dgnick asked: I'll be honest, I only asked because I figured you'd say that. I'm still surprised you ended up taking to it so much. I thought, like Joel, you'd watched a few episodes and decided it wasn't for you. If I'm not mistaken, what made you change your mind? Especially since that first episode pretty much encapsulates the entire show.
So I don’t want to say EVERYTHING because I’m tryin to write something about the show, but basically, like I said on the podcast, I’m really into its relentless enthusiasm and sincerity. The show just loves what it’s doing, and there’s no winking at the camera about it. It’s just constantly pumped and having fun. The character designs are friggin crazy and awesome. Everyone looks cool, everyone gets to be a badass. Like how dumb should Gamagoori be, and actually he’s pretty cool? What’s that about? There’s been a real glut of American TV shows about “sociopathic main character with no ethics steamrolls all opposition in show where all other characters exist as cardboard cutouts to do nothing but complain about how awesome he is.” In Kill la Kill everyone gets to do cool stuff (even Mako who, arguably, gets to do the COOLEST stuff).
Ryuko wears high-tops, and that is okay.
To address your question directly, the first episode I was like “eeeh a lot of this nudity stuff is a bit much.” Once you get into the show and its characters (and especially this late-game plot they’re introducing) you have some context, and that makes it tolerable. Context is why I think a half-naked Ryuko toy is more tolerable than the average half-naked anime toy; the entire rest of the world’s lack of context is why I think nobody should buy that thing regardless.
So the nudity stuff was a bit much. It’s -still- a bit much, but at least it’s not a ten year old girl, and it’s (maybe?) not explicitly designed to put on a hug pillow. But it made it hard to get into the first episode, which also that really tone deaf quasi-rape gag. I get that a lot of people are like “man if you think that’s a rape joke, then you don’t know what a rape joke is!” I’m not trying to ignore their opinion, but mine is that making a molestation joke using a non-human character who doesn’t have a dick doesn’t automatically exonerate you. If that’s the case, then there’d be no such thing as “tentacle rape” porn. Definitions are a little broader than the literal.
Which is not to say I was offended by it — we’re not talking about Tosh.0 being a dickbag — just that it felt tasteless. That’s a hard joke to insert into the first 15 minutes of your show if you’re trying to grab an audience. But otherwise? They’re right on the straight and narrow. Kill la Kill’s jokes are actually good! The Makologues are uproariously funny and weird. That part where Ryuko is wearing the Game of Death-style jumpsuit and busting shit up on a motorcycle while the same 1.5 second clip of DON’T LOSE YOUR WAY plays? -Hilarious-! But decades of watching anime has conditioned me, so when people get naked and boobs flail around — during transformation sequences their boobs literally flail around, guys — that’s when it’s time to hit the eject button.
But Kill la Kill has a sense of humor about even that. It’s really aggressive fan-service, but it feels more in line with 80s and 90s stuff, which would often be lame, but was more rarely creepy. It also feels like, for once, there’s some gender parity to it, although they introduce that stuff really gradually. At least in the context of the show it’s about characters rejoicing in their bodies. I like that a lot. Although, at this point, I feel the message is less “women shouldn’t be repressed by social mores that decide what their bodies should look like!” and more “anime fans should get to like stuff with boobs in it even though other people say they can’t!”
Mostly, I enjoy that everyone gets to have fun, instead of the show being about “No! No! If you’re not into lolicon vampire maids then you WAIT IN THE CORNER.” It’s not a show couched in weird emotional bondage, about characters who can’t express their feelings (often because they’re in love with their cousin, or a child). It’s not about characters who, when descended upon, scream “No no no!” and cringe, and whine, but secretly you know they actually want it, or at least, we know that the audience actually wants it this way. Shows predicated around characters saying “No!” are gross. Kill la Kill is a show that says yes, no matter what the question is, or who’s asking it. This is the best joke in the series to date:
What’s really great about it is it’s totally gradual, and the show never really calls attention to it; she’s just peeping on his bone throughout the whole conversation. As Kotaku taught us, the best comedy is that which is unexpected.
(i’m sorry for thinking that article)
Kill la Kill has an overabundance of verve. I like things that are excited about themselves.
It does things like this:
It acts like it believes it what it’s shouting about, even if what it’s shouting about is entirely silly. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to watch an anime that didn’t feel, at least in part, like it was there to sling a product.
It’s also got spot-on writing (and its themes are a little denser than you might expect). The characters not only act cool, they talk cool, and the two mains (Ryuko/Satsuki) have phenomenal voice actors to back up the dialogue.Satsuki is a great example of an antagonist who has an aim besides “blow up the world/I want the world because whatever don’t ask me why shut up.” The night Graz came back from California we booted up Final Fantasy XIV and started an episode of Alias on the laptop. Could not even make it through the whole episode. Kill la Kill spoiled me. How is a show about sentient, blood-drinking clothes better written, and more emotionally resonant, than just about any TV I’ve seen lately?
Satsuki also rocks a crazy-good pose in most episodes.
Aaaaanyway… having just written a couple hundred words about it, I’ll now say that I want to hold back on my -real- feelings until the show is done and all the information is out there to process. No sense making broad claims before you’ve seen it all. I’m really happy Graz left for a week. If she hadn’t I probably wouldn’t have bothered to keep watching it, but I didn’t have anything better to than smith Final Fantasy ingots and chug down anime smoothies (and sometimes mango smoothies, when I ordered from the Vietnamese place) so I tuned into this Kill la Kill the internet was all over.
What luck! If I hadn’t gotten into this show, I would’ve been so bummed without even knowing it. I’ve rewatched about half of it with her now, and she’s pretty into it too. It’s always satisfying when someone you like likes the thing you like — especially since Graz isn’t really into hot-blooded anime or spastic humor, both of which KeekaKook evinces in full — but I think we’re on pause until we catch up with True Detective.
(full disclosure, I actually watched the show so I could mark this spoiler thread as read)