Kill la Kill – Episode 8

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.

Episode 8

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

Kill la Kill

0:21 – Satsuki fucking hates welfare 

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

Kill la Kill

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

4:06 – Oh right, he’s like, sixteen years old 

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!

Kill la Kill

5:01 – Just that kinda night Ryuuko, get off my back 

5:34 – I swear to god if these writers do anything to hurt her 

6:01 – Hm. This episode really is heavy on this show’s philosophy… 

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

Kill la Kill

6:57 – I still think that outfit looks badass 

7:07 – Jeez, her dad looks like he was first drawn in the 70s 

7:22 – All the best fathers know how to mold their children into revenge-seeking badasses 

8:15 – More shots 

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9:30 – Mako is too good for this world 

9:58 – Oh my god his car too perfect there are no words 

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 

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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

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13:33 – But again, if his strength is his uniform…  I guess this the strength he’s earned off his own strength?

14:07 – Mako I am having second thoughts about this 

14:55 – Ugh, nepotism!  Satsuki HATES nepotism!

15:01 – PIGS IN HUMAN CLOTHING . Ahaha this show’s so great


Kill la Kill

15:47 – A trampoline! OF COURSE! 

16:40 – Man, Satsuki gets all the best scenes 

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! 

Kill la Kill

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!

17:18 – So you’re saying if people born into poverty just resolved harder, we wouldn’t have any problems. It’s so simple! 

Man, this show. I wonder if the satire here is actually intentional, or if they just find her philosophy really entertaining in the abstract

17:32 – So I guess the implication is he’s been monologuing through a hail of bullets for a few minutes now 

17:47 – It all makes sense now 

18:07 – Truly this is our fiercest foe 

Kill la Kill

18:15 – GOD DAMNIT KILL LA KILL . This week: Gamagoori’s backstory/fetishes revealed!

20:15 – Yeaaah these shooots 


21:01 – Full speed ahead!  This show is moving!

Kill la Kill

22:41 – Holy fucking crap what kind of cliffhanger is THAT 

And Done

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…

9 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 8

  1. I actually find Kill La Kill thematic core to be intelligent. Or maybe it’s more that they are intelligent about it.. The Kamui and uniforms are about how society tries to shackles you trough labeling and shame. You need to be proud of your strengths(what makes you unique) no matter what. This goes hand in hand with Satsuki philosophy. Be yourself DON’T LOSE YOUR WAYYY!!!

    Satsuki is the only one who sees the world has it is and therefore the only one fit to rule it. It isn’t greed. It is her duty to lead the pigs in humans clothing. Her goals are pure and she won’t ever shame others like those students on the roof did. If you can’t break free from the system (which she herself impose) then you aren’t worthy to be human you must be a pig!

    I just love those kinds of show (like FLCL)

    Also I wonder how the hell Ryuuko will survive next episode.

    • I think “intelligent about it” is right – the way they weave their ideas into the base concepts of the show is very smart, but those ideas are themselves pretty absurd, and I don’t think the show defends them (or possibly even cares to) in a convincing way. But all the pieces do fit together well.

      I really do like Satsuki (hell, she’s probably one of my favorite characters this year), though I obviously disagree with her view of society/people. It seems like the SCALE of your shackles doesn’t really matter to her – either you break free of them, or you don’t.

  2. “Man, now I just want to see an episode of Gamagoori chastising people for littering and helping old ladies across the street”

    I would watch several episodes of that. The man needs his own spin-off show. Satsuki is probably my favourite character though – hell, she’s probably my pick of every anime character to have come out of the whole year.


      Agreed on Satsuki. They’re kinda letting her steal the show.

    • What makes you say Satsuki’s philosophy isn’t Randian? It seems to fit pretty well, at least according to my understanding of Objectivism – what you deserve is what you can take for yourself, according to your own strength, and the perfect society involves everyone seeking power for their own benefit. The only part of her philosophy that doesn’t seem to fit is her claim to be using that strength for some higher purpose, and not her own self-interest… but as I said, that line just doesn’t seem to square with the sort of society she’s creating.

  3. 2:59 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.

    Is it binary? I keep talking about it, but Satsuki’s philosophy keeps having an inherent contradiction – on one hand she wants people to stand up for themselves, to be proud, and on the other, well, she keeps bringing them down and crushing any who would stand up to her. The reconciliation I see is that she is giving them opportunities to show they have dignity, and also, she cares about why they do what they do. Besides, if they’re not worthy, then drawing on their power isn’t much use, is it?

    6:01 – Mako has nothing to lose.

    You know what I noted in that moment? Technically, Ryuko is a no-star, and has nothing to lose either. She is once more playing along within Satsuki’s system, though she doesn’t have to.

    and those selves aren’t shit like “the perverted one” or other one-note jokes that aren’t funny the first time

    You know I agree, but a big part of comedy is about repetition.

    16:52 Satsuki and Self-Interest

    They think of momentary gains, they don’t think of others. Satsuki does think of others. She thinks, and thinks, and all her thinking has her looking down on people who don’t stand up to their potential. Someone who loves humanity often detests humans.

    Also, she has a plan for the future, she is building systems. They? They’re just kids poking at a helpless dog. Satsuki recognizes the dignity of others when they earn it, and removes their dignity when they had lost. These guys? Just random cruelty.

    4 episodes of non-stop fighting

    I doubt Trigger’s budget will allow that, and just look how this episode sold us a story that didn’t happen with the preview. I think part of it is because maybe next episode really isn’t done yet, so they just use what they have for the preview material.

    P.S. Buttered popcorn is shit. Salt is king. Also, salt and butter together? :O

  4. I really feel like you would find Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu funny, but the payoff really does require you to get through the very average first parent season.

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