Kill la Kill Episode 1 Review and Initial Reaction


Thank you based Trigger! The animation team formerly known from Gainax studios that brought you Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (2010, Gainax) and the world famous Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007, Gainax) brings back an all new fast-paced fan-service-ridden-with-no-shame series: Kill La Kill. Gurren Lagann had changed the definition of, “epic” back in 2007 for anime enthusiasts everywhere. Don’t let the studio name fool you, this is definitely the art and animation you’ve been waiting for if you are a die hard Gainax fan.


Within the first minute opening the premier, your brain is already screaming out from nostalgia but bare with me as I try to stay away from comparing to previous titles for a bit. The scene opens up to a classroom of visibly normal students only to be abruptly interrupted by the Disciplinary Committee Chair, Ira Gamagoori. We are quickly introduced to the concept of the one to three star Goku school uniforms that grant the wearer with exceptional speed and power. Suddenly the Student Council President, Satsuki Kiryuin, who appears to be revered as a God-like figure and possibly the end-game boss. All before 4 minutes in such a fast-paced action packed manner that feels like an entire episode on its own. Amazing.



Moving on, we finally get to meet our main protagonist the mysterious Ryuko Matoi, who shares voice actor roles with best girl Kallen from Code Geass and Holo from Spice and Wolf. Under unusual circumstances she befriends Mako Mankanshoku, a quirky and overly eccentric junior from the same school, and other similarly unique characters along the way. Arriving to the school grounds, Ryuko manages to discover her target, the school’s Student Council President, confronts her with her half scissor blade, then gets smeared by some big headed twerp with giant boxing gloves. All this happens barely halfway into the show but pretty much sets up the premise of the plot by this point.

Well then..

That escalated quickly..

To avoid writing a complete synopsis of this episode, I will continue with the mysterious magical school uniform that fashionably reverse rapes Ryuko. I have questions towards the uniform and what it’s importance to the story is and even why it resembles a gunman from the Gurren Lagann series. The teacher from the classroom also has some sort of involvement in this progression of the story, especially during a scene where we discover Ryuko’s predicament and the demise of her parents. I’m feeling that the plot revolves around revenge which isn’t too unusual considering the studio behind it. With the added powers of the lewd school uniform Ryuko finds, she returns to the school to exact revenge on boxer douche and save her unfortunate friend, Mako. The suit absorbed the 2 star uniform? Hmm interesting indeed.


Wow this art and wow this animation. Right from the moment Gamagoori busts into the classroom my head is screaming out Gurren Lagann. Not to mention the subtle yet noticeable animation style the is reminiscent of Panty and Stocking, including the questionable choice of armor Ryuko is wielding. Everything is so fast paced and hilariously witty that it’s hard not to miss a moment flashing by. There is never a moment when the show stops being fluous which is a flawless characteristic of Gainax/Trigger. Colors, flashes, explosions all stripped straight from previous Gainax/Trigger titles are forgivably used to an excess. Color me a bit biased but this show contains the elements that I loved from some of my favorite anime titles.

The music? You will not miss the music guaranteed. Composed by the same genius that brought you the Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) OST. If there is anything that you can love from Shingeki, it’s definitely the music (and Mikasa of course..). The music is epic and really cranks up this first episode experience. I can’t wait to hear what else is in store in the coming episodes. The ED? Fantastic.



Initial Reactions:

To be quite honest, this series definitely did not have the same impact as Gurren Lagann had on premier. With all the hype going into this series I was a bit let down but I still have high expectations. I have a feeling that this series is intentionally recycling tropes between their previous over-the-top shows, not to show off or be reminiscent, but simply to set up the later episodes and feed that initial hype. This season, like last season, seems to be a flurry of shows that are centered around young protagonists either in school or old enough to be in school. If you’ve seen my previous reviews, I’m a bit tired of school days anime but it can’t be avoided.

I caught myself smiling and laughing at the events in Kill la Kill which is a huge plus in my book. The director, Hiroyuki Imaishi, does over-the-top stories like no other. There is hardly any moment where the pacing feels awkward or lacks visual satisfaction. And despite the fan service, it just feels fitting of this new series.

Everything was set up so well to already have me anticipating for next week. I want to find out more about Ryuko’s half scissor blade and the secret behind her new revealing uniform. Like Gurren Lagann, the antagonists are set by hierarchy – to elaborate, she defeated the first and weakest opponent in this episode where next episode she will most likely face the next level in the tier – and they seem to not be psychotic evil – also to elaborate, the spiral king and anti spiral in Gurren Lagann were ultimately trying to preserve life in the universe by controlling evolution; they weren’t bad guys but they were still considered evil.

Eyes up here buddy

Eyes up here buddy

Predictions for next episode:

I’m hoping for more Kill la Kill! I’m hooked though not incredibly intrigued. I want to find out why or how Ryuko’s uniform absorbed the star fabric. More backstory on all the introduced characters and some more insight on why that scissor blade is so important. Heck, I just want more good anime.

About Clooby
I am half Korean from my mother's side while the other half is a mix of Cherokee Indian and German I grew up in Seoul, Korea swimming competitively and playing Counter-Strike, Halo 3, and Call of Duty semi-professionally for cash prizes. My favorite anime series include FMA, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, Steins;Gate, and Gurren Lagann among others.

One Response to Kill la Kill Episode 1 Review and Initial Reaction

  1. shiftyeyes says:

    Forgot to mention that shady teacher yo.

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