Kill La Kill Review

There’s a studio called Gainax, they make Anime such as Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, then some of the people behind Gurren Lagann split off with studio Trigger. Now I have no idea who did what for which show, but I’m guess everyone on the Gurren Lagann team that did all the drugs and thought of the over the top fights went on to do Kill La Kill, the ones responsible for anything resembling a decent story stayed behind. That is what this show feels like; people did drugs and went crazy on the animation saying “Story? Where we’re going we don’t need a story.”

Kill La Kill is an Anime currently coming out in Japan and it is another thing overhyped to death by fans. However unlike Attack on Titan there’s no potential that was squandered, fans just like it because it looks pretty and is crazy. The plot, or what technically counts for a plot, is that there’s this crazy high school run by the student government and there’s lots of fighting in it. A new transfer student arrives and she has a maguffin that somehow lead her there to challenge the student body president because if the maguffin belonged to her then that means she killed the girl’s parents. This maguffin is supposed to be awesome but the girl gets beaten down and then runs back to the destroyed house of her parents. She then finds a basement with another maguffin in it that makes her go into god mode and beats up the guy who beat her up. That is the entire first episode.

Here’s the crazy stuff: the first maguffin is half of a pair of giant scissors that’s used as a sword. The second maguffin is a sentient “uniform” that forces itself onto the protagonist and it’s just some shoulder pads, a very short skirt, and two bits of string connecting the two that cover her nipples. She then fights a guy with glowing boxing gloves that can shoot lots of mini boxing gloves, grow spikes and drills, the standard crazy stuff. That “uniform” of hers somehow makes her immune to damage despite 80% of her skin being shown. To get a better idea of how bad it is, since the picture at the top is a tame version of it, here’s an image of what it really looks like:

The “uniform” is just fanservice for no reason other than fanservice. It’s fanservice to the point where you might as well watch porn because at least then you’d get a better story and care about what’s happening on screen. There is a theme of uniforms giving people powers, and having the uniforms destroyed at the end of a fight to strip them of that power. Which is fine, the comic series Empowered is all about that, that is till the protagonist walks in with the shoe-string uniform of death, because what’s actually there to destroy? Any meaningful theme and symbolism gets thrown out a window at that point as it’s made clear this series is about things looking cool to male viewers.

Everything is over the top; all the fight scenes are entirely ridiculous but fun, stupid, and well animated. But there’s nothing there, no substance or anything to care about. Gurren Lagann was consistent with its theme and message from episode one and as it got more over the top it still stuck to that core theme. Here the only core theme is “this looks cool!” There’re no loveable characters or anything to make you want to watch week after week except for the fight scenes. Quite frankly that’s not enough since there’s plenty of shows out there with good fight scenes, but they also have heart, good characters, at least a half-decent story, and some substance to them.

This show is pandering, stupid, has no redeeming features beyond crazy fights, and is a little insulting to women or anyone that knows when porn is acceptable and when it isn’t. If you want over the top action just watch Gurren Lagann, if you want a batshit crazy thing watch Dead Leaves, if you want something devoid of the attributes that made those two Animes great then watch Kill La Kill. Watch this and see the visuals, which are only interesting thing about the series; it’ll save you 20 minutes that can be spent watching better shows:

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About Reaf

I'm Reaf. I run the Reaf Debrief. I'm from England so I spell things with a U and a sarcastic sense of humour.

Posted on October 19, 2013, in Animation and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. You didn’t actually watch this show beyond the first couple of episodes, did you?

    1. It actually does get more of a story going halfway through the show, once all the crazy antics at the fascist academy are done with.

    2. It’s supposed to be ridiculous. The fanservice outfit? A gag spoofing anime fanservice while at the same time making Ryuko totally shameless about it. The fascist high school? Meant to be stupid in how absurdly powerful and villainous these schools and student council members are. The whole bond between human and clothing theme? Meant to be a spoof on similar anime themes. The over-the-top fights? Taking what many anime do and bringing them to their most over-the-top form to show how absurd the whole thing actually is. With the exception of the main villain’s actions and the bond that grows between the lead characters, nothing in this show is meant to be taken the least bit seriously. If you find that a drawback, then you didn’t share the show’s sense of humor to start with and have no business going into it at all.

    And “Gurren Lagann was consistent with its theme and message from episode one and as it got more over the top it still stuck to that core theme” is a laughable statement since that show’s theme was “BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOU CAN DO THE IMPOSSIBLE!” and yet it ended with the main character deciding to NOT do the impossible by saving his love from dying, letting her die after their wedding instead and then wandering the earth for the rest of his life, waiting for the day where he can join her in death. There was no consistency with that theme and message in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nope, only watched the first episode when it came out and made this review. I wasn’t particularly inclined to watch half the series just to see if it got more of a story. 😉

      Seriously though, I have been tempted to watch the series on Netflix after continuing to hear good and interesting things about it. It has been over 2 years so maybe my opinion has changed.

      Like

      • Well if you ever do revisit it, the number one thing you’d have to keep in mind is that next to nothing in the series that is stupid is trying to be smart to begin with. It’s basically a big game of Anime Mad Libs – taking some ridiculous anime premises and archetypes and filling the blanks with even more ridiculous stuff in order to take these things to their most absurd extremes and show itself to be what all anime are at the core: a cartoon. If it still doesn’t appeal to you, then it’s just not for you – simple as that, and that’s understandable. But a re-review would be nice, particularly to make your outlook look more professional (you couldn’t even be bothered to look up the characters’ and locations names in this one!)

        Like

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