Any thought that Kill la Kill would offer a change-of-pace second serve can safely be dismissed.
OP: “Sirius (シリウス)” by Eir Aoi
So yeah, that whole thing about exploring character development and relationship drama? Forget it for one more week at least – episode two was every bit as ridiculous and over-the-top as the first. It’s mostly fun to watch but I really do hope Imai-sensei follows through on that pledge, selfishly because it’s pretty tough to write much about the stuff we’re getting now, and because I still have serious doubts that this kind of approach can hold up for two cours.
A few new faces added to the mix, starting with Mako and Mataro’s parents: Dad Barazo (Horiuchi Kenyuu) who’s killed more patients than he’s saved, and Mom Sukuyo (Fukui Yukari) is a very bad cook (or at least, one with bad raw ingredients). It seems as if Ryuuko is going to end up living with the Mankanshoku clan in their hovel in the slums, where most of the city is residing in filth and abject poverty while the elite live at the top of the hill (not dissimilar to the situation in many huge cities around the world).
At school, it seems possible we’re headed for a battle-of-the-week scenario, where Ryuuko faces off with the designated flunky from Satsuki’s disciples (this week it’s the tennis club president). I rather hope that isn’t the case as it’d get old pretty quickly, given that the results of these mid-boss battles are pre-ordained and obviously only preludes to the eventual face-off with Satsuki herself. There’s nothing too memorable about the tennis battle if you have Cartoon Network – a lot of fanservice, facial bruising and such.
Indeed, so far KlK is more Panty and Stocking than Gurren Lagann, in that it’s very much a cartoon in the American tradition (or at least, the Adult Swim tradition). There’s plenty of Gainax bounce and some random posing from Aikurou-sensei to remind that this is, indeed, an Imai-Trigger anime – and indeed, the more abject weirdness like that we get the happier I’ll be. It’s fun to hear Miki Shinichirou cutting up in ecchi-sensei mode, too, but the rest of the episode feels pretty conventional to me. It’s cartoon violence, gross-out humor and a lot of fanservice – nothing wrong with those things, but again, can that formula hold up for two cours?
I hate to keep harping on Nakashima Kazuki,, but the mind capable of producing TTGL and Oh! Edo Rocket is surely capable of more interesting material than this, and the best reason to hope we’ve only seen Kill la Kill’s opening act. Watching the show now still feels like seeing Imai and his buddies cutting up in the studio, having a great deal of fun in the process and trying to do as much mayhem as they can before their parents get back. It’s amusing, but a little self-indulgent – and I think it’s also reasonable to hold talents like the ones behind this series up to a higher standard than the one generating the laundry list of generic titles which made up most of the anime schedule this week. Kill la Kill is certainly better than those shows, but it’s not as good as it should be considering who’s behind the camera – hopefully this is a case where Imai is trying to reel in the audience, and only get to the steak once he’s got them hooked on the sizzle.