Just started Kill la Kill


#1

I guess I hadn’t noticed the Gurren Lagann lineage leading up to watching it, but it’s clearly a follow-up in every conceivable way.

There’s something about the art design (some of it, more on that further down) and presentation that is absolutely joyful, in the way that the best Gainax shows were. It manages to hit that exact note where the overblown presentation is quirky, bombastic, sinister, and humorous all simultaneously. The opening minutes of the first episode are just masterful in this regard, with the sweeping camera and the dynamic title cards dominating the frame.

Obviously much of the discussion around the show centers on the fanservice, which at times feels like the raison d’etre of the whole project. It doesn’t fit my sensibility, to say the least. Yet the show is still fantastically entertaining. I don’t feel conflicted about liking the show, I suppose, but it’s got this one aspect that is holding me back from throwing my whole weight behind a recommendation. And frankly, I fully despise some of the shit it’s pulling.

I’ve been out the anime game basically since Gurren Lagann wrapped up in Japan. I don’t have the vocabulary to talk about the show like some of you might. And it could be that this discourse has been wrapped up for years. Just wanted a place to hear some thoughts and discuss the show with some cool folks who just like to game.


#2

Oh, this is going to be one of those times where I regret this moniker.

I had similar issues, after watching the first episode. I really didn’t care for the fanservice. It didn’t feel… what’s the word… jovial? It didn’t feel like it was mocking it, so much as participating in it?

I may need an aside for this discussion, or some kind of context. When I watched NGE, I hated it. On the dumb recommendation of the people who were getting me into anime, it was my first anime. I didn’t get the context of the show. I didn’t understand the critique it was offering, the counter-stances it was making at the time I watched it.

When I look back on it now, I have a broader point of reference. Oh, they were mocking the very idea of middle school children being anything but insufferable, while most anime seems comfortable having them be central characters, growing and learning in ways that middle school students don’t. Oh, this is mocking this super heady, super self absorbed meta concept, and not trying to make a point on its own.

But, as much as I hear people obsessing over how good Kill La Kill is, I’ve failed thus far to sit down and watch another episode.

I’m right there with you, even as someone who has watched too much anime lately, in curiosity about what people loved about this. What made it a cult classic? What did people love about it? (I should probably also include the fact that I didn’t care that much for Gurren Lagann, in the end. (Jesus, when are people going to demand this moniker be taken from me?))

But I guess I’d say, from my perspective, there’s no need to be apologetic for not participating in, or enjoying any media. If it isn’t your thing, don’t sweat it.


#3

when the show is engaging in fanservice, the camera feels like a sinister presence. it’s very, very offputting. fanservice on its own makes me roll my eyes. this feels different and worse.

but shit the rest of the show is so dope, when it’s not engaging with sexuality.


#4

Kill la Kill is one of those amines where the positive elements of the show couldn’t outweigh the problematic ones for me. The predatory behavior of Mako’s father and brother towards Ryoku and the way the show tried to pass it off as trivial or humorous made me really uncomfortable, and that was just one in a slew of things that made me uncomfortable while I was watching.


#5

The animation is technically amazing, and the action is kinetic and well-choreographed, but that wasn’t enough to justify the show’s ills for me.


#6

I’ve watched and enjoyed the first half twice, once when it was airing and again around a year ago, up to the exact same episode. Strangely I still haven’t sat down and finished it.


#7

I will say that one of the primary reasons I was interested in the series in the first place is that it allows its characters to be gay for real? I’ve been spoiled on the primary romance, and who it’s between. Is there anyone who’s seen it that can speak to that?


#8

Kill La Kill was an anime that I really enjoyed. I enjoyed it for the same reason I really loved One Punch Man. It’s a parody of anime in general. It takes these classic cut-and-paste anime tropes, and bends the plot line just enough so you can see the absurdity of it. The fan service is rather taxing, but after a while it becomes a parody itself. It’s a weird anime to suggest and I feel like it’s off putting to allot of people for the reasons stated.


#9

you know what would sell that? if someone asked ryuko’s age, and another character replied, “17.” then, moments later, the asker would read a bit of info stating that she was born 20 years ago, point it out, and be rebuffed with some sort of joke about it.

That’s a very specific example, but in order for it to be parody, they have to do legwork they’re not doing.

I really do enjoy this show. It absolutely is skewering all of these different anime genres in clever ways. It’s a ton of fun. I’d just like to be thrown a bone as an audience member who doesn’t want to see minors in states of undress.


#10

I’ve watched Kill la Kill to completion, and while I enjoyed the show quite a bit I wouldn’t say it’s amazing. Maybe I’m not as well versed in anime tropes as most people who watched it, but it didn’t come across to me as a massive parody of all anime. I was more into it for the action and humor, especially its tendency to throw in a visual gag off to the side while other things happen in the foreground.

With regard to the fanservice, I’ve never really been sure what to make of it, even to this day. For whatever reason, this show was one of the very few cases in which the nudity never came across as titillating to me. It just seemed to be there to serve the overarching clothing motif that drives almost all of the character designs and the plot. As the show went on there also seemed to be an emerging theme of “nudity is good, actually”, which made me wonder if this is all some misguided attempt at promoting a sex-positive outlook. But given how other people have much different things to say about it, maybe I’ve just completely missed the point of the show.

To finish up here, its hard for me to say whether you should keep going or not. It is a fun show, but the fanservice never really gets any better. I also can’t recall there being a prominent homosexual relationship; what I remember as the primary relationship is a completely straight one.


#11

I’d be more okay with the “fanservice” (I hate that term so much) were it not for the highschool setting. Like, who are you pandering to with that detail? :thinking:


#12

Yeah Kill la Kill is really fucking rough. I LIKE the show. And Ryuko and Mako is a relationship I enjoy, and the primary reason I even gave the show a shot at all.

But the people who argue the shows fanservice is saying anything besides “half-naked women are hot” or “half-naked men are funny” are… Really really wrong. The show IS like. Vaguely communist. Super obviously anti-consumerism. But it is not anti-fanservice.


#13

TBH the fanservice didn’t really bother me but it seemed exploitative to add “depth” to the story by using CSA/rape as the backstory for Satsuki & Ryuko and the later conflict. The series really didn’t seem interested in actually exploring that topic so much as using it for shock value and that’s really hard to defend. Totally soured me on a series that I otherwise think has a lot of interesting things going on and reasons to give it a watch.


#14

Without the awful shit in it it’d be a great anime, I’ve watched the lot but good god. I get why people love it but… yeah.


#15

In the beginning, I kept thinking “this pandering does not do anything to me, but at least there’s some fun to be had in the exaggeration, and Mako is cool” as a reason to move through it and treat it as a fine anime; nothing great, nothing horrible.

But there’s a certain scene in the last or second to last episode, between Kiryuin and her mother, that’s really fucking bad and made me try to forget about it.

If you’re not feeling comfortable, that could only make things worse for your enjoyment.


#16

If you’re worried about the fanservice at this point, might as well call it a wash as the series doesn’t make good on anything by the end.


#17

I am in no way defending the sexualization in the show. It’s overt, and very creepy. I think I fell into the show for the humor, and the fan service just became part of that to me. That’s not an excuse for the show. Because it is a very hard pill to swallow, and not a show that I’ve ever recommended. I think the show is a case study on what Anime has to offer, and what is still stuck. The humor is good, the fight sequences are awesome, the animation is on point. Yet they still add gratuitous amounts of fan service that really drives away western consumers. As we can see in nearly everyone who has commented on this thread. I find Kill La Kill more of a guilty pleasure, than a trophy of anime excellence.


#18

Even ignoring the fanservice, it’s a messy production that was let down by what felt like a week turnaround for each episode.


#19

I really want a show that:

  1. engages with the bad anime tropes, using parody or negative presentation
  2. doesn’t do so using gruesome physical or sexual violence towards women

The big three shows I remember doing 1. well are really awful about 2. Those three are PMMM, NGE, and Kill la Kill. You could make a case for Utena, as well.


#20

KLK is an anime that I enjoyed watching that I could not in good conscience recommend to anyone.

When it goes over the top with the action I am 100% on board but the super creepy pandering crosses the line quite a few times, like how the first episode has a rape joke and later on a villain literally (and I mean literally) molests another character on screen

In hindsight I think I had more of a tolerance that sort of thing when I watched KLK years ago as opposed to now. There are still moments in KLK I absolutely love but that doesn’t excuse the gross shit.