(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.)
Believe it or not, Kill la Kill had been my #1 show for the week for the past 3 weeks, and it’s been quite some time since it’s been this strong. The last few weeks had been great. Last episode certainly left us in a precarious position, with the two girls, the two sisters being smacked about by their mother, who took one daughter’s clothes, meaning her dignity, away, and is holding the heart of the other daughter, the one fueled by her emotions.
I guess it’s now up to the supporting cast. Supporting cast that’d been given their own flashback scenes, a supporting cast that had been set up not as shounen sidekicks, but as protagonists. I wonder how long this will go on, and how awesome our Elite Four and Others are going to be. Show me, excite me. You can do it, Trigger.
Thoughts and Notes:
1) Humanity Under Siege:
1) We often think of empty clothes on a clothes stand, that’s exactly how the humans appear now – as pieces held by a playmobil, as insignificant insects toyed with by powers beyond their ken. The clothes wear the human, which is what Senketsu and Satsuki had spoken of in episode 3. These are covers, they choke you up, suffocate you, they hide away your true self.
2) COVERs, after consuming a human, they sort of remind me of Neon Genesis Evangelion. You know what’s very meaningful here, though? The clothes aren’t very powerful on their own. They must make use of a person. The clothes enhance humans, but are more or less powerless on their own. They could opt for a symbiotic relationship, as Senketsu and Ryuuko had adopted, but they appear to have chosen the way of the Goul’d from Stargate, or the Iron Empires parasitic worms, the way of taking over.
3) “Mankanshoku!” – The heartfelt cry from Gamagoori Ira had rung through the stadium, and through the hearts of the show’s watchers, young and old. :P Well, it’s time to be a badass, Gamagoori. Show us you going all out. “Mankanshoku!!”
4) Man, as expected from someone who had planned a revolt against her mother since she’d been five and began it by stabbing her through the heart, she blew up her newly found sister, her friends, and herself. Humanity must be free! They might be nothing more than pigs in men’s clothings, but they’re still human pigs.
2) Humanity Fights Back!:
1) The Resistance! The gloomy atmosphere, the grey colour palette, it’s like a mixture of Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta and Holocaust films, or WW2 films in general (the ones made in the 50s or 60s, not the modern action-fests). Also makes me think somewhat of Dark City. So a month had passed, but what of the rest of the world?
2) Nudist Nonon, somewhat reminiscent of noir films, as the femme fatale. Sanageyama will not be undressed again, and is back to where he hails from, to save the populace. “Just across the hill, there’s a chopper waiting!” – We Vietnam era now? :P
I guess I spoke too soon. Back to being naked, Sanageyama. Guess things are rough without a tailor to patch you up.
3) You can take the Gamagoori Ira out of the disciplinary corps, but you can’t take the disciplinary corps out of Gamagoori Ira! And as often is the case, he’s got a point. Except both of the kids are to blame. To receive respect, you should show some to others.
4) So, all the schools Satsuki had vanquished? It wasn’t to declaw them. The opposite, it was to arm them against her enemies. Sanageyama’s former underlings, just as he was worthy, so were they. Those who stood up to Satsuki, they were the backbone of the resistance.
Teacher actually has a good point, if Satsuki had been grooming her former enemies, why destroy Nudist Beach? But of course, as Inumuta says, you can’t flaunt your intentions. Not that it helped them too much in the end. The most important piece of knowledge here is that Iori is working on something so important he didn’t have time to fix up the Elite Four’s suits, assuming he had the tools / they had come back to HQ before they’d been destroyed for the first time.
3) The Four Elite Asskickers:
1) “Gamagoori Ira will devote himself, body and soul, to the rescue of Mankanshoku Mako!” – When Ira has the weight of his conviction behind him, when Ira goes all-in, he grows. His body might be big, but his heart is several times larger still. I do wonder though, Gamagoori Ira is already pledged, body and soul, to Kiryuuin Satsuki, can one truly be devoted to this degree to two mistresses? And the heart yearns for both.
2) Elite Four, Mightiest Five, this is Stan Lee style naming conventions :D
3) Man versus cloth! Show us what you’ve got, Gamagoori Ira!
4) Could it be? :O A reverse-drill vacuum!
Badass Gamagoori, wielding The Emergency Rescue Suction Device! A weapon combining both offense and defense! The name sounded much better in Japanese, very alliterative.
4) Even Stark Naked, Kiryuuin Satsuki Will not Bow Her Head!:
1) Crows’ nest, completely naked. Satsuki is being removed from decency, she is being removed from power. She is being mocked by her mother. She had rebelled, and she will be broken down.
2) Mother, you’re being unreasonable. Mother, won’t you stop being such a pain? Oh brother. Well, it’s nice those two know what they’re talking about, but please share with the rest of the class. Well, whatever it is, the angrier Satsuki gets, the more useful she’d be to Ragyou, which might explain the long-term abuse (aside from mocking the human, and perhaps trying to rekindle her own humanity via depravity). Surprising she hadn’t had Nui grab Ryuuko before, considering how much rage had moved her when she fused with Senketsu. I think she’d grab her now, if she could.
3) Everyone in this show is a determinator. Go go Satsuki!
5) Matoi Ryuuko, A Study in Self-Disgust:
1) Ryuuko’s fear and revulsion, seeing her heart being pulled into her body by a piece of string. It’s not just revulsion at her body, it’s revulsion at being connected by a thread to Ragyou, to this woman, to thiscreature. Is it just that? Of course not. It’s not revulsion, or at least not only, it’s shock, at her life being thrown into disarray. It’s the same thing as finding our her father was more than she had known, and then finding out she’d been a guinea pig, but at least there it was for the sake of revenge, here it’s by an indifferent mother who tossed her when she was no longer necessary.
It’s very fitting, the image of threads, right now. In essence, family could be seen as threads, threads which tie us, which loop around our heart, and which we are unlikely to cut away from, and cutting them away is akin to cutting out one’s heart. Ryuuko is discovering her whole world had been a lie. You remember episode 16, when we’ve learnt the truth? You remember how Ryuuko summed it up as “Oh, ok, so there are evil aliens and I need to fight them”? That wasn’t personal. Now this is her mother, this is making her question who her father is, who she is. Now? Now it’s all personal. This is something Ryuuko can understand, and thus it shakes her to the very fiber of her being.
2) Awww, baby Ryuuko is so cute! I gotta wonder though. Souchiro/Isshin, he left Ragyou who had used her baby in her experiments (which he aided her in), and then proceeded to experiment on his daughter to defeat his wife. I mean, sure, he had the goal of defeating an enemy of humanity, an enemy of his daughters, but his methods weren’t at all that dissimilar.
1) “WHO WOKE ME UP?! WHO?!” – I mean, sometimes you just need to listen to the doctor when he tells you when someone wants to sleep, you should let them :P
“Oh, it’s you, who woke me up, was it, you LITTLE FUCKERS? I’m gonna tear you a new one!”
2) Originally, with the bed-sheets around her, Ryuuko reminded me of samurai in old flicks, but now with all the explosions, she’s the reincarnation of Simon and Kamina, wearing the cape, and kicking ass.
3) An amusing moment, after noting how Ryuuko with one instantaneous strike had defeated all these COVERsand defeated the people inside, Gamagoori had the look of realizing his tool is inadequate :p
4) Hm. That face of Ryuuko’s, the look she had given Senketsu. Her words hurt because she is saying she had lied before, that she had always considered Senketsu to be a Life Fiber monster. But no, that’s not what this truly is, just why her words wound so deeply. The real issue is that the revelations Ryuuko had been exposed to had shattered the pillars her life had been based on, and as a result, they had thrown into disarray her sense of self. So she had constructed a new self, she had realized she is her mother’s daughter. And if her mother is a monster, and she is just like her, then she too is a monster. She had said before how she felt kinship to Senketsu, as they had both been created for experiments and are even fused together. So she’s a monster, and Senketsu had always been somewhat of a monster. The issue is Ryuuko hates herself, and Senketsu is her mirror, so he too is a monster, whom she hates.
Again, the real issue isn’t that Senketsu is a monster and Ryuuko hates him, but that Ryuuko is just like Senketsu, and she hates herself, for being monstrous. Last episode she spoke of how sad it is, that Senketsu had been created to destroy his own kind. Ryuuko is the same, she’d been created to destroy her own kind. What is her kind? She’s a human-Life Fiber amalgam. She’s here to kill her brothers. Half of them, all of them? And she is but a tool of her father’s, and her mother’s.
Ryuuko is filled with hatred and disgust. I already can see how it’ll get resolved, by seeing Senketsu is alright, and since she is just like Senketsu, then she too is alright. The power of transferred acceptance, to combat the transferred hatred that plagues her now.
Or you know, she just didn’t get to sleep enough and is thus cranky.
Shorter Notes / Asides:
- Around 09:30-09:45, they talk and teacher’s lab-coat slides up and then off, somewhat amusing. Also reminds me of Vanillaware’s art-style somewhat, where only one piece is moving in a scene and everything else stays motionless. Vanillaware being the guys behind Odin Sphere, the recent Dragon’s Crown,and others. They do ask the real question here, though, “What of the rest of the world?”
- Yeah, it’s always been clear that Mrs. Mankanshoku had been the powerful one around, strong enough to reduce Senketsu to tears with but a few words. Or rather, both she and her daughter have that direct way of speaking that cuts through the bull, even as Mako sometimes speaks in circles, it’s only to repeat her message in case we’ve missed it :P
- Just like in episode 5, when SenketsuBro had headbutted the voice of Aniki to save Ryuuko, just look at him. He’s somewhere between Saving Private Ryan and Lassie, who just wants Timmy to be safe! He really looks adorable here, this monstrous demon-cloth who has a sword between its fangs and is dragging an unconscious girl behind it. SenketsuBro! <3
Post Episode Thoughts:
This was another good episode. As good as the past 3? No, but that’s ok, those three episodes had been stupendous. We’ve had ok action, the Elite Four being cool, Gamagoori Ira being Gamagoori Ira, Mako being saved, Satsuki not giving up, more future plans from Nui and Ragyou, and character change from Ryuuko. None of these elements had been great on its own (ok, the Ryuuko stuff was great), but when you write it down and realize how much this episode had done, then this episode had clearly been more than the sum of its parts.
Yes, I can sort of tell what Ryuuko’s arc of reconciliation with Senketsu and herself is going to be, but Ryuuko had always been but a simple character. Seeing Satsuki and Ragyous’ plans, and seeing how Satsuki will treat her allies, and her long-lost sister, that I am eagerly waiting for.
Great write up!