ANIME TUESDAY: Kill la Kill – “I Will Wipe My Own Tears” Review

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Previously on Kill la Kill:

Tired of random encounters Ryuko started the”Fight Club” and made Mako the president. As her status in the school and her family’s living conditions increasem so did Mako’s ego leading to a confrontation with Ryuko in front of the school. Mako fought but Ryuko refused to fight back and the girls reconciled, but Satsuki had others plans as she used this to set real goal into motion. Spoilers Ahead!

KlK 8.8

Satsuki gathers the entire student body in front of the school to announce a game changing event: the Natural General Election! A seven day battle royale between the entire student body, with the survivors being given new Goku uniforms and the opportunity to join the Student Council. The school is sent into disarray and soon Mako & Ryuko are caught in it when they and surprisingly Gamagoori are attacked by the Automotive club. The three find themselves pinned on the highway until Gamagoori makes a revelation that shakes Ryuko to her core, but not the way you would expect.

The next stage of Satsuki’s plan begins to take shape and if this episode is any indication, we’re in for a wild ride.

No pun intended

No pun intended

Satsuki announces the school election at the top of the episode and it has the pretty much the effect you would imagine if you’ve been watching the show, abject chaos! No one even questions it and an all out brawl ensues both at the school and in the city. The brawling is done by nameless students however as the Elite Four, Mako, & Ryuko all take the week off. The Elite Four leave because they know their positions are nowhere near threatend, Mako leaves because she doesn’t care (which ties in to the lesson she learned last episode), and Ryuko leaves because she doesn’t want to be part of Satsuki’s schemes.

This gives us some time for some character development. After leaving the school and stopping at home for a bit, Ryuko returns to her old home and Mako comes with her (mostly because she refuses to let Ryuko leave without her). Here we learn that Ryuko was a relitively wealthy girl whose mother died shortly after giving birth to her. She didn’t get along too much with her scientist father (remember he created Senketsu) which caused her to leave her big house and live in her school dorms. Due to no positive parental influence in her life she slowly became a hoodlum over the years and never saw her father again until he was on his deathbed, or floor since when she saw him again he was on the floor with the scissor blade lodged in his chest. This details how Ryuko got the half of the scissor blade and got on the path that eventually led her to Satsuki. We don’t know much about Ryuko’s father but fro what we see he is kind of a douche, as he doesn’t really seem to care for Ryuko too much or apologize for negelcting her, but he does tell her to avenge him and that she will be led to a cruel fate if she does.

Young Ryuko

Young Ryuko

Finding no answers in the underground lab where she found Senketsu, Ryuko & Mako start their trek home but their scooter runs out of gas (the scooter that Mako’s father stole for Ryuko without telling her the gas gauge was broken). The two are found by Gamagoori, who recently got his license, and he gives them a ride home.

This is where we also learn more about Gamagoori. It was already established that he is the most loyal of Satsuki’s elite and that he has an honor code. Even though they’re essentially enemies he gives Mako & Ryuko a ride under the school rule of “when a student is in trouble off campus the student council must help”, this also gives a different insight into Satsuki’s character if she made these rules. The three are attacked by the automotive club on the highway, but these scenes don’t serve much purpose other than to show off Gamagoori’s Goku Uniform and his…other character trait.

Gamagoori's Uniform

Gamagoori’s Uniform

See Gamagoori is a fan of BDSM…let that sink in for a moment. This actually ties in to is Goku uniform, Shackle Regalia, which has a secondary form called Scourge Regalia. Shackle Regalia works as sort of a binding armor as it is essentially a stationary metal coat that absorbs attacks and releases the force when it becomes Scourge Regalia. This allows him to makes short work of the automotive club. We also see how he was recruited by Satsuki in this episode, but it doesn’t really give us any info we didn’t already know.

After a week the survivors return to school for the results of the election and Satsuki’s slings another curve ball. Five towers rise up from the school grounds in what Satsuki deems the “Sudden Death Runoff Election” in which whichever 5 students make it to the top win. Obviously the Elite Four & Ryuko are the last ones standing and another stipulation is put into play.

The survivors

The survivors (Left to Right); Ira Gamagoori, Uzu Sanageyama, Ryuko Matoi, Nonon Jakuzure, & Houka Inumuta

At the top of the towers the Elite Four elect to all fight Ryuko one on one which Satsuki accepts. She tells Ryuko that if she wins she will her everything, Ryuko accepts the challenge with her first opponent being none other than Gamagoori.

Let the battle begin

Let the battle begin!

“I Will Wipe My Own Tears” does a pretty good job of developing characters while also setting up the next arc of the story. Ryuko’s backstory is sad, Gamagoori’s is revealing, and the entire election was obviously a ruse but it did lead to some funny moments.