A little behind on this one, meaning my impressions have already been somewhat infected with a tide of “RYUUUKO ;_____;” on my twitter feed, but I’LL TRY TO IGNORE THAT. Currently, I’m actually kinda pissed with Ryuuko – I’m hoping last week’s ending was a false cliffhanger, because if not, this’ll be the fourth time Kill la Kill has trotted out the “Ryuuko has to learn to trust Senketsu” conflict. Which doesn’t really work for me – not only does bringing this back up kind of invalidate the character growth of the prior conflicts, it also just makes Ryuuko seem like a pretty unsympathetic character. Which is fine, if that’s what they’re going for, but I didn’t get that impression – I assume I’m supposed to actually be invested here, not just exasperated. Ryuuko’s always been kinda one-note (Satsuki is far and away the most interesting character in this show), but having that note be “a belligerent jerk” is, well, pretty bold.
But apparently this episode is RYUUUUKO ;____; so I guess I’ll be eating those words soon enough.
0:22 – THANK YOU. Count on Mako to put a stop to this nonsense
0:27 – Pretty much. I love her Ryuuko-eyes
1:04 – Ooh, I like the title. This gonna be heavy on the performance stuff, then?
3:13 – Well this got weird pretty quick. We in Ryuuko’s head now?
3:32 – Fantastic effect. We’re getting some great fluid animation here, too. And of course Ryuuko is always in the antagonist colors – red and black, contrasted against blue and white
3:44 – Welp, guess they’re actually there. Which also isn’t that surprising – this show runs on toon logic, it figures that the villains would be hiding in the shrubbery, waiting for the hero to run into an identity crisis to jump out and start cackling
3:48 – Speaking of cartoons. NOT EVEN MY FINAL FORM
4:07 – I’m actually okay with how they’ve embraced Ragyo’s one-dimensionality to basically make her a Disney villain. In a show as silly and transparent as Kill la Kill, a villain who just loves evil is pretty appropriate
4:41 – I just don’t see how this follows up on basically anything the show has done so far. It talked briefly about representation, family has been kind of a thing, there’s the stuff about performance and resolve, and Ryuuko’s character arc was about her controlling her anger and finding a positive purpose. Where does “being clothes makes me a monster” come into any of that? She was certainly fine with Senketsu, and was even willing to fight against Nudist Beach on his behalf. So…
5:29 – That’s actually a decent link to performance. Though it doesn’t really mean anything, at least not yet
6:43 – Nice shot. This still seems like a temper tantrum, though, so the sad music is basically just making this feel even sillier
8:48 – I like that they make this distinction. No-one’s allowed to look at Satsuki when she’s not being represented on her own terms
10:06 – IT’S TIME (it’s always time)
10:20 – The secret weapon is his penis? You know, that wouldn’t even surprise me at this point
10:41 – Aw, nice to see this guy again
11:03 – That’s awesome. Getting more Gurren all the time. This song is great, too
11:47 – YOU CAN’T TEAR THEM APART, NONON. Gamagoori’s bigness still getting more absurd every episode
12:13 – A true hero
12:15 – So they’re making a giant sewing needle?. Guess that settles what the school will be turning into…
13:20 – THE ANSWER IS SHUT YOUR STUPID FACE. Nui feeling much more confident now that Ryuuko’s back to berserker mode
15:04 – Some clearly intentional symmetry with both sisters down to their skin and swords for this fight. Both of them at their most fundamental, I guess
15:26 – Untrue, of course. Satsuki’s demonstrated it with her butler and Elite Four, and Ryuuko herself has demonstrated it with Mako, her family, and Senketsu – you don’t need a blood link to have a family. We’re woven together, we don’t start out that way
BAM. THESIS. DONE.
16:27 – EVERYONE IS SISTERS
19:12 – Oh man, the wedding dress from the first ED. Well played, Kill la Kill. So we gonna have brainwashed villain Ryuuko now? She has always looked the part
20:31 – Man, Ryuuko is one confused kid. I like how they’ve accented her crazy-eyes to make them the inverses of Junketsu’s
20:41 – The most deadly of all opponents
21:37 – Figures Satsuki realizes this show’s fights are about emotional resolutions, not actually defeating opponents
22:11 – Fantastic
Man, this is gonna be fun. I still think they had to fudge Ryuuko’s character development a good deal to get her here, but clearly “here” is an awesome place to be, so I can’t complain too much. For an episode so focused on setting up the next one, there were some real exciting bits there, helped a great deal by the well-chosen sequences of high quality animation – that first exchange, Satsuki’s escape, and then crazy Junketsu Ryuuko. I really liked the little visual parallels both between the sisters and between this and the early episodes, and it looks like we’re settling on one of the show’s more reasonable and consistent messages: using fibers as a cute metaphor for family and human connections. Plus the music this episode was really great – I’m not sure if they’ve been holding a few tracks in reserve or not, but it felt like there were a lot of great pump-up songs that I don’t remember hearing before.
So yeah, character-arc complaints aside, that was a really nice episode. Very ready for Ryuuko and Satsuki’s first fight as siblings!