Written by: Shiggins
Fuck, I love Christmas.
I love December and no matter what people try to do, I always end up smiling because I just think Christmas month is the best month. However, the problem lies that I need to do something this month because I've recently been a lazy motherfucker. What could I do though? Another Top 10 is the obvious choice, and trust me, I've got a bunch to work on, but I feel like recommending an anime. And what better way to celebrate Christmas than talking about the juicy hams of Kill La Kill?
No wait, come back! Don't leave! You need to learn about this series! Just give me a chance!
Fun game: Take a drink of Christmas eggnog every time you think "woah, that's over-the-top". You'll be hammered in seconds.
Alright, if you've read one of these articles before, you know how I'm going to do it. I'll talk about the Story, the Characters, the and Others. I'm even going to address the Fanservice, which you are no doubt waiting for me to somehow justify because you like seeing me squirm, you monster.
This series has no manga, and originated purely from the anime. It's directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi, who you may also know as the jolly man that directed Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt and Gurren Lagann. From this fact alone, you should be feeling your brain shitting itself because logic and reason are about to get fucked and fucked hard... but you'll love it.
|"Lord, have mercy for those who have not gazed upon the greatness of Imaishi! They know not what they miss!"|
So what's the premise? A young girl named Ryuko Matoi is looking for the man who killed her father using a longsword which is shaped like scissors. Her search for the other half of these scissors brings her to Honnouji Academy, which is ruled by the fearsome Satsuki Kiryuin who, along with her Elite Four, keep law and order throughout the school by using the Goku Uniforms which give the wearers special abilities and armour.
|For a series to do with clothes, the series is surprisingly fucking intense with battles!|
Oh and Hitler won World War 2. I know that sounds like a massive deal but it's really not. Actually, this series does introduce something both ridiculous and genius at the same time: Fashion is fascism. Clothes are the main weapons and motive of the villains, and the rebels against this are all nudists. And no, you're wrong. That is fucking brilliant.
One thing you'll notice about the story is the development of it. It never stays the same, always adding in more plot threads but never losing focus from it's main goal and story. You don't get lost as more characters appear, and you don't get bored when they focus on one certain aspect. I can honestly say, I didn't expect the series to come to the climax it did, but I mean that in a very good way.
|When she appears, the series takes an interesting turn. Trust me on that.|
As you can tell, all of this is over-the-top ludicrous and if you think about it for too long, you'll ruin the fun. It's like watching the Pixar film Up, by which I mean "shut the fuck up and enjoy the magic, you dick!".
Okay, you know the drill here. I like characters. Are all these characters great enough for such a Mad-Hatter-Esque adventure? I'm not even going to justify that with a proper answer and I'm just gonna let you decide.
Oh, did I forget to mention that this is technically a magical girl series? I didn't even notice until somebody pointed it out to me because I usually hate Magical Girl anime and I saw none of the cliches here. Maybe that's thanks to the main protagonist, Ryuko who might be my second favourite female protagonist of all time. (Right underneath Maka Albarn).
|One red highlight to emphasise extra sass.|
Fierce and stubborn, Matoi is nowhere the type of character who would just allow herself to become a damsel-in-distress. The type of character whom we probably need more of in this day and age, since women's roles in fiction usually turn into "love me" or "save me". Starting off embarrassed to even be in this series, she quickly turns into a strong, reliable and constantly entertaining character, despite the stupidity you can tell she doesn't want to have to put up with all the time.
Oh yeah... This girl. I think the general consensus with this girl is either you love her or you hate her and I can really see the reason for both sides. I personally found her quite annoying but she does her part well enough. She's the best friend of Ryuko, and the main support she has throughout the entire series.
|I swear to Christ, the amount of gifs of this one chick...|
She's also the comic relief, which means millions of expressions and silliness and jokes and oh so many words spoken at once. Seriously, I feel bad for her voice actress who has to speak a billion words an hour to keep up with Mako because she will literally interrupt any scene she can to give her own rambling in "hilarious" fashion.
If Ryuko is considered aggressive, then I don't even know what the right word for Satsuki is. Insane? A woman with no shame but tons of dignity, you cannot step in front of her pride without being destroyed. She'll strap on any suit she needs to and beat the ever-loving shit out of you without any mercy, and her fight scenes are probably amongst my favourite.
|The frown on her face is a symbol of her status as an antagonist.|
While this character could have easily been a "obey me because I'm me" type of character, she provides a surprising amount of development and personality as her relationships with others shines through. I don't want to give spoilers but her relationship with her mother is unforgettable.
Yes, a schoolgirl sailor uniform is a character. It's alive and talking and giving inspirational speeches to Matoi while making funny expressions and only having one eye. (Which is still more than most uniforms anyway...). Created by Matoi's father and fed on blood like a vampire, Senketsu is one of the biggest causes of the story's progression and honestly... I only find him okay.
|A teenage girl's uniform riding a dog wearing a hoodie... because anime-logic!|
When you've got a series as big and wild as this, it's a shame for any character that isn't wild and crazy because they're going to seem a bit bland by comparison. And although I never found him aggravating or annoying, I just never really felt attached to his character because it's mostly inspirational words and a funny joke involving washing. In any other series, I'd probably praise him. In this series however, he's hard to see behind the fun.
The heads of the Student Council and the loyal enforcers of Satsuki, these 4 are easily my favourite group of the series. There is Nonon Jukazure who is the bratty head of non-athletic clubs including music, the nerdy Hoka Inumuta who is the head of information and strategy, the morally-determined Uzu Sanageyama who is the head of the athletic clubs, and my personal number 1 favourite character Ira Gamagori who is head of discipline.
|"They seem like perfectly normal folk to me" says the tragic loser who has yet to realise how wrong they are.|
I honestly could spend ages taking about each of these sexy bastards but since I can't, let's just sum up in quick sentences. Nonon is loud and musical and has a huge level of sass. Hoka is nerdy, analytical and obsessed with his laptop. Sanageyama is laid-back and constantly determined to prove himself. And Gamagori is a masochist with a loud and badass love for the rules.
Remember when I said all the nudists were rebels against the government and their evil clothes earlier? Well, here is the rebel group that are against it. I think there are only two actual characters in this rebel group and the others are just people in the background who you don't care enough to remember. The two actual characters are a fun blend of cool and wacky, with the main leader particularly memorable for his glowing nipples and clothes which slide off without him even seeming to try.
|Funniest. Name. Ever.|
If there is ever a doubt in your mind that this series is worth your attention, search for a clip of the leader of this group screaming the words "Nudist Beach". It's honestly one of the greatest sights in history.
Fine, let's address the elephant in this room and get it over with: The fanservice is too much. As a huge fan of the series, I can see it's largest flaw and no matter how perverted you are, you will eventually grow tired of seeing the damn fanservice in scenes where you're just trying to enjoy the hardcore action and chaos.
|As a man, I'm strangely annoyed that only males seem to have nipples. Double standards?|
However... There are two things to remember before you spit on my article and walk away.
1. They do try to justify the reason for it. The story itself actually has a reason to make the characters wear skimpy outfits, which is more than can be said for most series out there. (It's still stupid to wear but give them credit where credit is due).
2. Everybody goes through it. It is NOT just a woman-only type of anime. Every character shows skin and nobody is safe. If you're a woman who is sick of being sexualised in anime, just remember that this series has glowing man nipples to appease you.
|I could look like this if I wanted to... I just don't want to.|
Or just grow a pair and suck it up. Maybe you should stop being babies and enjoy the series, instead of focusing on bouncing flesh all the time. Hey, the truth hurts. Shut up and watch it already.
One weird thing I noticed about this series is the pop culture references. All throughout the series, tons of films I recognised were shown, mentioned or even parodied in some way. From Alien to Dragonball to Pulp Fiction, nobody seemed to be safe from this series. Hell, Ira Gamagori's outfits are all based on Marvel Comic characters!
|You thought I was kidding about Pulp Fiction, didn't you motherfucker!?|
|I like to imagine that he is deformed and he's actually got an amazing origin story of adventure, love, drama and tragedy... That or the animators didn't' give a fuck about him.|
Voice acting, both dubbed and subbed, are a lot of fun. I think subbed wins this round though because Japan have a natural ability to go far more over-the-top than we English-speaking cretins are capable of, and that works perfectly in the series. Mako and Gamagori deserve special attention when it comes to voice work.
I should probably mention the action itself and this has made me realise something: Anime action almost always looks better when not adapted from manga. It doesn't need to follow the pictures and pages, so can go as fast and wild as it likes which is definitely in it's favour. Seeing Ryuko's slutty uniform transform into blades and jets within the blink of an eye while blood bursts out of bodies and people survive impossible attacks make me titter like a schoolgirl.
Stop whining about the fanservice and watch the series.
It's good. It's what more anime shows should be like, by which I mean it's wild and out-of-control and not afraid to push boundaries. This is the type of series that only anime can provide and if you can stop staring at her tits for five seconds, you'd realise how much fun it really is.
|As a special Christmas treat, here is a gravity-defying skirt!|
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. You can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere or go to his tumblr page http://otakugajeel.tumblr.com/.