Friday, October 4, 2013

The Fall Anime Season is Here (Part 3)!

Title: Kill la Kill

Release Date: Oct 3, 2013

Studio: Trigger

Genre: Action/Adventure, School Life

Premise: Wandering transfer student Ryuko Matoi has just arrived at Honnoji Academy in search of clues to the identity of her father's killer. Immediately clashing with domineering Student Council President Satsuki Kiryuin and her four elite underlings, Ryuko unwittingly kicks off a civil war for control of the school.

Verdict: The only acceptable reason not to be watching this show is because you are reading this blog entry about why you absofuckinglutely must watch this show. For those of you who don't know, I like director , like, . His previous effort as series director, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, is still on a lot of people's Top 10 lists, and all of those people (myself included) jumped for joy when it was announced that he was starting his own animation studio. And boy, Trigger's debut project sure doesn't disappoint.

The tone is set from the opening sequence, as Head of the Discipline Committee Gamagori exposes, confronts and lays the smackdown on an unruly student.

Pictured: The Mother of All Smackdowns

The poor chap ends up ass-naked and embedded in the outer wall surrounding the courtyard, and everything about Honnoji Academy, from the overbearing oppressive atmosphere to the clearly defined villainous role of Sastuki Kiryuin, is made abundantly clear. Honnoji Academy is made up of a strict caste system, and Satsuki, whose father runs the school's board of directors, is alone at the top; even the school's principal recognizes her authority. Social status is determined by the school's special Goku uniforms, which grant special powers to the wearer. The higher a person is ranked, the more stars their Goku uniform has, with general students designated as no-stars, exceptional students as one stars, and Satsuki's chosen elite getting uniforms with two or more stars.

All white? It must be a bitch keeping stains out.

Into this delicate balance comes Ryuko, wielding half of a pair of gigantic scissor blades. She is searching for the owner of the other half, claiming that this person is responsible for murdering her father. Her blatant disregard for school customs quickly sets her at odds with the school's elite, prompting the captain of the boxing club to put Ryuko in her place with his Goku uniform's ridiculously over-sized boxing gloves. A defeated Ryuko returns to what remains of her house and finds, of all things, a living, talking school outfit which imbues her with powers of her own...WHEW! Still with me? Good.

In the hands of nearly any other creator this would be gobbledy-gook, but with Imaishi's trademark over-the-top action-oriented style it feel fluid and, more importantly, fun. There may be some well-warranted gripes about the skimpiness of Ryuko's outfit, but I'm still glad to see a show with not one but two solid female leads playing off of one another. The 24-minute episode blazed past, and seasoned Imaishi veterans know it's only likely to get more crazy from here on out. If you pick one series to watch this season, this is the one show worth "trying on."
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