Jeez internet look at the time I am super sorry this is so late. I’ve been wasting time and money at Anime Boston all weekend, so I am embarrassingly behind on my cartoons – but that all ends RIGHT NOW. Kill la Kill’s been kind of a narrative mess in this second half, but last episode made a very intelligent choice that did a lot of work to address that – it gave Mako her awesome uniform back, meaning I don’t give a shit if KLK even has an ending at all. Last episode was the “everybody finally loves each other” fanservice-fest – this episode’s likely to be the “EVERYBODY’S A BADASS” one.
I don’t use the word “fanservice” in a necessarily pejorative sense, by the way. Normally it is a bad thing – I generally define fanservice as something added to please a certain audience demographic that either doesn’t aid or directly works against the show’s other goals. Which is why voyeuristic nudity is fanservice in a show that generally wants you to respect its characters as people, or why long shots of mechs are fanservice in a show that’s actually also trying to tell a well-paced story. Most people tend to define fanservice as sexy stuff in general, but I find that a far less useful definition – some shows actually do make great, purposeful use of sexuality (cough Monogatari cough), and I think limiting fanservice to sexual content kind of obscures the reason fanservice is considered bad storytelling in the first place.
But with Kill la Kill? The purpose is fanservice – what Kill la Kill is best at is pleasing the fans. It’s pure spectacle, and always at its best when it’s letting its visual aesthetic, sense of humor, and solid direction just go wild. I quite frankly don’t think Kill la Kill is a very good story, but I do think it’s a very distinctive spectacle, and Kill la Kill’s most impressive moments are often also its most indulgent ones.
So go nuts, Kill la Kill. Get stupid, get funny, get big. Do what you do best.
0:32 – Mako being OP is now canon. I guess Trigger really are just doing whatever the internet wants
Poor Mako brain
0:43 – Lovely composition here. The use of color is great – Kill la Kill obviously uses opposing contrasts constantly (starting with the reversed color palettes of Senketsu and Junketsu), and here the small contrast of Inumuta’s blue helps to highlight how much this is Iori’s big moment. It’s like how a whale looks bigger with a human beside it for scale
1:31 – Man, this color work. My posts may seem a bit negative because I’m more of a story guy, but this show’s visual design is undoubtedly its redemption. Color and shadow are always used so well
4:30 – This at least was sort of a thing. It would have worked much better if Ryuuko had actually been able to choose her own representation, as opposed to just learning to accept Senketsu, but it still works as an in-story arc. It’s a shame, though – with a few better choices, this show actually could have made some general statements on representation, identity, or sexuality. But I guess that’s just not what this show is, and I shouldn’t blame it for not being Utena
4:53 – More fun shots. All sorts of nice symmetries in this one, in both color and line. Kill la Kill works damn hard to make up for its lack of animation
5:10 – “The beginning and end of all things can be found right here in the original Life Fiber.” Man, Kill la Kill sure likes to screw with me. Lines like this seem totally laden with meaning, but every episode just throws out different ones that cast out threads in completely different directions. Virtually any interpretation of this series could probably find support in an episode or two, but a consistent read? Nah, Kill la Kill just likes to say stuff that sounds cool
Which is fine, of course. It’s just kinda funny to me because my posts always prompt comments to the effect of “you’re totally missing it – this is the entire point of the series,” and they do have evidence… but so do all the other people offering other evidence for other entire points of the series
5:15 – That’s more like it
6:00 – More fun with colors
6:05 – This sequence is great
6:43 – MEANWHILE
7:00 – Can’t handle all this Mako
9:51 – Yeah, they’re great. I particularly like how Nonon actually got a magical girl transformation this time
10:18 – Clearly you haven’t been paying attention. Performance is power, dude
10:53 – Damn, that’s a great shot. One awesome image can be better than an entire poorly directed fight
11:04 – Aw shit she said it
12:07 – Oh no, not Ryuuko! Do you have any idea how painful this will be for Mako?! HEARTLESS
12:58 – She knows them, she just would never admit them. Man, did they actually kill Ryuuko? I really don’t trust this show to kill a popular character, and she seems far too critical to its overall narrative arc to lose, but that’d be pretty damn interesting
13:36 – OF COURSE! Nice little beat for Satsuki’s character to have her accept such a secondary role. But again, that’s pretty much who Satsuki’s been all along – pride is great, but she prioritizes results
13:59 – Wait, we’re getting punished for monologuing, now? What kind of shounen is this?!
14:07 – It’s very appropriate that when the villains in this show start losing, they end up sacrificing the performance that defines their usual power. And it also works nicely in contrast to Ryuuko, who tends to be as direct as possible and had to learn to control her emotions. In response to Ryuuko planning and orchestrating a plan that required anactual performance from her, Ragyo ends up “pulling a Ryuuko” and going into a blind rage. That’s both legit growth and a nice thematic parallel
14:13 – And now Satsuki’s being defended by her family. Nice little narrative tying-offs all over the place here
14:44 – Nice echo of his “I assume you were holding back” all those episodes ago
15:39 – Of course the ship transforms. You expected anything less?
17:02 – Mako forever
17:31 – Great shot. A very Gurren Lagann moment
19:02 – Oh boy. Is she actually a giant now, or does she just give even fewer fucks about 2D perspective than usual?
19:33 – Ragyo just cannot stop molesting
22:16 – One more great shot
22:58 – Oh shit. Not even EDs are safe from Nui’s fourth wall-breaking
24:10 – WELP
Nice! Another solid episode in what’s turning out to be a very respectable last act. Tons of beautiful shots, some really great animation, a suitably ridiculous battle, and actually a good deal of smart symmetry in the resolution of the sisters’ arcs. I didn’t find this week’s battle with Ragyo quite as interesting or exciting as some of the previous fights have been, but there were still plenty of great individual moments, and I think bringing Nui in next week will solve that – Nui’s just a lot more fun than Ragyo. I’m very ready to see every single goddamn thing explode.