by Sawyer Scherbenske
Kill la Kill, my anime of this season, the story about family, friendship, and nudists came to an end yesterday. The fight between Ryuko, Satsuki, and Ragyo was one of the most action packed, absurd, and utterly incomprehensible fights I’ve seen in months just like I wanted it to be, but the ending left me wanting more and here’s why.
Hiroyuki Imaishi, creator of Gurren Lagann, Evangelion, FLCL, etc. is by far my favorite director of all time because of two things: their balls-to-the-wall crazy action, and their character development. Gurren Lagann was so good because Simon changed throughout the series, FLCL was good because all the characters evolved as people throughout the series and all these changes were important. I couldn’t care less that Simon defeated Lord Genome, I cared what that meant to Simon and what it would have meant to Kamina.
So when I heard that he was going to be the director of Kill la Kill I totally lost my mind in excitement, and when the series came out it was amazing, just like I thought it would be. There was more action than a Michael Bay movie in each episode and Kiryuin Satsuki was my favorite character of the season because of her ambition and quotes. Satsuki’s “Ask not the sparrow how the eagle soars!” is almost as amazing as Simon’s “If you’re going to dig, dig to the heavens!”
Then after episode 19 where Ryuko realizes she is a “life fiber monster” as she puts it, character development just stops and Ryuko just becomes o.k with the fact that she is what she is out of nowhere after she wears Junketsu in episode 20. Kill la Kill Crazy action sequences were still there, I mean, Ryuko went super saiyan and fought Ragyo in SPACE after all, but all I could think was “So what?” That may seem like an odd question after Ragyo was defeated, everyone became happy, and Mako, Satsuki, and Ruko went on a date, but none of that really mattered to me. I wanted to see change in the characters and there just wasn’t much of that.
Gurren Lagann was so amazing because Simon changed throughout the series. I couldn’t have cared less that Simon defeated Lord Genome, I cared what that victory meant to Simon, Team Dai-Gurren, and what it would have meant to Kamina. Gurren Lagann is my favorite anime because every character change is epic and happens for a reason, just watch Simon’s rebirth courtesy of YouTube user pataphyx here:
So when Ryuko defeated Ragyo just to go out and have fun with Mako again I didn’t care, it was as if defeating Ragyo changed nothing. Call me heartless, but even when Senketsu died I didn’t care because at the beginning of the series Ryuko was a girl who was fine wearing normal cloths who wanted to avenge her dad and she turned into…a girl who wears normal cloths who never killed her dad’s killer? Nothing about Ryuko ended up changing or getting resolved by the end. Even after Senketsu died Ryuko is just seen smiling and enjoying her date as if nothing happened at all.
The only character evolution that I really loved was when Gamagori sacrificed himself to shield Mako, proving that Satsuki isn’t the only one that he was willing to be a human shield for, that Mako was just as important if not more important to him than Satsuki was. Then what did they do? They brought him right back into the episode like nothing happened at all, ruining the significance of his actions.
In the end the only characters who actually evolved were Satsuki, Uzu Sanageyama, and weirdly Mako. Uzu (The samurai on Satski’s team) learned to control his pride and therefore made his greatest utility, his eyes, a skill instead of a hindrance while Satsuki changed from living a lie under her mother’s control into living for herself and even befriending Ryuko in the end as you can see during the end sequence during the date. Even Mako, a character that I couldn’t stand early on in the series, evolved from being a hindrance to Ryuko to saving her life several times over at the risk of her own through course of the series.
In the end Kill la Kill ended up still being an anime that I would recommend to anyone who likes action and “you can do it” types of anime. Don’t get me wrong, Kill la Kill is still amazing and I love it, but the ending was the most disappointing conclusion to a series that I’ve seen since Deadman Wonderland’s.
Sawyer Scherbenske is a writer for B-TEN.com.
Feeding off of Video Games, Anime, and Mountain Dew, he is miraculously still alive.
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