Anime Vice News

KILL LA KILL #4 -- Watch & Learn

Crossing wires was never this wonderful!

Now, this was just delightful…

I remember one of you vicers breaking down the major anime studios’s differences a while back, using a rather clever extended metaphor which personified each one as a type of person you might encounter at art school. As I recall, Gainax was the lonely, bi-polar savant whose work oscillates as wildly as his mood - - swinging between the extremes of manic playfulness and brooding angst.

Time will tell if Trigger develops its own identity separate from Gainax, or if we’re just seen the talent we associated that ethos with getting their own space. Either way, KILL LA KILL has rather extremely smooshed together the gutter-minded hyperactivity of PANTY & STOCKING with the headier pondering of EVA (which, suitably enough, was the temperament of GURREN LAGANN) into a something that is often confounding, but always entertaining.

There’s just such a delirious urgency here as Ryoko and her friends breathlessly navigate this rapid gauntlet of challenges, rushing to get to school in time for what might as well be this world’s equivalent of move-up day. Separating our lead from her signature weapon (the uniform, not the scissor, natch) for an entire episode is a brilliant conceit. It's the kind of imagination that few other shows can claim to be fueled by - - the stuff that just tickles my brain into feeling like it’s in a lucid dream - - and it brings a big, goofy smile to my face.

It brings a big, goofy smile to me even as I’m well aware of all the other thorny stuff that’s poking out of this. The show’s still weaving together its larger statement about clothes, or the culture of clothes, and I’m still not sure what it’s getting at. It’s dialed the T&A back to a level that’s more and less uncomfortable: but I’ll admit that I’m still anxious, knowing that some of the nasty stuff from before could reappear with the flick of an animation cel.

And I’m sure that’s exactly the kind of state that Trigger wanted to evoke in its viewers. It’s certainly what Gainax wanted to do with a most of its shows...

Watch the first episode, Dawn of a Miserable Morninghere, and decide for yourself, then hear my previous comments on the show here.

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
Marshal Victoryon Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.

This one put me in mind of less bloody Super Jail. For those not familar.

Whole episode i kept thinking any minute the robot was gona pop out an capture them.It was as if the whole series would fit rather nicely intro adult swims line up.An the race course death trap to get to home room would fit ever so nicely beside Super Jail.

Destinyheroknighton Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:22 p.m.

Man, wish I have time to watch this show :(

zaldaron Oct. 25, 2013 at 9:26 p.m.

This was all about her becoming more comfortable with her body, showing the cruelty of this world, and just manic crazy enjoyment. I really do think the last episode honestly gave the theme just like Gurran Lagan did early "believe in the me that believes in your boobs". This is anti slut shaming the anime. And I love it.

Spoilers ahead

The conceit of the injured moe character being a trojin horse, the slow but earnest student getting a time to shine and still screwing it up, the exteeeended how can we show panties and "kill" the person carrying the uniform joke (man to man dog seriously...) everything about this episode was just absolutely wonderful. BY FAR this is the best show of this season and comes close to matching Madoka Magica for genre smashing. We have done the moe show, we have mashed together the crazy hyper active show (FLCL?) and with the whole school going after her now I wouldn't be surprised if the next episodes took on the shonen tournament. If this is the quality trigger continues to put out they are going to quickly become the best studio in Japan. Seriously what drugs are these guys on and how can I get some....?

FoxxFireArt moderator on Oct. 25, 2013 at 11:21 p.m.
This episode had a real PANTY & STOCKING-gibe with all the wacky action and more simplistic animation. Especially compared to last week. I wouldn't be surprised if the episode director worked on P&SWG.;

I can't help but think back to what Satsuki said last week as she addressed Ryuko's accusation of being an exhibitionist. She said that being so overly concerned about the morality of the masses proved how small she is. Then relate that to how the T&A; has been the main focus of so many of the reviews. Why is anything involving sexuality automatically labeled as "nasty"? I'm not getting that feel at all.

How is any of this show's visuals any different than say Catwoman in a skin tight suit that is constantly showing braless cleavage or zipped down to her crotch? I've never quite understood why the morality of the masses shows so little concern for violence, but goes into a frenzy when it comes to expressions of sexuality.

I was also sad Satsuki didn't really appear.
Marshal Victoryon Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:22 a.m.

@FoxxFireArt: Pondered many a day over the years on what questions you raise here.Answer i think varies alot depending on who the questions are amimed at. For some it really is about power an control.For some viloence is useful message but sex would not be.For some its a moral high ground, so high for some i wonder if it afects oxygen to the brain.An for others its cultural an or religious context.

Sure it can be some from colum a an some from colum b to.A combination of those veiws.Also viloence is a easyer mesage to understand.What it is is genraly universaly defined. But "sexy" is very subjective to opion.Tho these days just disagreing with some one can land you labeld violent extremist as well as racist an or sexist.It makes me doubt we will ever have "sexy" defined universaly.

To me the art style of this show does nothing to make me think sexy when i see the pics.Think thats why its not fan service to me but a neet anime with maybe deeper overtones.

@zaldar: Um maybe.Id agree more with what you propose if this was say made in Canada or the states.While i understand in Japan idols have a strict managment an image control even to the point of no sex at all.Not really seen any thing news wise "slut shaming " as a issue.not saying it doesnt exist tho.

Kino88on Oct. 26, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.

I don't know, this episode was kind of a mess for me, which is saying a lot in a show that is already pretty messy by design, don't get me wrong I did have fun and if Trigger has to let the animation slide into crappy town for one episode at least they did it with a kind of disposable glee.

also the panty jokes were just cheap, but I did like the girl in the arm cast, hope we get to see more of her,

at its best this episode smacked of FLCL,

takashichea moderator is online on Oct. 26, 2013 at 2:22 p.m.

It was quite an odd episode to follow episode 3 which had the best action so far in the series.

I liked it that they didn't go with monster or uniform of the week trope after episode 3 where Ryuko vow to take down every follower of Satsuki's.

zaldaron Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:13 a.m.

@Marshal Victory: Well Idols are not really seen as a good part of the society and I think there is some backlash at Western fashion ideals (aka short skirts, midriff bearing shirts) being imported into Japan. Those who make there living also in the shady pay to look at high school girls being high school girls places are not looked on well by the rest of society. This of course is the same part of the society that looks down on anime though so...

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 27, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

@zaldar: Hmm kidna odd they wouldnt be seen as not good part of society .In Case Closed which i think is more aimed at a genral populus, idols are seen at least once a season.An its genraly in the top 5 for ratings to.Heck even Mcdonalds suports the show.

Also i have read the same as you say about anime tho.Its gernaly considered for kids.Tho its mostly not as it has mostly has late night time slots.Kinda think many just can not see past the animation for a biger story.Be that here or there.But the goverment there is helping promote anime now to. Log Horizon being one example on state TV .

I personaly would be more worried about war over some islands there .Than any thing cloth related.

No_name_here staff on Oct. 29, 2013 at 3:45 p.m.

@Marshal Victory said:

This one put me in mind of less bloody Super Jail. For those not familar.

Yes! SUPER JAIL! I should've brought that up. Love that show.

Marshal Victoryon Oct. 29, 2013 at 10:41 p.m.

@No_name_here: Me to even became a fan of Cheeseburger .Got their cds an got which is the intro to Super Jail. Whcih is the song in that vid .Guess i should have posted ..

as it shows more a conection tween the two shows.My art teacher used to describe this style as "high school art style" which the irony was... none of us in her high school art class drew this mad style.

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