Readers Recommendation: Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill is a series that was on my “Plan to Watch” list for the longest time and in all honesty there’s not much of a reason why it was. It’s the first major production by a studio who’s other works I’ve had a good time with, it’s directed by the same people as Gurren Lagann, a show I love, and it’s a show that just looks really fun and over the top.

Kill La Kill is my kind of show, and I’m surprised that in the 4 years since the show started airing I hadn’t bothered to give it a shot despite all of the above.

But thanks to you guys, I finally managed to set some time aside to watch this series. I jumped in more or less blind, armed only with the knowledge of: “it’s a bit wacky and there’s a lot suggestive stuff that may or may not be fan-service”.

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And while I came out a little disappointed in the end, I had a pretty good time overall.

Kill La Kill is one of those shows that’s pretty polarising. Some people think it’s the greatest thing to come from the 2010’s thus far and that it’s a modern masterpiece, while others think it’s complete trash. I’d say I sit right in the middle. It’s a good show, but it’s just shy of being a great one.

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For me, the main strength of Kill La Kill is its obviously unique visual style. It’s a really cool looking show. The character designs were both striking and completely awesome and the setting is just crazy looking. Everything is lively and full of character. It’s a real treat to look at, and I found it very appealing on the eyes.

The animation and directing were also fantastic. There’s so much personality thrown into every part and things are constantly moving no matter how important or unimportant the scene taking place is to the central plot.

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But while we’re on that subject, the main plot is where Kill La Kill began to fall a little flat for me. I get the impression that this series is definitely aiming to be more style over substance, but the story just wasn’t that interesting for the most part. It was a fairly standard revenge tale that eventually turns into a save the world scenario and… That’s it, really. There are a few twists and turns down the line which were pretty neat, but they’re nothing I didn’t already see coming or haven’t seen many times before.

However, the show does make up for this in a lot of ways through its sheer amount of ideas. The series’ fascination with clothing and its integration within the world hierarchy was always really interesting, and definitely spiced things up a bit. Sure, the revenge story isn’t that interesting, but when it’s a revenge story involving super powered god-clothing, power augmenting school uniforms and giant scissors I can’t say it’s not a fun watch.

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And the action scenes are just bloody fantastic. They’re energetic, they’re all over the place and they’re just awesome. They’re what kept me interested for the most part and definitely made up for the shortcomings in the story department.

Furthermore, the characters are also pretty great. Ryuko is a great protagonist with an awesome personality and is now host to one of my favourite character designs of all time. Her sidekick, Mako, is also hilarious and incredibly charming, although from what I’ve gathered I seem to be one of the few people that thinks so. Haters gonna hate. And I couldn’t forget about Satsuki, who’s presence is totally overwhelming every time she makes an appearance. God damn.

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Of course there’s far more characters to speak of, but they can all be described similarly. They’re all awesome looking and are chock-full of personality.

But unfortunately there’s not much else to them other than that either.

They’re fun. They’re likable. They’re cool. But most of them boil down to a quirky character trait or gag and then there’s nothing beyond that. Fortunately Ryuko and Satsuki don’t suffer from this too much, but everyone else does and it’s kind of a shame.

Then there’s the fan-service. Or maybe not fan-service.

It is fan-service. I get there’s some empowerment message in there or something, I don’t really care, it’s fan-service regardless.

I don’t mind it for the most part.  It’s fun, it fits the tone of the series for the most part and it adds to the wackiness. However, there are times it just gets really excessive for no reason at all, with one particular scene feeling incredibly out of place and just plain awkward.

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Like this

But other than those few occasions, I didn’t mind it. It was fine.

The soundtrack was also kickass. My kind of stuff. My jam and all that.

Kill La Kill was pretty good. It’s an incredibly fun and visually appealing series with fantastic action scenes, some cool ideas and a lively cast of characters, but it’s plot just didn’t quite do it for me.

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I’d be lying if I said the series wasn’t a bit of a letdown, it didn’t become my favourite Trigger show as many assured me it would, but it was a good time and I had a lot of fun with it. I won’t be forgetting it any time soon.

If you haven’t watched Kill La Kill yet, I strongly recommend doing so. You won’t regret it. Unless you hate fun. But if you hate fun, why are you here? I’m the funnest guy in the world!

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What’s Next?:

The next Readers Recommendation poll is up. I’d appreciate it if you went on over to my Twitter page and voted!

The following shows are in the running:

  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
  • Umaru-Chan
  • Hibike Euphonium
  • Flip Flappers

See you in the next one!

Interested in my scores for this and other Anime titles? You can find them on my horrendously incomplete MyAnimeList page.

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7 thoughts on “Readers Recommendation: Kill La Kill

  1. I’m going to be honest and admit I didn’t make it past the second episode of this show. I get why it appeals to a lot of people but it just wasn’t my kind of story telling and I just found it pretty frustrating. It is on my list to go back to and give a second chance to at some point when I’m in the mood for something along those lines, but I’m not really rushing back to have another look at it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have seen this one in the line up while browsing through Crunchyroll, but because of a few negative reviews for it, I have skipped passed it. Seeing this review for it it though, I might go back to it at some point in the future. There are certainly quite a number of interesting things that are right up my alley that you describe, so thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “. It was a fairly standard revenge tale that eventually turns into a save the world scenario and… That’s it, really.”

    Reductionist 😛

    There are many more layers to this story that have been explained by others much better than I can explain them, so I’ll leave you to explore on your own if you care to. I loved the story personally, and was entertained throughout even without knowing all the historical allegory. But that’s me.

    I’m curious though, what was your favorite Trigger work?

    Like

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