dad’s basement.


Human tempura! Are we having fun yet?!


Costume rape by a costume. Gotta love fanservice at the expense of logic. I like how her suit is an ultrapowerful armor, yet it only covers select parts of her body leaving the bulk of it exposed. Then again, this is typical RPG logic. Though I would love for female RPG protagonist to look and be armored up like Brienne from Game of Thrones.


And her costume powers up by venting steam?! What the hell? Studio Trigger just hit the, “We don’t care anymore!” button.


One of my favorite random scenes. Why does the piano need spikes? We need to show how badass even the piano is… let’s give it spikes! I even like how they had the foresight to put corresponding holes for the spikes inside the piano and draw the strings going around said holes. Sure, the piano is musically compromised, but who the fuck cares? It has spikes! I’m disappointed they didn’t slap a racing stripe and spoiler on it as well.


Is it just me, or are there are a lot scissors in anime lately? And none in Monogatari? I hope Zoe Hange develops a new weapon against the titans called a “tendon slicer” that’s basically a giant pair of scissors.

13 Responses to “kill la kill 1”

  1. Twist: she’s a distant ancestor of the spiral king?

    Pretty much nailed why everyone should like this series. While something serious or comical or even emotional is fun, it kinda wears thin when those are the only types of anime that have been playing for some time. Kill La Kill is just pure unfiltered fun madness and gives off that kind of spirit that I’d expect from a small-time indie animation company (that’s a thing that exists, right?).

  2. This show made me feel like a 12-year old, and boy am I happy about that!

  3. It is like Gurren Lagann all over again. Except with a mind of its own.

    I couldn’t be happier.

  4. [quote]Is it just me, or are there are a lot scissors in anime lately? And none in Monogatari?[/quote]

    I take it you wrote this before watching the latest episode…

  5. I watched this first episode then I ended up rewatching both TTGL movies. I’m re-mentally prepared for KLK.

  6. also just realized pink-haired 3-star girl is voiced by haruhara haruko and the dude who beats up the boxing club leader is voiced by viral, I’m waiting for matoi to pull a bass guitar out of her uniform made out of the scissors and strings of the goku uniforms powered by spiral energy.

  7. “And it’s going to stab you to make sure you are having it.”
    I’d like to offer a suggested adjustment to this statement:
    And it’s going to stab you and keep stabbing you to make sure you are having it.
    Something like that!

  8. Hi,

  9. You get the impression that these characters would explode due to the accumulated pressure of their hot blood if they stopped fighting/charging around/shouting/any combination of the above for a 10 second period. Which is fantastic!

  10. Anime is saved.

  11. The steam vent power-up sequence is a reference to all of the mecha show with similar moves. This is basically a mecha show, with the robot scaled down to the powered school uniform.

  12. Actually real grand pianos have a set of holes there. It would work fine. Lining up the spikes with real piano features? Genius! Unnatural, unnatural genius.


    The whole school is in the form of a sailor suit. Look at illustration #2, the curved lines with the peak in front is the classic striped collar with the shirt peak in the middle.

    Welcome back, and congrats.

  13. In Soviet Russia, costume rapes you.

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