GrayGhost81

Posted on Feb 21st 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (GrayGhost81)
Posted under anime


I'm currently re-watching my favorite show of all time, Studio Trigger's bombastic masterpiece Kill La Kill. I recently scored a copy of the Kill La Kill video game on the Nintendo Switch and I wanted to refresh my memory on the finer details of the story of the anime before I dove into the game. I'm thoroughly enjoying the revenge quest of the heroine Ryuko Matoi, who I commonly cosplay as, and I'm still amazed how much color and action are packed into every episode. The seventh episode of the show, titled "A Loser I Can't Hate," is one of my favorite episodes of any serialized series I have ever seen. Allow me to explain why I love this episode so much and why you should check it out even if you have never seen the show! 



In the dystopian world of Kill La Kill society is stratified strictly along class lines based on how many stars a person's uniform has. Society is ruled by Ragyo Kiryuin and Honnouji Academy and its student body are ruled over by her daughter, class president Satsuki Kiryuin. Star level and uniforms are assigned at Satsuki's whim and the beginning episodes of the show do a great job of painting her as dangerous, malevolent dictator.


Ryuko Matoi, our protagonist, and the Mankanshoku family, who have taken her in, are zero stars and as such they live in impoverished conditions. Though class strife is constantly in the backdrop of the action in this series, it takes center stage in the seventh episode. In this episode it is revealed that students of Honnouji Academy can increase their status, and thusly their living standards, by starting their own clubs. After being challenged by a few club presidents early in the episode, Ryuko decides to start her own club, the Fight Club. To avoid doing the administrative paperwork of running the club herself, she appoints Mako Mankanshoku as the president. As Ryuko defeats the other club presidents in battle, Mako earns a one star uniform and a better apartment for her family.

The theme of money not being able to buy happiness is tried and true in fiction. From the moment the Mankanshokus move on up to their one star apartment, it is apparent that this is the main theme the episode is going for. The family takes to their newfound riches immediately and it is declared by Mako that she will do everything in her power to ensure that her family will never go back to zero star status. It becomes apparent to Ryuko almost immediately that the family's bond together is fading away quickly as they immediately assimilate to their new status. The simultaneous comedy of this blended with the family slowly peeling off to go about their individual business as Ryuko sits alone at the dinner table is a thing of sad beauty.

The episode peaks with Mako being awarded a two star uniform which gives her a great amount of power, as well as the badass look of a male juvenile delinquent. Mako is ordered by Satsuki to defeat Ryuko in battle to maintain her status. With her family in the audience cheering her on, Mako begins an all-out assault on Ryuko. After a short while, Ryuko stops fighting back. In the episodes leading up to this, Mako has shown an unyielding devotion to Ryuko, so as the viewer it's not a mystery what Ryuko is doing by relenting. Sure enough, Mako comes to her senses as does her family, and the credits roll to the backdrop of Mako's two star uniform exploding in a brilliant fireworks show and the family returning to their no star lifestyle after apologizing profusely to Ryuko.


Even though this is perhaps the most conventional episode of Kill La Kill from a traditional television sense, the way the story is presented is why I love it so much. By this point in the overall narrative it has been made very clear how much love Mako and Ryuko have for each other. The dissolution of the friendship as well as the family's bond is portrayed in balanced way. There are many parallels and shared themes between this episode and the recent best picture Oscar winner, Parasite. If you are a fan of that movie, you'd probably enjoy this episode of Kill La Kill. You don't have to see the preceding episodes to enjoy it but I hope this sample of the overall story will make you want to go back and start from the beginning.


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Comments
 
KLK is a fun romp. Most people recognize it for the cheesecake but itís also legitimately quality. Iím always waiting for Gainax or Trigger to release something akin to this or PSwG.
 
@Fleabitten: Have you seen Space Patrol Luluco? It's very short with six minute episodes but I loved it. Also love Little Witch Academia but that's nowhere near as crazy as KLK. Tried getting into Gurren Lagann a few times but it never hooked me.
 
@GrayGhost81: I forgot about that one! I only saw the original Little Witch OVA and the rest is on my backlog. Gurren Laggan has been in my backlog for over a decade too. Thatís pretty bad haha

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