Every wondered what high school would be like if your clothes suddenly came to life while you being bullied by members of the Student Council and/or Board of Activities? Do you ever feel the need to shed your shirt off and let your pants hang low to reveal a bit more? Does the thought of your clothes using your own blood to give you and itself power in a life or death battle within your high school sound appealing to you? If it does, then you must love this fall’s new show, Kill la Kill.
Kill la Kill features the epic story of Ryuuko Matoi as she transfers into the high prestigious Honnouji Academy; which controls the entire city. As Ryuuko goes there to find the person who murdered her father and avenge him, the Student Council, led by the powerful and overly-worshipped Satsuki Kiryuuin, wants to make an example of her. As Ryuuko openly rebels against the Council and their hierarchy of super powered uniforms, the Council sends members to face off against our heroine. After her first encounter with the Council, she ended up go back to the site that was once her home; trying to find clues about her father and why he was killed. Ryuuko gets a clue in the form of the half giant scissor she wields and a uniform, called a Kamui. Ryuuko is bleeding at the time, which awakens her Kamui named Senketsu and puts himself on her. Thus, Ryuuko battles the Council’s activity board while dressed in her living uniform … which transforms into a revealing outfit when blood is introduced to it. Ryuuko is not alone though as her friend, Mako and her homeroom teacher, Aikuro Mikisugi, help her in her battle to take down the Student Council and find out who killed her father.
While that may some up the show’s main plot, the show is far more than its plot. Done by Trigger, an animation studio that broke off after working on Gurren Laggan, this show looks about as insane as it sounds. The animation is very similar to Gurren Laggan, but with less details and brighter tones of colors. There are lots of “hotter” colors in the animation and a grainy look to it. Many people or names introduced into the show are always shown in large, bold red lettering. Trigger goes out of its way to make the show look like 70s martial arts flicks that you would watch from old VHS cassettes. And while that covers the physical look, the actual clothing and setting also play roles.
The show immediately displays the hierarchy of the school and the city in one fowl swoop. The school sits on the top of the largest hill/mountain; showing its dominance while overlooking school. Meanwhile, the students are set to a hierarchy based on special “STAR UNIFORMS;” which gives the people using them powers but are not alive like the Kamui. Under Council President Satsuki, her most powerful members are the Four Elites, which you do meet early on. This help really give the school an ominous, oppressive feel. Plus, it gives us a plethoria of characters of different levels and stature within this hierarchy to watch.
Yet, as clothes play a large role in this show, Trigger has no problem going with its brand of insanity, much like their work on Dead Leaves, as well. There is fan service on this show that keeps people’s attention. To deliberate shots to Senketsu’s very revealing transformation on Ryuuko to even the homeroom teacher, Aikuro; this show does not shy away from showing skin. There have already been moments that showing skin was used to throw off an enemy and that was seen in the first episode. Yet, Trigger makes sure not to go overboard as they give you just enough fan service to catch your eye but not drown you in it. When alone with Ryuuko and Senkentsu, Aikuro’s clothes have a habit of sliding over, showing his chest; making sure that there is fan service for women as well as men.
Bringing to life Kill la Kill is a strong Japanese voice cast. Our heroine is played by Ami Koshimizu; a veteran seiyuu of shows like School Rumble (Tenma Tsukamoto), Suite PreCure (Cure Melody) and Code Geass (Kallen Stadtfield). Playing the powerful and pervy –looking kamui Senketsu is long time actor Toshihiko Seki; who has done anime work like Saint Seiya (Scorpio Milo) and Gundam Wing (Duo Maxwell), as well as roles in tokusatsu such as Kamen Rider Den-O as the voice of Momotaros. Playing the powerful Satsuki Ryuuin is voice actress Ryoka Yuzuki, who has had roles in My-HiME (Haruka Suzushiro) and Naruto/Naruto Shippuden (Ino Yamanaka). The cast is also filled with other veteran voices that help draw you into the insane world of the show like Shinchiro Miki, Tetsu Inada, Noyubiki Hiyama and Marino Inoue.
Kill la Kill definitely is a great show that Trigger immediately put its stamp on while starting to be different. The story is complex enough for multiple plots while still be simple enough to follow, even if you miss the episode. The characters, for the most part, are extremely over the top. Yet, this characters are only as over the top as the story permits. Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Kill la Kill makes sure that its combat and story is still compelling while a good amount of insanity is going.
I am extremely impressed with this show so far. Good animation. Great battles. A strong, veteran voice cast. A gripping story. Insanity at the drop of a hat mixed with fan service and a serious story makes Kill la Kill possibly the best new anime of 2013. Yet, four episodes in and the show just get better and better. So, my initial impression of Kill la Kill ends up scoring 5 stars out of five! WATCH IT NOW! It’s been streamed on both Daisuki and Crunchyroll with English subtitles. So, go, watch the insanity and see how much Trigger pull it off again.