Kill la Kill – Episode 16

Alright, secrets time? Can we have some secrets time now? Because I could really use a little narrative/thematic momentum here. Last week promised us shocking revelations, and delivered… well, a boilerplate shounen “I fight for my friends” speech. Which, as several have pointed out, is honestly all I probably should have been expecting – Ryuuko’s always been simpleminded and belligerent, I really shouldn’t have been expecting some nuanced philosophy to counter Satsuki’s craziness. Her most cogent argument was basically “the ends don’t justify the means” – whatever your aim is, you shouldn’t go trampling cities over it. Which doesn’t really mean anything, in the abstract – we need to know what Satsuki’s aims actually are before we can discuss whether her actions are justified. If I want a pizza and am willing to pay for one, the ends justify the means – if Satsuki’s pizza is “saving the world” and her method of payment is “beat up some rival schools,” then yeah, I’m all for it. But so far her philosophy is too questionable and goals too vaguely defined to justify anything, so hopefully this episode will directly address that.

Alright, enough rambling. Let’s Kill la Kill.

Episode 16

0:20 – You think you’re pretty fun, huh, Kill la Kill?

1:18 – This is some meta shit, Senketsu

Kill la Kill

1:37 – Drawing attention to this problem does not make me like you more, Kill la Kill.

2:04 – Ooh, already liking this song more.

2:10 – Never forget 2-star Mako! Still the show’s best costume

2:28 – Clever. They’re going down parallel runways – implying fashion, performance, and the fact that they’re not actually set against each other. Efficient visual storytelling!

Kill la Kill

2:43 – A common argument I see raised against Kill la Kill as fanservice is that if it is, it’s very bad fanservice – it’s not a “sexy” show, the outfits manage to be as unappealing as they are revealing, and the fanservice shots are often just absurd and played for comedy. This doesn’t seem that unreasonable to me, though it also doesn’t really change anything by itself – unless the show makes good on its own ideas, the difference is kinda irrelevant

3:59 – Well this is always a good sign. More scenes shot from Satsuki’s perspective as co-protagonist, more signals that her philosophy of subjugation to her will is unsustainable. Rage alone couldn’t sustain Ryuuko, and pride alone can’t sustain Satsuki

4:24 – No talk of “I will use any tools I want” here – instead, it’s “if Ryuuko forces me to do this to myself, I will.” I like Satsuki better when she’s not performing her philosophy for the crowd

4:47 – And again, not something you’d expect Great Leader Satsuki to admit. Like her little jab at Nonon last week, her private comments to those she trusts continuously reveal she does recognize and value the support of others, and isn’t really all about one’s own strength defining their relationships

Kill la Kill

5:07 – Goddamnit Nui they were having a moment

5:12 – Aw damnit I can’t stay mad at you

5:34 – It’s like Nui exists to mock the values of everyone else. First with Ryuuko in 12 and 13, and now she’s mocking Satsuki actually being honest with her subordinates

5:37 – Satsuki’s a lot less oblivious to this than Ryuuko

5:48 – Pride is important because pride’s all she has. She has little actual power over her world so far, so she must spin the actions of her mother in a way that preserves her own dignity and the respect of those who value her

Kill la Kill

6:15 – Great shot. I like the crab leg poking out of the river

6:18 – Only now does he unveil his true power

6:23 – This shot is beautiful

6:39 – Kill la Kill’s refined sense of humor at work

7:15 – Oh Mako

Kill la Kill

7:51 – This show can be pretty great

8:11 – Beautiful transition, and of course hammering in how Ryuuko and Satsuki mirror each other. They even have Ryuuko dive into red water to have Satsuki emerge in clear blue

9:03 – And what big teeth you have, Ragyo

9:36 – Well yeah, this is all kinds of fucked up. Very purposeful here, though – this is obviously supposed to read as assault, as an unwilling surrender. Satsuki is willingly honest and “naked” with those she cares about – but to her mother, the respect afforded through clothes is a gift she can take away at any time

10:32 – Senketsu shaking himself dry is a nice touch

Kill la Kill

11:05 – Mako admiring the scenery

11:38 – Oh god Mako stop

13:02 – Yeah, I’m pretty happy with this episode so far

13:12 – Right, of course. Clothes are aliens, obviously

13:16 – I like how they appear before the fiber godhead in towels, not real clothes. And also that their towels can pass for robes of worship

And yeah, none of this seems like Satsuki’s scene at all. Obeying her asshole mom is bad enough – now she’s supposed to be the servant of the Alien Fiber God?

14:10 – Goddamnit

Kill la Kill

14:26 – That’s quite an impression

15:02 – I can’t believe they’re actually providing an in-universe explanation for this stuff. You’re a funny show, Kill la Kill

15:57 – Blissful lives, unaware of our clothing’s terrible purpose.

So now clothing is not only the source of power, but also knowledge and human society in general. That certainly puts a damper on Satsuki’s self-made-man philosophy! And also makes Ryuuko’s much more relevant, since her mutually beneficial friendship with Senketsu is now actually a counterpoint to the “threat” of clothes

16:15 – Pretty high on the list of things I did not expect to see today

16:54 – Yep. And goddamnit that pose

Kill la Kill

18:55 – Goddamnit Ryuuko. You fell for this face and now you’re feeling skeptical?

19:04 – Even their headquarters is made of threads sewn together

19:22 – No false advertising this time! The original of Life Fibers, Ragyo’s diabolical master plan, the creation and purpose of Nudist Beach, and the importance of Ryuuko and Senketsu. This episode isn’t fuckin’ around!

20:30 – Oh man, that look. The worst look

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21:28 – Awesome. Nicely builds off the questions Senketsu’s been asking all episode – have I just been using Ryuuko, why was I born, etc.

Also, that long gag of Mako falling asleep was wonderful. What would this show do without her

22:13 – And Ryuuko takes off Senketsu to defend him, not relying on his strength to support her ideals. I think we’re really getting somewhere this week


And Done

WHEW. FINALLY. God DAMNit does that feel good. We finally, finally, finally got the episode I’ve been waiting for since 11 – the one that opens the plot, the one that changes the scale, the one that actually maybe provides the context necessary to figure out what this show is even talking about. The explanation for Life Fibers is pretty suitably absurd, and everything else just kinda falls into place around it – works for me. Ryuuko’s philosophy is given more purpose and actually tested in a way that makes good use of the clothing motif – definitely works for me. The show even seems to be actively hinting at the cracks in Satsuki’s philosophy, too, and hell, this episode even had a lot of great visual gags. I have a great deal more confidence in this show than I did a week ago – this was the episode we needed, and I think it pulled off everything it had to. Very ready to see what happens next.

7 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 16

  1. 1:18

    Except it’s not really true. Remember how in episode 3 after Satsuki and Ryuuko fought we thought things were quick? 😛


    Yup, I’ve had the same thought. It’s even made me think of Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere and the parallel arguments 😉


    What, you might be suggesting you may not be able to completely trust the word of someone who preaches doublespeech, obfuscation, and subterfuge, whose mother’s philosophy is to cover things up, and that there’s an original sin (stopping the spread of knowledge)? You’re saying Satsuki isn’t a shounen hero, and thus doesn’t really wear her heart on her sleeve?



    I disagree, pride isn’t all Satsuki has, and if she did, then she’d be just a pig, wearing pride as an armour. But pride is very important to her.


    To me they look like priesthood, or like a disciple about to undergo a rite of passage. With the place they’re in looking like an amphetheatre or catacombs, it makes one think of Ancient Greece or medieval priesthood.

    15:57 So now clothing is not only the source of power, but also knowledge and human society in general.

    “Clothes are original sin”, but not just the covering shame, but also the Fruit of Knowledge.

    And I completely disagree with you on it putting a damper on Satsuki’s philosophy. Satsuki had mocked Ryuuko last episode, saying her only source of power is through wearing her cloth. Furthermore, she mocks those whose only claim to power or dignity are their clothes, for they are the pigs in human clothing. That’s how we first met her in the first episode, when someone tried to steal a suit, and thought that’d give him power.

    And yes, this was definitely the episode we needed and wanted. It’s sort of funny – last episode had a fight, and we hadn’t been entertained. This episode is almost all talk, and we’re all screaming for more. Evangelion’s effect rings strong! We want the mysteries!

    Slightly more seriously, after we keep getting spectacles, we want something different, which is what this episode and episode #13 had been.

  2. You know, if they use again the joke about Ryuuko having telepathy on another episode, for a serious scene, it’ll be amazing.

    And I loved how Ryuuko refused to be every shonen hero ever at the end.
    And compltely i character with her, too.

    • Yeah, her stand at the end might actually bring this all together. Now her character development is actually interacting with the plot in a meaningful way.

  3. I agree with Guy that this actually reinforce Sastsuki philosophy. She despised life fibers all along and people who only rely on them. She uses them has an end to a mean only. The pig in human clothing analogy is more fitting then ever.

    I don’t know if Senketsu is actually a counter argument has he is special. And the man who created him think that the rest of lifefibers will destroy humanity.

    Also seems like we’ll see mecha/clothing school soon enough ^^.

    This episode got me very excited about what this show has in stock.
    That whole alien explanation was better than anything I wished for.

  4. Quick question, the subs I used (Aniplex’s official stream on hulu) seemed to imply that the teacher and Ryuko are actually siblings, he says something along the lines of “my father was a doctor who made a lot of money to set up nudist beach,” did I misread that or did yours say that too?

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