December 5th, 2013.
Kill la Kill Episode 10 – Satsuki’s Indoctrination and Shonen Philosophy.
Well, well, well. The information gathering glasses- dude. The one member we know the least of. Also, again, due to Trigger’s funds, there must be other things in the episodes except action, such as philosophy and backstory. Let’s dive right in.
- Silly Gamagoori, when has Mako ever been afraid? We’ve seen her worried for Ryuko, but afraid? Ha! Don’t make me laugh.
- “I can’t stop here” – Ryuko. And Inumuta with “Does not compute” – it’s over 9,000! :P
- Erm, wow. I definitely need a gif with audio (!!!) of that magical girl musical transformation sequence, heh.
- I really love this piece of music. Dance for me, Ryuko, dance for me, Kill la Kill! *Hums happily, waving his fingers around*
- Heh, she doesn’t even have to change her voice to do her “little me”, that pipsqueak voice. “Satsuki-chan”. And note, how all these other kids march to her tune.
- It’s the motherfucking Batman! Well, the future-Batman, never liked that weird run much :< Guess we can call this “The Hellbat”.
- Talk about territorial. Nonon never left the sandbox, and she won’t let anyone but Satsuki in on her fun. How dare you, Ryuko? Who do you think you are?!
Thoughts and Notes:
Act 1. Inumuta – The fusion of Noir and Cyberpunk; Orthogonal Desires and Escalation:
- That noir atmosphere and music as our supa-hacker had been found. Blade Runner and some other cyberpunk stuff (such as Gibson’s seminal Neuromancer) had quite some tones of noir as well. The music, the 30s Chicago/NYC atmosphere – in other words, welcome to Gotham.
- How fitting, when we first met him he was in the dark grungy 80s of cyberpunk, now he’s in the Tron 2 era of futuristic-tech. “Join Satsuki, join the future!” Friend Computer says (Paranoia reference, fun is mandatory). Also, I can’t help but think how he keeps, well, touching himself.
- And here is our shounen drill – your willpower powers up your powers, and he also notes the same is true for Goku uniforms, which is why Sanageyama and Gamagoori, our shounen heroes are so formidable. To be formidable, one has to be driven.
- That’s my Trigger! “Make a crazy attack even crazier, and it’ll work out!” – “Time for plan B, Really Reckless!” Heh. But when being reckless is your only mode, your only plan, you only know how to escalate. Gurren Lagann showed it to us, and it worked in that universe, but not in one where more discretion is needed, we’ll see.
- “What I want is data, not victory.” – This isn’t precise, it’s just that not everything is a zero-sum game, there can be multiple victory conditions, Ryuko can win while Inumuta wins as well – she gets closer to Satsuki, he gets his precious information. Their goals are orthogonal, not in direct opposition to one another – noir is also known for its clear black and white morality, in the end, but the road there is muddled and filled with people changing allegiances. Cyberpunk though is filled with unclear motives and personalities, so it’s quite fitting.
Act 2. Satsuki’s Philosophy, take 12.
- Well, that exchange sure is fraught with meaning, first, this isn’t the “Castles in the air” that vanish, Satsuki is talking of two things here – “Build a skyscraper in your mind, and that will never be torn down.” – First, this is once more about resolve, resolve unlike external power can’t be stripped away. The Goku uniforms come and go, but true power, true resolve, is something that stays with you. Humans keep their resolve even when naked, while pigs in human clothings are exposed as never truly having had dignity to begin with. This is why Satsuki didn’t give up on Gamagoori and Sanageyama, their internal structure still stands erect.
- The second meaning is, well, “Big Brother”, or Marx. Create a system, create a theoretical belief structure within people, and nothing will tear it down. Make them obey, make them want to obey.
- Finally, notice how Satsuki defines her goal in terms of adults, she wishes to look down on adults. This throw-away comment might be important later on.
Misc. Disparate Thoughts:
- Notice Gamagoori’s sense of what is proper isn’t abated – he sits and acts as is expected of him. Where we now have Houka as the one who will “change” the system, Gamagoori is one who upholds it, who is its shield. Also, why is he a no-star now? We have 5 men fighting for the top 4 spots in Satsuki’s administration, someone is going to be the final winner, but what of the other 3? Heh. Guess it would have been different had Gamagoori won – Satsuki does like changing the rules. Also, that one-star tear ;-) – You can take his uniform away, but he’ll always be Gamagoori.
- “If you doubt her, it’s your own footing that will become insecure.” – One could see it as “Doubt her and be cast down from power,” but I think a better way to see it is “She is the source of your power, if you take her down, you who have no power of your own will surely be lost as well. You’re rocking the boat, but you also stand to fall into these shark-infested waters.” And very interesting, we’ll see what the girl’s history is as well, I’m sure.
- “It’s evolving too quickly.” – And the sniper voiced by The Voice of Aniki. Well, guess soon we’ll have a heavy dose of “Nudist Beach!” once more. Also, “She’s trying too hard” – and these are adults, who give us the “Anti-shounen” message, that there is such a thing as trying too hard. Interesting.
Post Episode Thoughts:
Well, we didn’t actually learn much with the information-gathering dude, how ironic is that? But the true thematic-ideological core of the episode is seen through the two flashback scenes – this is about tearing down the old power structure, and creating a new one. This is very much a fascist way of doing things, and perhaps we got a glimpse to the goal – taking down adults, which is fitting if it had been what Satsuki had been following since kindergarten.
And on the plot level, we got “Willpower powers you up”, alongside with “Willpower is what matters, because it can’t be stripped away.” – Which is of course false, as Ryuko’s finishing move is literally “Strip their will to fight”, hue. There was actually quite some time spent on the shonen philosophy in this episode, and the previous one, and the one before – so it’s not too surprising.
Finally, we’ve also had the whole evolution and Nudist Beach things. Well, we’ll have to see where this goes.