I think last week’s episode is pretty unbeatable, so I’m not gonna worry about that. Almost every episode so far has been wildly different from the one before, and we’ve barely got anything resembling narrative momentum, but for this show that’s actually worked out just fine. Reading people’s impressions of the show so far has been kind of interesting, because it’s easy to see where people’s various complaints are coming from. If you don’t like the show’s sense of humor, the show is not going to do much for you. If you’re too put off by the show’s clearly problematic sex issues, the show’s not going to appeal to you. And if you’re looking for actual narrative momentum or an intelligent thematic core, we really haven’t gotten there yet either. Kill la Kill is sound and fury for its own sake – well-directed, visually distinctive, energetic noises designed to dazzle, shock, and astound. It’s popcorn, salted and buttered to perfection, served on a gourmet platter in a cavernous ballroom. And as much as I normally prefer the hefty steak of… strong character articulation and thematic resonance (this metaphor’s kinda getting away from me), the art of popcorn-making is a storied and worthy craft as well.
Man, I wish I had something to eat other than this tin of old pineapple chunks. Shoulda gone grocery shopping last weekend. Fuck.
0:09 – Truly a utopian meritocracy. This might actually be closer to the Randian ideal than the currently depressingly conservative interpretations of it (since those seem to value the rule of law at least so far as it guarantees you deserve to keep the silver spoon you were born with)
I like how every episode furiously announces its crazy gimmick within the first two minutes. With my favorite still being Gamagoori laughing uproariously as his personal cliff explodes through the town to explain No-Late Day
0:35 – Her politics are actually a lot of fun. I really prefer it when my popcorn does such insane riffs on Real Stuff
2:59 – I like that this show just invents whatever it needs to serve its immediate purposes, but I really like the fact that this doesn’t raise any concerned Frodos . Satsuki would never have used this to defeat Ryuuko just because she had it
Satsuki’s just an awesome character in general. I love her over-the-top mannerisms, I love her dedication to her totally binary philosophy, and I love how well it applies to someone trying to rule the world. Wonderful antagonist
3:09 – Ryuuko, on the other hand, is far less principled, and mainly lets her immediate feelings dictate whether something is right or wrong
3:23 – Look at how they descend to savages without her! Satsuki’s probably not a big believer in investments in education, either – either you’re strong and you deserve to succeed or you’re not and you deserve scorn
Man, kind of crazy how her politics aren’t really an exaggeration of actual beliefs at all
3:41 – Once again they turn cheap animation into a strength. It really can’t be overstated how smart their use of resources is in this show
So I’m assuming that Uniform-Cancelling-Field will be used on the day of the trial? Seems kind of unfair to have a system that’s supposed to be based on merit not account for certain participants’ uniform-based advantages… that’d be like designing an economic philosophy that doesn’t recognize certain people have systemic advantages!
Dang. Not sure why I’m feeling so feisty today
4:39 – Damn! That’s how we’re running this, I guess – you don’t got a two-star, you just gotta work your ass that much harder. The loincloth is mine!
6:11 – Beautiful little moment. This soundtrack is really, really good
6:39 – Another great shot. This show’s so good about using those bold, angled lines to draw the eye. And the massive scale of this shot, with the wreckage in the foreground and the academy rising in the distance, really helps create a sense of isolation here. This is a lonely place
8:15 – More shots
Also love that he’s a helpful, upstanding citizen outside of his disciplinary duties. Although I suppose he considers himself equally helpful and upstanding at all times
Man, now I just want to see an episode of Gamagoori chastising people for littering and helping old ladies across the street
10:41 – HE’S BLUSHING. And there was that scene where she bowled him over in episode four, too… oh my god let this actually happen. They are both so adorable
11:01 – IT IS TRUE LOVE
11:11 – I SEE THAT SMILE YA BIG LUG
11:20 – This show is just always fantastic. I generally don’t find anime comedies funny at all, but this season has two (this and Flamenco) that are absolutely hilarious. In similar ways, too – Kill la Kill is more over-the-top than Flamenco, but they both do gags like this (where the frank acceptance of ludicrous situations is just inherently funny), they both draw most of their humor out of their characters acting as their natural selves (and those selves aren’t shit like “the perverted one” or other one-note jokes that aren’t funny the first time), and they both have a tremendous sense of comedic timing, including knowledge of when not to oversell a joke
11:48 – Love the speedlines here. Another great song choice, too
It’s also really great that the Elite Four are getting more time to shine. Gamagoori is clearly fantastic, and deserves all the screentime he can get
13:02 – No handouts. Their philosophy may be insane, but they’re certainly consistent
13:15 – Hey, that’s the episode title! And also this episode’s philosophical heart
13:33 – But again, if his strength is his uniform… I guess this the strength he’s earned off his own strength?
14:55 – Ugh, nepotism! Satsuki HATES nepotism!
15:01 – PIGS IN HUMAN CLOTHING . Ahaha this show’s so great
15:47 – A trampoline! OF COURSE!
16:52 – Self-interest is bad? I mean, last episode had the (amusingly simplistic) “greed is bad” moral, but how does Satsuki’s philosophy reward anyone outside of the immediate self? It’s pretty much antithetical to charity
16:56 – An excellent counterpoint!
17:08 – An incredibly convenient and meaningless riposte! Whew. I was worried I’d have to actually engage with her politics for a second there!
Man, this show. I wonder if the satire here is actually intentional, or if they just find her philosophy really entertaining in the abstract
17:47 – It all makes sense now
18:07 – Truly this is our fiercest foe
18:15 – GOD DAMNIT KILL LA KILL . This week: Gamagoori’s backstory/fetishes revealed!
20:15 – Yeaaah these shooots
20:44 – BAAATTLE ROYAAAALE
21:01 – Full speed ahead! This show is moving!
Goddamn! That episode had a fuckin’ agenda – forget what I was saying about narrative momentum or a thematic core, because this one had both in spades. Almost all of its running time was dedicated to elaborating Satsuki’s philosophy… and that ending! Is it time to barrel past the show’s premise? Will next episode really feature an absurd battle against the entire Elite Four? Will this show devolve into a parade of super-powered violence for four straight episodes?!?
I certainly wouldn’t complain. For what basically amounted to a character/tension-building episode, that was remarkably satisfying. This is a pretty cruel weekly watch…