Kill la Kill – 06

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I wouldn’t say that was on a par with last week’s gem, but Kill la Kill avoided the regression I feared might be coming.

I won’t lie, I missed Tsumugu in this episode, as for me he’s easily the most entertaining thing Kill la Kill has brought to the table so far.  But a heavy dose of Hiyama Nobuyuki’s Sangeyama is a pretty good consolation prize.  Hiyama-san may not have the greatest range in the business, but he’s pretty much the only one who does what he does the way he does it.  I do find it ironic that he’s playing a character who’s existentially in the exact same role Viral was in TTGL, but I guess given the names involved here that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

Kill la Kill has definitely gotten better, largely from stepping back from its over-reliance on juvenile humor that wasn’t funny most of the time and actually giving us a bit of story to focus on.  But it’s also because the focus has been on characters more interesting than Matoi, which begs the question – how strongly can a series succeed when the main character is the least interesting person in the cast?  Certainly we’ve had shows that have done pretty well, as this syndrome isn’t all that common, but it does limit the upside somewhat.  There’s still time for Matoi to establish something but right now she’s a bore as far as I’m concerned, and I really don’t think we’ve been given much reason to care about her personal journey.  Given that KlK is largely build around that premise, it’s a problem that could be a lingering one.

I also don’t care much for the battle format the series has set up, because there’s very little suspense about how any of these fights are going to end up and while there’s certainly creativity in the way they’re depicted, it’s not as if the visuals alone are enough to make them riveting.  Most of the interest in this episode came from Sangeyama’s backstory and the lengths he was willing to go to in order to prove his worth to Satsuki.  In much the same way Viral’s fierce determination and loyalty was more interesting than the characters he was loyal to, so it is with Sangeyama here.

That said, I do find Satsuki’s family situation more interesting than Matoi’s.  This time around we’re introduced to her mother, Ragyou (Paku Romi), by phone anyway, and adding another legend like Paku to the cast can only help.  It hasn’t escaped my thoughts that KlK could be setting up a scenario here where the Kiryuuin family ends up being the good guys – either in the mode of the Spiral King in Gurren-Lagann, or because Aikurou and Nudist Beach are revealed to be the real threat to mankind.  I kind of hope so, to be honest, because the prospect of the feud between Ryuuko and Satsuki dragging on through two cours, with the flunkies being defeated one-by-one building up to the eventual duel with (and defeat of) Satsuki sounds like a pretty wearisome slog to me.

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7 comments

  1. M

    Satsuki's family is probably going to be the real big bad of the second half of the show. I think that is part of the reason why Satsuki is going so easy on Matoi she sees that Matoi could be useful in the future if she can bring out her full potential.

    My second theory has less support in the show but I think there is a good chance that Satsuki and Matoi are sisters which gives Satsuki another reason to not kill her.

  2. Satsuki's family is the big bad now, so that would hardly be much of a curveball…

  3. M

    I meant that I think Satsuki will end up opposing her family instead of representing it.
    It seems like she is trying to build a personal power base so she maybe already planning on it. Which is why she wants Matoi running around either to bring her into the fold or use her to train the troops.

  4. H

    "I also don't care much for the battle format the series has set up, because there's very little suspense about how any of these fights are going to end up" I dunno, the show broke format a bit this week (no kidnapping Mako, no speech from her, it was Ryuko who won first and then lost, it's becoming more and more apparent that she really is outclassed here), I wouldn't call it super predictable at this point. Sure it's easy to guess what will happen each episode (there will be a fight, Ryuko will get the crap beaten out of her before she figures out a way to fight back, etc) but they're starting to change up the fights enough that I wonder how long we'll be able to do even that.

  5. J

    Glad they're giving us a change of pace here. I can dig this version of KLK.

  6. E

    To me it seems that both Nudist Beach and the Kiryuuin family are gonna be villains. The way the main mystery is set up (the death of Ryuuko's father and the theft of the blue Scissor Blade) and the way both main characters act (one as an antihero and another as an antivillain) leaves the plot open to any kind of twist they want. Though it would be nice if the good/bad line was defined independently of NB versus Honnouji Academy.

    The one thing I'm almost certain about is that, judging by how Junketsu is (so far) portrayed to be unintelligent and crazed in contrast to Senketsu's talkativeness and loyalty, Satsuki might be walking a dangerous path that might end in a way similar to what happened with Kinue – she might end consumed by the Godrobe. Though this speculation comes from a gut feeling that Senketsu's bond with Ryuuko is the thing that could prevent an event like what happened with Kinue to happen again.

  7. R

    Looks like Nijuuri-sensei traded his teaching position at Holmes Detective Academy for Honnouji Academy.

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