Kill la Kill Episode 23 Notes – Humanity’s Dignity, and The Power of the Meek

(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.)

As is the case every week lately, I set up an alarm clock for 0130 AM for the latest episode of KLK. Staying up to watch it is usually ill-advised as I need a power-nap. Today I woke up, and at 0230 felt too tired to truly give the show a good coverage and headed to bed. Good thing too, as the episode materialized at 4 AM, I see. Well, no time like the present ;-)

Last episode had been fan-service oriented. It gave fans what they wanted, with the characters bonding and finally everyone being on the front page. Now it’s time for the final battle, as allies, as sisters, and yes, it’s also time for Fight Club Mako!

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Enough Biblical References to Drown Out Noah’s Arc:

Kill la Kill Episode 23 notes anime - End-screen cast shot

1) I think this is where I’m supposed to go “So cool!” – “In heaven’s stead, we smite clothings.” Nephilim is a word that in modern Hebrew is used to mean “Giants”, or “The forebears”, often said to speak of a generation that had started everything. In the Old Testament, Nephilim are one of the reasons for The Flood, they are the offspring of angels and mortal women. One could think of Gamagoori as a nephil, and in general, wearing the uniforms, a combination of mortal and otherworldly, for a super-powered individual, hm? They are agents of heaven, set out to smite the snake of original sin (Ragyou) and its agents.

2) The Original Life Fiber is the beginning and the end, it can create everything. It is Adam. It is little known by most people, but it is Adam who had given everything in existence its first name, its True Name. In a sense, Adam was the first human creator. The Original Life Fiber will extinguish life, just as it had uplifted life in the first place.

3) I’ve called it, the ship was a big sword :P Also, that double-meaning. A naked blade, meaning open hostilities. Quite funny, considering the nudists here are masters of deception. Then again, their deception is in the dressing up of things. “Clothing is original sin,” and original sin had been the lie, so by undressing one reveals the truth.

2) Strength Through Weakness! Ragyou Pontificates:

Kill la Kill Episode 23 notes anime - Kiryuuin Ragyou / Kiryuin Ragyo

1) Dark Ragyou! This is so very Nietzschean, the slave’s source of power is in surrendering, by surrendering to the master, by proclaiming its weakness, it oppresses the strong. When I first learnt Nietzsche, I thought to myself that he’s speaking of Jesus and “turn the other cheek,” so Ragyou now sees herself as a Jesus? As a savior, as the voice of God? Why, we know she does.

2) Mother please, you’re embarrassing yourself. I mean, Ragyou is fondling herself while cackling and declaring her superiority. She’s really coming off as a stereotypical crazy villain here. But hey, someone who doesn’t feel guilty about experimenting on her daughters and then literally throwing them into the trashbin when they’ve outlived their usefulness, I guess we’re way past that point.

3) How the tables have turned. Ragyou calls Satsuki “Pig in human clothing.” She’s a pig, she’s just livestock that had been fattened up in order to be slaughtered. The clothing make the man, the clothing are the human. Satsuki, in other words, should be properly thankful to the clothes that let her speak and act as a human, and her lack of decorum only serves to reinforce her beastly nature.

4) Such a James Bond momentAs Ragyou speechified to her Satsuki, I kept thinking, “And the typical villain speech!” and now Satsuki is referring to it, saying that Ragyou in her endless hubris and pride had been wasting precious time.

3) Humanity Fights Back, With Style:

Kill la Kill Episode 23 notes anime - Elite Four final transformation, Gamagoori Ira, Nonon Jozakure, Inumuta, Sanageyama

1) It’s (not even) our final forms! Time to see what each character’s expression is:

  1. Sanageyama – “Wondrous Enlightenment”. He had followed strength in order to better himself. His goal had been to achieve power through the application of spirit, without relying on others. To see everything under heaven.
  2. Nonon – “Final Movement”, it’s time for the ending. Yes, Nonon is mostly here to smile, not make thematic points :P Well, with her skull hat, Nonon is the harbinger of death. This is the last sound you’ll ever hear. A siren?
  3. Inumuta – “Truth Determination”. It almost feels like an oxymoron. Does one discover what truth is, or tell it to others? Misinformation officer on board, lies are truth!
  4. Gamagoori Ira – “Ego Burst”. No, being a masochist or even him being servile to Satsuki isn’t him submerging his ego, but a manifestation of it. Just as the Nietszchean slave from before. He stands tall by bowing his head. Also, after he takes some beating, he, well, bursts forth with his counter-attack, if you get what I mean ;-)

2) Ah, yes, enlightenment. To accept things as they are, no longer to willfully close one’s eyes. You go, Sanageyama.

3) Human power! Nudists are self-reliant, and power their own ship, as they are their own weapon. Ragyou had called them livestock in an attempt to belittle them, but they will turn themselves into power, they will be livestock, but proud livestock :>

4) The friendly ship cutting into the large enemy. This again reminds me of Gurren Lagann quite strongly. And that the ship has the same colours is no coincidence.

But in the end, in shows such as this fights often are there to do something, rather than just be fights for their own sake. That ship, all that huge blade ended up amounting to isn’t taking down the original Life Fiber, but revitalizing Ryuuko, by delivering Mako so she could give Ryuuko the final push, so Ryuuko would do the deed.

Miscellaneous:

Kill la Kill Episode 23 notes anime - Fight Club Mankanshoku Mako!

  1. Mankanshoku showed the greatest increase by wearing a goku uniform. You know what this means, right? That her starting position had been the lowest ;-)
  2. Ryuuko is the rebellious teenager, “How dare you make me wear a cloth I didn’t want, mother!” I mean, that it took over her personality and turned her against her friends is immaterial, but making her wear such an ugly cloth? Sheesh, woman!
  3. Ragyou leaves a rainbow in her wake? She’s Nyancat :P Or well, The Rainbow Serpent, as I pointed out once before, a creator deity.
  4. Final moment wallpaper; the forces of humanity, arrayed to take over the fortress of darkness, school! Yes, school is where your final test is, your graduation ceremony into being a real human. Life is hard.
  5. The new Ragyou outfit looks somewhat like a Pharaoh](http://i.imgur.com/P0ggPdd.jpg), a technicolour Pharaoh :P Houhoumaru had been taken in to power the suit, just one human isn’t enough.

Asides:

  1. I like the sound of all of the alliterations, whenever the suction savers are pulled out ;)
  2. I know I talked all show long of how I like Ryuuko’s smile, but honestly? I really love that happy and silly dorky smile Mako has when she dons her Fight Club Mako outfit. It feels wholesome.
  3. Haha! Inumuta’s voice actor is Yoshino Hiroyuki, the moment he said “Oya oya” I realized he’s Yajirou, the frog in the well, from Uchouten Kazoku :)
  4. Airplane hellbat Ryuuko can see the ending!
  5. This would be a good wallpaper, the elite four. This shot is very much in the style of the wallpaper shotsfrom Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann bandied about.
  6. “O-oka-sama, you’re splitting me in half!” Well, she certainly cut her dearest daughter in twain.
  7. “Snap!” a silent snip! This moment is built up not by sound, but by silence. In this show that is almost never quiet, a moment where the soundtrack ceases completely.
  8. So we get two end-screen shots for the price of one episode. First we prepapre for the final fight, then we’re faced with our final enemy.

Post Episode Thoughts:

Kill la Kill Episode 23 notes anime - Pharaoh Kiryuuin Ragyou facing off against Kiryuuin Satsuki and Matoi Ryuuko

First things first, in terms of sheer enjoyment, this episode didn’t excite me all that much. Last episode had been significantly cooler, more endearing and charming. Last episode the characters’ fighting spirit and their strong sense of camaraderie shone through like a beacon. This episode we mostly had Ragyou pontificating. This wasn’t the final fight episode, but still gearing towards that. This episode was cutting away all the lies, cutting away everything that could later be said to be the different sides not putting their all into it.

Last episode was preparation for the final battle, and this episode was sizing up the other side and forcing one another into a corner, for the final battle.

I also dunno, the twin sisters and their outfits fighting this time? They didn’t have as much “pressure” as they did when fighting one another early on or when they first took on Ragyou.

I can only hope that we’re building up to an explosive ending. It is an important thing for many shows, fights are supposed to be there for a reason. Either they are a spectacle, or they are there to convey some meaning, and they end when it ends. In TTGL’s final sequences, the fights were mostly about fighting spirit, and the spectacle paled somewhat. Here as well, the spectacle this episode hadn’t reached as high as before, and the emotional strength of the characters, it’s not that it’s weak, per se, but that it’s been eclipsed by the strength of their personality from before.

I did find the return of “Pigs in human clothings” and the nature of humanity interesting, however, and am eagerly awaiting a final episode, perhaps even fully animated. No, I lie, that’d just be out of sync with the show’s nature thus far. I do wonder what they’ll do.

Return to the Kill la Kill Episodic Notes page.

4 comments on “Kill la Kill Episode 23 Notes – Humanity’s Dignity, and The Power of the Meek

  1. dyingearth says:

    Actually Ragyou’s final form looks similar to Heian era court attire.

  2. tamerlane says:

    i dont know what made you think drawing nietzsche out of klk was a good idea, but it wasnt.

    i think youre right about the biblical references. klk is ending up like hells, in which all the thematic content of the first half is entirely irrelevant in the second lol. fascism doesnt matter we need to stop Life Fiber Moloch! lmao what a shit/bad/crappy ass show

    • Guy says:

      Nietzsche and Hegel are there due to “The Slave”, due to how the servant is defined by the master, and well, Hegel is there also due to tearing down the old system and replacing it, which both Satsuki and Ryuuko discuss, though mostly in the first half of the show.

      Nietzsche here is about Ragyou’s speech, how in being servile one can find strength, how she turns her weakness into a position of ultimate power. That’s what Nietzsche rails against, rather than laud, in quite a few sections.

      • tamerlane says:

        nietzschean ideals don’t occur in this show unless you abstract and generalize their content to the point of uselessness. the “philosophy” of kill la kill is an admixture of platitudes from shounen shows, giant robots and Go Nagai, nothing as systematic as you’re suggesting. comparing a hack job anime by one of the worst directors in the industry to an astounding and profound thinker like nietzsche dampens your analysis. sorry for being blunt but it’s not very persuasive to take a philosopher and plaster their thought onto a wholly unfitting context

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