I’m trying to write this review but the words that keep coming to mind are: Kill la Kill is awesome and you should watch it. When you get down to it, that’s really all that needs to be said.
You might think Kill la Kill is in the LOUD NOISES AND INSANITY mold of anime. Well it is full of loud noises and insanity, but more than that, Kill la Kill is full of joy. It’s the joy of Tony Jaa breaking 50 guys’ arms en route to rescuing an elephant. It’s the joy of Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellen tweeting random touristy pictures. It’s the joy of making the greatest inside joke ever with your friends.
Kill la Kill is not a series that you watch, and write about how it had great characters and the story really made you think about the fashion industry. It’s just something you experience, and when it’s over, it feels like you’ve had a Four Loko after blowing your life’s savings on cocaine and hookers. You don’t really do that and think about the validity of your life choices.
If there’s one moment that sums up the entire series, it’s in the last episode. Our heroine Ryuko Matoi is making her epic badass speech, but the main villain calls her out by yelling “WHAT’S THIS NONSENSICAL GARBAGE YOU’RE SPOUTING??” Then the words “WHAT’S THIS NONSENSICAL GARBAGE” scroll up the screen in gigantic, bold, red kanji. It so perfectly lampshades how the writers took an inane concept and treated it as a deep philosophy.
There’s no need for pretense in Kill la Kill. Let’s just admit what we want: comedy, fanservice, epic fight scenes, awesome monologues. Always say yes and see where life takes you. Should there be an anti-clothing resistance movement called Nudist Beach? Yes. Should uncovered male nipples emit light? Yes. Should Ira Gamagoori suddenly turn into a Gunmen for no reason? Yes.
But to say this series is over the top does a disservice to how well it brings itself down. There are peaks and valleys, where you’re sometimes lulled into thinking that this is a world that can be understood. Then it goes over the top, so much so that you forget where the “top” used to be. And then you see how self-aware the writing is, and realize that you’ve been played. So it goes, on and on for 24 amazing episodes.