Note: Notes this week are a little disorderly. I didn’t know where to focus, or when to make a new heading, so a lot of stuff was put under headings they only loosely related to. I’m thinking of changing my format next time, but I haven’t even figured out what show I’m doing next. Anyway, sorry stuff is all over the map.
1) Full Circle:
1.1) In the first episode we zoomed out from Honnouji Academy to meet Ryuko, now we zoom into it to find Ryuko again. We’ve come back to the same chess board, but all the pieces have moved. What was once a personal vendetta for the death of Ryuko’s father is now an ideological and imperative battle against he mother. Enemies have become sisters, villains have become allies, fear – freedom, subjugation – liberation, and contradiction – truth.
1.2) Ryuko is fighting without a Kamui. time to see how much she’s really grown. We got a sneak preview of this after Senketsu was shredded, but it’s hard to call running down generic footsoldiers with a motorcycle a real fight. This is the real test of her power. Also, the Absolute Subjugation freezes Life Fibers, and that’s why she had to take Senketsu off. But isn’t she part Life Fiber herself?
1.3) Senketsu has independence! This finally completes the balance between him and Ryuko. Whereas humans are weak but capable of action without cloth, cloth just sits in a closet or on the floor in heep without humans. But Senketsu defies this, and why? Because, like Ryuko he is neither human nor clothing! But seriously, and really explanation would be nice.
1.4) Everyone’s naked! And none of them look like pigs! None of them, not even Satsuki, are bothered by the sense of nakedness that Ragyo told Satsuki about in the bath scene several episodes ago. that scene is still the source of so much.
2.1) Satsuki isn’t the only nobel leader in Honnouji. Uzu’s Centurion Formation also shows him as a leader. We knew he used to be a gang leader, but since he’s been under Satsuki I haven’t really thought much of him in a leadership position, but it’s clearly there. The same goes for Nonon, who leads the non-athletic clubs, and probably Ira too.
2.2) So even now the Honnouji forces are archonic, while Ryuko, Mako, and Nudist beach are anarchistic -I can’t find a word to call the three as a group because they are all independent and autonomous. Sure, Mako follows Ryuko, but no one demands that of her, in fact Ryuko often tell Mako not to follow her but Mako does anyway. So she’s definitely autonomous, one the the bat crap crazies, and thus she has freedom without being very smart or strong, so she deffies Satsuki’s philosophy. She did it before when she proved she was more than just a pig in human clothing (episode 7), and now she’s done it again. Nietzsche might say she’s an animal with the right to make promises, but I think what’s more important is the right to make friends; that’s Mako’s greatest work, making friends with Ryuko.
2.3) Thematically, Ira has nothing to do with the leadership of others, he represents a leadership of oneself. It’s actually a little odd that he’d be chosen for this, when the obvious choice would be the Samurai Uzu, but I think there’s a reason why. Kill la Kill is very anime, but it’s also the kind of anime that uses a lot of western culture. Uzu, as a samurai, could have been used to represent ownership of self in buddhist principles, but that’s the eastern approach. Ira is the western equivalent of samurai, a body guard, one who would take bullets for his boss. That kind of dedication to one’s role, and the kind of self knowledge Ira has is what Kill la Kill presents as leadership of oneself. It’s based more deeply in western culture, especial Stoicism. And driving this home is Ira’s development over the series, the process of freeing his ego.
2.4) And just like last episode, we’ve gone full Gurren Lagann. Everyone’s powers are combined into a Tengan Toppa Senketsu Kisaragi (trans. wear more clothes. I’m dead serious). Or maybe Super Saiyan Ryuko 🙂 As for leadership, this is an odd situation. Ryuko has always been the anarchist, but now she’s some kind of democratic Leviathan. Granted, she’s opposing an outside force, so this isn’t political, it’s just kinda weird to think about.
2.5) “The closer I get to dying, the stronger I bounce back.” yep, she’s a Saiyan. Actually, I compared Satsuki to Vegeta a few episodes back, but I think Ryuko also parallels Goku in some ways. She was born to destroy mankind, but instead grew up to be their protector. Also, she was trained by an old man who likes nudity. Okay, maybe it’s a stretch.
3) Angel of Death:
3.1) Ragyo’s design here is awesome. She has a strong core, yet wide wings with eyes; it’s very intimidating. Also, I think I can see some things it might take inspiration from. The large eyes look a little like the ones on Seierun from TTGL. The rest of the wings remind me of Armisael or Sahaquiel from Evangelion. And the core bulk, the face and the crisscrossing lines in the front look a lot like Zeruel from Eva. Can’t wait to see what this thing can do.
3.2) Fighting Cloth with Cloth backfired. This was pretty obvious, even Nudist Beach saw it coming. Not that it helped them much.
3.3) Absolute Submission isn’t very submissive. Ragyo’s taken their power (not only their extrinsic power, but, because they’re now restrained, also their intrinsic power), but Ryuko and Satsuki’s wills aren’t so easily compromised. Hell, even Ira’s pushing up those stairs like a tank!
3.4) The landscape here has more crosses than Lord Death’s room. Considering the past Christian symbolism, I think there’s a reason for it. Ragyo is the snake, and, as I’ve talked about before, Ryuko may be Adam in this context. Given that, I think it’s safe to call this scene The Fall of Man, in which case the Savior needs to come to redeem mankind of its sins. Again, I’m not a religious scholar or even a religious person, so please correct me if you know better.
3.5) My first thought when Nui killed herself was General Schrodinger from Hellsing Ultimate. Then I saw… that. I swear, if this suddenly goes into End of Eva territory, I’m giving up all hope of interpretation now.
3.6) Ragyo is wearing Nui. At first thought that seems like Nui admitting subjugation to Ragyo, but seeing as these people view cloth as supreme beings and the humans that wear them as mere vessels, I sense some backstabbing coming. It’s happened to ragyo before.
3.7) Once Ryuko is up in space with Ragyo, the scene of the Earth below, no doubt about, that’s Third Impact! Oh, and Ragyo’s Satin now; well, I guess, as the snake, she’s always kinda been.
3.8) Actually, forget the similarities to Goku, Ryuko’s Jesus. The Life Fibers have been suggested to be gods, making Ryuko part god and pert human. Not just part; she and Senketsu are neither gods (Life Fibers) nor humans, yet also both! They are everything. And now they’re sacrificing themselves to free mankind from their sin, the sin of clothing, the sin of shame. “I am now free of the past karma of the Kiryuins” See, Satsuki gets it. “Come peacefully back to earth.” And the forgiveness to top it off.
4.1) Mako calling Ira “Sempai”; I don’t think this is anything other than a bit of fanservice for the shipers, but it’s nice to throw them a bone now and then.
4.2) “She wouldn’t be Ryuko if she didn’t fight.” I don’t think this is as much an identity thing as it is a relations thing. Sure, you can say she wouldn’t be Ryuko if she didn’t fight because that’s a defining characteristic of her, but you could have also said a long time ago that she wouldn’t be Ryuko if she didn’t hate Satsuki. People change. However, The trait that Satsuki recognizes Ryuko for, the one that she values Ryuko for is her determination. Ryuko can change in other ways and still be Ryuko, but if she loses her will to fight, she’s no longer the Ryuko Satsuki cares about.
4.3) Satsuki can hear Senketsu. I was going to let this one slide as just cool but otherwise pointless writing, but then Senketsu says “So that’s it.” What’s it?! Right now, my best guess is it’s Ryuko. Her blood was in Junketsu, and now that Satsuki’s synchronized with it, it’s in her. Having Ryuko’s blood allows Satsuki to hear Senketsu. Maybe it’s because Ryuko has been made with Life Fibers.
Final thoughts: I love the ending. I’m not really sure what I can say about it just yet, but I know I loved it. This wasn’t some generic fanservice-y shounen, and the ending didn’t just tie things up with plain cool fight scenes. The show completed itself; the themes, the characters, the meaning behind it were all successfully and gracefully completed. But I want to know what you guys think. I made this page to share ideas about anime with fellow fans, and though it’s been a ton of fun just taking my time with each episode and writing down my own thoughts, we’re more powerful when we synchronize!
Don’t Lose Your Way.