So, the past week I put my effort into catching up with Kill la Kill, hoping that it at least would show how to tell a story correctly. And yeah, as much as I’d like to stay positive here, it turned out to be yet another hit on the list of the disappointments of the past Fall Season. Not a total disappointment, mind you. Still I’m not gonna recommend this one.
However to offset all of the negative things I’m going to say next, I do have a few positive points: I like that this show doesn’t really have a clear main character anymore. Sure, Ryuko still is really powerful and sortof in the center and all, but it’s not like she got the most attention here. She spent so many episodes out of the loop, to the point where the guys from Nudist Beach and the Elite Four had to push the story forward. Episode 21’s ending also finally brought in some good emotions. Not great, but I did enjoy it. The main villain also has a great theme song, and the side characters are quirky in a way that works.
Is that enough though… let’s start with the thing that you’ll firstly notice about the second half of this series: the OP sucks. I often say OPs suck and all, but let me go into a bit more detail, because this is something I just keep hearing over and over again: THE MELODY IS EXACTLY THE SAME as every other OP out there. The way the opening starts, with the short jingle, then followed by the sound that plays over the main credits: that exact melody gets used in every single OP with only slight variations here and there. After that you have this fast-paced base while we look at the main characters: again you hear that everywhere. After the introductions, the music intensifies again while we see the main characters fighting: yet again something that has been beaten to death. I thought that Kill la Kill meant to set conventions? What’s it doing with so many dead horses here?
The good news is that the new OP IS the worst thing I found about the second half so far, however there were other things that… just did not sit quite right with me. Here is the thing: Satsuki was an interesting villain. She was built up, she stood there, having built up the school, and she had this fun rivalry with Ryuko. On top of that she had some fun underlings which made the first thirteen episodes varied, and fun to watch. In the second half, she is replaced with the main villain of this series, who in all honestly is a really boring villain. She’s just another all-powerful villain who wants to destroy the world, blah blah blah. However, the biggest problem is that she only has one underling. So for like, the past eight episodes we had to watch mostly fights against her and that underling. There’s only so many times that you can show them easily pwning the good guys until it gets boring, especially when all these fights are so one-sided. Every time they’re scratched they just pull these magical life threads out of their asses (or boobs in this case) and they’re completely fine as if nothing happened. Once or twice this is fine, but they just keep doing that.
I know I’ve gotten more cynical, but here’s one thing that also bothered me with especially the past few episodes that’s something that I’ve hated ever since I started this blog: brainwashing. Ryuko is reduced to a mere shell who doesn’t think for herself at all, she’s not responsible for her actions, she is just this big robot who is nearly invincible until she’s saved by rules that are conveniently very loose. And she gets brainwashed twice. And I get that she’s losing control of her emotions and sanity. That was built up. What wasn’t built up is her suddenly becoming the slave of the main villain.
Kill la Kill was fun because it kept us entertained for every episode with over the top action scenes that knew how to be fun and varied, using the backdrop of clothing as their setting and symbolism, but to me it seems like the second half just needed half the episodes, and the characters have been running around naked for a bit too long now, not really knowing what to do. I mean, I did not hate these episodes or something, but I noticed quite a few points at which I was just bored by what was going on… did I really make the right decision to prioritize this series over the new season of Hajime no Ippo?