Kill la Kill

“A young girl arrives at a school of super-humans to find out the truth behind her father’s murder.” – IMDb

Pretty bland and conventional plot for an anime, nothing wrong there. I picked the series on a whim clicked by an intriguing review at MAL which went something like “so i watched the first episode of Kill la Kill, and, i like it”. This is where i went like “well that escalated quickly”. Now after having followed through all the episodes I rest my verdict on the fact that Kill La Kill is more than meets the eyes.

Matoi Ryouko invades Honnouji Academy wielding some kind of scissor-sword opposing the majestic Student Council President Satsuki Kiryuin and what have we here ? a talking highschool sailor uniform, some camel toe shots, bouncing tits and pervading nudity and what not, almost like another Ikki Tousen attributed with whacky animation and gags. Fan-service gone wild, Perhaps that is all one might perceive at first glance, but a prominent inspection might reveal it to be far more than that. Because pervasive fanservice is the very substance in the series !

Assessing Kill La Kill one may find it as an anime that reeks of symbolisms and subversions trying to breakdown the conventional walls with the label ‘ecchi’. The show gets more complex in it’s core exploiting the philosophies behind ‘clothing’. In which it rigorously tires to assert perhaps the facts that are rooted to the bible, much like Adam and Eve one is naked to the nature but clothing eventually came to dominate the social code from the very beginning of time. On this context the creators noted how similar “fashion” and “fascism” sounded in Japanese. So perhaps the pervasive lewdness and nudity is to imply the very irony of clothing that dominates our naked self/ our identity, resulting of an identity crisis ? This aside, Kill La Kill is dramatically exuberant in it’s slapstick gags accentuated by the whacky animation style as is to be expected from the creators of the eccentric ‘ Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’ series (which i have yet to complete). Fueled by Mako Mankanshoku and company the show acquires a goofy shape even in the strict air of prevailing symbolisms where almost every episode escalates to the point of a finale. Perhaps that attributes to an unique charm the show has as Mako is one of the most loved among fans. Almost similar to the air in Lewis Carol’s works where the topsy turvy acquires symbolism and irregular is the convention, Kill La Kill repeatedly asserts nudity(eechi) and the irregular as the normal convention.

Aside from that, the relation and characterization between the two main characters is to be noted i.e. Matoi Ryouko and Satsuki Kiriyuin. Ryouko portrays a strong female protagonist who stands to fight his way through tyranny of most of the male obstacles, a kind of slap to the face of the patriarchal society, in order to find her place among the respectable heights. But for her personality she prevails as a rouge to the Honnouji Academy, a kind of chaotic good left to be accepted by the Mankanshoku family. Whereas Kiriyuin Satsuki seems quite the opposite when it comes to personality, she represents the figure of a dominating female class, feared and obeyed by the whole of Honnouji Academy and having a tranquil composure, quite the reversed image of the protagonist. which becomes more clearer when we find that the uniform Ryuko possesses is called “Senketsu”, which means “fresh blood”. Conversely, the uniform Satsuki possesses is called “Junketsu”, which means “purity”. Perhaps a reference to the yin-yang philosophy.

… and vice-verse there’s always more to what you can dig given enough researches, as Kill La Kill is fountain of symbolisms. But I’ll not go into it any deeper, and without any further adieu i’ll do the honors : The art is similar to that of Gainax’s TTGL as i’ve already mentioned and even as mindless as FLCL at times, so i needn’t fill on that part if you’ve already watched the other vibrantly physics defying shows. The soundtracks range from haunting tracks to climactic ones that can make you clench your fists or perhaps that is a hyperbole, which howsoever really helps in accentuating the air of symbols, and might get all dramatically lighter at times with the prevalent vigor of Mako in the frame.

All set to conclude with answering the question ‘to watch or not ?’ I say the series has a multi-faceted nature. It can appeal to the people who don’t bother to delve deep into searching for symbolism but yet find series like FLCL fairly entertaining for the weird animation and yet again it is a cup of tea for those who are eager on philosophies and symbolism. But definitely not a series you would want to pick if you’re big on PLOTS like DN and CG, the shoes won’t fit your size. I rest my case.

Rahul Ghosh

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