Kill La Kill – Anime Series Review

featured Kill la Kill is one of those shows that just kind of popped up one day and took the Internet by storm. At first I thought it looked incredibly stupid and objectifying, but after seeing the millionth gif of Kiryuin Satsuki and her magnificent eyebrows, I finally decided to give the series a chance. KlK is a wild ride — it’s so high-energy that it’s almost exhausting to watch. But if you love stylized, explosive, power-up anime in the spirit of Tenga Toppa Gurren Lagann, you’ll probably love KlK as much as I did.

Kill la Kill is pretty much a parody anime; it makes fun of common tropes in shounen and parallels the macho male coming-of-age story with a female one focusing on themes of shame, sexualization, and other problems faced by young girls and women. Also, a lot of the plot points are puns (such as the Naturals Election in one of the earlier episodes). With that in mind, I still think the storyline of this anime packed an impressive punch. It’s definitely a turn-your-brain-off-and-go-with-the-flow kind of plot, and you won’t find any detailed scientific explanations of the show’s concepts, but the flow is well-paced, consistent, and ties up all its loose ends pretty nicely. It’s also not the most mindblowingly original plot in the history of anime, but that’s not what it sets out to do. The point is Matoi Ryuko‘s over-the-top coming-of-age story as she searches for her father’s murderer and the shounen-style escalation of events that happens as a result of her actions, and KlK pulls that off pretty much flawlessly.

As far as animation quality goes, I’d say KlK is up there with the best of them. It’s hardly realistic, but the animation is fluid, beautifully colored, and looks professional even in the comedically exaggerated scenes (like Mako’s hallelujah moments). Character designs are all very distinct and recognizable without being completely stupid — they do get pretty ridiculous at times, but one of KlK’s general strengths is being ridiculous on purpose, recognizing that, and utilizing it for the good of the show (as opposed to going for something serious and then missing the mark completely, which I think is a very common mistake in anime). Since KlK is intentionally overdramatic, the animation often matches this. Basically, the artistic style and tone of the show complement one another perfectly; the style is believable because of the tone of the show and vice versa.

The characters of KlK, like most other aspects of the series, are all well-developed and distinct from one another. Some series have a problem where characters appear to have a certain personality, but as soon as that personality is inconvenient or gets in the way of a plot point, it’s changed to something more cooperative or conducive to the results the writers want. KlK doesn’t have that problem. Every character has their characteristics, beliefs, and ideals and stands by them firmly. Sometimes these ideals change over the course of the story, but never in such a way that seems sudden or illogical; what the characters say and do always makes sense, and right away you get a clear sense of who each person is. On the one hand I would’ve liked to see a little more personality development of some of the more major side characters, but KlK is more plot-driven than character-driven; trying to do in-depth character analysis on everyone would’ve put a huge damper on the show’s characteristic energy.

Hiroyuki Sawano was an experienced composer long before KlK came around; more recently he’s known for composing the Shingeki no Kyojin soundtrack, which I thought was amazing. Well, with KlK, he’s done it again. This soundtrack combines traditional orchestral sounds with electronic twists here and there, and it’s full of energy and vitality that is absolutely perfect for KlK.

The OPs and EDs are also good. They’re all in a pretty typical J-rock style, but I liked the voices of all the singers. The songs were catchy, energetic, and overall fitting. Honestly, the only reason I ever skipped through them was because I was too eager to get to the next episode.

The voice-acting was great – don’t get me wrong, it was hilariously over-the-top like everything else (be prepared for a lot of shounen-style yelling), but each character had a unique voice that fit their appearance and general personality perfectly.

If you love the stylized, power-charged coming-of-age genre and you want more, definitely watch this show. If you’re used to more quiet, introspective anime and you hate over-the-top action, Kill la Kill might not be for you – but I recommend trying it anyway. If you’ve never seen an anime before and want to get a taste of all of its extremities packed into one roller coaster ride, of a show, try this one. The art, characters, story, music, everything fits together perfectly. I can absolutely acknowledge that some people just won’t enjoy it due to its wacky, high-energy nature, but personally, I think KlK is a masterpiece.

Story: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Music: 10/10
Animation: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment: 9.5/10

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