Kill la Kill – Episode 17

Hey everybody. The plot finally started happening last week, and it apparently continues today in earnest. I certainly wasn’t expecting Clothes Is Aliens, but hey, wherever this show wants to take it is fine by me as long as it actually goes there. No time for nonsense, let’s get right down to Kill la Kill!

Episode 17

0:39 – They’ve really adjusted the perspective at this point. No longer is Satsuki imparting distant pronouncements from on high – now we see her actually discussing events with her peers before taking the stage, and the shot is framed so we see what she sees. Even the lighting is different now – Satsuki herself is no longer the source of radiance. There are lights that shine even above her power

Kill la Kill

0:54 – This is all Orwellian as fuck, but in a strange, almost sympathetic way. Ragyo is coming to possibly shake Satsuki’s power – how can she frame this in a way that makes it all seem according to her will? Oh right, it’s because her mighty expedition was such a rousing success

0:59 – Great shot. Again, the entire scale of the world is being pulled back now

3:06 – He of all people should know there’s no greater force than a half-naked high schooler

3:17 – They must have so much fun with these

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3:21 – Oh my god Mako stop it. Impression too good

That’s kind of a weird trick in anime, isn’t it? Drawing a character making their best impression of another character

3:30 – Mako has not been paying much attention to the story

4:00 – Man, talk about cheap cliffhangers. “Guess we don’t have a fundamental disagreement after all!”

4:13 – So yeah. Looks like so far, all these little thematic directions seem to just be boiling down to the use versus abuse of power. Which, if I’m being totally frank, is pretty close to this show being about nothing at all – there isn’t really a meaningful argument being presented here, it’s just “blowing up cities to gain power is bad.” Which is kind of a shame, but if the show’s just an action spectacle, that’s still a fine thing to be – that just means its issues fall more in more traditional craft directions, and there’s no real man behind the various philosophical/sexual/representational curtains

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4:44 – I get the feeling this is pretty much how the writers feel too

4:53 – Wait goddamnit is she really the writer avatar right now

5:12 – Welp, we know how these scenes go. Time for some bonding with the gruff nudist with a heart of gold

5:40 – Oh man, almost sounds like she’s whispering some last words that will gain sudden relevance when he experiences a change of heart in maybe eight to ten minutes

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5:47 – “Funny… you kinda remind me of her.” I’m not actually complaining, I mainly find this sort of stuff funny

5:55 – Aw maaan, don’t give them away now! That totally kills the dramatic reveal when Ryuuko’s conviction helps him find meaning in his sister’s death!

6:16 – I’m glad the show shares my sense of humor here. This guy can only bear so much exposition without losing his shirt

Also, Ryuuko is part clothing! That explains that, I guess

6:37 – Though fate has set them against each other, they share the same moon and stars

Kill la Kill

6:41 – Satsuki the philosopher

7:06 – Holy shit that smile. She looks even more happy than that time Sanageyama sewed his eyes shut because resolve

7:28 – That’s a brilliant little detail. Of course Satsuki would be putting on a strong face even back then

7:47 – Oh man, he even got out the No-Late Day town-surfing boat-platform

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8:30 – Oh shit Gamagoori’s meeting the parents. Who apparently share Mako’s disgruntled teleportation powers. And oh my god even Guts is doing the pose yes

8:41 – Laughed out loud at that

8:52 – Nice that they actually remembered their daughter. I don’t necessarily trust their parenting from one episode to the next

9:27 – Oh my god the best

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9:31 – So much style

9:42 – Again, even Guts get the Manly Manga treatment

10:26 – Now here’s a line that actually sparks the analysis-happy parts of my brain. Comparing Ragyo to Satsuki in terms of how much attention they grab. And then Sensei’s next line – “she’s even more charismatic than Satsuki.” Beyond clothes, they’re actually gauging the danger of each of them in terms of how good they are at performance – at how well they can capture the attention of the crowd. And as I’ve said many times, this show constantly plays up how all its central actions aren’t just choices, but performances – perhaps Ryuuko really will have to learn how to inspire others

11:56 – The Ryuuko school of problem solving

12:09 – Nice shot

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12:52 – On top of her game. Some people you even manipulate through negative charisma. Like what Satsuki’s done so often with Ryuuko

13:11 – To be fair, the teen demographic isn’t that hard to conquer

15:03 – The face of resolve

15:36 – Reaaally playing up the meta/performance stuff. And Ragyo positioning herself as the judge of that performance, too. Plus Satsuki’s entire circle is pretty much “pulling a Satsuki” here – putting on a respectable outward face that doesn’t match their intentions

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16:56 – Back in her element as the source of light. But as we just saw, that light isn’t really just her innate power – the allies she trusts actually set up stage lights to make her look powerful. Performance again – the appearance of power can be power itself

18:12 – Ragyo your hair is extremely silly

19:40 – That is not nice, Kill la Kill

20:50 – Wonderful shot. Goddamn does this show know how to use light and shadow

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21:07 – Speaking of great shots. No more complaints about that outfit, the Maleficent look suits her

21:39 – There it is. We all knew it was coming. Ragyo only looks down on and judges people – she says she knows everything, but she doesn’t understand anyone

21:48 – That is some beautiful violence

21:54 – These shooots

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22:40 – And one more ending shot

And Done

Well that was an episode. Man, things really are moving now – I was worried the sports festival would be its own whole thing, but no, we’re moving straight along to Satsuki’s rebellion. And Mako’s parents! And GUTS! Looks like I won’t be worrying about the status quo any more – this episode pretty much destroyed what status quo there was to go back to.

Does this mean we finally get to see Satsuki and Ryuuko on the same side? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. Which… well, fuck. I guess it speaks well of this episode that for the first time in a while, I’m pissed I have to wait a week for the next one.

21 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 17

  1. Ryuuko isn’t part clothing. Senketsu is part Ryuuko thats why they can talk to each other. Thats what my subs told me anyways.

    Some people pointed out that the gunman hearing Senketsu and also having the same hair then Ryuuko pretty much confirm a family bound with that DNA thing. So his sister would likely be Ryuuko mother or shes adopted.

    Also you really make a big fuss with that abuse of power thing.. As if it was one of the show main idea.

    • DNA

      Yep, reversed the line in my head – Senketsu is indeed part Ryuuko. Which does indeed indicate a family bond as well, if they’re actually making her hearing Senketsu into a legit plot point.

      abuse of power

      My point there is that it’s one of the only ideas the show’s continuously proposing, and its handling of it is pretty simplistic so far. There’s also the performance stuff, and little bits and pieces of other things, but I really can’t comment on them until the show itself makes more of a coherent statement.

      • Well Ryuuko perspective of anything is pretty simplistic. Satsuki and the elite four thinks otherwise.

      • Yea but I’m hoping Ryuuko friendship with Senketsu to become really important later on with the whole lifefibers are evil debate. Putting a bit of you into your clothes/image (literally in the show) is a nice idea too.

  2. This episode came as a surprise to me, but not because of what happened so much as when it happened. I had expected Satsuki and Ryuuko to team up (or to at least have a common enemy) in the form of Ragyo, but I thought that would be during one of the last couple of episodes. That it’s come to pass this soon excites me, since I now have no idea what will become the actual climax of the show. Solid stuff!

    • Frankly, I was hoping for the team up to arrive around episode seven or so, so I may have set myself up for disappointment there. Either way, this was a fantastic way to portray it, and it’s a great feeling to not really have any idea what they’ll do next.

      • I agree. Not that it’s necessarily bad to sometimes know what’s going to happen in any given story – people don’t always watch for the thrill – but it sure is nice to be surprised from time to time. And in Kill la Kill’s case, it’s fantastic.

      • I kinda expected this thing to happen at about this episode or so based on their previous work. TTGL also had it’s big shift/revelation start at about this time as well. Both shows also had their recap at episode 16, 3 episodes later than most shows which have it at episode 13.

    • Yeah, I mean, everyone expected Satsuki to backstab Ragyou, but I think we expected this next episode, or the one after that, at least.

      Though Bob has a point, when the show started, we expected episode 15 to happen around episode 8 😉

    • I like that NGE has so thoroughly claimed that imagery that it’s now the default reference point, instead of, ya know, Jesus. Sorry Jesus, Anno is our lord and savior.

      • Well…when I picture Jesus I don’t think of a giant, white humanoid shape with a red core. Guess I was just making a comparison to other anime, not some peoples scripture.

        • The original Eva image is basically Evangelions being crucified, and that show made no apologies about its random Christian imagery. I agree, this is probably more a reference to Eva than what Eva was referencing, I just found the idea that Eva has taken over crucifixion imagery funny.

  3. Ragyo’s new costume reminds me of some of those ridiculous outfits you’ll see some models wear at fashion shows. The ones that don’t look comfortable at all and are just kinda… weird I guess.

    And those last few moments of the show were indeed visually awesome. Expected to see some matricide eventually, but this literally came out of nowhere. Ryuuko and Satsuki are pretty much confirmed to team up now, right? It’s not going to turn into a three way brawl with COVERS vs Honnouji Academy vs Nudist Beach, right? I just want to see them fight together…

    • Ragyo’s costume

      That could definitely be intentional. It does seem like it’s going to the extreme of presentation as power, where your appearance is ludicrous but you sell it with your own confidence.

      Three way brawl

      Maaan that would be disappointing. I really hope the sides actually shift around now. I do think they well – I just think there’s a lot more room for interesting drama with Ryuuko actually joining Satsuki’s team.

  4. I know it wasn’t necessarily anything important, but i was surprised that you didn’t comment on how no matter HOW huge “Bigger Than You” Gamagoori seems, even HE can be intimidated by an angry father.

    • Actually, now that I think about it, that scene was basically a total mirror of the first time he met Mako – interrupted while announcing a school event from his car-boat-stage.

  5. I’m sorry for being late to this episode’s party, but I wanted to point out–isn’t the show also driving at a certain “it is not the people who sell the products that enslave you, but the concept of the product itself”? What I mean is, Ragyo goes on and on about how the fibers themselves are the rulers of the world, and she is only doing THEIR bidding. Of course to make them an anime-enemy they’re anthropomorphisized as aliens, but the key is that they’re an object that will exist and that people will buy no matter what. Since in globalization the economic system(s)+culture(s) means someone will fill the shoes of the leader of X company, but in truth it is a byproduct more of the system itself, if that makes sense. “The designer doesn’t matter, only the fact that people want to buy something (which they percieve as symbols of power, social status and sometimes even identity)” sort-of-thing, as well.

    • So the businessman is as much a slave to his product as the consumer? I can see that, kinda. From a certain angle, you could say that he is more so; he depends on his product to live.

    • Hm. That’s an interesting read, but I’m not sure how it fits into the other things the show is saying. Maybe it works with Nudist Beach, but it seems like Ragyo, Satsuki, and Ryuuko are all focused on their own identities, and the stuff about performance seems to stand apart from the commercial nature of clothes as well. Admittedly, this is true of a lot of the show’s various mini-ideas, and next episode will likely demonstrate whether this is meaningful or not regardless – though it seems like Ragyo will somehow survive, having her death be irrelevant to the fibers’ plans would certainly support a “we are all cogs in this larger system’s machine” interpretation.

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