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KILL LA KILL #23 is Another Hot Mess

Episode #23 -- Watch & Learn. Would've preferred an art book...

Only the combined might of both Scissor Blades can ever permanently sever life fibers!

That’s a hard-fought breakthrough, which Satsuki and Ryuko only learn when they finally cut the Grand Courtier’s arms off!

Oh… wait.

Raygo’s immediately able to reattach those limbs? Again? Oh, and she’s fatally impaled Ryuko? Again?

The show can’t keep its own rules straight, not within even a few minutes of establishing them.

Am I being too serious about KILL LA KILL? Should I go easy on a show that’s supposed to be as free wheelin’ and loose as a LOONY TOONS sketch? Nah. I don’t think the “it’s all a joke!” card can be played, anymore. Not after the fifteenth philosobabble monologue attempting to say there’s actually some coherent statement about clothing, or whatever, beneath all the lunacy. The show becomes unsuccessfully-executed drama after that point.

(LOONY TOONS skits don’t run over seven hours long, either).

KILL LA KILL tries to have its cake and eat it, too. It wants to get the dramatic impact of killing its leads, or of them defeating the bad guys, or of the Elite Four coming to the rescue at the last moment... without actually having to pay the due diligence of less-exciting storytelling moments. You know, like dealing with the set-up or repercussions of any of that.

This is demonstrated pretty much every time that heroic fanfare gets cued. It’s a button that’s only supposed to be pushed sparingly, when the moment is right. Instead, the show keeps pushing it, for unearned audience pops, because it’s run out of tricks.

OK… I was impressed with all the imagination unleashed in this outing. Round #37 between Ryuko and Raygo was a jaw-dropping splash of color and flash. Seeing all the old, evil club captains come back to form an army was a staggering sight. That goes without saying. So it’s probably worth clarifying, at this point, that I would’ve rather flipped through a Studio Trigger concept art book than sat through all this repetitive plotting.

Watch, "Imitation Gold" 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 - - - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk
Donwunon March 24, 2014 at 2:57 p.m.

Hate to jump on what i'm sure some people will feel is the negative wagon but this episode in particular really felt like a rinse and repeat of the previous episode to the point where it ended again with the exact same dual transformation split screen lets-get-ready-for-the-big-final-battle......again

Still visually stunning but it really has become repetitive and i have to agree with Tom it's just been too all over the place for me to get emotionally invested into

Is the next one really the last....i heard theres gonna be a special or sumthin....well i guess that won't be plot driven in any case....a shame really

takashichea moderator on March 24, 2014 at 3:14 p.m.

It was a boring episode that promises a big fight like in episode 3 with extra toppings of hype in it. The story was less predictable than Pilot's Love Song whose writing was poor and felt shallow. At least Kill la Kill was entertaining enough. The family theme with a bit Shonen-esque felt fake as well.

I pretty much agree with Donwun and Tom after seeing this episode and the last one. It's a shame that series had done well from the start. The fights, the mood, and the excitement is like a roller coaster. This show and Trigger are on the right track, but I feel they are still in Studio Gainax and Gurren Lagann's shadows.


I'm in a love and hate relationship with Kill la Kill. I do love it, but I keep comparing it to Gurren Lagann. I couldn't really help it. It's like comparing two beers. Kill la Kill is a lite beer while Gurren Lagann is heavier. Kill la Kill is more warm hearted and less dramatic. There were no major character deaths or fear instilled in characters regarding death. I just enjoy Kill la Kill for the comedy and zany action. Story isn't riveting. I just expected more from Kill la Kill, but this is what hype does to the series. People have higher expectations of shows and will be disappointed in it. Kill la Kill isn't for everyone. I think most folks who watched this were fans of Gainax shows.

sickVisionz moderator on March 24, 2014 at 5:41 p.m.
Would've preferred an art book...

My thoughts since episode 1 aired.

Lurkeroon March 24, 2014 at 6:35 p.m.

Kill La Kill is really fun to watch but not fun to analyze. I detached myself from the plot because I wasn't feeling it like I did Gurren Lagann back in the day. If you are going to try and put meaning behind character motivations and actions I am going to need you be to consistent and have lasting impacts.

Villains that immediately recover after devastating attacks are not fun to watch. This is rinse and repeat.

Marshal Victoryon March 24, 2014 at 10:38 p.m.

(LOONY TOONS skits don’t run over seven hours long, either).

Um actualy many tropes/long arching gags in Loony toons carry over from show to show an movie to moive an short to well you get the idea.Honestly never expected much the shows name means kill the kill.For what it is its a fun ride an some intresting consepts. Tho the last two episodes felt like ti was from the more sily versions of the long x men comic arcs tho.Think of the fibers as sentenials.

This epsiode was the all star flashback with out the flashback. Ill give them credit for that at least. Just to remind you of past epsides with out baked in flashback filler cake was pretty nice.

I would say theres a 50/50 chance on a meaningful end. An if not it still was a fun ride.

SpectroRaphaelon March 25, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.

Ragyo didn't re-attach Nui's arms, she made completely new ones. And she's lost the scissor blade so she only has these new arms to fight with. Also, the trick with Ryuko was more to re-emphasize how she's so much like Ragyo that even if a single thread remains, she can recuperate herself. The first time was just to show that she was indeed the lost daughter infused with life fibers.

Nui may have her arms back, but she has abandoned all hope of ever understanding humans and having someone to interact with like Ryuko. In that sense it still keeps its complete meaning.

I liked this episode and I feel like the hype was saved for the finale later this week. I've loved all the previous episodes and never thought it was too hard to follow along. Sure it's over the top but still makes sense with the parameters set within the show, unlike something like FLCL. I'm pretty sure it was never the author's intention to have it all as a joke, and I see no problem with taking it seriously AND appreciating the comedy at the same time. In fact, that's the reason why I think it's one of the better anime of the last few years.

Sure I understand that some people like to have comedy separate from drama completely, but I actually prefer the presentation of KLK. An anime that can make me both laugh and be heart-warming is held in higher regard than one that can only do either alone. That is one of the reasons why I prefer this much more to Gurren Lagann (which I still like). KlK was able to tell a more personal story with more memorable characters (while keeping them in check), and bring more excitement and laughs.

It's always interesting to see others' thoughts though, yet I have to admit that I don't understand why a few people find it so hard to follow through with it. It isn't a mess like FLCL and the order of events are pretty straightforward.

FoxxFireArt moderator on March 26, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.

I found this episode to be completely entertaining. We finally understand how Life Fibers can keep people alive after something as dramatic as a beheading. I don't find that sort of healing factor any more ridiculous than some of the BS I've seen out of some Wolverine comics. There was an issue of WOLVERINE: CIVIL WAR where he was rendered down to only a skeleton, but some how grew back his entire body because of a few cells that remained, and he grew completely back in a matter of minutes.

I really loved the introduction to the new Goku Uniforms for the Elite Four, and it was a great moment when Mako started powering up that engine. The comedy aspects aren't distracting me from the drama of the moments.

FLCL was a crazy mess that just had some awesome music.

I found an interesting article about some popularity rankings listed in NEWTYPE magazine. The results were rather interesting. I'm not completely sure about the sample size for this poll, but I think it was primarily NEWTYPE readers. The poll also seems to include characters from series that have finished years ago. However, I'm a bit aghast that Satsuki isn't shown in the Female Rankings.

NewType - April 2014 Popularity Ranking

Series Ranking:

  1. Kill la Kill
  2. Gundam Build Fighters
  3. Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku no Zvezda
  4. Saki: The Nationals
  5. The iDOLM@STER アイドルマスター
  6. Magi
  7. D-Frag!
  8. One Piece
  9. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai
  10. Witch Craft Works

Females Ranking:

  1. Ryuko Matoi (Kill la Kill)
  2. Mako Mankanshoku (Kill la Kill)
  3. Saber (Fate/Stay Night)
  4. Mikasa Ackerman (Shingeki no Kyojin)
  5. Homura Akemi (Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica)
  6. Kate Hoshimiya (World Conquest Zvezda Plot)
  7. Yukina Himeragi (Strike the Blood)
  8. Asuna (Sword Art Online)
  9. Haruka Amami (The iDOLM@STER)
  10. Nami (One Piece)

Males Ranking:

  1. Aladdin (Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic)
  2. Yamato Kira (Gundam SEED)
  3. Nobunaga Oda (Nobunaga the fool)
  4. Kirito (Sword Art Online)
  5. Koyomi Araragi (Monogatari Series)
  6. Asuta Jimon (World Conquest Zvezda Plot)
  7. Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass)
  8. Monkey D Luffy (One Piece)
  9. Shiroe (Log Horizon)
  10. Aikuro Mikisugi (Kill La Kill)
YotaruVegetaon April 11, 2014 at 8:19 a.m.

Let's make 1 thing clear: Nui's actual arms were "asploded" (to use an appropriate medical term). She was given new arms, Winter Soldier/Cable/Cyber (Marvel loves metal limbs) style. She didn't get her arms back.

I think that with what we've seen beforehand, that is not a point that needs to be contended. We've seen Ragyo perform many amazing feats beforehand.

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