I was drawn into watching Kill la Kill for a few different reasons. First and foremost, the creators of Gurren Lagaan, Director Hiroyuki Imaishi and Writer Kazuki Nakashima are involved. Secondly, it comes from Studio Trigger who recently released an amazing one shot anime, Little Witch Academia ( which, by the way, was great). Lastly, this anime has been said to be a second Gurren Lagaan by both friends and colleagues alike. Given all this, I made Kill la Kill one of my must watch anime for the Fall 2013 Anime Season. Sadly to say, I cannot provide the same support to this anime as others have as being utterly fantastic from the get go. Don’t get me wrong, it was enjoyable. However, it has to accomplish a good bit before it wins me over.
Some of you may be asking what it needs to do to win my vote of this being one of the greats. Well, first off, so far I’ve yet to feel too much of a connection or reason to care for any of the characters. The main character, Ryuko, didn’t give off too much emotion and acted very tough and badass; the subplot of her out to enact revenge for the death of her father didn’t really feel like a big deal. The same lack of connection or empathy holds true with Mako, her friend, even in her most unfortunate revealing scene. The anime focused in on the fan service angle too much in that scene. Honestly the only feeling invoked in me from Ryuko or Mako is one of pity for the amount of fan service they are forced to endure; more on Ryuko and her suit in a bit.
Another major thing I’d love to get more on would be more clear information on the story, the direction things will go in, and the background of the world we’re in. All I can offer you as far as plot summary is in the future an evil Student Council rules a gated city from their stronghold, which surprisingly is their school, Honnoji Academy, and enforces their rule with outfits referred to as Goku Suits. These suits grant the wearer incredible power and strength in battle. The leader of this academy, Student Council President Satsuki Kiryuin plans to use these suits to take over the world, and all that stands in their way is one lone girl named Ryuko Matoi. Not much else is really given, like what exactly the suits are, how a school rules a city, why the Student Council President wishes to take over the world, or who enforces the fashion in the design of these Goku Suits.
Lastly I would love to see MUCH LESS fan service in future episodes, sadly I’m not sure this will happen. I mean seriously the scene where Ryuko’s new outfit forces itself onto Ryuko’s body all the while begging her for more of her blood to stay awake, (yes you read that correctly…) and carries a very suggestive tone while doing so, I draw a line; ESPECIALLY when you finally see the new outfit. First the poor girl is forced against her will into a new outfit, but then she has to parade around barely covered at all by said outfit, and is jeered at by her opposition for the lack of cloth on her body.
On the bright side she kicks some major ass, which is by far this anime’s biggest strength; the action scenes are insane and very reminiscent of Gurren Lagaan’s excessive over the top antics. However this just isn’t enough to carry for the rest of the season, no matter how entertaining it is to watch. The true strength of Tengon Toppa Gurren Lagaan was the ability of their cast to touch the hearts of viewers and hit on an emotional level to care and cheer for the characters. To call Kill la Kill the next iteration, to me, is not anywhere near accurate. It could be, but as of this writing is not.