Editor’s Note – I’m in a fairly hectic place (thus all of the cancellations recently) with starting a new high demand job. Since I didn’t want to cancel any more posts, I decided to farm the next two weeks out as guest posts. After that, I will hopefully be ready to return to the regular schedule. /Editor’s Note
Normally we have video game reviews on this site, but this week Nick is busy which means I’m in charge. In my benevolence, I have decided to review a relatively new Anime and not the package of Pirate cookies I have just eaten, or Final Fantasy X-2. The anime I’ve decided to review is Kill La Kill. Rather than just a general synopsis of Kill La Kill, and me telling you why you should watch it, I am going to tell you how it reminds me of certain video games.
The story of Kill La Kill is a plot of revenge. A young girl named Matoi transfers to a new school to find the woman who killed her father. However, the school she transfers to is nothing like your ordinary school. Honnouji Academy is a school ran by it’s autocratic leader Satsuki Kiryuin, who is the student President. Satsuki is able to keep her power by instilling in her generals special powers provided by the uniforms they wear. Each article of clothing has a rating, 1-3 stars, more stars means more power. There is also a type clothing called a Godrobe, which is made 100% out of life fibers (which a 3 star outfit is 30%), so a Godrobe basically gives you unlimited power.
Matoi must fight through the students in order to reach her target: Satsuki. However, in her current state she can’t even keep up with a 2 star leader of the boxing club. She get’s her ass handed to her. In her defeat she makes it back to her fathers abandoned estate, finds a Godrobe underground and the Godrobe forces her to wear it (in a sexual assult-y way, she did say no). She dons the robe, which drains her blood in order to give her power, takes her scissor sword (yes, she fights with 1 half of a large pair of scissors), and kicks ass on her way to find the other half of the sword, which is carried by the person who killed her father. Oh yea and she does it practically nekkid. It’s really more of a GodString.
While watching the anime I noticed that it was very reminiscent of some video games that I have played in the last few years. First, the tongue and cheek manner in which they deal with sexuality reminds me of Bayonetta, except Kill La Kill gives you Cheesecake and Beefcake. So everyone get’s eye candy! There’s a lot of innuendo and gratuitous booty/titty shots on Matoi and Bayonetta, often done in a comical way, but sometimes just for the sake of it. The only difference is that Bayonetta owned her sexuality, she wasn’t embarrassed by it and she could use it as a weapon. Also Bayonetta was created to resemble a woman, but in an exaggerated way. Her proportions are nothing like any woman I’ve seen, and that helps the game not seem like it’s objectifying her, because she’s not really a woman. She’s a giraffe in a catsuit. Whereas Matoi is drawn with relatively accurate proportions, so sometimes the camera angles seem unnecessary. Kill La Kill could have benefited from taking a page out of Bayonetta’s book, make the characters aware of their own sexuality and have them look a little less human (and older!), so it’s not as pervy.
Near-Nudity is one aspect of the art style in KLK, another is blood. Lots of deep reds in the artwork, characters, backgrounds, juxtaposed against jet blacks. When Matoi is in her Godrobe (Named Senketsu, ‘Fresh Blood’ in English) she reminds me a lot of Haseao from .Hack//G.U. which is a video game about an online video game. Their finishing moves are similar, Matoi’s scissor turns into a scythe like weapon when she is about to do her finishing move and was reminiscent of the way Haseao uses his Scythe to finish enemies. They both wear armour that is black with elements of red with spikes and use unconventional weapons. The fact that .Hack//G.U. is created to look a lot like an anime, and uses a lot of reds and plays with light and shadow, helps the comparison between KLK and .Hack.
Finally the plot and setting reminds me a lot of Disgaea 3. Which is about a school for Demons, called Evil Academy. In the game you have to fight through a lot of classmates and different clubs, just like KLK. There’s more to both stories as you keep playing, but it starts off with a similar feeling. Both question what it means to be a hero, and question what is good and evil. KLK and Disgaea 3 have a dark sense of humor and can be zany and campy at times.
If you like weird video games and skimpy clothes, then this is the anime for you. It’s fun, there’s a surprising amount of character development and a great cast (except one very annoying character, but every anime has one). Right now it hasn’t been localized, so no english voices, I’m not sure if it will come stateside. And Satsuki is my favourite character, despite being the villain for most of the season and despite her eyebrows. Oh and it has a definitive ending after 1 season, I would like it to go on forever, but it’s nice when everything is wrapped up.
– Marty X