Hello! This is a new piece of Ongoing Content™ here at No Escape, called No Escape From Anime! We’ll be kicking things off with a series rewatch of the 2013 hit from Studio Trigger, Kill la Kill!
There are a lot of reasons I want to come back to this series after over a half-decade. It’s a show that works with a lot of interesting and relevant themes, its animation is incredible, and it’s close enough to yet far enough removed from Neon Genesis Evangelion that talking about it feels acceptable and not tired and played out at the moment.
However, Kill la Kill drew considerable controversy in its initial launch and again when the show came to Netflix. There is a very good reason for this, and I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about it up front.
Kill la Kill portrays its main characters wearing the most objectifying clothing possible, and puts them in situations where the audience can ogle them for sustained periods of time. There is a vibe™ to Kill la Kill’s entire first half that makes it pretty difficult to watch without cringing so hard your spine compresses. In the second half of the show, the audience gets a half-hearted justification for all of the gratuitous sexual imagery, but if it left a bad taste that half-hearted justifications can’t wash out, that’s entirely fair.
Another problematic aspect of Kill la Kill that we really just cannot escape here is that with only a couple exceptions, each and every adult over the age of 20 in this show sucks major fucking ass. Whether they’re participating in the audience’s leering of 18-year-old girls, or actively sexually assaulting them on-screen, fuckin everyone sucks in this show, y’all. Maybe this is a read that will soften as I rewatch, but I doubt it. Ragyo Kiryuin is the worst mother in the fucking world by far, beyond even her status as a villain. That’s all I’ll say on that for now.
I went back and forth over whether I should do a series on this show for those reasons. In fact, those underlying reasons are what has kept me from really talking about the show in any detail for years, because they’re big fucking reasons. But ultimately, Kill la Kill is an extremely thorough antifascist story, and when it’s not focused on keeping weebs and teen boys’ attention through titillation, it’s one of the best pieces of antifascist fiction out there.
So what’s this series going to look like? Am I going to painstakingly break the show down, episode by episode?
Fuck no, I’ve got work and that’s just too much to deal with.
We’re going to focus on six- or seven-episode chunks. Each chunk represents a rough arc of the show, and will include brief synopses of each episode and a general overview of the plot and themes within the arc. At the end of this four-part run, we’ll do a wrap-up post that sums my thoughts up and discusses whether they’ve changed since my last rewatch and the ensuing years or stayed the same.
I’ll be watching the English dub because it’s hilarious.
New posts each Thursday, starting this week! Don’t lose your way!