Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Dead Leaves, Oh! Edo Rocket and FLCL. If you are familiar with these titles and are a huge fan, then you will be pleasantly surprised to know about the latest edition up director Hiroyuki Imaishi and writer Kazuki Nakashima’s sleeves. While Imaishi directed Lagann, Leaves, and FLCL, Nakashima scripted Lagann and Oh! Edo. These two creative minds join forces once more to create Kill la Kill, an anime featuring a strong female protagonist named Ryuko Matoi and her sentient ability-boosting school uniform, Senketsu. With the same level of over-the-top action sequences, fan service, transformations, and erratic-yet-wonderful art style, this anime will imprint itself upon your soul as much as the previous titles mentioned.
Honnouji Academy is a school with very strict regulations and an unusual societal connection. Grades don’t matter so much as which club you are in and what strengths you can offer it. Your skills determine your rank and what kind of uniform you are given. Each club member starts off with a basic 1-star Goku uniform and can go up to an elite 3-star Goku uniform. These uniforms are also capable of enhancing one’s physical abilities and can grant specialized techniques to the user based on their club. For example, the leader of the tennis club has a giant, super powered tennis racket.
Once a student becomes a 1-star, their family is immediately placed in more accommodating housing arrangements. That’s right, the higher a student’s rank is within a club, the higher their social standing in the city. It’s not explained where all the money to pamper the elite comes from. Perhaps the government funds that could go towards helping the no-star slum families just don’t make it to them. This could explain why families in the lower region of the towering city live off of mystery food rations while the A-listers have decadent meals three times a day.
Ryuko introduces herself as someone who is on the hunt for her father’s murderer. Armed with only a giant scissor blade, she declares war against the school student body president, Satsuki Kiryuin. Things don’t go as she had planned, though, after a one-sided battle against the boxing club’s leader. Making a strategic retreat, she seeks out sanctuary at her family’s burnt down estate. Whilst ruminating on the past, she falls prey to a trap door leading to the basement and lands on a pile of clothes. A battle wound opens up, releasing a flow of blood that awakens an aggressive school uniform which forces itself onto Ryuko.
Ryuko returns to Honnouji for a rematch and reveals her new found abilities gained from her partner, Senketsu (Fresh Blood). This time around she gains the upper hand and displays outstanding fighting prowess, though she is quite embarrassed throughout the entire bout about her now very revealing outfit. Every episode is filled with amazing action, comical, and spontaneous sequences that keep you begging for more, making it a good hook for the series.
While the magical girl troupe is always an amazing element in anime, this series takes it to another level with the excessive use of transformations, weapons, and abilities seen throughout. Whether it be giant scissors, boxing gloves, chains, practice swords, or even plants, I am always left wondering how much more ridiculous this can get. Upon the publication of this article, the series is still ongoing, with an expected finish of 25 episodes. (Only 12 have been released at this time.) With so much more to come, I expect the finale to be as ludicrously brilliant as those of Gurren Lagann, Dead Leaves, Oh! Edo Rocket and FLCL.
Overall, the series contains multi-layered characters, clear storyline, a repertoire of intense and hysterical battles, and an amazing and memorable female lead. It should be noted that the suggested American viewer’s age be 14 and up for excessive partial nudity, some language, and suggestive themes. Fans of Hiroyuki Amaishi and Kazuki Nakashima’s past works will certainly love this series. If you haven’t watched anything by them before, you will still love it and should go watch their other stuff. If you don’t want to watch, then be prepared for me to hunt you down and shove the love into your eye holes.