Satire is a fine line to walk. You don’t go far enough, you come off as crude. If you go too far you’re in danger of being perceived as rude. It’s never been easy. I, myself have missed satire on more than one occasion, but in this case of this anime series it has hit the nail right on the head. Before I explain how an anime series can be so satirical I probably should list off a few of the things that can put me off an anime series, no matter how great it apparently is. I hate underwear shots, I hate oversized cleavage and to sum it up I really hate all forms of fan service. It’s demeaning and childish, but despite this show having so much of these things, I really love it. The reason that makes it so tolerable is the fact that it’s all done in satire. It is making fun of fan service and all the people out there who love it. It really does not hold any punches, illustrated by the fact that they have several men in the series nearly die due to a ‘panty shot’ and that’s only the tip of the ice berg. Kill la Kill goes further than that with the satire in the fact that their characters are. in themselves, pure satire and so too is the action. It’s over the top and extraordinary, but it is this that really appeals.This anime is the perfect form of escapism and therein lies its true beauty. (For an example of how bad this series gets have a click on these warning NSFW)
Kill la Kill is set at Honnouji Academy (本能字学園 Honnōji Gakuen), a fictional high school situated in Tokyo Bay. The school is dominated by its fearsome student council, led by Satsuki Kiryuin. Its students wear Goku Uniforms (roughly translated as finest quality uniforms). Once adorned their wearers gain superhuman abilities, this is because they are constructed with a special material known as Life Fibres. Enter transfer student Ryuko Matoi, wielding a scissor-shaped long sword, one of the few weapons that can damage Goku Uniforms. She challenges the schools ruling body as she searches for her father’s killer. At first she is easily defeated. Luckily she finds a sentient sailor uniform named Senketsu, a Kamui which is completely made of Life Fibers. Once put it on, it transforms her into a much more powerful form (unfortunately it does not leave much to the imagination). Now that she has the power, she relentlessly peruses her objectives and takes on everything the academy can throw at her. Though she is the target for almost everyone at the school, she is quickly befriended by her hyperactive, insane and friendly classmate Mako Mankanshoku, and lives with her extremely perverted, I really hope this is also satirical, family.
As with many animes, it’s driven by interpersonal relationships, as much as it is by action and plot. The friendship between Ryuko Matoi and Mako Mankanshoku is one of the best aspects of the series. Their mix of both driven badass and insane fan girl is brilliant. Mako is so devoted to her friend that she will do almost anything to inspire her and Ryuko is so grateful for classmate that she will fight for her in any circumstance. They both bring a lot to the friendship and its a nice, if not odd, mix. Another interesting dynamic is that of home room teacher Aikuro Mikisugi qho starts off looking like a scruffy run down teacher. However. every time he is alone with Ryuko he cant help but ditch that facade, along with his clothes. In theory, this is to share more information on the situation whilst, in reality, it is also a ruse to get closer to her. Luckily, she uses some serious threats to keep him at bay.
The team that worked on this original series where the guys that brought us Gurren Lagann, so the battles are the right mix of insane and epic.The fight sequences are amazingly choreographed and are perfect. The camera never misses any of the action and the action never goes on too long. As with any good Japanese Anime, the takes are constantly raised,.I mean why fight someone head on when you can defeat all their minions? In the ways of comedy, this series has all the bases covered. Its satirical with its choice of outfits, crude with the men’s behaviour (they may go a bit too far sometimes but its still funny) and witty with its dialogue. Kill La Kill is a show that has really surprised me at every turn. When I first saw the ‘battle outfits’ I will admit to having rolled my eyes and I will also indicate that there was too much cleavage and too much crotch. However, once I got the joke and saw how beautifully animated everything was, I could not help but get sucked in. The series is not a game changer but it’s pure entertainment. Its female lead is strong, independent and, in all, a complete bad ass. She is also practical and knows that, if a man comes on too strong, it’s perfectly fine to kick him out the window, unless, however, he is a sexy teacher, in which case, intolerance and threats to kill will suffice.
Editor in Chief: David