26 CommentsKill la Kill / By Scamp /

Kill la Kill episode 24 – It’s our kind of nonsense (finale)

Kill la Kill - 24 - Large 18Trying to sum up what happened in this ending is both difficult and yet surprisingly easy. So Lady Gaga wants to cover the world in alien clothing and have humanity give itself up to clothes, but then her daughter and her sailor uniform, who are both part human and part clothing(?), kill the mother and then everyone gets naked. That’s the difficult bit out of the way. Now comes the easy part of explaining what this is supposed to mean and symbolise: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Lots of fun, but otherwise clothes and stuff.

Before I get into this little tirade, I want to first make it clear that I really enjoyed watching Kill la Kill. It was a blast week to week, particularly when they got more creative with the battles. The fights with the Elite Four were my favourite parts of the whole series, particularly the battle with the music conductor and the two of them flying around the battlefield paying no attention to the rules of warfare. That and Mako cracked me up week after week. It will definitely end up on my top 10 anime of 2014 at the end of the year, barring an extraordinary miracle and we get tons of absolutely amazing anime.

That said, you know that feeling you get when you finish an awesome anime and your life feels a little bit empty afterwards? Like moving on from this will leave a hole in your heart where those characters lived for the past 6 months. Saying goodbye to the series feels bittersweet because of the great times you had but now it’s over? I got none of that from finishing Kill la Kill. Not even a sliver, and I get that feeling sometimes from finishing anime that aren’t even that good. I got bits of that from finishing stuff like Kamisama Dolls and Hanasaku Iroha. Kill la Kill? Oh, it’s over? Welp, guess we’re moving on.

Kill la Kill - 24 - Large 37I had no attachment to anything that was going on. Not any of the characters and certainly not the plot. Satsuki’s change from villain to hero feels quite silly looking back on it. I wouldn’t call the hellish conditions enforced by Satsuki, where she had people collapse in molten lava to get to school, as the actions of someone merely misguided who just needs to see the light. The only way they were allowed to do it was by introducing a villain even more stupidly evil. Matoi is pretty one-dimensional and spent the series mostly just yelling a lot. Coming to terms with who she was made for a decent enough arc I’ll grant her that. With no emotional attachment to the characters and nothing invested in what happened to the plot, my enjoyment feels superficial.

I’ve heard the argument that I shouldn’t have even been expecting any great story or characters from Kill la Kill. It was never that kind of show. You should just accept it for what it is and have fun because that’s clearly what it’s trying to do. Which I partly agree with. I do think they were trying to make engaging characters and didn’t really achieve that because the writing wasn’t up to scratch but Kill la Kill was definitely made with the intention of just having lots of fun explosions and naked people. It was tonally consistent in that regard. And indeed I did have fun with it and mostly only viewed it on that level. But you don’t hand out a prize for someone doing the high jump over a bar 50cm off the ground. I enjoyed Kill la Kill, but my enjoyment wasn’t that high due to Kill la Kill’s own limitations. I’m excited to see what anime Trigger do next (or the anime after next, since their next is a crappy light novel adaptation). I just hope they hire a better writer next time.

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25 Comments

  1. Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    As a devout Kill la Kill fan, let me say that I accept your criticisms of the show and empathize with what you perceive as detriments to the show’s quality. But judging from the director and writer’s previous pedigree, I expected about as much as I got. So I appreciate that.

    And at the very least, you didn’t hang on to the idea that the show was demeaning to women like some other guys I know kept saying.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      I think the designs for the outfits were super dumb and I never really changed my opinion on that, but on degrading to women there was just so much nudity everywhere by the end that I sorta stopped noticing

  2. ghostman
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    i still get this confused with kill me baby

    • Posted March 30, 2014 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      “Eh, welcome to the Ol’ Irish Abortion Clinic. What do you need, girl?”
      “Can I please kill me baby?”

      • Scamp
        Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Goddamnit

        You win an internet for that

  3. Cirith
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Yeah it just doesn’t have the character or story depth of shows like inferno cop.

    • Posted March 30, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      I agree with this so hard. Like every time High Priest Vega said “Subarashii!”, I got chills from their bravado in her acting. She was only upstaged by that magnificent dialogue from those FBI guys.

      • Posted April 1, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        inb4 that’s actually Edward Elric

  4. Cobrah
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    At least Kill la Kill gave us Mako, which means it ultimately made the world a better place.

  5. strukingfourd
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    I agree with you on the fact that i didnt felt that kind of emptiness you get after finishing a show you get invested in narratively, but i still grew attached to kill la kills characters in some way, maybe the same way I can feel towards characters like Marvin the martian or Willy coyote.

  6. Ken
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    I’m totally happy with the ending. The entire thing delivered on exactly what it promised. Although I wanted to see Mako go on a date with Gamagori instead of the sisters, but there’s still hope. I hear there’s an OVA coming this September.

    Somebody should edit together all of Mako’s hallelujah speeches, I would really like to see that.

    • Demonik
      Posted August 8, 2014 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      Personally I think that weather you feel sad after watching a show or not has nothing to do with attachment to the characters or story.. I think a lot of times it comes from the fact that life sucks compared to the show that your watching and when it ends you realize that you arent really part of that universe and its gone now.. like what was said about it depends on timing. When i watched Wakfu for the first time I didnt have any of these feelings after the show even though it has some of the absolute best story and character development ive EVER seen in any show of any kind. However I was in a happy time in my life (only a year ago)and I felt content with the closing of the story. I think that Kill la Kill ends in such a perfect way that you don’t experience the sadness because its a perfect point and you kind of know where the characters are heading from that point. So you are content.

      however I used to get that feeling a lot when I was younger and I was depressed and addicted to drugs for about 8 years of my life. I felt the pit in my heart big time back then but again its because my life wasn’t going well so I longed to be a part of the world I was being shown, weather it was badly written or not. And many of those shwos had unsatisfying endings.

      In my opinion the characters in kill la kill and the story is great and I think people are over analyzing it or have pre conceived idea in their head that they wont get attached to it because its not “supposed” to offer that. so when they are content at the end of the show they take it as a sign that the show is badly written.. its flat out the best anime in years as far as im concerned.. and no im not a gurren lagan fanboy in fact I haven’t watched that show for more than one episode because the premise didnt interest me.

      Furthermore I am a watcher of slice of life anime and it takes a REALLY REALLY good or REALLY REALLY saterical action show for me to even think about watching it (jo jo’s Bizzar Adventure as an example of a super satirical show I enjoyed)
      and I think Kill la Kill is the ultimate mix of those two genres, knowing how to actually be serious and get you attached to the characters but within a totally satirical and deconstruction setting.

      Its liek at first you laugh at it because it points out all the flaws in that style of show but then after a few episodes you realise it is actually the BEST ONE out of those types of shows.

  7. ANON
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Nah, I think most anime that grows on you, like that feeling of emptiness you described whenever a series ends, is mostly due to your situation/surroundings/milieu at the time you were watching it. I’ve experienced it many times, and similarly, for some reason, I also didn’t feel it with kill la kill.

    Amazingly though, I felt all the emotions I had when I was watching this these past 23 weeks during the last episode, when they played the the OPs during the battle scenes, it made my hair stand on end, which is generally a good thing.

    On a unrelated note, I watched Tatami galaxy from 1-4 and then from 5-11. Now that’s a series that I became attached to. I briefly even considered if a world where there are no new tatami galaxy episodes is a world that I would want to live in :D

    Thanks again scamp for confirming something that I thought only happens to me, I’ll think of you as my anime life guru from now on lol.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      That didn’t happen with me when the OP played because that OP is fucking awful argh I hate that OP so much.

  8. BlueYoshi
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Yeah, most of my friends around me have that “emptiness” after finishing KLK, but I only have a sliver of it, due to strong personality of some of the characters (mainly Satsuki, Mako, Gamagori and Nonon). My excitement of the show dipped hard once Ryuko and Satsuki finally teamed up, and all character motivations had been revealed. I agree that the writing wasn’t perfect, but I did enjoy the tension provided by their rivalry throughout, and how well they interweave (HA, STUPID PUN) the clothes/nudity/life thread concepts into the plot. It could of ended up much worse.

    It definitely didn’t help that I started watching Serial Experiment Lain last week. I grew attached to Lain and Arisu throughout. I felt simultaneously empty and satisfied when I finished it. There aren’t any more episodes to watch, but the ending was great, and its vague storytelling means I can theorize/discuss it with others in the future. KLK’s last 2 episodes in comparison? eh.

    But still, I went into KLK hoping to enjoy a dumb action anime for once, and got what I wanted. Mako did a pirouette and ate 5 croquettes while jumping over that 50cm bar.

  9. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I think I didn’t get emptiness mostly because if after finishing the episode my first thought was “What am I gonna watch now on fridays?” my SECOND thought was “OH RIGHT FUCKING JOJO!!”.

    So yeah. The plot was silly in the way the skeleton of every shonen is silly; I think it looked even sillier here because everything was exaggerated – it’s easier to forget that your enemy-turned-friend was an enemy when his deeds weren’t as ridiculous as the ones committed by Satsuki at Honnouji. But yeah, “what’s going to happen next” was a mild issue only midway through the series, when we were waiting to understand just what the greater picture was. After that everything went smooth. But I think the characters were actually quite endearing and yeah, personally I’ll kinda miss them. I didn’t really get that feeling either, but mostly because the ending is so satisfying and self-contained that I couldn’t expect any reasonable continuation to this without it devolving into “Mako, Ryuko, Nonon and Satsuki look cute and do nothing” (Nonon Biyori? Azumako Daioh? You get the picture).

    On another note, LN crap? Really? Which one exactly? Is there any faint hope that it’s going to be some ridiculous but funny shit like NouCome was?

  10. Kenjeran
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Kinda agree with you, but that apply to most anime nowadays (for me at least). The last time an anime made me feel like that perhaps only Digimon Adventure, and that was waayyy back 13 years ago.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      If the last anime that happened to you with was Digimon, then I think the problem perhaps is a personal one rather than anime

  11. Mazz
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I was happy with Kill la Kill. The plot was silly, there were a bunch of themes and shit the show didn’t bother to do anything with, and the Animation was very spotty. But man, did I love the characters. Mako was a treat, Gamagoori and Satsuki were great because of their strong personalities, and I liked Nui. I do think the whole arc about Ryuko learning she is made if life fibers could have been done earlier in the series, because it happened at such a stupid time (right before the battle for the fate of the earth and you’re gonna get all angsty on us?). Maybe they could have made the Final episode 2 instead, which I think would have made for a better conclusion. Because everything was moving along at a breakneck pace, it was hard to feel any emotion in it.

  12. Posted March 31, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    The final episode of Kill la Kill had everything I wanted and more. It kept cranking up the ridiculousness way past 10 and it didn’t stop. I loved every second! It was a bombardment of high-energy action with loads of laughs. We got a climactic battle with Super Saiyan Ryuko vs Fabulous Butterfly Lady Gaga, a face attack beam by Gamagoori, and the OP played during the final battle which made things even more exciting. The same happened in the end of Jojo’s. Yeah, the story wasn’t anything to write home about but the fun characters, the unique style, and positive energy really made for an enjoyable experience. I’m looking forward to more bombastic works by Studio Trigger. So far my favorite work of theirs is Little Witch Academia.

  13. Johnny Joestar
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, add me to the disappointed camp. The last few episodes were basically the characters taking turns to go “look at my new upgraded outfit” and failing to take down Ragyo over and over again. All show, no substance – which is why comparing KLK to JJBA is dumb because Araki puts a lot of thought into his battles.

    Not to mention that the writers seemed to have no clue what to do with the characters after all the build-up they got, Sanageyama and Tsumugu being the most obvious examples. Maybe it would have been better if a few of them had been killed off (it’s been years since I watched TTGL but I remember this happened to a big chunk of the cast in the finale). I even got sick of Gamagoori, who had been my early favourite, once the character got stripped down (hah) to just him having a crush on Mako (which, let’s face it, came completely out of left field). I admit I had a chuckle at ULTIMATE DOUBLE NAKED DTR though.

    I thought KLK was the best when it was about Ryuuko’s and Mako’s misadventures in a dystopian high school. My favorite episodes were 4 (“No-Late Day”, for those who don’t remember) and the Osaka mini-arc because they did the most with that theme, and explored the setting rather than the monotonous battles. (Plus Takarada’s design was baller as hell)

    So yeah, clearly Trigger bit off more than they could chew. But I still have hugh hopes for their future, and I’m looking forward to LWA 2 which I backed on Kickstarter last year.

    • Gan_HOPE326
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      I think Tsumugu jobbing hard the whole series was kind of fun. It also made sense with one thing: Nudists really didn’t have a chance to begin with. Their position was absolutely hopeless and quite stupid. Try replacing “Life Fibers” with any real life equivalent – say, “technology”. Ragyo would be “I’ll use technological weapons to rule the world!”. Satsuki would be “I’ll use technological weapons to stop you from ruling the world!”. The Nudists would be “We say technological weapons are absolutely evil! Fear us as we come to you with sticks and stones!”.
      …yeah.

  14. Leah
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    So what did you think about Mako asking Ryuko out
    I thought it was pretty cute

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