Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh... Goddammit, anime studios, LET IT GO. Stop tapping that old Gainax FLCL and Gurren Lagann keg! It's dry! It's dead! Go do something fantastic and imaginatively NEW again! Yeah, you got lucky with Kyousougiga (a show along with GL that I will reference quite a bit in this review due to it doing a lot of things RIGHT that Kill la Kill did WRONG), but that was a lucky shot in the dark as far as I'm concerned. Let it the fuck go.
Not that Kill la Kill steals the plot from any earlier shows ever made (I can't think of "killer clothes from outer space taking over the world one wardrobe at a time" being a story that I've seen before), but it's the vibe and the essence of earlier works that they're mining for all that their worth here. The beyond over-the-top insanity that prevailed throughout most of Gurren Lagann and especially the (epically horrid) Panty and Stocking is what Kill la Kill mimics... And it's just too much ridiculousness with little to no heart for my taste. See, the reason shows like Kyousougiga and Gurren Lagann get such well deserved praise from me and my ilk (that means "compatriots" or "fellow internet anime whores," right?) is because although they are insanely bat shit crazy, the characters rock and they emote enough for you to actually — get this — CARE about them. That was Panty and Stocking's biggest failure. Its cast is nothing but one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs making pee-pee and poo-poo jokes rapid-fire-like, taking very little time for its (*blech!*) "story" or for any character development.
Kill la Kill is not anywhere near as bad as P&S is (Holy shit! What IS?!), but it's also a far fanboy cry from the greatness of the second half of GL (incidently, all three of these shows were directed by the same guy, so apparently this over-the-top silliness is his thing, but he just can't seem to capture the same magic that he created with his first work [that would be GL, dumfucks]). Kill started off fairly strong, what with some incredibly smooth and frenetic animation, the bizarre plotline that we're introduced to, and some pretty amazing music... But then it went into self-parody mode very quickly. It started mocking itself for being so silly. It's like just a few episodes in the writers said "Hey, Retard-Tsukitami, you know what would make this show great? How about we satire the show while we're making the show! Like if we turn it into a Mad Magazine bit about the real show! OMGFMITA it'll be awesoooooooome!"
No, it was not awesome. I was just starting to care for the characters and their plights when all of a sudden every slightly serious part became a joke at its own expense. Example: The awesome transformation/fighting music starts kicking in at one point when things are just getting super serious, but then *record scratch* and the scene falls apart for the sake of a quick joke. Then in the attack on Osaka episodes they pull this same "prank" again... And again... All the drama is lost for the sake of a dumb punchline that didn't even make anybody laugh. Oh, and let's not forget the countless "naughty bits covered up by incidental objects or straps and suspenders" gag that fills this thing from episode 2 till the
almost fully nude finale. It's not titillating or fan servicey in the least, and it's like having that pretty damn funny Shinji-and-the-toothpick-box gag in Evangelion appear every 5 seconds of screen time during the second half of the series. Oh, you think I'm exaggerating...
What's Kill la Kill about, you ask, as if you were a stupid baby wondering if he should ask before shoving a metal fork into an open electrical outlet or just GO FOR IT!? KLK (wow, when I abbreviate it like that it almost looks really, really bad) is about fighting. Fighting over clothes.
We start by following renegade high school brawler Ryuko Matoi as she shows up to a strange academy run by a fanatically clothes-minded student council that rules its students by means of super-powered uniforms. These uniforms are spun with something called "Life Fibers," into them, and the more Life Fibers built into a certain set of clothes the more powerful the wearer becomes. Ryuko is determined to stop the use of these uniforms though, and she has the giant Life Fiber-slicing scissors (well, at least ONE scissor) to do it. Ryuko initially gets her ass handed to her though by the student council, but she soon discovers that her father (who was killed by somebody associated with Life Fiber-spun clothes) had developed a 100% Life Fiber LIVING uniform for his daughter to wear in order to take down those planning to take over the world with super clothes!... Yeah, it's a trifle ridiculous, but that basic plot alone isn't anything I have a beef against. As a matter of fact I was really enjoying Kill up until around episode 13. I thought that the insane speed of the battles and the aloof atmosphere worked well enough in this universe, but then it just went totally fucking silly and it lost me.
It's at this point that all character advancement ends, the story forgets that it's supposed to make any kind of sense, and they keep upping the power levels of everybody like it was Dragonball Z on speed. I swear to God in Hell that the director just tried to recreate GL again, only he forgot the feels. I just didn't give a shit when a bad guy was offed or when the hero was in danger because the show didn't care about anything at this point. All the show wanted to do was to offer you more and more bizarre visuals and people raising their power levels to 10,000. It was just... Meh.
As for characters, Ryuko is a fairly intriguing angry young protag. She's your typical "mad at everything" and out to prove herself and avenge her dead parent character, but I could appreciate her determination and drive.
The student council of Honnouji Academy is a good group of antagonists. They were basically just your average cookie cutter bad guys from (name your generic anime fighting series), but they were interesting and fun enough to not care too much about who they were ripping off, and their combat styles and abilities were rather enjoyable to watch in action too.
The president of Honnouji Academy's student council, and the daughter of the head of the board of directors of the school, (one Satsuki Kiryuin) is an over-the-top gestapo-like ruler whose goal is the apparent take-over or destruction of every other high school in Japan in order to spread the Life Fibers all around, thusly enslaving the population. She's a bit of an ice cube in your underwear, but I enjoyed her iron fist-ruling of the rest of the council and the way she talked down to Ryuko. And later on in the series she gets a very nice bit of development (double entendre inferred) when mad mother dearest enters the picture.
Then there's Ryuko's living 100% Life Fiber uniform, Senketsu, who sounds like a gruff old man, and who can transform into battle armor (that covers less of Ryuko than your average micro-bikini) when she needs to go all-out for a foe.
All of these characters (along with the ADHD 2nd year student Mako, and the Nudist Beach Life Fiber rebels Aikuro and Tsumugu) are pretty damn likeable. I've got no problems with either them or the general (insanely wacky) plot... It's just the presentation of the story that I, well, I don't want to use a super strong word like "detest," but I'll say I disagree verily with. Mostly just the way it went too hyperly wacky during its second half, with absolutely NO grounding of genuine sincerity or seriousness to be found. No, sir, I don't like it.
I understand that you can't take a story about living sailor fukus being used to take over the world seriously, just that there are better forms of humor to tell such a tale. Hell, this style of anime (FLCL and Kyousougiga-like) needs to end. It's served its purpose, and I personally have no more use for it. It's completely overused, and even those who handled it correctly once have proven that they can't do it again (like Hiroyuki Imaishi, who I already told you directed Gurren Lagann [Yay!], Panty & Stocking [Boooooo!], and now Kill la Kill [Meh...]). If I want to watch Bugs Bunny on crack I'll tune in to some Bugs Bunny and buy some crack for myself. Please be more original in the future, Japan. I know that's asking a lot, but Kill was supposed to be your BIG show this past Winter season. Damn, that makes me not very eager to tackle anything else that just finished up. So sad.
Dude... This show was almost fully nude, and it was awesome for it! Fashizzle my nizzle! I mean, I thought I had to download hentai to get this much flesh-colored paint in a show, boyyyyyy! I was watching and I came very close to just bustin' a nut over the sweet, sweet nekkidness of this show! She was practically nekkid, HE was almost totally nekkid, the OTHER SHE was even more nekkid, and then all the others just said "fuck it!" to clothes by the last episode and just went all Nudist Beach on me! I llllllllllllloved it! Who wouldn't! Only squares and lamers can't appreciate young nekkid high schoolers runnin' around and beatin' people up, G! Wahooooo! More nekkid fightin' for me, homies!
Hooooooly cheese-its! I saw 20 minutes of this show and just noped out of it.
Sometimes you just know, you just get a feeling that a TV series isn't made for you. I just knew.