True to my word, I put down my anime folder in the last couple days and constructed the first quarter of my awesome skyrail project in Starbound, after days of bugs and crashes, finished Bioshock Infinite, and started Far Cry 3. But since I dislike getting food-fingers all over my keyboard or n52, I did slip a few episodes of anime into my meal time. Two of those were the last two weeks of Kill la Kill.
Kill la Kill. Where the plot is made up and the points don’t matter.
Seeing so much KLK stuff at the con last week, I am amazed at how well this show took off despite it not really having any substance at all. That either tells me I am a pretentious hipster, or the show panders the lowest rungs of the ladder with as much flashbang as possible to make it appear interesting without having any real skin in the game. But to have them turn around the second half and not only introduce a real plot, but then make a classic twist and position Satsuki as the protagonist, and her mother as the antagonist, while connecting Satsuki and Mataoi as siblings from the same mother, well now shit has gone deep. Now we have a reason to watch besides just watching people get the snot clobbered out of them like a Marvel superhero movie.
I always had an inkling that ever since the introduction of Ragyo, and the whole backstory of the MASTER POWER and the undertow it forced on the show, that it was no longer going to be a classic Inigo Montoya story between Satsuki and Matoi. It was too simple for that, too easy. At the pace they went, thirteen episodes would have been enough and we wouldn’t be talking about this now. The show would be over, and everyone would have written it off as the second season of Panty and Stocking without the GAINAX hype. The top names involved in this show had their hands in the shows that KLK draws from. Gurren Lagann, Bleach, Panty and Stocking, to name a few. You can even tell some of the more obscure call outs to Abenobashi Mahou Shoutengai and Star Driver from Imaishi’s involvement in this. It’s funny I mention Star Driver, because I couldn’t quite put my finger on what made this show seem so familiar to me, and when I noticed that in his credits list, everything came back to me like an awkward memory. Kill la Kill really does go hand-in-hand with Star Driver, in an almost unceremonious fashion.
But back to the main topic at hand. We’re now facing the final leg of KLK’s run with the notion that everything the show built up in the first two-thirds of the show is now turned upside down as you realize the plot all along was for The Bride to Kill Bill, so to speak. You’d think I might be the voice that does not approve of this, but to the contrary, I quite like it. I wish it happened much sooner. The twists and turns aren’t new, mind you, it doesn’t take much forethought to connect Ragyo’s rejected child with Matoi. I had it typed out on Twitter five minutes before I saw it in the episode…
I mean, how couldn’t you figure that out? Every bit of visual cue strings were pulled (pun intended) in the OPs to let you know that they will end up closer to each other than just common enemies. They aren’t going to dere-dere for each other I’m sure, there will still be a rival-type vibe, but it’s pretty obvious that at some point before this show ends, they will probably be the team force that strikes down BIG BAD. Mankanshoku and Gamagoori will become a thing, because that just seems like the most interesting bedroom speculation of them all, and Mikisugi will continue to flash his pink nipples at us, because nipples are part of the plot.
Then there is Kefka. If you know who I am talking about, you were thinking the same damn thing, and his theme is playing in your head. Now that she has taken over as the BIG BAD in the show to beat, and Matoi has switched on the Linkin Park for another fresh session of mopey fucking lion about wearing Senketsu to defeat COVERS, attention has turned back onto Satsuki, who is imprisoned by Ragyo and likely to be the test subject for a new Kamui that will no doubt pit the two against each other before this ends. I have to imagine that the idea to turn her, and this whole Life Fiber plot, to the forefront, is because everything we’ve seen up to this point is largely forgettable. OH MAN, THEY HAVE CLOTHES, WHICH TURN THEM INTO SUPERPOWERED KIDS. IT’S JUST LIKE ONE OF MY JAPAN– WAIT– IT IS ONE OF MY JAPANESE ANIMES. I mean, the Montoya sketch sure as hell wasn’t going to carry this show, so Trigger threw in the ELITE FOUR to show
Matoi Red what happens when GARY MOTHERFUCKING OAK shows up with his Charizard. But, of course, she will beat them, because losing doesn’t sell BD volumes.
“Shit, we’re halfway through our full season run, what do we do, oh, I know, let’s throw out a Luke Skywalker twist, that’ll get em in!”
Maybe this isn’t quite Star Wars, but I couldn’t think of a similar plot in something else that fit immediately. I’ve been rambling away now for a couple paragraphs summarizing what you already know. Bad blog form, I am in.
The fact of the matter is, I have trained myself since the fourth or fifth episode of this show to not take it seriously, because it didn’t take itself seriously. There was never an absence of flashbang and wizardry, and the action was always over-the-top and exciting, but everything else was smoke and mirrors. It was all Penn and no Teller, and sometimes you have to have silence in order to understand subtlety. Now, by episode eighteen, we’re given this new plot, this new coat of paint, and we’re told it was keikaku doori (TL Note: I am being cheeky and ironic here) by the producers because they’re hiding the fact that even though you all clearly loved what they gave you, it felt like it needed that extra harumph to make it shine.
But you know what? I am okay with this. Fookin’a I swear on me mum, I am actually enjoying this. Maybe it is because there is finally merit behind the flash, that Satsuki has a noble purpose, instead of being the personification of every moderately popular girl you ever knew in school, who was a conniving bitch towards anyone beneath her because she thought she was special. But if anything, it puts Ryuuko, who up until this point has been the unsung hero, in a position of being a heartbeat away from being the real series villain. Think about it, she is Ragyo’s rejected daughter, she has been fused with the fibers, she has gone berserk before. That’d be the real series twist, to have Satsuki end up as our protag having to defeat Matoi not only to save her sister, but free her from the binds of the fibers that define her. Is this a route Trigger will take? Will it continue to flip conventional thinking to turn a buck? It worked for Gurren Lagann, right?
Just like we had Yoko then, we have Mankanshoku now. At least the
little things don’t change.