Anime Vice News

KILL LA KILL #20 is Stitched Together Messily

Episode #20 -- Watch & Learn. Somebody even out the seams!

So Evil Strawberry Shortcake has the Loony Toons healing factor, too? I think that’s got less to do with the show establishing some hierarchy of superpowers so much as it’s Trigger’s way of winking at us and saying, “Don’t worry. We’re well aware that none of these fights have had any consequences. Here’s a funny reason why!” Which doesn’t quite remedy anything here, but…

See, I’ll harp again on how one of this show’s major problems is structure. It’s hard for me to even play along at being invested in Ryuko riding off for what’s supposed to be her final showdown with the bad guys when she basically did the exact same thing last episode. And I think she did it once prior to that, too. Maybe. It all starts to blend together.

You might say that all sets Raygo up to be this nightmarish, Freddy Krueger-like adversary who just won’t die no matter how times you kill her. That’d be well and good if the show actually structured some breaks in between the confrontations to build anticipation and tension up and make it seem like the stakes were raising. Outside of maybe that over-long portion where Ryuko fought the Four Horsemen (which was kind of repetitive in itself), I don’t think the series has actually had any sub-arcs -- and it could really use some.

Since this episode did have some sick metal cuts, I’ll use a music analogy and describe this whole show as a concept album’s garage demo. There are a lot of elements to like, but they all kind of drown each other out. You need a producer to come in and polish things - - to turn down the drums when the bass needs to be heard, and shorten the overlong guitar solo, etc.

Anyway, as always there’s a ton of creativity flying at you here. Loved the suit-swap between Ryuko and Satsuki. Loved the Nimrod forms that the drones take on. Loved the teenage battleship demolition. Love the demonic jack-in-the-box shapes that the bad guys assume. It just needs to be… threaded together better, you know?

Watch, Far from the Madding Crowd” and decide for yourself, then read my comments about 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
FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 7:35 a.m.

The series has had several arcs in its run. There's the Honnouji Academy Arc, which is your introductory arc. That's used to get to know your main cast and story concepts. There was the Naturals Election, that's themed on the concept of school elections, but with the twist of a shonen-tournament. There was the Tr-City School Raid Trip, which is a parody of traditional school trips that Japan often does. Even the cities were the same. There's the Cultural and Sports Grand Festival. Culture and Sports festivals are yearly events at many Japanese schools. These have all been twists on reality. Even now, the show is playing with the concept of sisters wearing each other clothes.

I sort of like that this story has turned into a rather twisted family affair. It doesn't strike me as out of the realm of possibility. Ragyo was pretty motivated and doesn't seem like someone who just gives up. Not after the flippant way she tossed aside the supposed death of her own new-born daughter. She believed that a child born from her couldn't bond with life fibers, so she created a child born within the Primordial Life Fiber. She went younger and younger until it worked.

I also don't understand the idea of healing factors somehow breaks the story. Marvel comics is absolutely littered with healing type characters. That's never removed consequence from Wolverine or Spider-man. The only thing that confuses me. If Nui was born like that, how was it her eye didn't regenerate. I thought that maybe it was the scissor blade, but Ryuko stabbed Nui with half of it.

I actually feel sorry for Ryuko. Her and Satsuki have been the victims of their parents' manipulations. Isshin (Soichiro) always kept Ryuko at a distance and lied to her all her life. It doesn't make sense that he wanted to keep her out of this fight. Not when Senketsu was made specifically for her to wear. Given everything she's learned, I can't blame her for going into a rage.

Satsuki also made me laugh. Three seconds on that battleship and she was already taking charge. I'm also really enjoying Nonon's commentaries.

NickyCharismaon Feb. 28, 2014 at 8:42 a.m.

Much has been said about Trigger's separation from Gainax, and having recently re-watched Gurren Lagann I can say that the writing is all over the place for this show. Every proclamation, every off-hand comment in GL foreshadowed future episodes. Sometimes they followed through with a threat from one episode prior (ep 8 anyone?) and other times they told of what ridiculousness the later arcs would hold (how many people truly believed Kamina when he said they would go to the moon one day?). The overall composition of the series was just so much tighter. Maybe I'm just holding KLK to too high of a bar. After all, I genuinely believe that GL has some of the best writing in all of anime.

Dream moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:11 a.m.

"If Nui was born like that, how was it her eye didn't regenerate."

If you recall when Nui murdered Isshin/ Soichiro, he managed to stab her in the eye with the Scissor Blades before being killed. The blades have the ability to cut Life Fibers, meaning that part of Nui's body very likely lost the ability to regenerate that eye since the Life Fibers in her eye were severed.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:57 a.m.

@Dream:

But Ryuko just stabbed Nui in the chest with a scissor blade and regenerated with no trouble. It didn't even really hurt her.

Lurkeroon Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:58 a.m.

It would have been really nice if the threads tying all the stuff in Kill La Kill were tighter. It's one of those shows that I like watching but keep getting upset because things could have easily been better from the viewers perspective. There is still a chance for a great conclusion though.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 10:28 a.m.

Interesting how Senketsu's appearance has changed as it's changed hands. I was really revealing when Satsuki wore it, less so when Ragyo put it on and it looks like it almost completely covers Ryuko. I wonder if that's important or if they just wanted it to look different on each person.

It's also interesting to see the back of Ryuko's hair has turned blue (now that she's been brainwashed) but the highlight at the front remains red. I bet that signifies that the original Ryuko is still in there, and will probably override the brainwashing at some point.

Marshal Victoryon Feb. 28, 2014 at 11:11 a.m.

Not sure if I would agree its messy an all over the place. If it was the story would have been less predictable for me. Seen where it was going with the sisters cloths swap an hero to heel turn.

Will point out what I did learn on this episode tho. If you imagine Naked Beach gear wearing people with the same gear but some spandex to cover up the rest, you get a character design very similar to the 90's X-men. Even their symbol would fit .Well minus the underwear.

@FoxxFireArt: Well to be fair Marvel over used the healing factor characters ( wolverine an his kin ) way to much. Also one could argue to it hurt them as well. Story quality dropped as the story crutch of healing factor characters became the norm.

Also they could use the old sword did not hit her heart, to make the excuse for the eye loss which was a bulls eye so to speak.

@Daniel_Newton: Yeah I think so to. We will get to hear her ring music at least one more time I'm sure.

Dream moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 1:28 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt: Exactly as Marshal Victory pointed out. Ryuko didn't connect with a fatal blow to Nui as she missed her heart in her blind rage. So any Life Fibers that were still present within Nui's body could still repair the damage she suffered from being stabbed.

FoxxFireArt moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 1:43 p.m.

@Daniel_Newton:

Since Junketsu looks so different on Ryuko -- reminds me of an Espada from BLEACH --, I can't wait to see how Junketsu changes on Satsuki.

@Dream:

@Marshal Victory:

That only explains why she's not dead. It doesn't explain the gaping holes in her chest and back sealing up within seconds. That would mean her entire body is fused with life fibers.

Maybe there's another reason for that, but they haven't give it yet. It sounds much more plausible that the Life Fibers fused with her heart only heal possibly fatal wounds to keep the body alive. Although, that's just all speculation, at this point.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 2:42 p.m.

@FoxxFireArt said:

Since Junketsu looks so different on Ryuko -- reminds me of an Espada from BLEACH --, I can't wait to see how Junketsu changes on Satsuki.

Yeah, should be interesting. I wonder if Satsuki will "override" or "synchronize" with Senketsu...

I wouldn't be surprised if Satsuki ends up able to hear Senketsu next episode.

takashichea moderator is online on Feb. 28, 2014 at 5:37 p.m.

@Daniel_Newton:

The red hair in Ryuko was like a interface spoiler if I use that word correctly. It was red like the Life Fiber. I could be crazy.

@Dream:

"If Nui was born like that, how was it her eye didn't regenerate."

That's some inconsistency error on Trigger's part.

Daniel_Newton moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:22 p.m.

@takashichea said:

The red hair in Ryuko was like a interface spoiler if I use that word correctly. It was red like the Life Fiber. I could be crazy.

I'm not sure what you mean here. You probably meant a different word.

That's some inconsistency error on Trigger's part.

I doubt it, so far pretty much everything had been explained so maybe this will be at some point too.

Or maybe the head area (eyes, brain, etc.) is just a weak point. Satsuki did try to slice off Ragyo's head.

Dream moderator on Feb. 28, 2014 at 6:28 p.m.

@takashichea: I highly doubt that the developments that have been built-up on thus far with Kill la Kill were conveniently ass-pulled as the Scissor Blades were consistently shown to have the ability to cut Life Fibers with how Ryuko destroyed Goku Uniforms throughout the show's first half.

DocHauson March 2, 2014 at 8:57 a.m.

I think the part that annoyed me the most was that they used less animation to show the brief Ryuko vs Nui fight than they did when Ryuko cut through the COVERS in the same episode. If you have two named characters fighting each other, why do you replace them with two swords just smacking into each other over a black background, and then reuse that same animation in the same fight? Did they blow through their budget already?

zaldaron March 6, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

Disagree completly tom - this show has been building itself up every every week. But your trolling us for views and posts now and it is working..sigh...

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