Kill la Kill is a full throttle, over the top anime from Hiroyuki Imaishi (director) and Kazuki Nakashima (writer), the creators of Gurren Lagann, This time around the creative duo are taking fans above ground to an even scarier place – high school. Yet in this high school, fashion not only proves to be a boost in status, but also in destructive power. So with fist flying and clothes coming off, who will be left standing? Spoilers ahead!
The villain, Satsuki Kiryuin is the student council president and ruler of Honnouji Academy, however Kiryuin has bigger plans. With the help of the high school's athletic and cultural clubs and with special uniforms made of "Life Fibers" called Goku, Kiryuin is looking to take over all of Japan. The major obstacle to her plan comes in the form of Ryuko Matoi, who's looking for something else too… revenge. In a twisted version of Cinderella, Matoi has one half of a giant pair of scissors and is looking for the owner of the other half, so she can avenge her father. Matoi believes that Kiryuin can either help her find this person or is that person, but being a villain and all. Yet Kiryuin doesn't think Matoi is on her level, so she is not talking. Instead Kiryuin's cult like followers from the high school clubs, are doing the talking for her with their fists and Matoi is quickly outclassed. Broken and battered, Matoi finds something in her destroyed home to even the odds - a living uniform named Senketsu, which was created by her dad. Now, Matoi has the means for her revenge and Kiryuin better learn to talk fast or risk losing everything.
Kill La Kill does a great job in the action and comedy department. The action scenes really feel like two jacked up, powerful teenagers are going all out against one another. A great example of this could be found in the third episode, when Kiryuin gets a special uniform similar to Matoi and challenges her to a fight (AfterDark favorite). The action is fast paced with the force of their blows sending students flying. And even though Kiryuin came out on top, it took a while for the goose bumps to go away. On the comedy front, Mako Mankanshoku dominates this area as the friend, sidekick, inspiration, and Lois Lane to Supergirl Matoi. Mako is constantly getting in trouble with the club leaders who try to torture her to get to Matoi. Yet every time the spotlights hit her, she always spills out these one liners and visual gags that makes her just an enjoyable character to watch. Mako's family and dog also get into the act, especially Episode 4, and makes The Simpson and the Griffins (Family Guy) look tame in comparisons. Kill la Kill balances out the comedy and the action, so that you don't take the show too seriously. Yet you also don't forget how horrible life is under Kiryuin's reign of terror.
The overtop antics of Kill la Kill will probably push away fans, who are looking for a more straight forward anime like Bleach. I for one love this anime, but even I'm surprised by how many scenes the creators got away with. Let's start with the obvious, Matoi's super uniform Senketsu. You know that you are pushing the envelope when the main character has to keep mentioning how underdressed she is. Yet Kiryuin super uniform somehow manages to be even worse than Matoi's. Also the transformation scenes in episode 3 would even make Sailor Moon fans blush. Yet women are not the only one losing their clothing in Kill la Kill, there's also a male character named Aikuro Mikisugi getting into the act as well. Aikuro is Matoi's mentor, teacher and part of a resistance group called "Nudist Beach"(Who else but nudist would be the natural enemy to Kiryuin's super uniforms?). But you wouldn't know that there was student and teacher relationship with Aikuro constantly taking off his clothes when he is alone with Matoi. It's become a running gag that Matoi has to hit him so that he would back off, but I try to quickly get through the scenes. As I mentioned before, I believe the comedy and extremes is used to cover up how insane and tough the storyline really is, but I can see people being turned off Kill la Kill just the same.
In my final thoughts: I believe Kill la Kill to be the loved child of Dragon Ball and South Park. Those who're looking for action and comedy will be satisfied… and those that are turned off by childish humor will find another anime to watch. I will continue to check out the show because I find it enjoyable and the anime community needs to stay fresh. Kill la Kill gets a TOV 4 out of 5 stars.