Kill la Kill – Episode 13

TIME FOR KILL LA KILL YOU SHITHEADS. Aw man, it has been a while. Maybe it’s actually out of kindness that Trigger left us not with a cliffhanger, but with a kind of underwhelming plot-resolver – that certainly made the vacation break somewhat more bearable. Then again, my permanent neural link to twitter has informed me this episode has some serious holy shit moments in store, so I guess I shouldn’t be taking anything for granted.

Anyway. Hope you all enjoyed your new year/holidays/satanic gatherings, and it’s good to see your cold, anonymous handles again. Let’s ring in the new year with some KILL LA KILL.

Episode 13

0:13 – This show is so proud of its own goddamn ideas. Yeah, yeah, we’re all excited

0:32 – Only the finest technology. Well, this is a world where appearance dictates strength, so I guess “only the most badass looking technology, regardless of actual usefulness” makes sense

0:45 – They look pretty adorable in their color-coded track suits

Kill la Kill

1:24 – Already impatient to see whatever Ryuuko’s new status actually is. I mean, she did beat the Elite Four in the Naturals Election, right? Doesn’t that make her Special Advisor to the Student Council President or something?

…alright, yeah, I really just want to see Ryuuko and Satsuki doing their buddy-cop thing already. At least we’re moving through this invasion stuff quickly – so quickly it seems like the show actually isn’t particularly interested in this stuff either

1:50 – Obviously this still feeds into the “just you wait until the REAL battle!” baiting they’ve been doing all along,but this “there is no shame in defeat” theme has been mentioned so many times that it seems almost a fundamental component of Satsuki’s philosophy. Defeat at Satsuki’s hands made these people the Elite Four, a second defeat powered up Sanageyama, and defeats all around to Ryuuko/Nui seem to have strengthened them again. And Satsuki’s philosophy aside, this all also seems to play into the ways this show makes its heroes and villains ambiguous – Ryuuko as the hero is the one who’s continuously winning, but it might be the “villains” here who are maturing the most through their weekly defeats.

This all makes me very interested in what would happen if Ryuuko actually were to defeat Satsuki in the near future

Kill la Kill

2:27 – Aw, what, no new OP? This OP sucks!

Well, it’s not like this show actually has money to throw around, I guess. FIIINE

…or it’s another indicator last episode was actually a fakeout, and this week will be the real game-changer, but they don’t want to give away the show’s new variables.


4:10 – Aw, Mako always gets left out of the school assimilation field trip wars…

4:34 – Some translator must be giggling to themselves about this translation choice Unless “short bus” actually is a thing in Japan

4:52 – It is good to have you back, Mako. I’m glad you didn’t die

5:18 – Wow, fantastic effect. Watercolors for a melancholy flashback? Yes please

Kill la Kill

5:39 – A new challenger approaches! Complete with a… really bizarre, atonal, broken-string theme song

Newspaper committee, huh? I like where this is going

7:11 – This show and its graceful transformation sequences. And Ryuuko’s finally addressing her central issue, which works nicely as both a character and thematic turn. Her problem is she’s just driven by rage – pure emotion, with no purpose beyond destroying what she dislikes. Not only is that unhealthy personally, but it’s also just not an ideology – she can’t compete with someone like Satsuki when she doesn’t really believe in anything herself. Time to find what you want to protect, Ryuuko!

8:06 – Aaand yep, that’s where this is going. This is also a song I can get behind

8:23 – Better think of that philosophy quick, Ryuuko! You’re a revolutionary now!

Granted, plenty of revolutions actually get much further than this without a philosophy beyond FUCK THIS, but I believe in these guys

Kill la Kill

8:37 – Look dude I just explained this was the point

9:43 – Future’s so bright you gotta wear shades

10:02 – This show is going to some weird places

11:09 – Well, that was an interesting exchange there. First of all, alright, I guess we’re going deep on some Christian mythology here. Clothing correlated with gaining knowledge itself, since the first thing Adam and Eve acquired was knowledge of their nakedness, which I guess you could even correlate with self-awareness? Yeah, that works. That dovetails with the fact that power in this world is contingent on acknowledging and embracing your appearance, and thus your identity – Ryuuko has done this on an appearance level, but not on an emotional/philosophical identity level. That “it has been man’s fate to cover his body in the clothing called sin… we alone know man’s sin and create clothing for clothing’s sake” also seems to echo Satsuki’s speech in the third episode about forgetting shame and using whatever tools are at hand.

Well, I guess we’re diving right back into the Philosophy of Appearance and Identity, then. Remember to come up for air, kids.

Kill la Kill

11:53 – Man, they are just throwing out these sentences like they don’t know how loaded they are. Ragyo may be a leader, but she allows her subjects individual identity – allowing them control over their self-expression makes them, and thus her, more powerful. Something Satsuki’s anti-free-press society may be weaker for lacking

12:03 – But apparently there’s a limit to that. Nice to see the show itself at least somewhat nodding towards how bullshit Satsuki’s philosophy is – you can say “I make their strength my own” all you want, but your mom’s the one who writes the checks, Ayn

12:33 – “Naked apes” takes on a little more poignance now that we’re directly referencing Christian creation myths…

13:09 – Nui rubbing in her freedom of expression


Kill la Kill

13:45 – Nice to see Nudist Beach awards its members custom cellphones. Or did he decorate it himself?

14:09 – This show’s sense of humor. Mako, of course, is unfazed by him stepping out of a lady’s room toilet

14:50 – Mako does not have very good friends

16:24 – Ryuuko says she won’t fight for others, but it’s looking like she just might anyway. Kinda what Kyousogiga was going for – you don’t need your own purpose, you just need people with purpose who you care about

Kill la Kill

17:23 – Having free will means you have to learn to control yourself, Ryuuko! Oh man, this fruit of knowledge stuffdoes work nicely…


19:10 – Okay yeah I did not see that coming, and in fact it’s kind of so randomly unlikely that I have to give them props for even doing it

19:28 – Her title casts a shadow, of course. Goddamnit Nui

19:38 – Nui you are just the best

Kill la Kill


20:45 – Man, I missed this show’s shots

22:29 – Oh jeez. Oh jeez. It’s all happening so fast!

And Done

Yep. Those fuckers. Play it safe with the first half finale, and then BAM – Senketsu’s blown to tatters and reassimilated into lackey uniforms. And just when Ryuuko started finding a reason to fight, too! Guess she’s the one who’s gonna learn some “strength through defeat” after all.

Well, Senketsu’s maybe dead, Ryuuko’s unconscious, clothes are Original Sin, and Mako’s off to war. You win this round, Kill la Kill.

19 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 13

  1. Wow, I really like a lot your reviews of each chapter of each anime ;D and this in particular makes me so happy xD. Many people like to say this show is dumb and you must turn off your brain to enjoy it, but it is not! It may seems only if you don´t want to see deep further into the meaning they are giving it. And the best part is that it is not hidden, they tell it openly, understanding it depends only on what the viewer can get out of it xD. ALso, the whole Ruuko´s situation can be in a nutshell “strip yourself to reveal who you really are” in order for her to find her own strenght, she must first get exposed and “naked” and find it out for herself. Maybe at the end they will end up making her gather the Senketsu´s parts or something, but that will be secondary, because first Ryuuko needs to gather her own ;D.
    Very good review, uuh, can´t wait to see how they use that strayed Senketsu´s bit, I guess it can be a little accesory, I hope it won´t be a thong =S maybe a bracer? (knowing this show that´s unlikely xD let´s hope for the less worst hahaha)

  2. The new OP and ED are indeed coming next week (or at least, there’s supposed to be as far as I’m aware).
    In general, I really loved this episode. Not that there’s yet been a Kill la Kill episode I’ve disliked as such, but I think 13 was stronger than the previous couple. I agree with what you noted at the beginning of your post though – I probably would have still rather had the slightly underwhelming plot-resolver than a cliffhanger, especially if it means we get an extra-strong start to the second half of the show.

    • I heard we’re getting new OP/ED on episode 15 or 16, after the first half of the show is done, ala Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

    • I’ve actually heard elsewhere that the end of this arc will be episode 15, matching Gurren Lagann. Which does seem like just enough time to wrap up this whole campus invasion bit and maybe give Ryuuko something worth fighting for.

  3. Fuck it Kill La Kill could easily become my favorite anime/tv show of all time with the way things are going. It’s just so beautiful.

  4. As I was watching this episode it struck me that there is a strong feminist reading of what happens around 8:20. Namely, here we have a man who is applying his own interpretation to what Ryouko is doing, an interpretation that we know is wrong, and then showing up to demand that Ryouko live up to his view of her and her actions; that she act not for herself but for him, act not as she wants to but instead live up to his vision of her. To make this more pointed he actually literally forces his way into her place and so on. Of course Ryouko blows him off and throws him out, and good for her for it.

    (This ties into Satsuki looking down on Ryouko for having only petty personal motives, but that deserves a blog entry.)

    Also, on a side note: in retrospect 14:09 is kind of amusing and can be seen in a different light given what we find out at 18:33. I’m pretty sure that was the writers being deliberately clever.

    • Frankly, right now I personally want to hold off on making any definite calls about the show’s intentions for an episode or two. With Senketsu down, the show could REALLY change here – this might actually force Ryuuko to move beyond the pretty simple philosophical model she’s been operating within so far. I am very, very interesting in seeing what happens over the next few episodes.

      I do like that 14:09 detail. I could easily see Nui constructing this incredibly elaborate costume and then just forgetting not to use the girl’s bathroom.

  5. Oh good we get to see Ryouko fight with peons and go on a Pokemon-esque/Monster of the week adventure to get her suit back…..because I really wanted to see that. I’m sorry but this is boring and over done series extension at it’s worst. This is video game level of: “oh no you lost all your stuff now start over and get better stuff and fight a bunch of people you don’t give a shit about for hours on end. Then finally get to the people you WANT to fight and it end up being totally anti-climatic” If you honestly haven’t seen this before you are 13

    • People said at the beginning “oh now it’s going to be all club-of-the-week with Ryuko fighting a 2 star then the Elite Four then Satsuki”. It was not. It’s clear that these writers are perfectly aware of the expectations of the viewers and they are openly playing with them. I’m sure it’s not going to go down that way. You’re right, it would be boring, the writers know this fact better than you and that’s why they won’t do it. So just give it one episode or two and see where this is actually going before being so negative.

    • That is a whole lot of hasty assuming! I would be extremely surprised if the show adopted a monster-of-the-week formula at this point – in fact, I’d say there’s virtually no chance of that actually happening.

    • But it seems like they’re all about embracing the “sin” of clothing. Wouldn’t it be Nudist Beach who reject that power?

      • Well, I wasn’t implying that was from Raygo’s perspective, but in the grand scheme of things. Embracing sinful nature, in and of itself, can be seen negatively if I’m supposed to look at this from the lens of Nudist Beach being the “good guys”.

  6. Yup, 14:09 was totally foreshadowing, also going to note that I read the title “clothing is original sin!” out loud and I haven’t heard my step-dad laugh that long in a while….
    “Kinda what Kyousogiga was going for – you don’t need your own purpose, you just need people with purpose who you care about” I suspect this is what Ryuko’s going to end up being now that you mention it, she’s still mostly without purpose but the people around her are full of it, nothing says she can’t just be the strength to help them out.

  7. What struck me when reading this review is how much the reveal was actually hinted.
    The attonal music who shows you something is wrong with this “guy” at 5:39
    and 14:09 who takes a completely different meaning afterwards.
    I doubt a lot of person had connected all the dots,but this wasn’t random at all. The show actually gave you all the pieces.
    This show is so goddamn brillant, beyond its simplistic and fun appearance.

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