(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)
Ok, last episode was all sorts of great. The most fun I’ve had with KLK since episode 13. Now we know what the sides are, we know what we are fighting for, and what are our goals. Well, we think we do. But now it’s time for showdowns, now it’s time for the festival, and now it’s time for betrayal. Let us see how the Kiryuins play this game of clothes, where you win, or you end up naked.
And yes, we must also see what Senketsu has to say about all of this.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Being Kiryuin Satsuki, Being Matoi Ryuuko:
1) 40 seconds in, and already two interesting facts. First, the elite four are indeed Satsuki’s confidants, she only had to say that her mother is coming, and they know what’s up.
Second, and this is really interesting, we finally (for the first time since episode 8?) see things from what I am going to call “Satsuki vision.” It’s not like before where the point is to show how tiny everyone else is, how in the end Satsuki can’t rely on the masses, but the point is that rather than see Satsuki from below, from Ryuko-Vision, we get to occupy Satsuki’s mind, we get to be Satsuki. Satsuki is our protagonist in this scene, she is troubled, she is unsure. She isn’t the distant and domineering figure that must be brought down. This is Satsuki-vision, and we are on her side.
2) What an interesting phrasing, “A mere half-naked high school student” and the reply makes perfect sense, “I’d go fully naked for you then.” – The pun in Mohawk guy’s line was quite clever. “Mere high school student who’s half naked” meaning she doesn’t have much to draw upon, as he said, but also, and this is important because it’s Nudist Beach, that she’s only half-naked :)
3) Even with all the overt references to Gurren Lagann, this quiet moment of looking at the stars and of introspection is the one that makes me think of that show the most, of all we’ve seen in this show thus far.
4) At least Ryuuko is self aware. She did it before with her fight against Inumuta, with “Make an attack over the top enough and it’ll be sure to hit!” and here, “I’m scared, before it was just a brawl, but now it’s a grand battle involving stuff I don’t understand.” Ryuuko is a simple person, with simple methods (always charging ahead), but we still like her.
5) And in case you need further cementing of their connection, we have the age old romantic shot – Ryuuko and Satsuki share the same nighttime sky, the same moon. They look at it and think things through. Had it been a romantic show, one of them would ask or say, “Is she looking at the same skies as I do?” but since it is not (purportedly!), then we must say it in their stead ;-)
6) “I suppose I was a kindhearted girl back then,” the girl who told Nonon of the tower she must erect within her mind, and never bow to another :< Also, makes one wonder, if she thinks she used to be kind, what exactly happened, how it all “had begun” back then, what had begun?
2) The Mankanshokus are the Symbol of Humanity – Greedy and Petty:
1) Even Gamagoori Ira knows not to get between the Mankanshokus and free food, I mean, he can’t even stand up to the daughter, so how will he stand up to her parents?
2) Look at Mankanshakou Matarou, and try to ignore the fact Trigger actually drew his penis and scrotum. Sorry, where was I? He’s stuffing himself, he’s stuffing himself like a pig. He’s not literally dressed, right? So he’s clothed in a human’s clothing, meaning his skin. Mataraou is the literal “pig in man’s clothings” that Satsuki so despises. Had this been Pinocchio or Spirited Away, they’d have become literal pigs long ago, but in this show we must do some thematic legwork ourselves. All for food, all for extra money. It’s allgreed. Small and petty.
3) Being Kiryuin Ragyou is Being Radiant:
1) Yes, yes, don’t stop… give me more marketing talk, yes… :o
2) This is worrying talk. Does this talk truly contain thematic depth, or is it merely a cover-up to hide hollowness within the show? This is worrying talk, this is the talk of gods, and of dictators who see themselves akin to talk. This is the sort of talk you expect from those who think it’s their place to decide what is true, and what is moral. This is the sort of talk you expect from people in charge of fashion boutiques, and fashion magazines ;-) And fashion? We already heard that in this show it’s a double entendre for fascism.
To talk a bit of the content, Nui is a perfect embodiment of there being a fly in the ointment. She’s so pretty, but she’s incomplete, for she has lost her eye. She looks so innocent, but she fosters strife. She’s unwholesome. Ragyou puts Nui’s philosophy succinctly thus: “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” But Ragyou is the arbiter of taste, she takes what is purportedly subjective to be her dominion. She would seek dominion over people’s thoughts, and this brings us back to 1984.
Making an Entrance:
1) Mama Ragyou had always been scary, but… I might have nightmares ;_; This is… yes, it’s impressive, in a way that leaves me speechless, as I try to make my way to the exit and run away. All those people clapping, I wonder what they’re truly thinking.
2) A villain, casually spreading hints she knows all about them, and can unravel their lives, one thread at a time.
3) Not a ruler, but a priest, a priest of a sun god, a living embodiment of her god, the god of clothes (and sun). Still spreading her truth, which is sort of funny, since she’d been all too busy covering it up up until now.
4) Honestly, with those horns and that attitude, she’s almost a classic villain, not just Kefka, but alsoMaleficient, the villain from Sleeping Beauty, whose clothes became her dragon wings, and dragon tail.
4) “Goodbye, Mother.”
1) “Goodbye, mother.” Man, Satsuki sure had a lot of anger and hatred toward her mother pent up within her. And with her dress, here it looks like Satsuki is sticking her sword through a big fish. But now that she cast her off, it looks as if she had crucified a dragon. A dragon? A serpent.
2) Yeah, Ryuuko is speechless. Ryuuko whose original motivation was to avenge her father, seeing someone slay their own parent… it also throws her whole world into disarray – she knows to fight the enemy in front of her, but this? This is a game of allegiances which she doesn’t even begin to have the tools to navigate.
3) I was quite surprised when Satsuki declared that now she rebels against her mother, cause she’s dead, right? Unless it’s symbolic, like spitting on someone’s corpse. But now we see the old serpent isn’t so quick to die. She looks even scarier now. I was worried things ended too quickly… You can also see that Ragyou’s mind is truly all about having power, for she interprets everything by that framework.
Shorter Asides / Notes:
- LOL, so much text you can’t even see the screen. I was amused that just in the middle of a talk, and not for its first introduction, we got the block letters for the festival to begin with :p
- Of course, the hidden cameras pick up the block letters as well. They truly do have a physical presence.
- Gotta love that Ryuuko face of an angry shounen hero <3 And yeah, your usual plot of sacrificing humans in order to awaken elder gods :3
- Ok, this is my 2nd favourite Ryuuko smile, the crooked smile that’s sort of kind. My #1 favourite face of hers is when she has the crooked half-smile that says, “Bring it, punk.”
- Well, that’s another thing Ryuuko and Satsuki share, the knowledge of how to make an impressive entrance.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, this surely was an episode where things happened. If I break down the last three episodes it’d be as follows: Episode 15 had a lot of movement, but not a lot actually happened, not a lot actually changed. Episode 16 was an episode where not a lot of events transpired, but even so, a lot happened inside our heads, and the characters’ – the sides were redefined, we could actually see the sides, perceive what they were fighting for, and had to sit there slowly as the world shifted before our eyes while not actually moving an inch, a terrifying experience when it happens to you in real life.
This episode was the pay-off of last episode. We’ve set the pieces on the board, we gave them motivations, we had a situation, and now we’ve had them carry it out.
But what we know isn’t the same as what the characters do. Poor Ryuuko is completely lost, and mother Ragyou, especially when you look at the preview, seems pretty far from out of the fight.
We have 7 episodes to go, we have the Elite Four, we have Satsuki, Ragyou, Ryuuko, and Nudist Beach. Who’s going to fight whom? How will it turn out? Why is Satsuki so darn angry? I mean, sure, she rejects external power and will not have others dictate to her the shape of the world, but it seems to go a lot farther than that.
This was an episode, this was fun.