My favorite detail in this episode is of course that Mako wears a variation on Jotaro Kujo’s hat as part of her bancho outfit. How can you tell it’s Jotaro’s hat? Because the hat morphs into hair at the end! (I like that it’s clearly not Mako’s hair, either. The hair is literally built into the hat.) If JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure continues after JoJolion is finished, then obviously Mako must somehow be the next JoJo. It is her destiny.
I’m a bit torn on this episode, if only because I don’t totally buy that Mako’s family would flip so hard to “greedy, selfish loner” upon getting to the heights of status in town. Yeah, it’s another ridiculous exaggeration in a show full of ridiculous exaggerations, but I wasn’t feeling the “power + money corrupts” aspect of it here since it’s a pretty easy line to take. (Also, I think Mako’s family being themselves and gorging like pigs in such a classy setting would be hilarious.) On the other hand, it leads to bancho!Mako and business professional!Mako, and also to the hilarious moment where the whole family strips down, rolls over to Ryuuko and prostrates themselves in front of her, begging for forgiveness. Even when I’m not totally with what Kill la Kill is dishing out, it somehow finds a way to bring me back to its side.
It’s mainly the sharp turn in Mako’s family that I didn’t dig, however. The central conceit of the episode is a pretty good one, I think — Ryuuko tries to game the system by forming her own club and reaping the benefits while remaining on the outside, but she can’t quite do it because she’s not the type of person who is comfortable taking advantage of the rules the school sets (and which encourage people to be selfish asses and walk all over everyone else). Ryuuko tries to sidestep this by putting it all on Mako (who knew that stifling bureaucracy would be the thing to put Ryuuko down for the count?), but she’s punished with the slow corruption of her best friend and Mako’s family. In this sense, that part of the story does work, even if it’s still a bit of a stretch for me. It’s pushing that theme of artifice and being genuine yet again: Ryuuko tries to play by Satsuki’s rules, even though that’s not her style, and she pays for it. Meanwhile, Mako tries to put her family in a position that doesn’t totally fit them, and she ends up pretty miserable by the end of her fight with Mako.
Though, really, maybe it would have been nice if they could have stayed in one-star territory. They seemed plenty happy there, and it was a nice place. Being cripplingly poor ain’t such a happy-go-lucky time, but whatever, haha.
Also, a wealthier Mako means more Business Professional Mako, so I can’t pretend I don’t have selfish reasons for wanting Mako’s family to have a bit more in the coffers. Or maybe I just want Mako to play dress-up every episode. I’m sure she has many wonderful personas she’s yet to display. Mako is like Cutey Honey in that way — one moment she’s a janitor; the next, she’s president of a well-to-do club; later, she’s a bancho. But you know her as Cutey Mako!
Yeah, Cutey Mako. I would watch the hell out of that spinoff. Especially if it’s filled to the brim with pantomiming.
Meanwhile, Satsuki is still being all diabolical, what with her apparently using Ryuuko to wipe the school clean of all the riff-raff that don’t deserve the high status Satsuki ever so graciously bestows upon them. Is there an actual aim behind this, or is Satsuki just being Objectivist Superhero and wanking it to Survival of the Fittest fantasies? I doubt this will be the last time Satsuki tries to corrupt Ryuuko or someone close to her, especially if Kill la Kill continues along the artifice vs. being true to yourself line. If Satsuki can conquer anything, then wouldn’t the greatest victory being winning over her greatest enemy to her side rather than simply slaughtering her?
Also, Mako stuffing her face with food.