Thursday, July 31, 2014

Anime Review: Kill la Kill

Wrapping up my last posts talking about Studio Trigger and their works, I figured a good conclusion to everything would be doing a formal review of their first and only series currently made, Kill la Kill. Let's dive right in and start sewing together the story of this crazy series.

As mentioned above, Kill la Kill is Studio Trigger's first official series, and it draws a lot of inspiration from its director, Hiroyuki Imaishi (of Gurren Lagann and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt fame). The story is... complicated, to say the least, but at its root its about a girl out for revenge for the murder of her father, with her only clue being one-half of a strange, over-sized pair of scissors. Her name is Ryuko Matoi (pictured to the right) and her search for more information on the killer brings her to Honnouji Academy, a towering high school with a small slum of a town built around it. It's at this academy that she meets Satsuki Kiryuin, the student council president and top dog of the school, whom Ryuko believes has information on her father's killer; more specifically, she believes she may be in possession of the other scissor blade, making her the killer. While initially unable to stand up to Satsuki's devoutly loyal fellow students, Ryuko soon obtains Senketsu, a sentient sailor uniform with the ability to transform and give Ryuko incredible power, albeit while becoming an extremely revealing outfit. From here, Ryuko resolves to take on Satsuki and Honnouji Academy to uncover the truth of her father's death.

If all of that sounds crazy to you, don't worry; it is. The plot of Kill la Kill is downright absurd, and the animation style could not be more fitting. The series makes heavy use of creatively applying limited animation, utilizing still frames of characters and events along with fluid animation to create a very distinctive style that never truly comes off as lazy. Fitting this is the overall fast pace of the story; a lot of ground is covered very quickly, and it's very rare for the series to slow things down for anything other than blatant exposition. Thankfully, the anime is very much self-aware of these aspects and knows how to apply them accordingly, focusing on its strengths (high-octane action and comedy that's almost surreal at times) an getting through any tedium at lightning speeds. All the while, the audience is treated to a very colorful cast of characters that all play off of each other very well, creating a unique and memorable cast that are a blast to see interact with each other in both action and comedy bits.

Kill la Kill is by no means a perfect show, but it is one that I would recommend pretty much everyone give a shot. The frankly ridiculous amount of fanservice in the show can be off-putting for some, as can the extremely fast pace and the general silliness of the show. However, the series knows what it is and in no way tries to pass of any of its content as having any kind of unwarranted depth or intelligence; it's crazy and honestly kind of stupid, but man oh man is it fun. Even if it's not something you end up getting into, it's definitely something worth checking out at least once; and if you do enjoy that kind of wackiness, then you are in for a treat.

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