ANIME TUESDAY: Kill la Kill – “Don’t Toy Me on a Whim” Review

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Previously on Kill la Kill:

Ryuko encountered a man named Tsumugu Kinagase, a lone gunman determined to destroy all things related to life fibers including the Kamui. After a heated battle, in where the Student Council also gets involved, Tsumugu & Ryuko come to an understanding and Ryuko alo deppens her bond with Senketsu. Spoilers Ahead!

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Ryuko presses Aikuro for information about his connection to Tsugumu but her investigation is cut short when Uzu Sanageyama challenges her to a fight in front of the school. Despite being at an initial disadvantage, Ryuko pulls out a win and defeats Sanageyama in front of everyone. Disgraced and thrown out of the Student Council by Satsuki. Seeking to redeem his failure Uzu takes a drastic action that may prove to have devastating consequences for Ryuko.

Kill la Kill takes a turn this week as it focuses more on a villain instead of our half naked heroine.

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Young Satsuki & young Sanageyama

The episode opens on Ryuko trying to squeeze information out of Aikuro regarding Tsumugu. As usual he gives Ryuko the runaround claiming that if she proves she can be trusted he will tell her everything. However he does tell them the name of the organization he works for but Ryuko understandably doesn’t believe him, I mean if a half naked guy kept yelling “Nudist Beach!” how would you take it? Other than these scenes, Aikuro is strangely not seen as much here.

Ryuko’s fight with Sanageyama is a bit short but it does give us a bunch of insight into his character. He asks Satsuki to let him Ryuko under the understanding that if he loses he will be kicked out of Satsuki’s inner circle. Despite his best efforts, fast intimidating wooden swordplay, and physically imposing Goku uniform Blade Regalia, Ryuko still defeats him; disgracing him in front of everyone. Ryuko also develops in the battle by allowing Senketsu to get cut so he can use the shreds to blind Sanageyama’s vision (which becomes a plot point here).

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Shamed, Sanageyama is thrown out of Satsuki’s inner circle and takes drastic action to regain her favor…sewing his eyes shut; we also see how Uzu became part of Satsuki’s council. Before Honnouji Academy when she was in middle school, Satsuki sought out to conquer other schools and build up the student council. During one of her conquests she comes across a young Sanageyama and defeats him, telling her that if she joins him he will gain unimaginable power (you know, your typical join the dark side speech). These scenes help establish the relationship the two have and we also get to see the other members of the Student Council when they were younger.

Showing Satsuki his resolve, Uzu is given another uniform and once again challenges Ryuko, but the result is far different than last time. Ryuko is beaten, severely, nothing she does works and her ofeense is all but countered by Sanageyama’s now Daredevil-esque enhanced reflexes. His traditional kendo fighting style overwhelms Ryuko but she lucks out when Sanageyama’s uniform overheats because it can’t keep up with this abilities and flees. Both of them unsatisfied with the battle, Sanageyama gets an improved uniform and Ryuko resolves to get stronger.

Sanageyama's uniform

Sanageyama’s uniform

“Don’t Toy Me on a Whim” does a good job of adding depth to one of the villains as well as adding another obstacle for Ryuko to overcome. Both fights between them show just how much different each person is and the steps they have to take to get stronger. The animation is top notch as always and the music sets the tones of the dramatic scenes well enough.