Once you’ve got a crack team of mostly naked men in speedos cavorting around and showing off their shiny pink nipples, a few beads are definitely getting pushed over on whatever abacus is calculating the gender balance of T&A. KILL LA KILL has definitely gone on to follow through on its aspirations as an equal-opportunity offender.
While I got the biggest kick out of seeing the bad guys fight bad guys in this world’s equivalent of a Legion of Doom/Secret Society of Super-Villains bout, this episode does demonstrate the show’s realer problem…
It’s got no sense of booking.
Listen, let’s discount anything else about pro wrestling that might be of value for a minute. It’s still worthwhile to examine how a federation applies a certain science approach to generating ‘heat’ for any given match. It's a method that's been devised after promoting literally thousands of prior matches.
Want to generate anticipation for the title match at your pay-per-view? Then have the opponents keep trading barbs every week leading up to it, but never let them actually come to blows.
Have these wrestlers fought many times before, though? Well, add a gimmick to the match (cages, ladders, no holds barred, etc.) or add some new stakes (loser has to retire, winner gains entry to special tournament, etc) so it’s at least marginally different than the last bout.
This is the less-flashy things to consider when you need to be constantly ratcheting up conflict. Togashi just relishes in it, to great success. And I’d say the issue with KILL LA KILL is that, in spite of its constantly-enthralling creativity and style, it’s still basically a fight shonen; and it hasn’t really booked its fights properly.
This was the same issue with the repeated grudge bouts between Casshern and Dio in CASSHERN SINS. If you have your heroine and your villainess face off too early, or worse yet, let your hero beat your villain too early, then there’s not a lot of lingering tension to keep you invested in the next fight.
How long ago did Ryuko already vanquish the Student Council? How many times has she had pretty much the same costumed duel with her arch nemesis? How easily was she able to shake off the loss of her powers? Ad were there actually any lasting consequences to her turning into Venom for that moment? When you think about those question, it’s hard to feel like this is adding up like it should.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|