Were you expecting some funny announcer? Too bad! It’s me, Bobduh. Can’t keep that shit up all season!
You guys excited? I’m excited. Ryuuko looks excited. I guess we’re all excited. The Elite Four likely defeated, new characters introduced, the secret behind Senketsu possibly revealed – we’ve got all kinds of crazy shit on the table. It’s a battle between Satsuki’s ideals, Ryuuko’s hot-blooded spirit, NUUUUUUUUDIST BEEEEEEEACH, and a new challenger, and I have no fucking clue where they’re going with this. Let’s Kill la Kill!
0:08 – Last week’s post kinda demonstrated this by example, but I’m loving how this arc is playing up the performance element of this show’s message. I haven’t actually finished Utena yet, so I can’t say all the ways this show is riffing on that one, but this is a clear common theme – as much as you want to control your identity, identity is always going to be partially a social construction, and that construction cuts both ways. From what we’ve seen so far, it seems the show is arguing that being allowed to conceal yourself is a luxury and almost inherently a weakness, and that true strength requires discarding the shame of hiding your naked self. Of course, that’s a pretty binary way to treat appearance, and so far Ryuuko has not really gained respect from the ever-present crowds in spite of her resolve – every time she stumbles, the spectators and camera itself treat it like a peep show. That doesn’t really seem to be defensible as a coherent point with the information we have so far, and a lot of what this show does really is just pure, ridiculous fanservice, but the fact that the show makes its obsession with casting these battles as a show-within-a-show with a specific audience so blatant seems to indicate we’re still likely going somewhere with this
0:38 – Yep, those big letters really do just pop up in the real world. I love hot-blooded physics
1:07 – Wow. That title. Guess we’re getting pretty direct about this stuff, huh? Awesome
2:57 – This show has gotten very surreal very quickly. Those are some powerful uniforms!
4:46 – This is a pretty gorgeous little sequence. Kill la Kill’s splashy, jagged, extremely loud style really works for stuff like this
5:14 – Do your best, Mako-chan
5:55 – Ryuuko showing some rare shounen awareness. Or is this just another expression of her secretly villainous nature?
6:09 – Again drawing our attention to our connection with the spectators. The show admits it’s following familiar patterns, but where will it go with that? Or is it just a passive element of the show’s sense of humor and self-awareness
6:50 – Damnit Mako!
6:57 – More shows should use this lighting trick. We’re already watching anime, you don’t have to make your visual vocabulary subtle – make it evocative as hell
7:21 – Of course.
8:23 – I like how Nonon keeps getting mad and going off-script, then abruptly returning to the affectation she actually wants for this performance
10:29 – We’ve actually reached DBZ-level beam spam. I like that the soundtrack implies Ryuuko’s literally fighting back with her victory music
12:02 – Satsuki inches closer to her master plan! Man, all sorts of secretive machinations this episode
13:31 – Nothing gets past Mako
16:05 – That design is pretty great
17:15 – Mom’s theme song is definitely my favorite piece in the soundtrack. Also, Satsuki may be the sun, but her mom is apparently on a whole other level
17:48 – Wow, actually being condescending to Satsuki. We’ve entered a new world, it seems
18:22 – Here is a girl who seems to have actually chosen her representation, as opposed to being forced to accept a kamui for power. I like how they used that “make the villain massive” trick with Sanageyama and then immediately subverted it, too. She’s playing by entirely different rules from the world established thus far
21:04 – Gotta love these shots
21:26 – Satsuki… relying on Ryuuko? What sorcery is this?!
22:11 – Oh dear
Holy shit! We’re there! No more time-biding, no more secret plans – our killer has finally (possibly?) been revealed. And in true Kill la Kill fashion, it’s no grizzled murderer – it’s a girl who likes pink frilly dresses and doesn’t need no goddamn uniform to do some serious murdering. It’s looking like this first half will end right where we expected – with Ryuuko’s original goal made meaningless, and the true scale of Satsuki’s conflict revealed. Get ready for war!