Why you should watch Kill la Kill

vlcsnap-2013-10-19-12h54m59s204 Kill la Kill is the anime that will save anime.

This is what everyone is referring to the new series as, and they have every reason to believe it. Kill la Kill is a rare display of Japanese animation in a time where catering to the otaku crowd and depriving them of their money with poorly made moe crap is the most common course of action for animation studios. The work of Trigger, an animation studio that normally does production assistance for other shows, Kill la Kill is the studio’s inaugural effort at making their own television series. It also has the minds of Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima on the project, both of whom have previously worked on Gurren Lagann, another highly acclaimed series.

But what exactly makes Kill la Kill so attractive, so endearing, so punchy, and just so damn fun to watch?

The Characters

Student of the month material.

Student of the month material.

Kill la Kill features a cast of characters that automatically get your attention. From Ryuko’s stoic and badass demeanor, to Mako’s overly positive attitude and tendency to throw herself at her friends like a torpedo, each character makes an effort to stand out amongst a sizable cast filled with other students, the faculty, and even the lowly grunts Ryuko fights against.The villains are just as likable, from the massive and imposing Ira Gamagoori who acts like a military general, to Lady Satsuki herself with her royal aura and opinions on society. Even the minor characters have interesting personalities, such as Mako’s father, a back alley doctor who supposedly has killed more patients than he’s saved.

Hardly any character feels like wasted space, if any at all. Compare this to anime like Sword Art Online, which features only a couple likable characters out of an entire cast of poorly written Mary Sues that have zero personality, and it’s clear to see that the writers of Kill la Kill put all their focus on making every character as appealing and memorable as possible.

The Action

Clash of the barely clothed.

Clash of the barely clothed.

This show is pure action anime at its core, and the fights that go on in each episode are over-the-top insane. Ryuko fights with one half of a giant pair of scissors that, when combined with the power granted by Senketsu, the sailor uniform she wears that grants her increased strength by drinking her blood, can allow her to do incredible things. In four episodes, we have seen her do incredible feats like take a blow from a giant metal boxing glove without flinching, as well as launching a tennis ball at mach speed into her opponent’s face (repeatedly).

The sheer absurdity of the fight scenes alone is what makes them so gripping, as you wait to see how each person tries to counter the other’s assault, often dealing a ridiculous amount of damage to the surrounding area at the same time. Episode 4 alone cranks the action up to 11, having entire city shootouts, trolly car shenanigans, and a buttload of traps that Ryuko and company fight through, including a deadly cheese trap. Kill la Kill embraces the absurdity and the ridiculousness of every action taken and the seemingly limitless possibilities, which creates scenes that you don’t want to look away from for even a second.

The Animation

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Shots like these are what help make the show.

Despite clearly being done on a minimal budget, each episode has an artistic style that makes it stand out even among other action shows. Each animation shortcut is done for a specific purpose, whether it’s to highlight a key shot, to get a good laugh from the viewer, or to draw attention to a particular character. A perfect example of this is Mako’s numerous mannerisms. Being a comic relief character, she has a multitude of quirky animations that have a lack of frames and thickness, but is done in a way that not only works within their budget, but makes her stand out as a comedic character, and the perfect foil for Ryuko’s hardened personality and amount of polish in her animations.

When the animation does go all out, though, it’s done in a way that will make your eyeballs have multiple orgasms. From swooping camera angles, to moments of smooth movement and incredible detail, and even artistic stills that show the characters in different lights. The animation shortcuts allow the animators to better contribute to the show’s overall style and add to the charm each episode brings, while the high budget shots help to bring everything together when it counts the most.

The Equal Opportunity Fanservice

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Hello ladies…

Now, I normally don’t care for anime shows that just blindly throw out forced fanservice at the drop of a hat. Shows like Soul Eater have a humongous problem with things like suddenly forcing a pair of tits or an ass in your face for no apparent reason. Kill la Kill also does the fanservice thing, especially in regards to the design of the Kamui, and while I don’t particularly care for it myself, the show makes it easier to overlook, as Ryuko is actually aware of and constantly objects to the ludicrous and insanely revealing design of Senketsu before learning how to truly utilize his power.

The other thing that makes Kill la Kill unique in this respect, is that the show does fanservice not just for the larger male demographic, but for the female demographic as well. In episode two, Mikisugi, Ryuko’s teacher, randomly starts stripping himself down and going full bishi mode while calmly explaining the power of her uniform and how it functions. This practice continues in episode three to an even more hilarious extent, much to Ryuko’s dismay. It’s as much obvious pandering to women as the Kamui are obvious pandering to men, but both sides are done in such a manner that gets you to not even care, and simply laugh at it for the sake of hilarity. You probably still don’t want to watch it with your parents in the room, though.

There’s ALWAYS Something Happening

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“This is MY waifu! Get your own!”

Kill la Kill is a kind of show that puts the pedal to the floor and rarely lets up for anything. As a result, there is hardly any dead air going on, and even when it seems like there’s nothing happening, there’s always some background element going on that catches your eye, even if it’s just animals humping each other on a rooftop. It’s these little touches that most shows don’t even consider that make it such a treat. Because of this, the pacing of the show is also at a constant level, always pushing things forward, rarely stagnating, and continuing to make things even more absurd and ridiculous by the second. By the end of a single episode, you find yourself so drained because of everything you took in and forgetting to untense your muscles after the climax.

So please, go watch Kill la Kill. Whether you think it’ll save anime or not doesn’t really matter, as it’s just a damn good show that brings action and humor in a way that makes it truly unique in a time where moeification is increasingly becoming an easy way out. Look for fansubs, check it out on Hulu or Crunchyroll, whichever method you utilize, just please go watch this.

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