Kill la Kill, Episode 1
“If Only I Had Thorns Like A Thistle”¦”
Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi
Written by Kazuki Nakashima
Voice Cast: Ami Koshimizu, RyÅka Yuzuki, Toshihiko Seki, Shinichiro Miki, Aya Suzaki, Tetsu Inada, Nobuyuki Hiyama, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Mayumi Shintani
Release Date: October 4, 2013
Streaming Free on Crunchyroll
For those anime fans that have been sleeping under a rock all summer, the anime series Kill la Kill has begun streaming on Crunchyroll this month. The series was heavily hyped this summer by fledgling animation studio Trigger, who produced the brilliant one-shot animation Little Witch Academia, also available on Crunchyroll.
Directed by Hiroyuki Imaishi of Gurren Lagann fame, Kill la Kill’s setting is Honnouji Academy, a post-apocalyptic neo-fascist school run by a militaristic student council under the command of its autocratic president, Satsuki Kiryuin. The school’s Disciplinary Committee Chair, Ira Gamagoori, enforces Kiryuin’s iron-fisted rule. “Fear is Freedom! Subjugation is Liberation!” Kiryuin declaims loudly from the parapets as the student body and faculty cower in abject terror below.
The scene then jumps to the next day, when we are introduced to transfer student Ryuko Matoi, the series’ protagonist, who comes to Honnouji Academy in search of the truth about her father’s death. Before she even sets foot on campus, she’s jumped by street brats and has to fight them off. As dangerous as the city is, however, school is even more deadly.
In this episode we are introduced to the key cast members of the Academy, including Ryuko’s upbeat and irrepressible classmate, Mako, who is the polar opposite of just about everyone around her. Bubbly and somewhat air-headed, Mako eats at her desk at light speed and sleeps during lecture. She’s the perfect comic foil for the series’ overall dystopian setting.
When president Kiryuin appears before the student body, Ryuko confronts her, brandishing her blood red half-scissor blade. Will Ryuko find the answers she seeks, or will she go down to inglorious defeat at the hands of Kiryuin and her minions? I dare not say here for fear of spoiling the episode for you. You will have simply have to tune in and watch. The first episode is now available for free on Crunchyroll, and subsequent episodes stream every Thursday afternoon.
Kill la Kill seems to embody a new alloy of extreme fighting anime, equal parts glorying in gore while secretly laughing at itself from the shadows. Dark, violent, and brooding while simultaneously humorous and sexy, Kill la Kill, at least at this point, promises much in the way of way cool autumn entertainment. As fun as Gurren Lagann and Little Witch Academia were, this series really sells itself, from the opening sequence to the closing credits. Kill la Kill delivers with the same one-two punch as the best of Quentin Tarantino’s films. Highly recommended!