Well, after going back into my cave for a sampling of weird, I’ve come back out into the sunlight with some impressions of Kill la Kill. Honestly, for an anime that came to me with such high recommendation, it was an absolute letdown. Ridiculous plots, idiotic premises, and cringe worth situations that consistently rear their heads make this anime one of those rare occasions in which something continually carves its own niche and then repeatedly fails to deliver within the parameters that it’s set.’
To start, Kill la Kill does something I absolutely cannot stand. It exists in that weird space between taking itself WAY too seriously and at the same moment trying to inject humor into situations that just don’t need them. KLK wants you to immerse yourself in this world in which students fight each other in super powered suits that can be killed with a scissor sword, yet at the same time tries to say: “HEY, COME LEARN ABOUT FRIENDSHIP!” Now, don’t get me wrong, this is a pretty common thing for anime. Shows like One Piece have done it for years. However, KLK just never manages to find the balance between the two, an honestly just ends up somewhere in the realm of cringe consistently. I mean, how many upskirt shots do I need of a seventeen year old to be officially weirded out?
On that note, I do have to give the show a few commendations. The animations during fights are fantastic. You really feel every sword hit, and the show does a phenomenal job of letting you keep up with the action all the way through. I never felt lost as I watched any of the fights later on in the series, and even when she show bordered on the verge of ridiculous, I was always enthusiastic for another great fight. Second, the score is phenomenal. The show does an awesome job of using dramatic music and a great soundtrack to accompany some of the high points in the series. I thoroughly enjoyed each opening and ending as well, so that’s definitely a high note.
Honestly, none of that is enough to compensate for what the show doesn’t do well. Quirky and well animated don’t mean you can get away with the creepy, and extremely weird tones that radiate throughout the show. I refuse to take a show seriously when the entire premise is based on high schoolers stopping clothing from taking over the world, and the contrast of people vs. clothing. Nope, not gonna happen, sorry. As charming as characters like Mako and Ryuko are, the supporting characters that follow along with them are just plain irritating. Character motivations make absolutely no sense, and the show repeatedly asks you to put aside your gripes so they can show you more butt cheeks. Come on now.
KLK is not an anime I recommend. With FAR too many other phenomenal pieces that tell the message that it’s trying to tell about ten times better, how could I possibly recommend this anime in place of its contemporaries like Samurai Champloo, One Piece, and other anime fighters that just simply do the job…better. A lot of ideas that work well on paper simply don’t measure up when executed in this middling anime. The 8.5 it earned on IMDB is an embarrassment, and honestly, this show never crosses past the 5-6 territory. If KLK is what you’re looking for, look somewhere else, there are better ballparks to explore.3