Kill la Kill – Episode 2

Well here we are again, fuckers. First episode really did it, huh? Great visual aesthetic, tons of fun tricks of direction, stupidly fast-paced, unabashedly in love with its ridiculous self. Everything promised was delivered – the aesthetic, the intensity, the extremely ridiculous-looking uniform. As I said last week, this show basically outraces my method of breakdown, so the format might have to bend a bit to accomodate. Stay tuned.

Episode 2

0:07 – I mean, how you can hate these visual designs? Well, costume aside, it’s very reasonable to hate that. But I freaking love the styles and colors they’re using for these backgrounds


0:38 – The voice of reason, her underboob suit 

0:44 – It is the MOST shounen 

1:08 – I love every element of this. The glorious background, the awesomely overwrought song, the line of dialogue that just drives in how in love with its own absurdity the show is

Let’s get one more with no subs and Satsuki’s radiance 


1:21 – Ahaha this show’s so stupid I love it 

2:52 – And there’s our OP. Definitely done a bit on the cheap – you can tell this show is making every dollar count. It knows it doesn’t have the budget to be KyoAni, so it rides on making every still as goddamn iconic as it can be, and using other tricks like the actually pretty sweet 2D object-shifting it did in episode one (I don’t know the name for it – the effect it used as Ryuuko was first attacked by the kids, and then again just after she rescued Mako).

Also, that transformation sequence. Jeeezus. I guess the fanservice comes with the “everything anime to 11” territory, and the show certainly doesn’t take anything it does seriously, but it’s… well, it’s the price I pay. I certainly enjoy plenty of other problematic stuff! Just gotta live with it

2:55 – Someone get this stitch. The sunset shots are so nice in this show. Once again, that clearly incongruous light beam clashes with the perspective of the background in a strange and strangely effective way

3:59 – Actually it’s remarkably simple 

4:13 – I really do love all these silly environments 

4:38 – And the expressions. Definitely the expressions 


4:49 – This is best. All dogs needs hoodies. Again with the incredibly overdramatic music

5:17 – Alright we gonna go deep Kill la Kill?  We can do that

They already started off with those references to Hitler’s Germany, and the first episode had lines basically cribbed directly from 1984 (which is more a reaction to Stalinism, but whatever). The point is, totalitarianism bad. Here we’re getting more 1984-speak, with Satsuki basically referring to the masses as proles, people literally domesticated to the point where they do not seek anything above their station. Where we’re going with this? Well, the only real hints we’ve gotten so far are the star motifs and the whole uniform thing. The uniform thing is interesting – as tundranocaps brought up, it’s a representation of power that divorces it entirely from the individual, aligning it instead with their clothing. And here we have Satsuki referring to the humans as “pigs in human clothing” – considering how it seems all power in this world is derived from clothing, that seems like a bit of an odd statement. Where will they go with this incongruity? Well-

Ah, look at the time. That’s all for now, kids

5:27 – This is a great shot, and also makes explicit how power in this world is crafted on an assembly line

5:54 – Every evil factory needs a giant, menacing orb 


5:58 – Oh my god yes evil sewing club 

6:29 – I love how they create these backgrounds. Just like in the previous image, there’s like five layers there – that strange mist effect layered over the characters, the characters themselves, a second mist layer to create depth, those painted vertical lines to create texture and add color, and then the actual background with the absurd club lighting. Making the most out of frames indeed

7:09 – Aaah, and she doesn’t wear a uniform. Iiinteresting

7:24 – Another nice expression. The designs are exaggerated, but her expressions are extremely specific

8:07 – This one’s beautiful. I can’t believe they’re applying those beautiful Little Witch Academia-style backgrounds to a full production



Just kidding. Deriding shows for previously used elements and not their execution is a sure sign of brain problems

8:47 – It actually does make for a very striking profile 

9:14 – Yeah, about that “playing with the 2D frame” 

9:19 – Don’t think I didn’t see that Trigger 

9:32 – You’d think it’s overly simplistic, but that’s… pretty much exactly how it works in 1984. And the real world, for that matter

9:47 – I admire her spirit.

I also like that Ryuuko just… came to school. Do they have to go and hunt down the fugitive? Of course not, she’s got class tomorrow

10:03 – What a great design. Love how the sharp angles of her mouth and shoulders are repeated all over


10:39 – Mako don’t give a fuck 

11:11 – Actually laughed out loud when she started wacking Senketsu 

11:26 – Even the simplest shots have such nice scribbly detail in the texture. Man this show makes me mad about style homogenization

12:36 – This is getting very weird very fast 

12:44 – Ahaha that is the best “I hate shots” face 



13:24 – Whyyyyyy 

13:33 – Is this how he teaches all his lessons? 

13:46 – Looovely 

14:03 – The tennis club killing fields 

14:21 – Right, almost forgot about these shots 


14:43 – It’s nice that Mako’s such a good sport about all this 

14:59 – What a beautiful transformation scene 

15:52 – He raised an excellent point 

16:55 – You know it actually seems like this school isn’t so bad. Sure the rules are strict, but apparently random shit like this happens all the time

18:23 – Time to warm up the ol’ gas-powered skirt 

18:40 – Pretty 



21:01 – Thread Get! 

21:04 – I like the scoreboard 

21:22 – Satsuki descends her massive self-folding staircase 

21:56 – Yissss 


22:39 – Won’t we all 

And Done

It’s holding up! First episode definitely wasn’t a fluke. This episode definitely “lived up” to its title (if this actually turns into powered-by-sexiness I am going to kill someone), but it was also really funny, regularly beautiful, and found tons of great new things to do with this drunk-on-its-own-ridiculousness style. NO STOPPIN’ THIS TRAIN.

9 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 2

    • Stuff like this? I doubt it, since it’s largely jokes and pointing out stuff I already understand. But I do take personal notes on shows with a lot of interesting stuff to unpack, like Katanagatari or Serial Experiments Lain. And I’d certainly still write fiction for myself.

  1. shit, i just love this show. it reminds me why anime is my favourite medium ever. just batshit insane. i love Mako so much, she’s just the funniest thing ever ;_;

    • I’ll at least LISTEN to a request, and can tell you if it’s likely I’ll get to one. What show did you have in mind?

  2. Great review as always! You keep pointing out small stuff which I missed, and it makes watching the shows even more enjoyable. Thanks!

    I also love the imporvements in your recent reviews (much more frames commented, pictures in each of them, and the new inserted pictures between the comments).

  3. Yo, discovered this blog recently and really enjoyed your posts on The Eccentric Family and Monogatari in particular. Your meticulous run-throughs really help picking up a bunch of stuff that’s easy to miss. Haven’t bothered commenting up to this point just ’cause I haven’t had anything much to say. With this entry though.

    well, it’s the price I pay. I certainly enjoy plenty of other problematic stuff! Just gotta live with it

    Dunno I’m feelin’ you on this one. I think we’d agree it’s perfectly healthy to to approach anime with a critical mindset, with certain base expectations. I don’t see why we shouldn’t ask a show not to subvert it’s own characters with needless sexualisation. It’s not a zero sum game, there’s no reason we can’t have all the other ridiculous stuff without turning the fanservice up to 11 as well.

    That said, this show feels like it’s intentionally taking a bunch of dumb anime tropes to their logical conclusion as a sort of exploration, with the housing assigned by school rank, and the absurd totalitarian regime run by the student council etc. etc. So if this is all in the noble cause of taking the piss/exploration of the genre, then I can get behind that. If it’s just ’cause the show thinks it’s totally hawt, then I’m not so keen. Obviously kinda hard to make a judgement on that this early.

    • I actually agree with you, and would prefer the show minus these problems – my feelings are mainly “this show is problematic in a variety of ways (the objectifying of characters, the overt rape jokes, etc), but there are also many good things here that make the net of it a positive experience for me, and so I’ll watch it while acknowledging it has serious, damaging issues I’d much rather it didn’t have.” The show falls well below my base expectations on a number of fronts, but the other things Trigger are doing are so compelling that it doesn’t knock me off the show. I also normally do point this sort of thing out on an individual basis, but Kill la Kill is so constant and abrasive with this stuff that I felt a blanket “this show has issues” was more appropriate, considering the reason I’m actually watching the show is to soak in the great direction/pacing etc that I actually enjoy talking about.

      It’ll certainly be interesting if the show is actually going somewhere with this. I feel it’s been played pretty straight in a “this show’s creators are clearly horny teenage boys” way so far, but clothing itself seems to be key to the show’s themes, and sexuality might be linked as well. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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