Kill la Kill Episode 18 Notes – Cry Out Your Resolve! Fight for Freedom!

(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.)

It’s 3 am. Kill la Kill is out. I am tired.

Screw it. We’re doing this.

Well, last episode certainly ended with a bang, and even Ryuuko was left with nothing to say aside for “What the hell is going on?!” – Satsuki set upon Ragyou, but it seems like we can’t count Ragyou out so quickly. This will be a battle, with so many sides and participants – Ryuuko, Nudist Beach, Kiryuin Ragyou, Kiryuin Satsuki, Nui, the Elite Four, and who knows what’s going to happen with all of the people in the stadium who are currently busy being consumed by their clothes? And we can’t count out Mako just yet either…

There’ll be fights, and there’ll likely be flashbacks and revelations. I just don’t know what is going to happen asidefrom all of this, and what will happen afterwards, because I doubt it’d be done with one big fight.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) A Statement of Intent. An Ideological Clash, For Power:

Kill la Kill Episode 18 notes anime - Kiryuuin Satsuki and an impaled Kiryuuin Ragyou

Take that, Mother!

1) Even with how ridiculous Ragyou looks, or perhaps because of it, even when she’s impaled on a cross, Ragyou looks imperious, domineering, and more than a little frightening. So you stabbed her in the back, so you cast her off. Don’t count her out just yet, don’t think you’ve triumphed. I mean, part of the reason she looks like a clown are all the colours of her hair, but they’ve been scary before, they’re signs of her power.

But Satsuki also looks like a badass here. Note how here Ragyou looks like a dragon, or some sort of undead. A totally different look than the previous shot, but seconds earlier.

2) Hm, Satsuki now decries her truths, the one she did when we first met her – “Fear is freedom! Control is Liberty! Contradiction is Truth!” Satsuki could be free only because she was afraid of Ragyou? Or is it that those who are afraid choose to serve, and are free of their fear? Control is Liberty – By pretending to be controlled, she could be free. By controlling others, her loyalty was never questioned. Or if we subvert it as well, by being controlled one is freed from having to choose, to take ownership of one’s life. “Contradiction is truth” obviously stems from the above, and as had been pointed out numerous times, Satsuki’s stance is often incoherent, self-contradictory.

I still wonder whether we’ll get more of an explanation from Satsuki now about what she means. One change, or one clarification is already present, “You pig who serves clothes.” – The person to whom she directed this originally had been a man who sought clothes to give him power, to use clothes as his power, rather than rely on himself. Humans do their own work, rather than surrender to others. That’s why sometimes Satsuki had been so harsh on Ryuuko, as she had accused her in episode 15, saying she only has power due to wearing Senketsu.

2) Plans and Counter-Plans:

Kill la Kill Episode 18 notes anime - Kiryuuin Satsuki

Satsuki, still looking like a villain. The end justifies the means.

1) Inumuta’s release of the audience, this is perfectly Satsuki. People sometimes argue that Ryuuko hadn’t been entirely played by Satsuki, and this shows why I disagree. Satsuki used Ryuuko to strengthen her faction and weed out weaknesses, and she had taken the knowledge gained from fighting against Nudist Beach in order to obtain their anti-clothes methods, which she now used against the Life-Fibers.

2) “I am a being who is one step away from divinity.” She said “Semedayo,” or some such, isn’t that somehow related to “threads”, that word?

3) I do wonder, “Burn any REVOCS” clothings you own, yet the students wear life-fiber enhanced suits. Yes, they have developed a resilience to them, but I can’t help but feel it’ll still bite them in the butt, when their source of power is defined by their enemy. When it is, in fact, their enemy.

4) Satsuki had been birthed to be a test subject for life-fiber experiments. This is somewhat similar to Senketsu and Ryuuko’s origin story, isn’t it? The similarities continue.

5) Oh my, the child didn’t meet her expectations, its heart stopped, so Ragyou just dropped it down the garbage chute. When you treat clothes as people, and value them more than you do humans, it’s not a real surprise you think of humans as nothing but tools. An inverse world. Heck, she didn’t have a child she happened to use for her experiments, she only created the child for the sake of the experiments. A cold mother, cold-blooded, like a snake.

6) And here we go… the students wearing life-fiber enhanced clothes had been overcome, and are now tools against Satsuki. What was it that Sanageyama had said many episodes back? Those who only have one tool will end up losing to that tool, see the students and their uniforms.

7) Every time someone looks powerful in this show, even as they speak of “justice”, in the end they all look like villains, eh? No matter what you do, it involves taking someone else’s life and/or freedom.

3) The Spirit of Man:

Kill la Kill Episode 18 notes anime - Matoi Ryuuko and Kiryuuin Satsuki

The frenemies.

1) Ryuuko’s red hair became a mini-scissor-blade and cut the thread inside her brain… That just happened, right? O.O Well, we do know that only Ryuuko can wear Senketsu, because she has an extraordinary tolerance for life fibers, I guess this is the manifestation of her Determinator spirit, her being a shounen hero who will never relent.

2) Amazing, this is a great shot to use as a wallpaper, to use to showcase how Ryuuko and Satsuki are enemies, right? But I’d title it as “friends”. Friendship forged in battle, and the witticism of those who respect one another, of two shounen heroes, or at least protagonists.

3) Senketsu and Ryuuko are as one. The shot looks as if Ryuuko is perfectly balanced between two powers, almost as if she’s hovering in some psychedelic space between two poles.

4) “So in the end, this is all a mold-ridden plot for revenge?” – You can take that in two different ways, both that this plot had been in the making for about 12 years now, and that this story is so mundane. But then again, there’s a reason revenge is so often the motivation in such stories – it works, it is human.

And Satsuki not only accepts that, but embraces it – great causes are fueled by personal ambitions. Yes. In the end, it’s all about making things personal, it’s about finding something that fires you up. Satsuki channels her inner Uma Thurman as Kill Bill’s bride now.

4) Getting Ahead of Ourselves:

Kill la Kill Episode 18 notes anime - Kiryuuin Ragyou wearing Junketsu

A mother trying to capture her daughter’s youth.

1) Kiryuuin Satsuki, a matricide. Except we still have 5 minutes and 6 more episodes to go. I don’t think we’re done just yet.

2) I can’t find right now where I’ve said this, but I remember talking before of how Satsuki’s talk of wearing Junketsu, of being willing to reveal herself, might not be all that. Now we find out that for how she made much of how she was willing to wear her cloth, to let go of shame, she’s still not truly wearing it, she’s still not truly fused with it. Does this mean the same is true for Ryuuko, who used Satsuki with Junketsu as her model, or is her current state what Ragyou is speaking of? But, would Satsuki interpret it as, or should we interpret third episode in light of this as if Satsuki isn’t naked enough? Or perhaps the thematic opposite? Taking your clothes off and being shameless can give you a power-boost, but in the end it’s not nearly enough. Ragyou wields clothes against her half-naked daughter. Ragyou wields covers, or original sin, orshame as a weapon, even as she herself is shameless. Contradiction is Truth!

3) Souichiro told Satsuki that when she wears Junketsu she’ll lose her humanity, so perhaps not wearing it fully protected her? Then again, who knows what he meant. On a thematic level, being consumed by your wedding dress, that becoming a wife reduces you to being “less than a human” is definitely interesting.But, what does it mean then that Ragyou is wearing Junketsu? What is special about the kamui? Is it that they’re 100% life-fibers? But so are the COVERs, and basically everything Ragyou is wearing, no? Well, it does mean she had taken her daughter’s future, her dowry from her. She disinherited her.

4) “My daughter!” – I mean, so many of us saw this coming, right? But still, it’s so very mean to end an episode here. Evil Trigger :P This also explains the “life is so droll” line from Ragyou, who hadn’t expected to meet her thought to be dead daughter here, and her two daughters united, against her. She made them her tools before, and now it’s time to dispose of them.

Mother knows her daughter’s heart best…

Hm, next episode’s preview is interesting. I know I at least kept harping on how humane, how funny, how interesting the Elite Four had been, and how Gamagoori and Sanageyama had been built up as shounen heroes, not as villains, from the get-go. Well, seems it’s all up to them now.

Shorter Notes / Asides:

Kill la Kill Episode 18 notes anime - Harime Nui versus the Elite Four

Who’s the villain and who’s the hero?

  1. Sanageyama’s Mk. 3 suit reminds me of Hakumen from BlazBlue. I also really dig his music as he faces off against Nui.
  2. A light stand-off, they’re like two planets, two suns, on a collision force with one another. They reflect each other’s light, who will dare step between these two?
  3. You know, little Nui against the giant 4 mecha-Elite 4? I’m not sure they have what it takes. They actually remind me a bit of the Beastmen in Gurren Lagann, whereas Nui is the so-called “champion of humanity.” But that only serves to show how monstrous her power is.
  4. Does the young Ragyou look like Cruella De Vil to anyone else? But I feel I’m missing some Beach Boy movie reference or something with Satsuki’s father’s hair :p
  5. The most Kefka of looks. Ragyou even reminds one of Jack Nicholson, or the devil himself.
  6. Nui brings the best faces out of Ryuuko. So angry she can’t even look angry, just shocked at being so close to her father’s killer.

Post Episode Thoughts:

Kill la Kill Episode 18 notes anime - Matoi Ryuuko

“I’m shocked! You think I’m not cute?!”

Well, this was an episode. Again, like last episode’s second half, not only did we have action, but the action felt like it was going places, like it was advancing us. The action serves to have the different cast members’ ideologies and personalities clash. They are forced to re-assess the world as they know it, to re-assess themselves, and who they’ve always been, moment by moment.

I’ve seen the theory that the two girls are sisters numerous times, and I myself kept stressing how much they seem to mirror one another. But now Satsuki is seemingly out of the picture, and her allies, her friends, who had always believed in her must carry the day. But, they had been collected by Satsuki, her will had been entrusted to them, so their success is her success, and that’s what we call a legacy, that’s what we call a mother who had birthed a revolution.

Considering how many episodes we have left though, I have no idea how long each thing will happen, and what will happen after. We might even get 3-4 episodes where the Elite Four are the resistance, but I think right now the pedal is on the metal, and we’re moving full speed ahead.

This episode was fun, this episode had been a rollercoaster, and all the action heroes this show kept collecting got to face off. More than combat, combat itself is almost unimportant, we got them to act out their natures and resolve. I still wonder if Satsuki’s philosophy will be laid bare before us at some point. One can only hope.

And it’s now 05:14 AM. I think I’ll go to sleep now…

Return to the Kill la Kill Episodic Notes page.

5 comments on “Kill la Kill Episode 18 Notes – Cry Out Your Resolve! Fight for Freedom!

  1. Artemis says:

    “Satsuki channels her inner Uma Thurman as Kill Bill’s bride now.”

    Nice comparison there. I hadn’t thought of that, but now that you mention it, it’s a pretty good fit.

    • Guy says:

      Kill Bill is designed to be a quintessential “Revenge Film”, and in a way, so is Kill la Kill, well, at least in the beginning :)

  2. Fear is freedom! Control is Liberty! Contradiction is Truth!

    To me you have to see those the other way around. Someone who uses fear and control over others/events can achieve ”total freedom and liberty”. If everyone does as you say and everything happens the way you want then you can do has you please.

    She still seeks control over her own life and this control will bring her liberty.

    Contradiction is truth is maybe about twisting/changing your perceptions.

    • Guy says:

      Considering you’re basically quoting things I’ve said in earlier write-ups, I can’t completely disagree ;-)

      I still think they’re not exploring it fully, which they should. Also, the final line is essentially DoubleThink, which is just repeating the same thing, which might be the explanation, but in this context feels like a bit of a cop-out, and counter to Satsuki’s character.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.