When a show leaves you tapping your foot frantically during intense battles and tearing up as clothes sacrifice themselves for their friends, you know it’s brilliant.
A lot of people would judge Kill la Kill based on the ridiculously skimpy outfits that Ryuko and basically everyone else wears. But other than some mildly erotic scenes, it is the furthest thing from being an ecchi anime. Hell, there’s even an explanation for why the outfits are so skimpy.
Kill la Kill bears all the hallmarks of their creators, who made Gurren Lagann. I was immediately struck by how similar in style the two shows are, but for all for Gurren Lagann‘s epicness, it still requires a massive amount of suspension of disbelief. Kill la Kill operates on a much more believable level, and the far more intricate plot makes it even better than Gurren Lagann.
I won’t say anymore, because despite this being a review, despite my usual ranting and raving about plot elements, I can’t do that to anyone who hasn’t watched it yet. Kill la Kill has plot twists and turns that blow you away, destroying all preconceptions and making you gobsmacked at how well integrated every element in the story is. It’s mind-blowing how there is zero inconsistency in the story; everything that happens happens for a reason, and not just some contrived plot device to get the story going.
Of course, the only issue with the plot I might have is the start, when they foreshadow the premise of the story. But it will take anyone by surprise if they think they understood it, because I was stumped when I realised what was truly happening. Seeing elements of Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z and The Matrix are great, especially given how well they were weaved (haha, weaved!) into the plot. And yes, the entire story started out as a language pun (check Wikipedia after watching it). I wish I understood Japanese better, but even with the language barrier, WHAT A STORY!
But beyond the amazing plot, there is the amazing cast. All the characters are fascinating and unique, each with their own recognisable traits. None of them are pointless, even Mako, who ends up as probably the most important side character in the entire series. The creators made you feel for them, and I teared up plenty of times. How can anyone make you cry over a set of sailor uniform? Kill la Kill can.
The action is brilliant and crazy and intense and dynamic and everything Hollywood wish it could be, but fails miserably at. Granted, animation has a lot more leeway compared to flesh and blood, but what a thrill. I was tapping my foot along to the battles near the end, which coupled with the fantastic music was just a blast to watch. I haven’t had as much fun watching action for ages, and that includes Mad Max: Fury Road. And if you think this thrill only came along at the end of the series, then get ready for the most intense 8 hours of your life you’ll ever have.
The comedy is also spot-on, with brilliant timing and actually serving plot purpose as well. That’s something you never see in shōnen, because usually comedy in shōnen are just lame gags that interrupt the intensity of the scene. Somehow, despite the funny moments coming in everywhere, even during the most crazy of battles, it manages to keep the pace of the story strong, and even push the plot along. What a marvel of scripting.
What can I criticise? Maybe the erotic moments, or the costumes. But remember, there’s actually a reason behind the skimpiness which is explained in the anime. The hilarity of Mikisugi-sensei‘s attire is also great; the position of the guns is so ridiculous it makes me giggle. Plus, isn’t it great to have female leads absolutely crushing it? I wouldn’t go as far as calling this a feminists’ anime, but it sure put women front and centre in a great action anime, much like what Mad Max did for action movies. It’s also a pretty self-aware anime, acknowledging its running gags. It makes me wonder if Kill la Kill was created also to make fun of the skimpiness of female clothes in games and anime in a roundabout manner.
What an awesome, awesome anime. I haven’t failed to enjoy any of the works by the guys who created Kill la Kill, Gurren Lagann and even Panty & Stocking. GIVE ME MOAR!