Monday, April 28, 2014

Kill la Kill (by RamuneRoxy)

Kill la Kill was a 24-episode series from Studio Trigger, which premiered in Fall 2013; being their first full TV series. Given that the studio is formed of former Gainax employees, with the writer and director for this series being Kaziki Nakashima and Hiroyuki Imaishi, of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann fame, people were very interested from the moment it was first announced. After hearing a friend speak highly of it, I decided to check it out a few weeks after it began.
Our heroine, in a nutshell

The series revolves around a high school student named Ryuko Matoi; who is on a mission for revenge after a mysterious person murdered her father. Her quest leads her to the Honnouji Academy; a high school that is known for it's Goku Uniforms (Special uniforms, granted to those deemed worthy, that grant their owner enhanced strength), and is run with an iron fist by the school's student councel, headed by Satsuki Kiryuin. Having a feeling that Satsuki might know something about what happened to her father, Ryuko declares war on her and the school; armed with just a giant half-pair of scissors that she uses as a sword, as well as a sentient schoolgirl uniform known as Senketsu, which enhances her strength much like a Goku Uniform.
Although, her uniform looks like this when she transforms; much to her dismay

The art style has a look and feel to it that envokes memories of Gurren Lagann; a very stylized appearance that looks great, and lends itself very well to the fight scenes (Which are spectacular to watch; being a major highlight of the series). There is plenty of fanservice; especially with many of the higher-tier Goku Uniforms when their wearer activates the synchronization (Most famously, Ryuko with Senketsu; as her school uniform transforms into a sling bikini with giant shoulder pads that leaves her nearly naked, which is actually joked about in early episodes), and a few instances of nudity (Aside from one brief scene, you never see anyone's privates, and even in that scene it's undetailed and almost something you have to pay attention to spot. Otherwise, it's no more graphic than seeing a naked Barbie doll).
Although having foreground objects stratigically placed is quite common here

The plot manages to capture that Gurren Lagann feel; managing to balance the serious with the over-the-top, without one feeling out of place in contrast to the other, which is often a difficult feat to accomplish. While it does move rather slowly during the early episodes (The earliest ones mostly revolve around Ryuko having to fight another Club President), but it starts to pick up after a while; as it begins to develop the characters and setting more. The series even slips in some very subtle references to other anime series, especially to Gurren Lagann and Evangelion.
Did this suddenly turn into Girls Und Panzer?
The voice acting is great; all the voices feel spot-on for the personalities of the characters, and generally works great. Also, the music is great; featuring many energetic themes, and of course, the song "Before My Body Is Dry" (Perhaps best known as "Don't Lose Your Way"), which quickly became one of my favorite songs from the series; often popping up during a particularly badass moment, much like "Libera Me From Hell" would in Gurren Lagann.

I think if I saw a guy with glowing nipples, I'd have the same reaction as Ryuko ^^;

This series is easily one of the best new series I've seen in years; definitely a must-watch if you want a series with plenty of memorable characters and over-the-top action, although given the fanservice, it's definitely not something you want to show your parents or other relatives who might find the prospect of scantily-clad people fighting objectionable. I feel comfortable suggesting this to people about 15 or older, who want a series that feels like Gurren Lagann but manages to stand out well on its own, or if they have just finished a darker series, such as Madoka Magica or Evangelion, and want to watch something more upbeat as a pallet cleanser.
Plus, what's not to love about Ryuko's best friend, Mako?

Kill la Kill is avaliable from Underwater and Aniplex USA; with their official subbed version being hosted on Crunchyroll, Hulu, and Daisuki.
I'll set you right here...


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