Anime Vice News

KILL LA KILL #16 Needs to Decide if it's a Farce

#16 -- Watch & Learn. Or is this serious?

We’re more than halfway through this series and I can’t think of any explanation for the title other than “it sounds cool.” And hey - - that’s really what’s more important, ain’t it?

Y’know, this episode was actually delayed half a day and - - if you can take a step or two back away from any frustration about the wait - - it’s amusing to think that the show’s being produced by skin-of-the-teeth that’s that thin. I feel like there’s got to be another in-joke or two woven into the faux recap episode that baits us at the beginning of this episode. Trigger had to be totally aware of what kind of reaction that would provoke, and that’s the kind of programming agility that’s afforded only when you’re producing episodes as quickly as SOUTH PARK does.

Of course, we all know the animation being offered is vastly more sophisticated, so I can’t help but picture a runaway train with a caboose full of dynamite.

Again, the show’s greatest strength and weakness lies in its evident lack of structure/planning. I was thinking about this while the School Council finally manifested as a “chaotic neutral” super team that Ryuko’s essentially aligned with. It’s an awesome chance to get to root for the bad guys, but the show should've settled on that dynamic sooner. I’ve talked about the lack of lasting ramifications, and ZombiePie made good points about how things just keep coming too easily to Ryuko… and I’m starting to see what the real issue with the show is.

KILL LA KILL can’t decide if it wants to be a serious adventure or bawdy farce.

Now, before you shriek at me for being narrow-minded, I’ll stress that I’ve seen shows successfully strike the right balance between the two. This show, however, has started to smell like an animation studio steam blow-off (ala FLCL and DEAD LEAVES) that’s gone on longer than it should. All of these furious battles and breathless rattling off of philosophy on clothing are not meant to be taken seriously, so the show needs to be as brief as it is anarchic.

However, the show keeps going like all the stuff is meant to be taken seriously, so now we have to look at how we have a protag who no longer has any compelling reason left to keep fighting. Ryuko's not avenging anybody any more, she’s not trying to save anybody… she’s just ambling forward. And that amble is rather aimless.

.Watch, “the Girl Can’t Help It” and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode.

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
LHWKnighton Jan. 31, 2014 at 7:59 p.m.

Yeah no, the fact that Ryuuko acted like this was expected, since she cares for how sen feels and treats him somewhat human.

Ryuko is very protective as she had almost lost him a few episodes ago. Ryuuko not caring to save man is actually good as most protag are too willing to risk themselves and their friends for people they don't even know or for humanities sake.

this is what makes her a good character, she has some aspects that are not over done.

and you are being somewhat narrow-minded. and you keep comparing it to shows like FLCL and Dead leaves, maybe you should stop comparing it to other series.

hitsusatsu11on Feb. 1, 2014 at 3:55 a.m.

I liked the episode a lot, probably my favorite so far. I dont really have an issue with the 'farce' aspect of the show, they could possibly dial it down just a little bit but its not a sticking point for me. KLK more so then any action based show in a long time has me immediately wanting more once the episode is done.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 1, 2014 at 6:12 a.m.

I rather completely disagree. I don't see how this series has done anything far too ridiculous outside the realm of fiction. In fact, I think it's found a really clever premise. Why is it that humanity is the only real species that has developed in such a way to require clothing to survive in our natural climates?

Even what Ragyo says made sense, How humanity, when naked, feels the urgent need to be covered, and so much of the culture is uncomfortable with nudity in general. We annually celebrate a sporting competition where roided up guys try and beat the living hell out of one another to score points, but the moment a breast is exposed (Janet Jackson Nipple-gate), people get offended and start petitions. This one event caused the change in rules of what can be shown or said on TV. Isn't that sort of an extreme reaction to a bit of partial nudity?

Making it being an alien influence. I like it, and it plays into the theme of clothing the series created. There's nothing wrong with the idea of being both dramatic and absurd together. ONE PIECE has been doing that for over fifteen-years, and the people seem to like it. KILL LA KILL has had such a theme since Gamagoori first appeared in Episode 1. In that same episode, the baddies were going to deep fry Mako like tempura. If that doesn't prepare you for some silliness at some point, then I'm not sure what will.

What is it about criticizing that things come too easy to Ryuko? You could make that same sort of critique about 95% of fiction. Things always tend to work to the protagonist's favor. Yet, I never hear this issue be raised when the protagonist is male. Look at Goku from DRAGON BALL. Things don't always work out for Ryuko. She's been clobbered plenty of times, and she's still struggling to match up with Satsuki in battle. So far, best she can manage is a draw.

I also like that Ryuko isn't willing to use Senketsu as a weapon in order to kill his own kind. He's her friend, and the only one who can hear his voice. She's not the the gung-ho, save the world type of hero. You have to give her a more personal motivation to inspire her to action. First, she was after the truth about her father, then it was about saving Senketsu. If Senketsu is willing, I think she'd agree to help him.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 1, 2014 at 7:57 a.m.

Put forth the theory last week the shows core is based on the phrases " Does the clothes make the man ? Or does the man make the clothes? " Fits even more now.

Also the screen shot at the top of this article remeber what shes saying " This sucks the whole thing sucks! "

So again I say they are Looney tune anime an are messing with people.

An we all know ...

The truth is out there!
The truth is out there!
Lurkeroon Feb. 1, 2014 at 8:41 a.m.

Kill la Kill is absurd, but that seems to be Trigger's style. Gurren Lagann had some good life lesson in it, and all of those lessons were presented in the guise of dramatically absurd characters and situations.

The message of Kill la Kill may have gotten a little blurry after the first 13 episodes, but it is still more enjoyable than 90% of other anime where there is no message or meaning besides fanservice or fighting.

The "things come easy" debate can be had on both sides. Sometimes villains get things easily and sometimes heroes do. That just one thing writers have trouble getting around for the sake of plot. I would like to see Ryuko struggle a bit more in her aspirations, but sometimes for the sake of time or plot that's not the case.

Kuma_From_Argentinaon Feb. 1, 2014 at 2:37 p.m.

Once again Trigger's fanatism for Getter Robo surfaces into the light. The Life Fibers are Thread like Getter Rays, or for the TTGL fans Spiral Energy woven into the clothings. Both are the energy of evolution. Maybe even more as Getter Rays, has according to the series the Getter Energy is "alive" and choose mankind to evolve.

Is a good concept and I was starting to fear that Trigger separation from Gainax had only taken the bizarre aspects, but this episode showed me that a good chunck of the weird metaphyisic stuff also went with them. Trigger excells in telling relatively simple stories in the most over the top way possible. Ryuko isnt avenging somebody or saving somebody as both goals are being slowly slipped away in pursuit of a larger one. She learnt that revenge will only go sour thanks to the Berserker mode against the Seamstress and she cant save the people of the school, because they turned into the army to defeat.

And I also love that is a Getter Robo fanboy idea...

PS: FLCL is a masterwork of animation and narrative. They explain a very simple story through very complex and well achieved animation and stories. And it works.

Dead Leaves is pure fun, undistilled, but pure fun

takashichea moderator on Feb. 1, 2014 at 2:46 p.m.

I seen a lot of deep and subtle insight beneath the silly, shonen fights padded with lots of T & A. I'm still waiting for that crazy theory I proposed a while ago. Kamui Uniforms are a race of aliens who disguise themselves as clothes, and former enemies unite to beat it. Looking at Fooly Cooly and Gurren Lagann, it probably won't happened.

I proposed the alien theory back in the Vice Pit. I'm surprised it somewhat came true. It was like Gurren Lagann again where the things came from space.

YotaruVegetaon Feb. 4, 2014 at 7:46 p.m.

"Ryuko's not avenging anybody any more, she’s not trying to save anybody…"

Huh??

zaldaron Feb. 5, 2014 at 8:44 a.m.

Have not read the comments here yet but really have to say I disagree several issues here (1) are you watching the same show I am? Really beginning to wonder, as her reactions really make sense given the rest of the show. (2) Are you doing something else while you watch this show as though you seem to be getting broad strokes you are missing pretty important details. (3) Sense when can a farce not have a point? Earlier (before you started this shonen kick) you came off as a very well educated and broadly aware of previous classic entertainment. So surly you are familiar with the theater of the absurd, rhinoceros by ionesco? These were certainly farces but also very much had a point (4) are you trolling for comments and views? I hope not as that would insult me and make me lose a lot of respect. Post what you really think not what you think will generate controversy.

The feeling of this show was absurd from the beginning so certainly the reveal is certainly going to be absurd anything else wouldn't fit I mean we have a school going to war with other schools and wrecking a city while the army does nothing. Nothing here required really more of a suspension of disbelief than this. As well in world these things are not crazy so obviously the people in the world are going to take it seriously. Given what else is going on this isn't all that insane so the characters will certainly take it seriously the idea that they should treat it like a farce is rather ridiculous.

We have seen our protag treat her clothes as a living being and a separate thing rather than a tool which is part of the point. Clothes not controlling you but you also not controlling your clothes. Given a culture big on cos play BOTH can be an issue. The ideal in the show is not the clothes making the man or the man making the clothes but the clothes helping to make the man and the man helping to make the clothes (wearing well). It also is satirizing the importance we put on clothes as a culture. Really don't understand much of anything in this post or a lot of your other posts on this show...

Edit: Oh and her not wanting to protect and fight for the sake of humanity - that wasn't what this was about at all. It was about her not wanting her friend to be forced to fight his own kind. She never said anything about not fighting herself. But even if she didn't this is a trope in anime especially games phantasy star etc. always have a time where the protag thinks it is no longer worth the fight and wants to give up and has to be motivated. As well shonen especially recently is always talking about protecting people close to you and not humanity as a whole so may be commenting on that somewhat.

A much more interesting discussion lets analyze the themes here, there is a very interesting connection I think that can be made to genesis. Is the serpent the clothes?

ZombiePieon Feb. 5, 2014 at 7:07 p.m.

Alright I know I'm late BUT my grandmother was recently rushed to the emergency room. Everything is fine now, but I have only recently watched the episode all the way through.

I really don't know how to feel about this episode. On one hand I enjoy the fact that Kill la Kill is finally recognizing that it is a better show when it's being ridiculous, but on the other I have always had a disposition against the "Divination Explained via Aliens" trope. I mean I draw a hard line when it comes to anything related to "Ancient Aliens," unless it has been written specifically for science fiction works.

If this show was supposed to be a farce then it was a major miscalculation to include all of the dramatics in it. To go from dictatorial speeches about the evils of clothing or how all humans are pigs, and then to schlock or self parody is awkward to say the least. Especially when said transitions involve Mako doing something ridiculous immediately after listening to something ominous spewed by Ragyo. The inclusion of "aliens are to blame" also comes across as really lazy storytelling to me. I mean come on...the similarities between this and GL (and other previous animes) are getting greater and greater with this decision.

These complaints aside what really could have negated this nitpicking is if Trigger just picked a genre or group of shows they wanted to parody and stuck with it. Samurai Flamenco picked the sentai stuff and stuck with it. Kill la Kill on the other hand has opted for the "shotgun approach," and it has missed engaging some of its targets in an entertaining or thoughtful manner spectacularly. Kill la Kill started with magical girls and shonen-esque stuff. Then they started to throw in all the EVA symbolism, anti-consumerism as well as anti-totalitarianism, and now recently aliens this show feel like Trigger doesn't know what it wants to make fun of. That's why I was bored out of my mind with the explanation of what the Life Fibers were. It was science fiction technobable that completely contradicted the previous tone and flow of the show.

Kino88on Feb. 6, 2014 at 4:34 p.m.
I really liked this episode, I do agree that some of this stuff could have poped up A bit earlier, but yet again the show has me pumped, this clothing from space thing Is absolutely priceless, Clothing from space..... Tell me more guys, tell me more,

Dig Deeper into Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill is an original anime series that is produced by Trigger, a new animation studio.

Edit/View the Wiki
Hit the Forums (27 Posts)
Add/View Images (502 Images)
Watch Some Videos
Pokemon Black and White Looks Delicious in Motion

First video of a Pokemon battle in Black and White.

Comment & Win: One Piece Vol. 52, 53

Time for a giveaway folks! Now, act civil, we don't want anyone to get hurt in the mad rush to win.

Beginner's Guide to FLCL

Gainax's madcap, surrealist anime, broken down for new viewers.

Ballz Deep

Steve gets intimately close to Dragon Ball Z, for science!

Top 3 Awful Anime Dubs

Grit your teeth and get your ear plugs ready cause this week we're taking on the three most amazingly bad dubs of all time!

NARUTO Ch. 692 Review

Um,...can I have Obito back now, please?

OVERLOOKED ANIME :: HAL Features Robots and Romance in a New Light

Would YOU sign up a loved one for robot therapy?

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Seriously Tries to Sell You "Mecha Naruto?"

Episode #376+377. A two-part infomercial?

The Lamest JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE Episode

STARDUST CRUSADERS #24 -- Watch & Learn. Fiiiiiiiiller!

HUNTER X HUNTER #147 -- Special Review

Don't cry now, Killua. I'm sure you'll see Gon again soon.

ONE PIECE #661 -- Special Review

Wow... how much money did they add to the animation budget?

Community Spotlight 9/19/2014

Come see some of the best edits from our brightest users.

DRAGON BALL #19 + 20 -- Retro Review

This really seemed more like SOUTH PARK back then...

NARUTO Ch. 692 Review

Um,...can I have Obito back now, please?

Anime Caption Contest! -- 9/16/14

To celebrate Sailor Moon Crystal, get a dose of Magical Girl Madness!

ONE PIECE #661 -- Special Review

Wow... how much money did they add to the animation budget?

OVERLOOKED ANIME :: HAL Features Robots and Romance in a New Light

Would YOU sign up a loved one for robot therapy?

The Lamest JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE Episode

STARDUST CRUSADERS #24 -- Watch & Learn. Fiiiiiiiiller!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY... the Anime?

DISC WARS is like... "POKEMON versus Marvel."

NARUTO SHIPPUDEN Seriously Tries to Sell You "Mecha Naruto?"

Episode #376+377. A two-part infomercial?

HUNTER X HUNTER #147 -- Special Review

Don't cry now, Killua. I'm sure you'll see Gon again soon.

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

Save ChangesCancel