Kill la Kill – Episode 18

SO! It finally happened – Satsuki declared her independence from her mother, and literally crucified her on her own stage. That must have felt good – Satsuki hates being subservient, and being a pawn of both her mother and clothes? Yeah, that’s gotta sting. So the show’s over, then, I guess? Conflict averted, clothing defeated, Satsuki and Ryuuko now realize they’re not so different after all?

Alright, let’s see what horribleness Kill la Kill is planning.

Episode 18

0:21 – She had her speech ready and everything!

Kill la Kill

0:23 – An old speech, too. Though now we know it’s not just random Orwell – Satsuki’s philosophy really is built on contradictions. Your power is mine as long as I say it is and no one else can question it. “Might makes right” not just as a practical reality, but as a code to live by

0:34 – I hate you, Mom! I hate you sooo much!

0:59 – They may be fighting clothing, but if they can bend it to their will, it is their power. Have to admit, Satsuki’s done a decent job of cleaning up her philosophy here

1:15 – Goddamn troll cliffhangers

1:33 – Satsuki turns hypocrisy into an art form

Kill la Kill

1:55 – Good to see Nui’s enjoying the show

2:18 – Sanageyama and his canned hero lines

2:25 – Feels like Ryuuko’s been standing there looking up all her life

2:55 – Master plan unveiled! And it’s pretty much what it always obviously was – she was training her for the Real Fight

Kill la Kill


3:23 – Ragyo has little respect for Satsuki’s obsessions

4:08 – Even now, we still get the peanut gallery enjoying the show

4:17 – And now she’s acknowledging it, and talking directly to the audience. This wasn’t meant for entertainment, it was a lesson made visceral through stagecraft. Hm

Kill la Kill

5:02 – Silly Nui faces. I love how they always just bend Nui’s still frame at the hip, and don’t actually animate her. It’s both kind of mocking and seems a little awkward/inhuman – another tiny benefit of forgoing transparency and acknowledging this is animation

5:43 – It’s such a cartoon

6:05 – Another random echo of the first episode. This episode’s apparently pretty important!

6:42 – I entrust this task to you! Good to see Gamagoori immediately taking advantage of them being allies now

Kill la Kill

7:28 – So Satsuki’s father opposed Ragyo… Yeah, that’s some powerful “secretly sisters” evidence there. But Kill la Kill does like to screw with standard expectations

7:47 – They really, really highlight that “this will be your wedding dress” line, and now they’re associating that directly with subservience. I don’t think there’s a consistent read there or anything, but it’s interesting – most of this show’s thematic aspirations seem to be more “hey, here’s a cute thing we could tie this part to” than, you know, actual themes

8:02 – Baby Satsuki is adorable

8:16 – Yep

8:59 – Great shot. And that hair!

Kill la Kill

9:28 – So do you, Ragyo. You’re both born performers

10:20 – Oh man, what a great goddamn shot

11:44 – And once again they come into conflict. They may have the same final goal, but as she stated at Kyoto, Ryuuko doesn’t believe anything is worth this kind of destruction

11:51 – Goddamnit these mechs

13:08 – It’s a nice visual effect. I’m less thrilled by this turn overall – it being a very convenient power aside (obviously this show’s action is about spectacle, not grounded conflict, just like Gurren Lagann), we’ve seen these two whack each other enough. Hell, we’ve even seen “berserker Ryuuko” before

Kill la Kill

13:28 – Speaking of random-ass powers

13:53 – I guess this is how you turn a mental battle about resolve into an actual fight

14:22 – Hah, great. DAMN YOU BRAIN. I’LL PUNCH YOU, BRAIN. Ryuuko’s tactics are definitely consistent. Glad they didn’t drag that out

15:48 – Now this is a hurdle the show has actually built towards. Ryuuko says she’s gotten over her simple, self-oriented quest for revenge – but hey, look, revenge! Right there!

16:03 – It’s important to have goals in life

Also kind of telling that it’s Ryuuko who has the “I’ll handle this” line for the lieutenant while Satsuki goes off to fight the final boss

Kill la Kill

17:00 – That’s a nice one

17:27 – This matricide’s lighting brought to you by Nonon and the theater club

17:41 – Quite a shift to see her say this. Beneath the ideals, she’s more like Ryuuko

18:03 – And more nice shots

Kill la Kill

20:49 – Well that can’t be good. Gettin’ kinda Eva in here

22:32 – Man, this show loves its theater

And Done

Goddamn! Another extremely fast-paced episode (in the “the plot moved forward a lot” school, not the “lots of stuff happened” one – though lots of stuff did happen!), full of dramatic fights, dramatic reveals, and all sorts of beautiful frames. We finally got that “I’ll deal with you after we kick her ass!” moment between Satsuki and Ryuuko, we got the sisters reveal, we got Satsuki’s rebellion getting squashed… we got pretty much everything the show has promised so far, actually. And there are still a bunch of episodes to go!

I particularly liked the stuff about Satsuki’s philosophy and goals this week – it’s nice that she acknowledges and even holds as a strength her own contradictions. People are complicated! They don’t always make sense, and they believe things for contradictory reasons. This week was the first time she admitted she’s more sentimental than she lets on – but we’ve already seen her behind the mask, showing how she values the people close to her. I wonder how she’ll take learning she still has a sister?


12 thoughts on “Kill la Kill – Episode 18

  1. To me the bath scene is where Satsuki philosophy (or how she came up with it) became clearer (because of the insight on her past it gave).
    An ideology based on her life experiences and her natural resolve.
    The lines she says really applies to herself and now they all make sense in context.

    • I’m not sure if it’s might make right. More that power used to means she deems impure are wrong. Those powers become just only when bend to achieve a truth she believes in. It’s all about intentions.

      • I don’t think it’s really about “purity” with Satsuki – it’s about the freedom to express your will, and the strength to carry through with it. I think she values conviction generally more than any specific set of morals, and the Life Fibers are abhorrent to her because they deny people personal ambition, which to her is the core of humanity.

  2. 2:25 Okay, do you write these as you go or is that supposed to be a hint as to what goes down later?

    As for the rest of the episode, since this would totally destroy my theory that mohawk guy is Ryuko’s uncle (same hair, also appears to have heard Senketsu talk and i’m 99% sure they’ve said it was both his sister and Ryuko’s “mother” who was killed in a life fiber experiment), I really loved the visuals here and not in the “oh cool fights!” sense. Loved the contrast between Ragyo’s rainbows and Satsuki’s beams of light (although I can’t seem to drag any “deep meaning” out of it, except that maybe beams of light are more “pure” since they haven’t been split up) and how they reversed so many shots to have Satsuki standing above her mother, although they certainly made it clear with other shots that she’s still the one in charge….

    Finally, random and I probably should have been asking this 15 episodes earlier but, when they say Junketsu was to be Satsuki’s wedding dress, who was she supposed to be marrying anyway? Symbolism for how humans are wedded to their clothing? Human sacrifice to the original life fiber? Becoming one with life fibers like Ragyo? ???

    • 2:25

      As I go. Which certainly ends up making me look silly from time to time, particularly in this show, which likes to break rules for no good reason!

      This episode’s visuals

      Yeah, it was a beautiful one both in shot framing and even in some of its actual animation. And I agree about the light, Satsuki’s “purity” being represented through her white light is pretty much all I see there.

      What’s up with marriage? Clothing symbolism? Human sacrifice? Merging with clothing?

      I’m guessing this show’s writer’s response to that would be “Yes!” Meaning it’s all just a jumble of vague ideas that are intentionally thrown in together without a particularly consistent thematic throughline, outside of the ideas specifically tied to Satsuki and Ryuuko’s personalities. To me, this show feels like a much, much more extreme version of Utena – throw ideas and allusions at the wall and let the audience draw what they want from them.

      • Those ideas are still all tied to the idea of clothes and fascism though. But I agree that they seem to just be having fun trying to link every single things to the main themes without much though for a satisfying unifying whole.
        Though it’s still fun to think about so eh.

        • They are all offshoots of the “clothes/leadership” stuff, but I feel that’s a “theme” in the same way “Under the Sea” would be the theme of a dance. More like a color scheme than a coherent message.

      • Yes, that’s what I meant. There is no clear messages to be found. Maybe there will has the war on clothes unfold probably not.

  3. I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your rewievs. You point out these little things I missed, highlight great backgrounds and generally write it in good tone – not overly seriously, like some rewievers tend to (and that is really riddiculous to read)
    Kudos for ya, keep it up.

  4. Pingback: Recommended Kill La Kill 18 Readings (with Screenshots) | The Sun Rising Blog

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