Kill la Kill review: Over’Kill’

kill5Satire of a medium can be welcome, but at some point it crosses the line and begins mocking the medium itself.

Anime has typical elements such as the famous school uniform accompanied with cute girls and fanservice, epic action performed by teenagers and so on. Some shows such as Seitokai no Ichizon take the satirical approach and make reference to popular series.

kill1Ryuko Matoi travels the world in search for the answer that explains her father’s death. The only clue she has is a ‘woman with a scissor blade.’ While traveling she ends up at Honnouji Academy. An academy that equip their students with special school uniforms that grant the wearer super human power.

The story’s main focus revolves around Ryuko Matoi and her friendship with sailor uniform Senketsu. During her stay she battles many different uniforms with each their unique characters, giving diversity to characters. This diversity is only a shell, the enemies themselves follow a fixed formula until Ryuko discovers more unique characters along the way.

kill2The whole Kill la Kill concept approaches the symbolic uniform from a totally different perspective, but because the creators made the show overly overkill the show feels incoherent and all over the place.

The uniform is symbolic and giving it a good swing can be a welcome feel in the anime genre. But when you stretch this concept over 24 episodes, the show feels like it’s not a satire, but a mockery. There is no problem in not taking yourself to serious and poking around, yet Kill la Kill didn’t seem to take anime serious all together.

The storytelling was an overhyped mess and left me wondering what I actually watched. It was so quick and all over the place, that my mind couldn’t comprehend the graphical display that was happening. The viewer didn’t get any chance to let the story sink in and the sketchy animation, yet on purpose, made the whole package a LSD-trip mixed with Speed.

kill3Those familiar with Gurren Lagann, and liked it, will find themselves in familiar terroritory with Kill la Kill. The rough animation style is back and Kill la Kill is all over the place with its trippy camera angles and ‘a frame is missing’-like scenes.

kill4Kill la Kill made a daring approach in revitalizing the anime medium by turning a symbolic element into a plot driver. Yet, the show made a mockery of anime because of the overkill storytelling and still did little to innovate with the storytelling, turning the whole concept into more of a gimmick than added value. I therefore rate Kill la Kill a 6 out of 10 and would only highly recommend this show to people who loved the Gurren Lagann anime series.



8 thoughts on “Kill la Kill review: Over’Kill’

    • ninetybeats says:

      If it’s really a bad thing, no. But since this was the plot driver it felt like the series was build purely to mock the medium. This of course is a personal opinion, but I’m convinced this remains a niche anime/niche genre.

  1. Artemis says:

    I have to disagree. There are definitely elements of satire there, and Kill la Kill isn’t exactly a show that takes itself particularly seriously. But that’s different from being an outright parody – which I don’t actually think Kill la Kill is. I guess what you see as overkill, I see as an extremely vibrant show whose energy is charmingly infectious. Without that ridiculousness and purposefully over-dramatic delivery, Kill la Kill would probably have been a terrible series. As it stands however, I think its very silliness is what lends it impact.

    • ninetybeats says:

      As I stated, this is a show that fits for a certain audience. And vibrant can or energetic can move two ways, joyful or not befitting the show. But I must agree with you that Kill la Kill needs to be this way to properly tell the story. Thanks for your reply, I appreciate your thoughts.

  2. tamerlane says:

    You might be interested to know that KLK was actually heavily rewritten during its production and the screenwriting process included input from non-writing staff (Kazuki Nakashima said it was like a “live production”). This explains why the show is such a jumbled mess thematically, compared to the previous Nakashima/Imaishi joint which, regardless of one’s personal opinion on the show, was pretty tightly constructed narratively.

  3. Joey says:

    Hey ninetybeats…I noticed in your reviews for each “subject” you have some excellent fan-art of anime characters and stuff. Did you illustrate those yourself?

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