Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First Impression: Kill la Kill

KILL LA KILL: Over the top action, little substance

The story is set in Honnoji Academy, a high school in post-apocalyptic Japan. Satsuki Kiryuuin, the student council president, rules the school by force, and she has accomplished this by providing the student council members with special clothing that grant superhuman abilities called Goku Uniforms. One day, Ryuko Matoi, a student wielding a scissor-shaped sword, transfers to Honnoji Academy to search for the sword’s owner, who killed her father. After being defeated by the student council, she comes across a sentient uniform that turns out to grant superhuman abilities as well. Now, Ryuko Matoi stands up against the student council again, to free the school from tyranny, and to know the truth behind her father’s death.

            I must admit that the first thing that captures my interest is the playful art style. It is not very detailed, but not bland either to appear uninspired. It’s balanced yet funky, something similar to Gurren Lagann and Fooly Cooly. From the very first minutes, Kill la Kill exploits this style with over the top action sequences. These sequences are not just badass, but also comedic. This perfect mixture gives it a more cartoonish impression.

I’m also surprised on the pacing of the story. In my estimation, each sequence is just about a minute or two in length. It’s very fast-paced. The episode is packed with plot elements, but not in the way that would make exposition seem like a boring information-dumping session.

            But aside from the pacing, I couldn’t really praise the story. There’s nothing much to it, and perhaps that explains why it is so fast-paced -- nothing seems to require detailed exposition. I’m not saying that the story is bad. I’m just saying that it’s the kind that would not make the viewers particularly emotional. It’s not deep enough for emotional investment, and it’s shallow enough to be considered only for mindless fun. In this light, I could again compare it to Fooly Cooly. It’s a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

As of now, the characters are not really expanded enough to make a coherent evaluation of them. But as far as I see them, they are quite interesting. Ryuko Matoi is your rowdy character, and her friend, Mako Mankanshoku, has a personality that balances it out. Satsuki Kiryuuin also has something about her, but I couldn’t really say if she would be expanded in further episodes. But she does have the raw material to be a legitimate character. The other antagonists are also unique in their own ways, particularly their fighting styles and demeanour.

The music is nothing outstanding, but it’s not bad either. It still delivers in pumping up the action sequences and such.

Overall, I admit that Kill la Kill is very enjoyable. Its entertainment value lays solely in its funky art style and over-the-top action sequences. Or at least, that’s what I think as of the moment. Who knows, maybe the story will turn out to be deep after all. I couldn’t really tell. The only thing I could tell is that Kill la Kill will be an eye candy.

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  1. Your blog is lovely!!!! Would you like to follow each other on bloglovin' ? xxx
    Gleaming Spire // Bloglovin'

  2. Since this anime season seems a little weak, I figured I would try and catch-up on the most popular series of last year, so I watched Kill la Kill.

    We basically had the same first impression of the first episode. It was all style and no substance, but it was entertaining. After watching a couple more episodes I have to say that it is entertaining enough to continue. It is not amazing, but due to its popularity, I want to finish it. So, did you decide to finish the series?


    1. All in all, I don't think this anime season is weak. It's a pretty good season for old titles like JBA, Mushishi, and Fairy Tail. But yes, it does lack some power in the new titles.

      Kill la Kill is actually one of my top priorities, but I can't stream these days (a cable broke somewhere in the Pacific region and our area is affected, so streaming videos is slow as hell). But when I get back to watching, Kill la Kill is definitely the first one I'll binge watch and review in the blog.

    2. Good point. The sequels and followups (or whatever you want to call them), seem to be well received, even if I have not seen the series that they are based on. At least we are getting Ufotable's Fate/Stay Night adaptation later this year! I am excited about that, as well as season two of Log Horizon.

      Well, that sucks about the Internet. Just a heads up about Kill la Kill, since you did not like Gurren Lagann, you might not enjoy Kill la Kill too much. I have a lot to say in my review about it, but it is the type of series that you cannot take seriously to enjoy (but you probably already knew that).