Kill la Kill – Episode 1

This season has apparently been designed specifically to torture me, considering the release times of this and Kyoukai no Kanata. But that’s cool. Wait’s over. The Gainax Second Wave’s long-awaited full-length creation is upon us. Let’s have some stupid, glorious fun.

Episode 1

0:00 – Incidentally, there’s a non-zero percent chance any notes about this show will take the form of “whoa!” or “sweet!” or “look at that!” Bear with me

0:00 – One more fun fact: when it comes to Imaishi’s hot-blooded influences (Go Nagai etc), I am pretty much completely illiterate. So feel free to point out all the references and concepts I don’t have a clue about. I like history lessons!

0:08 – Nazis in the first ten seconds. Good deal

0:16 – Okay, it’s already looking like this show is going to be so pretty I can’t really do my thing

0:43 – Oh my god yes 

1:29 – What can I say this design so good 


2:05 – Yeah this is kind of hard to talk about 

2:39 – They’re blending the CG pretty effectively 

3:09 – I like how in contrast to Kyoukai no Kanata’s graceful exposition-hiding, this show is all FUCK YOU WE WILL EXPOSIT AND WE WILL DO IT AT FULL VOLUME

3:15 – Love this trick of visual design. Like they painted over the initial image with the sunbeams

4:00 – This soundtrack is great, these titles are great. They’ve also followed up that fascism lesson with Student Council President’s overtly Orwell-cribbing speech

4:23 – Yeaaah I just might not be able to cover this. The pacing is so fun and deliberate, I just want to let it go

4:32 – What a lovely background 

5:01 – I think we’re going to get along 


5:20 – More lovely shots, though really any of them would do 

5:31 – Love how expressive the characters are. Love pretty much everything, actually – it’s almost frustrating to see something that shows how many other ways the medium could be interpreted, even if it is still in the visual lineage of FLCL/Gurren Lagann. More of this, please!

6:20 – Man these backgrounds are nice 

6:55 – Holy shit Trigger 

7:30 – I like how the show sort of intentionally draws attention to the fact that it’s a series of 2D objects arranged at various “distances” – the way perspective shifts as the shot zooms here past the hand, the fact that her title appeared on a specific plane of the classroom, the shots as she stared down the four kids earlier – the various ways this show is sort of formally not taking itself seriously (or at least enjoying the arbitrary construction of an anime frame) are really great

8:08 – Those giant chains are incredibly suspicious. Watchu gonna transform into, school?

9:50 – Striking shots all day 


11:15 – Etc 

12:03 – Did you not… didn’t you see… 

Actually love how they’re not at all grounding the “kids get murdered all the time” thing, and even giving the usual student a “wait, you’ll miss study hall!”-esque line after Ryuuko almost gets killed

12:29 – More of these sweet filters over the frames. They definitely draw attention to the frame-ness of the image, but I’m still surprised more shows don’t use that trick. I guess they’re best used for something like this, which is so deliberately and consciously saying “THIS IS ANIME!” all the time

14:07 – Love these shots. Three-second backstory!

14:34 – More great visual effects 


15:32 – He makes a compelling argument 

16:06 – Great shots r us 

16:14 – We are getting incredibly spoiled 

16:31 – Of course. That explains all the murdering and whatnot 

16:52 – The CG clashes so aggressively. It’s a really interesting stylistic choice to make everything so deliberately artificial, and certainly one solution to the problem of CG integration

17:22 – Oh my god this show 

18:02 – So great. Screw it, why pretend this ain’t a cartoon?


18:45 – The most anime of anime 

20:33 – You’d think it’d have a number of structural weaknesses, but apparently not!

22:06 – Oh no she didn’t 

And Done

Yep. All the dials on 11… or 17… or something. Goddamn. Can’t really get more capital-A Anime than that.

Dunno if this is really coverable, actually. Mainly just pure, manic entertainment. Also totally in love with the medium visually, with all those great tricks of depth and filters and whatnot. But mainly just fun. Just a whole lot of fun.

Yeah, this one might beat me, guys.

6 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 1

  1. Best opening episode for any anime I’ve seen in a long, long time. Had it been less cartoonish in style it probably would have come across as slightly pathetic in a trying-too-hard kind of way, but as it stands, it’s one of the coolest things I’ve watched within the last couple of years. Awesome stuff!

  2. The mixture of Ryuko’s attitude and Koshimizu Ami make up for a winning pair. Great voice actor choice. Inspired, even.

    And yeah, in her Kallen role rather than Maou/Holo. I really like her as an actress.

    • I always used to associate her more with the Maou/Holo voice, but this performance is absolutely killing it. Even in a show with as much distinctive stuff to point to as this one, her voice already seems like one of the highlights. Really impressive.

      • Some actors have two distinct voices, and I first met her with Code Geass. myself, so she’ll always be Kallen to me 🙂

        Well, actors who really don’t fit their characters, or who really do, can make or break a show. F/SN anime to me had an MC mismatch, Accel World had the female MC who is scary and imperial have a super weak-willed voice, etc. But then you have people like Ami here, or Fukuyama Jun as Lelouch, and the world is set right in its axis.

      • I still think if they had given L-Elf to him the world would’ve been a better place.

        Then again, he might have overtaken the show even more (L-Elf, not Jun). He’s not only my favourite voice actor, but the one that caused me to sit up and begin taking notice of voice actors as well, actors.

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